Now there are some American cities that I just really love, and San Diego, California, has to be one of them. Not too long ago I was there for three days - I look forward to that man. I just love to get around San Diego - well I didn't, like an awful lot of meetings I go to. Of course I never got out of the hotel. I could have been anywhere! They put me in a nice room, and I was hardly ever in the room! Now, it was a great time of ministry, and that's actually what I went for so that was fine. But, I would race into my room between meetings and there was bearly time to use the facilities and change clothes and race on out. But no matter how much of a hurry I was in there was one thing I always checked on - the message light. Some phones in some hotel rooms have this little red message light and when they have a message for you at the desk - someone's called you, or sent a fax, or something - that light's on. That means you've got a message - and it's usually information I need. So no matter how fast I'm running, I always look for the message light.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Checking For Messages."
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from Joshua 5:14, it's the night before the battle of Jericho and the great general, Joshua, has encountered as he's scouting out the outskirts of the city this awesome figure who is identified as the commander of the army of the Lord - probably the Son of God making a pre-Bethlehem visit - and so, when he asks whether He's for the Israelites or for the enemies, this man says, "Neither, but as commander of the army of the Lord have I come." Well, then Joshua fell face down to the ground in reverence and asked him, "What message does my Lord have for His servant?" And after that Joshua gets personal orders that actually end up having an incredible effect. But the reason he gets the orders is because he checks for a personal message. He's got an attitude of openness, of expectancy. He's looking for what God wants to say to him. You say, "Well, okay, but I haven't had any heavenly commanders appear to me recently, no, but Joshua didn't have the Bible. You do. He didn't have the church, you do.
Today the Lord addresses His people through the book He wrote and then as it is taught and celebrated, and as there is worship through His church. Now, often we open up the Bible and, eerh, nothing happens. You go to church, you go to a Christian meeting, nothin'. Well, the first thing you need to do is to go in with an attitude that says "I'm checking to see if there's a message here for me. Lord, what message do You have for my servant?" That's the hard attitude with which we should always come to God. What message?
See, you go to church looking for God to say something to you. Through the sermon, through a hymn, through a prayer, through the comment of another believer in the hallway. You go in there and say "I'm determined to leave here with more of Jesus than when I came in." When you put that Bible in your lap, you say, "Lord, I'm not just going through an exercise here with religious information, I want to leave the Bible with more of You than I came with. Give me a message from You. And you go expectantly, and curiously, and hungrily. When you're fellowshipping with other believers you listen for a message from your Lord. Jesus is always in His Word. He speaks also as you are involved in His church. If you come away with no message, it's probable because you didn't go looking for one. Don't ever be too busy to check your message light. God turns it on often. He's got so much He wants to tell you. Whenever you're around God's book, or God's meetings, or God's people, check for messages!