At our New Year’s Revival, themed “Renewing, Recommitting and Reconnecting” (Rm. 12:1-2), Pastor Phillip A. Pointer of Upper Marlboro, MD and Alexandria, VA preached all three nights. When I say he preached, I mean he preached! He got up in our business, exposed us, convicted us, challenged us, comforted us…all that!
The first night, he came from Genesis 12:1-4 (story of Abram’s departure from Harran), and entitled his sermon “Learning what to Leave Behind”. First he told the story of Aaliyah (I love her still and wish she wouldn’t’ve died L). The cause of the flight which caused her death back in August 2001 was too much luggage on the plane. She went shopping and did not want to send her purchases separately. She wanted to keep the luggage with her and it ultimately caused her death. He related this to our lives. Too many of us have decided to keep all of our baggage on our trips and this will be the cause of our doom if we don’t let go. You can take flight into God’s will with extra baggage (I wrote “stop being spiritual hoarders”)!
Since he preached three nights, I’ll just do a separate reflection on his sermons collectively instead of one for each sermon.
Ok…here are the highlights of Wednesday’s sermon:
– Our struggle to find lift off in life is caused by too much baggage.
o Some of the things we want to bring with us need to be left behind.
o We must abandon the familiar.
– What we need to pack: faith, trust and hope in God’s provision
– We get called out to be called to.
– What to abandon/leave behind:
1. The Old Land
o It’s very easy to get comfortable in confusion. Harran was a land of luxury but it was also a land of confusion.
§ We need to move if there’s confusion!
- Abram grew up in a land that worshipped gods, but had a working knowledge of God.
- Too many of us know God, but choose to worship Baal. Am I worshipping Baal?
2. The Old Legacy (Your Father’s House)
o It makes no sense to move with the same old people.
§ It’s not enough to just leave the land. We have to leave the people as well!
- IF WE DON’T LEAVE THEM, GOD WILL TAKE THEM AWAY FROM US!
o We have to get used to being alone (the further up you go…the smaller your circle gets).
§ We don’t need people’s hands on us to get through. We have enough in our soul to get through.
o We have a false sense of responsibility to people. Because we can’t let them go, we’re destroying them!
§ WE GOTTA LET THEM GO! LEAVE LOT ALONE!! DON’T LET LOT RUN THE GUILT GAME ON YOU!
§ There’s a difference between being a crutch to the wounded and being a couch to the whole.
– When we are obedient and leave things behind for God, He’ll give us something that much better.
o YOU CAN’T BEAT GOD’S GIVING!!!