Sunday, April 22, 2012

God Knew Where He Would Find You.

Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee;

and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee,

and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

Jeremiah 1:5

For He knoweth our frame; He remembereth that we are dust.

Psalm 103:14

For He remembered that they were but flesh; a wind that passeth away, and cometh not again.

Psalm 78:39

In the 1800's men went out west and built their farms and ranches. Many times they would do this as single men, or they would go as married men and lose their wife in this rugged new world. So to get a wife they would go to organizations located back east to help them find a bride. Thus the advent of what came to be known as the "Mail order bride." Now if you think the idea of meeting a spouse by mail is odd, consider the following statistics (sources sited):

5% of Internet users have paid to use an online dating service. (Pew Internet Cash for Content Study - December 2010)

17% of couples that were married in the last three years met on an online dating service. (Chadwick Martin Bailey Study - April 2010)

1 out of every 5 singles in the United States have dated someone they met online (Chadwick Martin Bailey Study - April 2010)

Online Dating is the third most popular way for singles to meet, behind school/work and friend/family member. ( Chadwick Martin Bailey and Study - April 2010)

Imagine what it was like having a wife show up you had never met. Imagine travelling across the country, which took weeks back then, to meet your husband! Would you go through all that not knowing what you were getting?

Now let me translate that illustration into this truth about your relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. On this day, this date, God wants to do something great an wonderful in your life. He wants to use you. He wants to forgive you, bless you and give you victory over the trial you are in. Ultimately, God wants to be glorified through your life. Some would say, "But my life is not what it should be. I have failed. I've messed up. God cannot do with me what He has done with others. I have too much baggage." God is not surprised by your baggage. He knew where He would find you!

My wife and I have six children; all adopted, five of which came out of foster care. When we took custody of our first sibling group of three, the state of Texas sent us a banker's box full in files of information on these kids and their background. We had medical records, court records, police reports, psych evaluations, (mostly wrong) placement hearing records and state reports. Under the laws of Texas, the Department of Protective and Regulatory Services, (TDPRS) had to divulge all information they had available to adoptive parents. This box of nearly 2000 pages of info on the kids was all they could tell us. I learned in the first year, that was about one tenth of what there was to know about my children. We had no idea the "baggage" with which they came.

When you come to Christ He knows all about your "baggage." The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the prophet. God told Jeremiah, "Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations."

God said, "Before you were ever born, before you were completely formed in the womb, I knew you. I had a plan for you way back then."

He knew from the beginning your condition, your past your failures , your sin, your experience. In other words, He knows what He is getting. God knew where He would find you. He knew what He was getting when He called Jacob the "con artist" and changed his name to Israel, "Prince of God." God knew what he had when He used Rahab the harlot and Ruth, the gentile Moabite widow. Look closely at Scripture and you will see both of these gentile women in the lineage of Jesus Christ. He knew what he was getting when He found Saul hiding behind the cattle; when He found Gideon hiding in the threshing floor and when he found Moses hiding in the wilderness.

God knew what he was getting when he reached out to the crippled man at the pool of Siloam, to the woman at the well and to the thief on the cross. God was not caught off guard by the arrogance of Peter, the religious zeal of Paul, the fearfulness of John or the doubtfulness of Thomas. And God knew what He was getting when He reached out to you.

The late Dr. Curtis Hutson used to say, "Did it ever occur to you that nothing ever occurred to God?" God knows us! He knows our failures, our past, our sin. God knows what He is getting.

This is all part of God's divine plan for you!

He found you in sin with a plan to forgive you.

He found you in your grief with a plan to comfort you.

He found you in your sickness with a plan to heal you.

He found you in you loneliness with a plan to walk beside you.

He found a you in your weakness with a plan to make you strong.

God knew where He would find you. Now let Him take you where He wants you to be. Let Him do the cleansing and the healing. Let Him change you. One Pastor I know will say to the congregation, "Come as you are, but leave changed." That is the work of grace in the life of a sinner. As a Pastor, I might be surprised by what I find in the life of a person, but God is never surprised. God knew where He would find you.

Thank you for reading.