When God takes life by the horns

By | December 31, 2018 9:41 am

By Steve Qualls – Christpoint Church

A friend of mine once said, “It doesn’t matter what you do in the season, as long as you win in the tournament.”

So here we are in the last week of 2018. I guess you could say the season is over. Our thoughts begin to shift toward taking down the ornaments the decorations and the tree. We begin to focus more on resolutions and less on Christmas. But to think about the year 2019 beginning in a few days makes you kind of wonder where the years went.

When I was a kid growing up, we could only imagine the 2000s as science fiction and flying cars. I know it’s strange to some folks but I remember early in the first grade seeing the date on papers already having a 19 and then a blank line behind it to fill in the year. That one thing made me wonder what life would be like past the 90s. What would the world be like down the road? What are we packing up and storing away for the next 11 months? Do we pack up Jesus for the year and stick him back in the attic for safe storage until Easter?

We should ask ourselves as we are moving into a new year and a new season, “Will God use me?” or “Can he use me?” We’ve heard many times about taking life by the horns. But what happens when God takes life by the horns? What happens when God wants more for us than we want for ourselves? What happens when we become so stubborn and comfortable in our mess that we refuse to listen to his guidance? Did we become trapped in the thickets of life this year? Are we carrying that same old mess into a new season? When God grabs life by the horns, sometimes the only way to get the ram’s attention is for him to get caught in the thicket. But who put the thicket there? Romans 8:28 clearly defines that God is in control of all things, so the thicket belongs to him, but the mess is there because man failed to clear it. The thickets are our reminder of disobedience. When we’re caught, it’s ultimately our own fault.

God has to take our life by the horns and pull us out. Abraham was given a choice of sacrificing his only son that he had waited a lifetime for on the altar of obedience. Abraham told his son Isaac that God would provide the sacrifice in the book of Genesis chapter 22:13. Abraham was obedient to God and was willing to sacrifice Isaac, but I think it very important to remember that Abraham told his servants to stay back and that he and his son would worship then return. He was willing to sacrifice his son to obey the Lord, but God sent him a ram in a thicket at the last minute.

We watch those clips on YouTube of goats ramming people uncontrollably. That’s the way we can be when God is trying to lead us. He grabs our lives by the horns, and we fight him the whole time. Notice with me that God sent Abraham to Moriah for the sacrifice. Mount Moriah in Old City Jerusalem is the site of numerous biblical acts of faith. It is also one of the most valuable pieces of real estate and one of the most hotly contested pieces of real estate on earth. This is a profoundly sacred area to Christians, Jews, and Muslims. Moriah is known as “God will provide.” About a thousand years later, on this very sight, became the place that King David purchased for sacrifice to remove a plague from the land in the book of 2 Sam. 24:18. The owner of the land offered to supply the wood and animals for sacrifice, but David refused to sacrifice to the Lord what didn’t belong to him.

I would like to think that Moriah represents our struggle. Abraham, Isaac, and David represent our faith. And the ram represents our will and pride that must be broken before God can move through us and free us. The thicket represents our mess. The only way to become free is for God to take us by the horns and lead us. The sole purpose of sacrifice is for one thing to die so something else can live. What in each of us needs to die as we close the pages on one season and open another chapter to a new one?

Thorns and thistles are a result of disobedience evidenced by God in Genesis 3:18. Maybe our mess is just what it is – our mess. The quicker we own our failures and let God take our life by the horns, the quicker we will experience peace. So it doesn’t matter what you’ve done to this point in life. None of that can be changed anyway. What matters is what we do from here. What matters lies forward – not behind.

I would like to go on a journey with you in 2019 that includes each of us committing our lives to Christ and to walking together in faith. Let’s do that together at Christpoint Church. I will see you at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. this Sunday, my friends. We’re real people, living real lives, serving a real God. Welcome home.

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