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We are Region Beyond which means we are about what is outside or outside our borders. We are a people who need to look forward and pioneer something.
Every movement is in danger of slowing down. Movements have become museums, they have become stagnant, safer and just more organised.
What will keep us?
Being pioneers, where we have our own stories.
Better strategies and organisation only make us better museums where we talk about the good old days.
Pioneers are those who let go of what we have right now and take hold of the promise of God.
Hab 2:14 tells us that the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of God even as the waters cover the sea.
Every time you go you are walking in step with this promise. Is 60 bringing light to the neighbourhood. people establish promises not movements. Lets look at the catalyst to the greatest pioneering movement .
What starts and sustains a pioneering movement?
Some don't like being pioneers. Some don't want to be a pioneer. In Exodus 3 Moses was not in a pioneering mood at this stage in his life.
There were 2 reasons that stopped him and that could stop us.
1. Past failure - He was on fire for justice etc. He knew God's promises. He went ahead in zeal with no planning at all. He probably through he as doing a good job and that people would praise him for rescuing that Jewish slave. He suddenly realised the next day that people were looking at him in a strange way. He tries to stop a quarrel this time and the people react. The people did not want him. His bubble bursts!!! That must have hurt. Exodus 1. Moses is found licking his wounds. Some are still doing it. You were at the cusp of something and then you were let down. Your past hurts can hold you back from going on. But today is the end of that and God can heal you.
2. Present Comfort - Moses flees. He fights the shepherds at the well to allow the women to draw water. He gets married and now is content to live in the land with his father in law and his wife. He is now settling into a routine that is not pioneering, but is parallel with the promises of God.But you do not live with the promise burning in your heart. He is in a rut.
You can come to church, go to the Life Group but there is no spark. The pull of comfort is more than pioneering. The cares of this world, more of the stuff, more different things etc
So what takes a stuck in the rut wounded shepherd to become a pioneer? Fire!!!
The burning bush was the catalyst. Fire is what we need today. I am praying for fire!!
" Preaching is logic on fire" M L Jones. We want flames of fire!
Samuel Chadwick in the 1800s in The Path to Pentecost " Men and women ablaze are invincible... the church is powerless without the Holy Ghost"
Revelation describes us as lamp stands. Without the fire of God church is boring.
Exodus 3:20 The angel of the Lord appeared before Moses from the fire.This is no ordinary fire- it was not consumed. Its an object lesson for Moses in systematic theology on who God is. God was demonstrating his might and power. God is saying you are a created being and you have tried on your own. I am the creator and I can create anything. I don't need wood to burn a fire. This was a small lesson on who God is.
Moses asks god who He is because he is thinking how do I explain this to the people. God says "I am who I am" Only God has the audacity to say "I is". I always will be "is". I simply exist within myself. Th Latin word - at, from , self. He is the un caused one. He needs nothing outside himself. We are totally different from God. We are very dependent on things around us.
"Take off your sandals" God is saying I and you are not the same. I am the creator , you are the created. When Moses does this , he is reminded that he is just come from dust.
He covers his face because he is afraid to look at the face of God. We are captivated and terrified. This God is not tame. He is a wildfire. We cannot become tame in our churches. When you come into the presence of the One who has infinite knowledge you would feel uneasy.
Why does this relate to pioneering? Because all this power is being made available to us!
v.24 God remembered the groaning and remembers His promise t His people. That's the point of the burning bush. God was giving His power to Moses . When you go on pioneering mission you know that you have all of God's sustaining power.
Chapter 4 God gave him a tiny demonstration of it. The snake. This does not happen naturally i.e a staff does not turn into a snake. God does supernatural things.God does amazing things because He is not bound by the laws of nature.
Eph1: " Head over all things for the church". FOR THE CHURCH !!! Everything that we think is not helping is actually helping because the Church is at the centre of all things. So we don't need favourable conditions for a church to thrive because God does not need wood to burn. China has more Christians than the whole of Europe in spite of 100 years of oppression.
The past is not a predictor of your future.
All human hearts are the same . all are dead in their sin - so no ground is hard.
This is the ground that sets a pioneering movement. Pioneering mission is sustained in that you know that God does not need wood to burn.
William Carey " God's work will triumph. One conversion had a nation coming behind him. He was talking about India.
God want to set your heart alight. he wants to use you.
We are coming to the living Lord Jesus, not a burning bush. He is the presence of God, the radiance of the Father's glory. The Shekinah glory. At transfiguration Jesus face was ablaze.