The cathode ray tube, developed at the turn of the 20th century, made TV and computer monitors possible. Lee de Forest, the father of radio and grandfather of television, in 1926 said, “Theoretically, television may be feasible, but I consider it an impossibility—a development which we should waste little time dreaming about.”
IBM, known for business machines, was instrumental in early computer development. However, Thomas Watson, Chairman of the Board of IBM in 1943, said, “I think there is a world-wide market for about five computers.”
In 1962, a record executive said, “We don't think the Beatles will do anything in their market. Guitar groups are on their way out.”
It’s hard to move forward when you’re always looking back, but we do it all the time. “This is the way we’ve always done things,” “But we’ve never done that before,” “Yeah we thought about that once but decided it wouldn’t work here,” are curses to a church wanting to follow God. When God is on the move, the past doesn’t dictate the future.
Ever gotten in a rut driving on a dirt road? Why is the rut there? That’s where most everyone else has driven on that road. Why is getting in the rut a bad idea? You are stuck going where everyone else has gone. And if you go where everyone else has gone, you’ll end up where everybody else has ended up. That’s not how a church follows God’s will. When I came the men were studying Experiencing God. It renewed my purpose.
God sets the future, not us, not the church down the street, not some denomination. God directs our paths. He leads us into the place where He is working. God doesn’t work through ruts, He cuts new roads.
Some are afraid of that. “We want what they’ve always had. Let’s keep doing things like we’ve always done them.” But what if God isn’t working like that any longer? What if He has something unique, special and new? What if following God requires we go places where roads don’t even exist yet?
We don’t have a past we are married to here at North Shore. We are a church available to whatever God wants us to do. We are convinced, as was Corrie Ten Boom: Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.
Some of you were here when a much smaller group took a much greater risk and built this building. Why did you do that? Because that was what God led you to do. We’re here again today. Following that same God who has called us now to expand our tent.
A map on display in the British Museum in London is an old mariner's chart, drawn in 1525, outlining the North American coastline and adjacent waters. The cartographer made some intriguing notations on areas of the map that represented regions not yet explored. He wrote: "Here be giants," "Here be fiery scorpions," and "Here be dragons." Eventually, the map came into the possession of Sir John Franklin, a British explorer in the early 1800s. Scratching out the fearful inscriptions, he wrote across the map: "Here be God." We can trust an unknown future to a known God.
God’s got a great track record. He draws up the plans, provides the resources, pulls Maurice out of retirement, directs the project and then places Himself into the building.
2Ch 7:1-3 Now when Solomon had finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the LORD filled the house. The priests could not enter into the house of the LORD because the glory of the LORD filled the LORD'S house. All the sons of Israel, seeing the fire come down and the glory of the LORD upon the house, bowed down on the pavement with their faces to the ground, and they worshiped and gave praise to the LORD, saying, "Truly He is good, truly His lovingkindness is everlasting."
Ezr 3:10-12 Now when the builders had laid the foundation of the temple of the LORD, the priests stood in their apparel with trumpets, and the Levites, the sons of Asaph, with cymbals, to praise the LORD according to the directions of King David of Israel. They sang, praising and giving thanks to the LORD, saying, "For He is good, for His lovingkindness is upon Israel forever." And all the people shouted with a great shout when they praised the LORD because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid. Yet many of the priests and Levites and heads of fathers' households, the old men who had seen the first temple, wept with a loud voice when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, while many shouted aloud for joy...
Hag 2:9 The latter glory of this house will be greater than the former,' says the LORD of hosts, 'and in this place I will give peace,' declares the LORD of hosts.
Almost like He was saying, “You ain’t seen nothing yet!”
- It wasn’t the size of the building. It was the greatness of the God in the building.
- It wasn’t the fanciness of the shrine. It was the pricelessness of the Lord.
- It wasn’t the magnificence of the architecture. It was the majesty of the Designer.
- It wasn’t the multitude crowding inside, it was the glory of the God who was making Himself known.
Joe Clinton prayed often, “Lord, let our little church grow.” That wasn’t just Joe’s desire, that was God’s plan. God answered Joe’s prayer and Joe got to see it.
This building is because of that growth. To accommodate what God has done and plans to do. It will be a place of opportunity where folks can discover, learn, grow, change, love, be loved, accept, be accepted, invest and receive. A place where the presence of God can be sensed, experienced and embraced. Because this is a church God is building.
We can look back and see God. We look at today, we see God. When we look to tomorrow, we will see God. He is here. As we have seen God at work, we will see Him at work even more. That’s why I’m here. That’s why you’re here. We believe: Here be God – God is in this place and I want to be where He is.
This day is a day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.