Photos by Ralph Freso / Slideshow / Livestream
Sometimes we linger.
We linger on Netflix, scrolling for 20 minutes to find something neat to watch. Or we get sucked into TikTok. Or become fascinated by posts on our Instagram feed.
Even worse, sometimes we just get stuck.
Brian Kruckenberg, the featured Chapel speaker Monday at Grand Canyon University’s GCU Arena, harkened back to Moses. He shared how the Israelites, mired by not doing the things God asked of them, got stuck for 40 years before taking their place in the Promised Land.
“One of the sad parts about this story — and I feel really bad — Moses never actually went into the Promised Land. He put up with these knuckleheads for 40 years,” said Kruckenberg, a returning guest speaker to GCU Chapel and Lead Pastor of New City Church.
Upon reaching the edge of that land, God sent 12 spies on a reconnaissance mission. They reported what they saw: the land of milk and honey, fruitful and blessed, as foretold. But 10 also fearfully brought back tales of a walled city and the strong people that dwell in the land.
Because they were stymied by the obstacles they saw, they said, “We can’t go,” and eventually a whole generation passed away.
Kruckenberg pointed the Chapel audience to Joshua 1:15, after the death of Moses, when Joshua was called to lead the Israelites to the Promised Land and God re-iterated His promise:
“I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. … No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
God wanted His people to move forward and to not be stuck; it was time for them to go, and Joshua was the man for the job because he “was faithful to those little things that God had called him to do.”
Kruckenberg shared the time he was stuck during COVID. He lamented those pre-pandemic days and wanted the world to return to how it used to be. What he realized is that we can’t go back. We have to revel in the new opportunities God gives us every day.
“God is a God of movement,” Kruckenberg said. “God loves you just where you are. God loves you just how you are. There’s nothing you can do right now where God will say, ‘O, now I love you more. …
“But God also loves you too much to allow you to stay just as you are right now. God has more for us.”
Kruckenberg, in reading those passages, asked himself: “Where have I been too long? Where have I been long enough?”
Then he turned that question to the Chapel audience: “Where have YOU been long enough? Is it a state of mind, is it a habit? Don’t just think physically. … Where is God calling you to move?”
For Kruckenberg, he committed himself to reading more to improve his state of mind. He picked up “Atomic Habits” by James Clear and found this quote: “Every action you take is a vote for the person you wish to become.”
Oddly enough, it echoed a tag he noticed sewn to the inside of one of his jackets that said: “How you spend your days is how you spend your life.”
“It is God telling me, every day I get to vote on the person I wish to become.”
And in becoming that person, Kruckenberg related that you must not be beset by obstacles. You have to hold steadfast. You have to be unafraid. You must not return to the past.
Returning to the past was what the Israelites wanted to do. They remembered how “we had meat to eat!” when they were in Egypt, and how all the fish they ate “cost nothing” (Numbers 11:4-6). Rather than follow the difficult path, “Would that we had died in the land of Egypt. … Let’s choose a leader and go back to Egypt.” (Numbers 14:2-4)
|Next Chapel (11 a.m. Monday, March 20, GCU Arena)|
|Musical Worship Chapel (no speaker)|
They said these things even though they were slaves in Egypt, even though Egyptian taskmasters overworked them to the point some died, even though the Pharoah ordered sons born to Hebrew women to be drowned.
“So often, when things get tough, we want to go back,” Kruckenberg said. “Somebody lied to you when they said it’s easy to follow God. It’s not easy to follow God, because you have to sacrifice to follow God.”
Kruckenberg prompted the audience to know that God is fighting for us and wants us to trust Him. He referenced Joshua 1:6-9, from which these words come:
“Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
What God really is commanding, Kruckenberg said, is for us to have the right state of being.
“To do what God is calling us to do, we must first be what God is calling us to be” — to be strong and courageous in our convictions,
But God does have one condition, as stated in Joshua 1:6-9. That to be successful, you have to meditate on the Word of God, day and night.
Kruckenberg shared the story of how, when Moses would meet with the Lord, the glory of the Holy Spirit would shine in him, and he would glow. Scripture records that after Moses would leave, Joshua would stick around and linger in the presence of the Lord.
“We have to stay close to God, like Joshua, to know when to go and where to go. Don’t try to go somewhere God is not calling you,” he said, and know that God will be with you.
“I don’t know where God’s calling you,” Kruckenberg said, “but God is a God of movement. God is calling us today to be faithful in those little things and let God take care of those big things.”
Linger in His presence.
If you’re stuck, move forward with Him.
Internal Communications Manager Lana Sweeten-Shults can be reached at [email protected] or at 602-639-7901.
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