Scripture Reference: Genesis 19:15
With the coming of dawn, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Hurry! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away when the city is punished.”
This message was written on the Christlike Ministries NWA Facebook Fan Page back on June 14 of last year. I haven’t written anything lately because I really haven’t had anything on my heart, and I really do rely upon the Holy Ghost. So, rather than try to conjure up a message I believe the best thing to do is either not write or find something that I’ve already written to move from my Facebook Notes over here. I’m sure that I’ll have some new things to add, but I feel like this is a pretty good message to move here as we edge closer to another landmark for Christlike Ministries NWA. We’re getting closer to 300 messages, and once we get there…I believe we’ll have a new series. Until then, I’m going to work on transferring a few messages over…and then see what the Holy Ghost wants us to get into.
I actually got this message as we were in the middle of the Why Read The Bible Series, and so I would like to finish this introduction by including the introduction I wrote in this message:
I couldn’t help but to write something about this verse. I am in the middle of trying to get us caught up on our “Why Read The Bible?” series, but I read this because I know there are some of you who know that God is calling you to go to a new place with Him both spiritually and physically…and you’re wondering if it’s really God or just your imagination.
I believe in these last days…God is calling all of us to a new place with Him, and I hope this message will speak that to our hearts.
Today’s Message: “A Change of Scenery”
I’m not sure how many of you know, but I’m originally from Wisconsin. I moved to Arkansas a little over 3 years ago because I was kind of at the same cross roads that Lot and his family found themselves at. I could stay in the comfort of Wisconsin, and face certain destruction, or I could accept a one way bus ticket to Arkansas from my mom…and have a change of scenery with an opportunity to start a brand new life.
Friends, let me assure you that sometimes you just have to put your faith and trust in God, and if He’s asking you to pick up and go somewhere it’s not because the place you’ve been is wrong for you, but because He has something better planned for you. I can’t imagine what my life would’ve been like had I remained in Wisconsin, but I’m guessing that it wouldn’t be anywhere near as blessed as it is today.
Sometimes, friends, we need to leave our comfort zones in order for God to really be able to move and do things in our lives. I even tried to bring some of Wisconsin down here with me, and it turned out to be one of the most painful moments in my life…because what God was wanting from me was to completely sever my ties to Wisconsin, but I was still trying to do like Lot’s wife…I was still looking back at the city I loved.
God completely closed the door to Wisconsin for me, and I know from watching the movie “Facing the Giants” that God closes doors no man can open, and opens doors no man can close. Sometimes, friends, as in the time here with Lot even though the place we’re in is comfortable to us…it’s doing us no spiritual good. Isn’t it strange how God always had the people He called leave where they were? The first thing God did when He called Abram was to pick up and go and that He would show Abram what to do along the way. We see the same thing here with Lot. God told Lot to get out of Sodom and Gomorrah…and not to look back. Lot and his two daughters obeyed, Lot’s wife looked back…and was turned into a pillar of salt.
I’ve been in Arkansas for a little over three years now, and you’re reading the results of what God’s done in my life every time you read a new message I’ve posted on my Christlike Ministries NWA WordPress site. God has done such an amazing work in…with…and through my life, and it began the moment I accepted the opportunity to move down here, and completely sever all ties to Wisconsin. Since moving here, God has restored my broken relationship between myself and my parents, He’s given me a godly woman as a wife and help mate, and lead us to New Life Christian Center where I’m being fed the Word of God like never before, and He’s helped me to become and step into the ministry that He called me to over 11 years ago.
All of this has happened in three years, and what I’m saying to those of you who may be on the fence about deciding whether to stay where you’re comfortable or go for the complete abandon and trust God to move you to a new location…trust God to move you to a new location. Friends, I cannot guarantee you anything, but God does guarantees that if you will take a step towards Him…then He will bless your socks off.
Sometimes, beloved, we need to leave what we believe is the comfort of Egypt in order to find ourselves in the Promised Land that God has for us. I know that God would’ve taken care of me had I stayed in Wisconsin. I belong to Him, and His grace and mercy is there for us always. However, I am convinced that had I stayed in Wisconsin that my life probably would’ve taken a turn for the worst, and I would’ve gone back down roads that God had gotten me off of…and that’s why He told me to move.
See, friends, in order to really make a change for God…sometimes a change of scenery is necessary. Why? Because that’s when we have to rely upon Him. Look, the only people I knew here were my parents, and there really wasn’t any guarantee that it was going to be a good thing. After all, my parents and I had a severely strained relationship that had spanned the better part of a decade. So, there wasn’t any guarantee that the move was a good idea, but in my heart I saw coming here as a chance to change the course of my life.
I had no idea what God was up to, but I knew that moving here was from God. I knew it was something I was going to have to do, and so I moved. See, I had to place all my trust in God because even though my parents were here I really knew nothing about this area, and I didn’t know anyone here. I love how God works because He allowed me to have a relationship with someone from back home down here for a while to make sure that Arkansas would feel like home, and you know what…it did…and it does. Arkansas is now home to me, and it’s also home to Christlike Ministries NWA.
I love Wisconsin, and will always have a place in my heart for my home state and home town. However, what God has done in my life since I’ve been here has been amazing beyond belief, and Arkansas has now become my home. I’m sure that Lot probably always had a place in his heart for his home town, but I’m betting that he was glad to be in the new place he was. I’m sure Abram may have missed his hometown, but when he got to the land of Canaan…I’m sure he was much happier there…because that was the place where he found and grew his relationship with God.
Arkansas has done the same for me, and I’m so thankful that God lead me to come here. I’m thankful that I was obedient, and I know that because I allowed God to change my scenery I was able to find Him, and have a relationship with Him that I’ve only dreamed of…and of course…He’s helped me to launch Christlike Ministries NWA.
So, if you’re feeling the urge to get up and go…don’t assume that it’s your imagination. It may be God speaking to you telling you it’s time to go to a deeper place with Him. It may be God telling you that He’s got greener pastures, or a promised land of your own. He may be leading you to your own Canaan…but in order to get there you have to trust Him enough to pick up and go.
Believe me, any steps you take toward God is far more worth it. I want to pray for you in closing…
Lord God, I thank You for leading me to my own land of Canaan. Lord, I know by Your Spirit that there are some who are reading this message whom You are leading to leave their comfort zones…and allow You to lead them to a much better place…a place the You have destined for them…their own promised land. I ask, You Lord, to give them the courage to follow You…and I ask You Lord to give them the peace to know that while picking up and leaving may be the most difficult thing they’ve ever done…that if they will take the steps toward You…give them the peace to know that You will be there with them each step of the way. Let them know, Father God that you’ll walk beside them as You did me…and that You’ll never leave them alone to walk the journey on their own. I pray, Father, that you’ll allow this message to be an encouragement to them, and that You will sink this into their hearts…and I pray for those who decide to follow after You and obey Your leading to leave their comfort zones that You would be with them. I ask You to place a hedge of Your protection around them…and give them a sense of Your peace and presence…and let them know, Lord God that You are there, You are with them, and that You are leading them. I ask these things in Jesus’ name…Amen & Amen.
Beloved, I want to encourage you to take the steps towards God. If you feel a leading in your heart to pick up and move don’t assume that it’s your imagination. Take some time to pray and seek God. He’s big enough to let you know whether the leading in your heart is from Him or not. I know in my own case there wasn’t a doubt in my mind that when my mom told me she was sending me a one-way bus ticket that it was God’s way of saying that He was closing the door to my life in Wisconsin…and that it was time for me to get up and go into a land which He had prepared for me.
The results have been amazing, and that abundant life the He promised in John 10:10 has been coming true before my eyes. You see, the abundant life isn’t about stuff…it’s about the stuff that money cannot buy. See, everyone hears the messages about prosperity, and thinks the promised land is full of stuff, financial independence, big houses, expensive suits, and luxury cars.
The truth about the abundant life (and this is a little extra teaching for this message) is that the abundant life is full of the things money cannot buy. Yes, having more money may have you feeling a bit more secure, but money cannot buy happiness. I can tell you today that I’m happier in my life than I have ever been. You cannot buy joy, but I have joy today that’s unspeakable. You cannot buy peace, but I have the peace of God in my life today that surpasses all understanding. The abundant life is having the fruits of the spirit manifest in your life…those are the things money cannot buy. I am full to overflowing with love today…you cannot buy love…but I have the love of God shed abroad in my heart by the Holy Ghost.
Sure, I have stuff. I have a roof over my head, food in my stomach, clothes on my body, and a car to drive. I have all the basics that I need to have taken care of. I have no worries today because I know that God shall supply all of my needs according to His riches and glory.
Friends, all of this has come to me because I was willing to trust God, and move to a land in which He had prepared for me. I can tell you that I had no idea what to expect when I moved here, but I’m so glad that I did because what God’s done in and through my life has been nothing short of spectacular. God is so good, and I promise you…No…He promises you that if you will take the steps towards Him that He has for you…He will be with you and bless you beyond all that you could think or imagine. I know that He has me. Amen?
God continues to bless me beyond measure, and I am still thankful that I listened to Him when He told me to move. The new life I have lived since moving here has been nothing short of amazing, and the journey that’s been Christlike Ministries NWA is awesome as well. I’ve gone from having a handful of people who are fed by this ministry to almost 50o in around 100 nations. That’s just awesome to me, and I know it’s only going to get better.
I am thankful for all of you who follow this ministry. You’re all amazing, and keep my humbled and encouraged. I hope you enjoyed another piece of the testimony of my life, and that you found encouragement. It’s always important to trust God…completely. He will never lead you in a direction that He can’t walk with you in.
Blessings and Grace to you.
Pastor Bryan Kizer
Christlike Ministries NWA
“My love be with you all in Christ Jesus.” (1 Corinthians 16:24)