Tag God, you’re it!
OCTOBER 8, 2020
Zach Van Dyke:
Tag God, you’re it. Let’s talk about it on Key Life.
You’re listening to Key Life. We’re here to communicate the freeing truth that God’s not mad at his children. Steve Brown invited Zach Van Dyke to do the teaching this week. Zach’s the teaching pastor at Summit Church here in Orlando, Florida. If you’re a struggling believer, you’ve come to the right place.
Zach Van Dyke:
Thank you Matthew. And thank you all for tuning in all week, tomorrow Steve will be back with Pete to answer any of your questions, but today we’re going to wrap up a week of talking a little bit about purpose. And what you and I can do, or how you and I can know what our purpose is, and I’ve told y’all that I’ve been going back to Genesis a lot this year, cause it just feels like a year when things are being rethought, that are being reworked, that we in a sense have a fresh start in a lot of ways. And so it felt important to go back and kind of look at how our story began, and I found so much comfort in the life of Abraham and God’s pursuit of Abraham. And one of the things we see again and again and again, is that Abraham would have faith. He would have tremendous faith, but then he also struggled with doubts and whenever his doubts took over, or whenever he made a choice that was moving away from God’s plan, whenever he chose self-sufficiency over dependence on God, things go bad, but we also see God come after him. And God remind him again and again and again that he is his God and that he will fulfill his promises to him. I don’t know about you, but that’s helpful to me to know. That’s helpful for me to know that when I fail, when I mess up that I have a God who comes after me with such grace. You know, we spent the first couple of days talking a little bit about what God expects from us, when he comes to Abraham, after Abraham’s failed again and again and again, he tells him, Hey, walk before me and be blameless. So he does tell Abraham what he has to do. He says, Abraham, you want to know what your purpose is, you want to know how to move through life. Obey me. Go back and look at what you were designed to do. Look at, look at your original design and live into that, live in accordance with the way you were designed, and stay close to me. You were designed to be dependent on me, from before or the fall, I created you to need me, to be dependent on me, to be in constant relationship with me, to trust me to tell you what is good and what is evil. And then this idea of being blameless isn’t about being perfect. It isn’t about doing all the right things. It’s about being whole hearted. So God said, all right, you want to know why you’re here? You want to know what you need to be doing, do those things. But then I said, all right, well, that’s great. Give me a bunch of things that I need to do. What are you going to do God? And yesterday we spent the day talking about how God will continue to remind us who he is, that he is in fact God almighty, that he’s El Shaddai, that he can redeem any situation, because the truth is you and I are going to come into circumstances that we’re not going to know how it’s going to work out. We’re not going to know how God is going to fix it, but what God promises us, is that he will fix it. That in fact, at the end, every tear will be wiped from every eye, that there’ll be no more disease or death. And in fact, there’ll be this new city and this new heaven in which the beautiful diversity of our world will come in total submission and worship of our beautiful savior. And sometimes we forget, that he can act here and now. Sometimes you and I show up at church or open our Bibles or tune into a radio show, and we just don’t really expect that the same God who parted the Red Sea is the same God who hears our prayers. And so one of my favorite verses is Acts 4:31 and it says,
And when they had prayed, the place they were meeting was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.
How I long for that to happen, every time I gather at church, every time I open God’s word, but how often I don’t expect that it will. I forget that in fact, he is God almighty, but the second thing we can expect, is that we’ll be given a new name, or maybe better said, told our true name. We have a recovery ministry at our church that I just love. It’s called regroup, and if you, if you want to see the bravest men and women at your church, show up at the recovery ministry meeting, and those are some brave men and women. And the other day I was speaking at the meeting, and I talked about the importance of name, and how most of us are living out of names that were given to us when we were young. And they’re names that don’t come from a place of love. And I talked a little bit about some names that I was given as a young boy, and as a young man, and how that so effected how I lived. There was an article that came out a number of years ago that said, we’ve emasculated men, with porn and video games. And when I first read the article, it made a lot of sense to me, but what I’ve realized as I’ve thought more and more about it, is it’s not the porn or the video games that have emasculated guys. It’s the name we were given that leads us to those things. Somewhere along the line, somewhere in our story, we were told, you don’t have what it takes. So of course, you’ll pursue a girl who can’t say no, you’ll fight an enemy who can’t draw blood. When I was a youth pastor, one of the saddest things, and this would happen, it happened every year. There would be, a girl who would come into the youth ministry as a freshmen, and you know, pretty doe-eyed and innocent about the things of the world, but at the same time, I would see in her, like this real desire and need for validation and attention. And she just wanted some boy to tell her she was pretty and y’all this happened every year and it broke my heart every time. Usually by the second semester, she had made a bad choice or someone had taken advantage of her. And then the next three and a half years, I would watch as she would live out her new name. To you and I, we live out of whatever name we believe is most true about us. Bowling Green State University conducted a study of eighth grade math students, in which the bottom 5% of the class were told they were the top 5% for an entire semester. And the top 5% were told they were in the bottom 5% and that they needed to work harder and to improve. And you know what the study showed? It showed that those that were told they needed to improve, stayed static, their test scores didn’t really change, but those who were told they were already in the top 5%, they significantly improved in their test scores. Parents, we should take note of this. We live out of whatever name we believe is most true about us. So we can go to God, and what we can expect from him is not only that he’ll give us a new name, but he’ll give us a name that is most true about us. Which gets to what I said the first day of this week. What do we believe should be, what do we believe will one day be, like my buddy says, are we rehearsing now for what will one day be true? The kid playing basketball for four hours in 97 degree weather in the summer is out there because he sees himself on the team in October. So we can expect God to tell us our true name and that will change the way we see ourselves, that will change the way we live our day to day. God changes the way Abraham sees himself. He gives him a new name. He goes from Abram to Abraham. He gives him a picture of the future. Abraham, you’ll be the father of many nations, many Kings will come from you. How do you see yourself? How do you see yourself in the future? Has it been shaped by your relationship with God, or has it been shaped by the American dream, or your parents, or some celebrity, as we walk before God wholeheartedly, we can expect him to tell us our true name. I try to pray every day that I would see my wife, Kelly, my kids, really anyone that I’m in relationship with, including myself, that I would see the way God sees. Imagine if we all did that, we all saw people as they should be, not as they are, but as they should be, as God intended them, as God had in mind, when he thought them up, think of how many interactions you have, just this week. Now what if every person you saw from your boss at work to the guy checking you out at the grocery store to the woman, you know, who cuts you off in traffic. God speaks vision over Abraham. He tells him I have made you the father of a multitude of nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make you into nations and Kings shall come from you. What vision has God spoken over you? You don’t know? Then you spend time with Him. You walk before Him whole heartedly, but there’s something else to notice about God and what we can expect from Him. He will do it. I don’t know if you noticed, but when I read the text, when I read John seven, not John. Genesis 17:1-8, how many times he said I will, I will, I will. God is looking at Abraham and he’s saying with or without you, I will do this. I’m inviting you to be in this with me. All you have to do is show up, but listen, I will do it. You all, there’s a real beauty that comes not in being needed, but being wanted. My dad owns a commercial tower contracting business. And from the time I was about 13, I would spend the summers working with him, now I know he wanted to teach me some things and he didn’t want me to be lazy, but I also think he just wanted to be with me, because y’all, I know, I know I wasn’t the most efficient worker, I know that some things took twice as long, but listen, he just wanted to be with me. God is like my dad. He invites us into something that he could accomplish on his own, but he wants to be with us, because it’s all about grace.
Thank you, Pastor Zach Van Dyke. If you missed any of Zach’s team during this week, remember you can listen to those episodes, and now also read those transcripts on the all new KeyLife.org. Be sure to check that out. And Steve will be back tomorrow for Friday Q & A. That’s when our friend Pete Alwinson joins us and together, Steve and Pete answered the thorny theological questions you’ve sent in. So here’s a challenging question. Why wouldn’t someone join the Key Life CD family, too expensive? No, it’s free. Maybe they don’t know what it is, oh, okay, well the Key Life CD family is what we call the folks who get two free CDs from Steve each and every year, as funds permit. And we do give away a lot of CDs featuring content from Key Life and Steve Brown Etc, but these CDs we’re talking about are from various talks where Steve speaks throughout the year. So why wouldn’t someone get in on this? Oh, I know they don’t know how. Here you go. Just call 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also drop an email to Steve@keylife.org to ask for the CDs. By mail, send a request to
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