September 23, 2020
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I told a friend that if I were to die today, I'd have no complaints because I have lived what I think is like a whole lifetime a long time ago - maybe several of them. The Lord's been very, very good to me in terms of opportunities.
I was thinking about, for example, the opportunity I've had to visit some very powerful places over the years. Some of the leaders of a youth ministry I was involved with were given a really privileged tour some years back. We were able to go inside of Cheyenne Mountain where NORAD - the North American Aerospace Defense Command is located - literally the nuclear nerve center in the United States. What a place to visit! I thought, "Man, think of the power that goes with this place!"
And then I was able to go representing this same youth ministry to a briefing at the White House with the President of the United States. I thought, "Whoa! Think of the power in this building! I'm in the White House, man!" Well, I must tell you that I recently visited a place that makes NORAD and the White House look very unimpressive. And you can go there too...right now.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Most Powerful Place on Earth."
Our word for today from the Word of God? We're in Genesis 18; I'll begin reading in verse 20 and to the end of the chapter. Before I do, let me give you some of the background to remind you of who Abraham is and how he tends to function with God's plans. Sometimes he exercises great faith, but it seems like so often Abraham is the man who's trying to help God do it. It's either God isn't doing it fast enough, or God isn't doing it the way Abraham thinks, and so for example, he goes and sleeps with his wife's servant Hagar at his wife's suggestion so that the son that has been promised will come through her, because he's been delayed in being sent. Now, God was going to send Isaac, but Abraham couldn't wait. No, he had to go and do it his own way.
Well, when we get to chapter 18 of Genesis, we find there's a turning point in his life. God has confided to him that Sodom is going to be destroyed, and his nephew Lot and his family are there, and he loves them. So here's what he does. Instead of running to Sodom, which would normally be Abraham's way of handling things, "I'll take care of this, God." Here's what he does. "When the Lord said the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin is so grievous, then the men turned away and went toward Sodom." Those men? Those are the angels who were coming in human form on their way to destroy it. "But Abraham remained (it says) standing before the Lord." In verse 33, after he has pleaded for Lot's life, he says, "When the Lord had finished speaking with Abraham, he left." And Abraham, amazingly, returned home. He left it there even though he cares very deeply about this.
And then in chapter 19, verse 27: "Early the next morning Abraham got up and returned to the place where he had stood before the Lord." Though Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed and he could see the destruction, he knew that God had answered his prayer. You know where the most powerful place on earth is? It's the place where you stand before the Lord, between the Lord and someone you love, and you intercede for them. "Abraham stood before the Lord." It is the most powerful place on earth.
And in order to do that, you have to first see that situation through God's eyes. Abraham saw Sodom as God saw it. And when you see them God's way, you learn how to pray with new possibilities. Then you fight for those you love. That's what Abraham did in his prayer. He said, "Dear Lord, I'm contending for the lives of the people I care about." And then don't let go. He remained standing before the Lord. Depend on your prayers. He prayed for them and then he went home and went to bed.
Listen! With those you're concerned about, focus the great lasers of heaven on someone or something you care about and then let it go. Relax and trust the One to whom you've committed them.
Learn to be the man or woman who stands in the middle between God and the people you love. And you will experience this incredible peace that there is when you are standing in the most powerful place on earth.