The Francis Asbury Society

FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 2/18

Posted on | February 18, 2016 | Comments Off on FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 2/18

Scripture reading: Malachi 3:1–4

Who’s in Charge?

Jesus said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” (Matthew 28:18)

 

I will never forget my first weekend as the new senior pastor at Loudonville Community Church. It was August of 1994, and I was in my new office late on Saturday night. Surrounded by boxes and all manner of clutter, I was frantically finalizing my thoughts for my first sermon the next morning. At about 9:30 PM the phone rang. Thinking it was probably Katy, I dispensed with any formal church greeting and simply said, “Hello.” A woman’s voice asked, “Is this Loudonville Community Church?” “Uh, yes,” I replied. “How can I help you?” The woman got right to the point. “We just moved to the area and wanted to visit your church tomorrow. Could you tell me what time the services are?”

I froze. I didn’t know what time the services were! “Um, er, I think the early service is at 8:00 . . . no, perhaps it is 8:30. Excuse me, but could you please wait just a moment?” I put down the receiver and ran to find a church bulletin. “Actually, the early service is at 8:20, and the second service is at 11:00,” I explained in triumph. “Thank you for your kind help,” the woman said. “By the way, are you one of the members of the church?” Awkwardly, I replied, “Not really. I’m the pastor!

There are times in life when we all wonder, “Who’s in charge around here?” Whether we are talking about church, family, work, the nation or the world, we want to know: Who’s responsible for all this, and does he know what he is doing? The people of Israel must have felt this way as they approached Jericho. This walled fortress stood directly in their path, hindering them from receiving the blessings God had promised. As Joshua contemplated the situation, a man approached with a drawn sword in his hand.

Joshua went to him and said, “Are you for us, or for our adversaries?” And he said, “No; but I am the commander of the army of the Lord. Now I have come.” And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshipped and said to him, “What does my lord say to his servant?” And the commander of the Lord’s army said to Joshua, “Take off your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.” (Joshua 5:14–15)

When it feels like life is spinning out of control, and the promises of God are never going to be realized, it is time for us to do what Joshua did: rediscover who is really in charge. While we will always have reason to question the competence of our human leaders, we need never question the commander of the army of the Lord. He knows what he is doing.

Dear friend, I don’t know what “Jericho” you may be facing today, but I want to remind you that your real battle is not there. No, the real conflict is the crisis of the will. Will you relinquish control and trust the One who is really in charge? The commander of the army of the Lord has come. He has not come to take sides. He has come to take over! Victory in this battle comes through surrender. So take off your shoes. This is holy ground.

 

Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern s to be on God’s side,

for God is always right.  —Abraham Lincoln

 

point to ponder If Jesus is truly Lord in your life, then nothing that hap- pens to you is accidental.

 

prayer focus For someone in leadership, spiritual or otherwise, that they would trust the One who is really in charge.

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