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No Lost Opportunity

Sean Nebblett


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Sean Nebblett

Seeker of God, Speaker/Secretary at Pathway of Promise, Blogger, Biblical Counselor



  • June 24, 2017
    7:00 PM


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Holy God I stand before you small small and with a tongue that's tied and a heart that is that is open wide but at the same time. Realizes its deficiency its insufficiency. Father My prayer is simple tonight once again use a donkey to speak truth to your servants. And do so in a way that incontrovertibly proves your magnificence and set your servants aside. And convict me convict us that's my prayer in Jesus' name amen. Numbers three records a story and the history of a people group that I think we have a lot to learn from this people group was a privileged people group and in fact they had been given every reason in the world to stand out to stand apart and above the generation in which they existed but Numbers Chapter thirteen records an interesting situation where they simply in my view don't live up to their calling this whole group of people over a million in number are they have come through a great tribulation and here they are camped at the very borders of the promised land all that lies between them is one little pins leave Jordan River and. Jordan river you know a river might seem like a big deal but remember this is the same group of people that just crossed the Red Sea So Jordan River is is not a problem. For them. Numbers thirteen. Records the instruction given by God Hey take it from the tribes one man from each tribe a liter one man. To represent if you will be the best the bravest the brightest of all these twelve tribes send them into the land and see what they find have them look it over and see whether the promise given is in fact good. And so they do twelve men set out their anointed their scent on their journey and they do they explore the land they find in that land Sure enough land flowing with milk and honey I land where the livestock are prospering where the crops are are enormous and they spend quite some time. SPIES that they are they spend quite some time dodging the inhabitants and looking the land over and they return. And they return with good news. My Bible says that when they showed up. They said it's true. The land is flowing with milk and honey. It's true the crops are incredible look at these grapes. This bunch of grapes that it took two of us to haul back out here. It's true the pasture is incredible the livestock is incredible but something else is true too. They went and came to Moses. This is verse twenty six of number thirteen they went and came to Moses and to Aaron and to all the congregation of the children of Israel into the wilderness of parent to Kadish and brought back word on to them and on to all the congregation and showed them the fruit of the land they told them and said we came into the land where thou sent us and surely for with milk and honey this is the fruit of it is the proof. Nevertheless. The people are strong the dwell in this land and the cities are walled in very great and moreover we saw the children of an adventurer and their Malakai had stolen the land of the South in the Hittites of the genocide from the Amorites well in the mountain from the Canaanites while by the sea by the coast of the Jordan basically everywhere you turn there's another enemy. And they lifted up their voices and wept. All of them but to. Those two were extremists. Those two among twelve. Caleb and Joshua by name. Lifted up their voices first their jaws dropped open and because they'd seen the same thing that these other ten had seen and their response is Caleb stills the people before Moses This is verse thirty and said. Let us go up at once and possess it. For we are well able to overcome. But the men that were with him verse thirty one said we've been able to go up against these people for they are stronger than we and we brought an evil report into the and they brought an evil report into the land which they had searched under the children as are saying this land though we have gone to search it is a land that even up the inhabitants there of their contradicting themselves majorly eat up the inhabitants Indeed it is the land that even of the inhabitants thereof and all the people that we saw are men of great stature and we saw Giants the sons of Anik which come of giants and we were in our own side as grasshoppers and so were we so were we in their sight to. Here we have the best of the best the brightest the bravest the greatest of the representatives of the children of Israel suddenly. We can't here's the promise. Come this far we can't there's no way the sons of Anik live there and in their sight we're grasshoppers and indeed in our sight too. And Caleb and Joshua ripped the rent their clothes and ran in among the people who let up this great way because they've toiled all this way they've spent all this energy they've spent all this faith to come to this point and now it's all going to Caleb And Josh what we're told ran in and out among the people trying to cheer them trying to bring them back to their senses but the people were completely disconsolate they were completely beside themselves and in fact so beside themselves that is Caleb and Joshua went in and out among them trying to remind you guys you guys remember we are his real we are the ones who God just brought over the do you remember the Red Sea do you not remember the Red Sea We were just right back there and remember the whole Egyptian army they were there and in fact before we even back up you guys before we even crossed the Red Sea when it was only see in front of us and only army behind us do you remember the wall of fire does no one remember the wall of fire does no one remember how Moses lifted up his staff and suddenly. The sea just kind of bubbled and blew up and suddenly there's dry ground dry ground to the middle of the sea and the whole of them walked right through Does anyone remember that when we got out the far end pharaohs chariots were coming and then suddenly the dry ground turned to muddy ground and the chariots all were pulled right but the wheels if I read my Bible correctly they were just driving their chariots right down on the little undone. And the wheels fell off the chariots all at once I would have loved that would have been really like I would have been tragic thing to see but can you I want you to try to picture this like this whole it would be like you know major traffic jam in New York City. Actually measure traffic jams are not moving but anyways this traffic jam is my. And all of a sudden all the wheels on all the cars at the same moment think and all the cars just. This is what are you remembering you guys are you remember when all the chariot wheels fell off at the same moment and they were dragging through the mud and then they abandoned and cut the harnesses loose and the hole was drowned you remember. Are you remembering how we were hungry thirsty we got on the far side and suddenly we woke up in the morning and there was this the bread on the ground. Are you remembering that every morning it's been there are you remembering that when we were thirsty Moses. Took staff. Tapped on the rock. And out of the rock came water and I'm not talking drinking fountain I'm talking a river. I'm talking millions of people and all of their cattle and sheep and goats drank of that water and it was not used. Are you remembering that we the people showed up at that spring called Mara and the whole thing was bitter when we were dying of thirst then to the whole thing was bitter and he cut down this little flow any branch of a train he threw it in and suddenly instantly something happened to the water and it was good to drink. Are you remembering. Are you remembering that every time it's been time to go. This pillar. Of fire or this pillar of cloud has mysteriously lifted off of the sanctuary and Levites have gotten right on and they packed the whole thing up and the next they were off and a few days later it stops and it just hovers and the Levites quick set up their sanctuary and itself down again you remember the holy God has been with us every step of this way. And the ten spies. And the children of Israel. We're so upset. They wanted to stone them. They would have killed those two men. Had there not been some divine intervention. I can almost hear them in my mind's eye. You idiot. You fanatic. You extremist you do you know what you're saying you are beside yourself did you see the Giants or did you not. Turns out care when Joshua lived in a generation. When giving ninety percent was normal. And when giving ninety nine percent was exemplary. But turns out to give one hundred percent in the generation of Caleb and Joshua. Was idiot extremism. Now you and I all know how this story ended. Those children those Israel lights who come all this way who'd sacrificed all these things who had seen God work in so many signal ways got all the way to the threshold of the promised land. And they turned around. They looped back and set their sights for Egypt. Now they didn't make it all the way back to Egypt. But they got part way back. And then they turned around. And they looped back towards the promised land. And then when they were right on the door way again. They looped around. They kept getting to ninety nine percent. And then they turn their backs. I want to make a case today tonight for an old kind of crazy. And old kind of extremism if you will. It's real simple it's one hundred percent. There's another way to say it and that is. Do not be satisfied. Do not be satisfied. With Watching God do amazing things all the way through the string of your life and coming to a place yes a place like this a place like here a time like tonight. Don't come all the way through this door to see the Jordan. And turn around. Too many of us far too many of us including this one here far too often we're satisfied with ninety percent or ninety nine percent if we want to be completely awesome and out of the ordinary. What is the result though what is the result of getting almost all the way there what was the result of getting almost out of the way there for that entire generation save two men. The whole generation of adults except for two men Caleb and Joshua what was the result of getting almost all the way their. Last. Perished in the wilderness. When they could have just one little step do you remember how it was that the Jordan. The waters of the Jordan parted. One step they touched the water. And boom it was dry again. They were one step away from glory and they turned around. Lost in the wilderness for the want of one percent. Why do we wonder. Why do we wonder why there are a lot of reasons and of course I'm not going to go into them tonight. You know where I'm going with this already and I said the brevity was the mother persuasion I'm going to get the Holy Spirit do most of the talking I'm going to hopefully let the Holy Spirit do all the talking but I want to ask a couple questions. Why do we wonder. Some of us wonder because we love the world. I think of lots wife. When I think of Lott and his wife. Who made a long string of choices because they thought this place this part of the valley this is consistent with our lifestyle this is consistent with our goals this is consistent with who we want to be so when they were given the choice there or here they said We'll go here we'll go to the family we're going to Saddam and it'll be good and well to God it will be faithful but you know it will take Saddam. So they did and you also remember what that cost them but when the time had come for Saddam to go up in smoke. And the angels literally had to come drag them out one in that party of four that family of four which was the only little piece of the whole extended family to actually allow themselves to be dragged out by angels one in that party of four had a heart that was still turned behind her because of all she'd left behind. Now let me ask you What had she left behind. Her children and a house full of stuff. What was all of that going to be worth tomorrow. Nothing was going to gone but in her heart she was still clinging. So she turned around. And then she never moved from that spot. For the rest of however long a pillar of salt. Could stand why do we wonder maybe because in our hearts we are still attached. To yesterday still attached to what we think we're you know support this lifestyle that we're we're looking for I know the same was true for the Israelites because every time they got hungry or thirsty or you know found a reason to complain about anything they often. Just so many things and. There's no onions here and there's no fish there's no you know like why did you bring us here we should die and as slaves are you here. Here's a free man going to chide his deliverer because you brought him out of slavery. I don't know if I I mean I shouldn't have to remind any of us that slavery in Egypt was just not a good life. Day after day after day working in the sun hotter than it is outside here building pyramids and Sphinx says no I don't think so. Would God died in Egypt if people aren't thinking straight why aren't they thinking straight though. Because they love what's behind them as crazy as that looks to us and you know I wonder if it isn't that way for heaven sometimes heaven be bends down and looks at us gathering together our little treasures and saying look I know I can have that or this but this is consistent with my goals this is where I want to end up in life this is who I want to be this is what I want to appear to the world so I'm just going to stay over here and I'm going to love Jesus and stuff from here. And that works. Until our food is right next to Jordan. Why else. Fear of embarrassment. We wander sometimes because of love for the world other times we wander because of fear of embarrassment we think I will go this far with God But then when it becomes inconvenient or shameful or embarrassing or some for some other reason less than ideal for me to love God for me to serve Him and live out his call for my life that's where or that's where I draw the line because I am after all a U.S. citizen and I live on planet Earth and I'm a high school student and I need friends Lord I need friends as a high school student so let's not make this too weird. Let me ask you another question. Did lots wife save what she wanted by turning around. No. Has anyone ever found or saved what they wanted by grasping by holding Has anyone ever. Been able to avoid embarrassment. I think you know what I'm trying to ask and I'm looking for the words to ask it but has anyone ever by of voiding embarrassment actually. Avoided it for the rest of their life know we often meet our fate on the road we take to avoid it. So we fear failure or we fear embarrassment and so we avoid what actually would be our want to live rence. Or maybe we wander because we are of voiding pain. Because it is inconvenient. To be a follower of the most high God on planet Earth. Because it is not comfortable. Let me ask you another question. As anyone just by sheer will power of trying or by strategy or by any other human means really been able to avoid pain on this earth at any time. You can try. Pain will catch up with you though here. Pain is the reality with which we live so why do we spend our lives of voiding what we cannot beat except. By running to Jesus you know the Israelites did this to when they finally did get into the Promised Land. Remember how how far they went. Ninety nine percent they didn't quite finish driving out the amount guys and I imagine it was because you guys we have enough land now and I'm just so tired of fighting I'm so tired of swing in the sword and you know every battle is a risky procedure. I might I don't matter what they handed out all this this whole ranch if I go out and fight the I'm out hides tomorrow I might kill me I won't be able to enjoy my ranch Well the amount I think it's still there I'll just stay on my ranch. And did the Israel lights avoid pain by avoiding pain now that either they sign themselves up for. Generations of misery generations of war generations more death. Because they didn't finish the job. So here it comes to us. You and I live in a generation we're giving ninety percent. Is norm. I mean among the furiously committed ninety percent is the normal and ninety nine percent is like the awesome people. I have three words for you. Which three words God has for me. Don't stop short. Don't stop short. Don't turn around at the Jordan. You know the Jordan in Scripture is symbolizing symbolizes many things including baptism and death. And I think there it fits for us. We who have seen God work who have seen the sea parted who have seen the man to come down we have eaten it with our own mouths day after day after day. We who know that God is and is a reward of them the diligently seek Him. We get ninety nine percent. And then we come to Jordan and Jordan means death. And I don't want to die. And because I don't want to die and there's only one other option especially when Caleb and Joshua are standing to my right hand and my left saying Kahlo don't we are well able do you remember how God brought us here. I have two options. I go down and die. Or I turn around. Don't be a ninety percent Christian. Don't be a ninety nine percent Christian. Let's go. Let's just do it. Let's be crazy that way. Even if we are only two out of a million. The rest of our generation may wander they may get all the way here look the promises of God in the face send forth spies that come back and say yes the promises are good yes the land is flowing with milk and honey yes it is all you've ever dreamed and more. But we can't see we can't we can't do that some for us. And Giants giants in the land. Everywhere of the sea by the river in the mountains in the plains can't snubber us no. You guys if the whole generation does that. I still want to go over. I still want to go over. I'm reminded of something I told some of these Academy students. Long time ago once upon a time wasn't this year it might have been two years ago. When you Skype to me in for. For worship after I'd done we compared to we mark and me. And I'm reminded because God reminded me of it this week in pondering this story. For words. Is what I want to leave with you tonight. Four words this is your Jordan. When you are walking through a day in which you've already spent your time on your knees you've already spent your time with your open Bible you've given your heart and your life to God afresh you're walking through your day and then some. One says something. This is your Jordan. Are you going to die. Or you can turn around. This is where Christianity you guys if Christianity doesn't work right here right on the line between the wilderness and the promised land. Then Christianity is no good whatsoever. Ninety nine percent Christianity is no better. Than the ones that drowned in the Red Sea. They're both and the same place. This is your Jordan. I would challenge you to ask God to remind you to put that picture in your mind next time someone says something. Or. Next time you see a test score that's not the test score you are looking for and maybe it's at that moment that the devil leans over and whispers. You are clearly stupid. This is your Jordan. Now is when you die. It died to what my flesh to what my heart to what what's inside me clamors and says this is true this is true this is obvious there's Giants have you compared yourself to John. This is your Jordan put your foot in the water the water will disappear. And yet you'll go down and you will die we have to die. That's why we're on this journey. That's why we left Egypt. This is your Jordan. Tonight I want to make a case. I do. I don't think that Caleb and Joshua should go down in history as the last of this kind of idiot extremists I don't think that Caleb and Joshua should be the last man in history to have stood against a million not a million. Crazy worldlings a million of their own a million of the ones that were raised the way they were that that are supposed to think the way they were a million of the ones that have seen all the same problems as have sacrificed all the same things to come to this place I don't think we should be the last of the idiot extremists I think. That now is the time for a new kind of crazy a new kind of. Young person who stands up and says ninety nine percent is not enough for me because ninety nine percent still wilderness wandering and I Want My Promised Land. When to kneel down. I'm going to pray that prayer over myself and I want you to pray that prayer for yourself. Just a few seconds of silence. And then I'll pray to close. And I hope this charge makes and keeps you uncomfortable. Even as I pray that it makes keeps me uncomfortable until we're all where we ought to be. Until the promised land is under our feet and the wilderness is for ever a memory. And we're home. And we have to die anymore. Because ours is life everlasting. Let's pray. Lord God. How many many times we have already gone around. How many many times we have looked death death to ourselves in the face and said No no I I can't I can't do that. How many many times we have looked past tried to look past death and seen the Giants and said there is no way. How many many times we have failed to remember that those giants are actually the grasshoppers that they're made of paper. The slightest. Little rain storm. Would melt them all away. How many many times love for the world or fear or peer pressure or you name it whatever it is has caused us to turn around at the very gate of glory. And statistically how many more times. It will happen. Or tonight I'm leaning on your mercy. And claiming your promise. To finish what you have begun. We have left Egypt behind us. Now let us cross over. Let us be Caleb and Joshua who raise our voices run in amongst of the rabble that is our generation who is turning their backs back into the wilderness from which we've just come. Let us be the one falling on our knees and pleading grabbing by their coat tails those that we love. But whatever the cost. Let us not follow them. Let us. If they are gone or before they go put our own feet in the Jordan. Cross over. And let this be the final note of triumph from this place. We go our separate ways. Two thousand and. All the food that we have that we have partaken of the spiritual food we have partaken of today yesterday the night before. Let it all come to this. Is all the food is great. Is the table set in the presence of our enemies. But not us now take and eat and go. And go. And let the gift be worthwhile. On our account. Thank you so much for the work of the Holy Spirit to convict and to make us uncomfortable. Let him continue. That's my prayer and. This media was brought to you by audio first a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about your verse or if you would like to listen to more sermons lead to visit W W W. Or.


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