Introduction to Series: Deut 1: 1 – 8
The story of my move to Lifespring is memorable. It came at a time when I was beginning to be restless at the place I was, the primary reason being that my main responsibility was the MOVE of the church from Mamlaka to the new property. I was not doing well and out of my depth. But I remember how at one time God wanted me to move and I did not and it resulted in me losing my job and a wilderness experience. I read the times and began seeking where the Lord would have us go.
When the opportunity came up for a move to Life spring I was not even in the fore of it. We were discussing other people making the move. Despite the fact that that I was restless, life at the Chapel was comfortable. I had a great salary. I was at the centre of a church that was being talked about all over Christendom. I was travelling out of the country every year, sometimes thrice a year. I was meeting great men of the faith such as the late John Stott, that great theologian from the U.K and Zach Niringiye from our neighbouring country Uganda. I was where I belonged.
This was until the Lord began to use some people from here. I got messages from Pastor Wachira, Sammy Mate and others to consider the position. Before I knew it my wife and I were processing the pros and cons of the move. It was a tough choice moving away from all the glamour. But we felt that it was the time to move. We had been at the Nairobi Chapel for 7 years and received so much and been developed by one of the greatest leaders on the continent, if not in the world – Pastor Oscar Muriu. After prayer and discussion, we accepted the offer to lead you here at Lifespring.
We begin a new series here at Life spring and as you heard last week, the title of the series NI KUHAMA. It is not just Round Hii Tunahama. NI KUHAMA especially for us in our move to the new building that is progressing before us. To help us understand our times and seasons, turn with me to our key text for the month – Deut 1 – 8 (read)
The key verse there is v 6. “The Lord our God said to us at Horeb, “You have stayed long enough at this mountain. Break camp and advance …” First the question to ask is, “What is at about this mountain that made them dwell there that long?” It is my understanding that it is at Mount Horeb , also known as Mt Sinai, that God united all the different twelve tribes of Israel and formed them into a nation. It was at Horeb that he gave them the Law that would dictate their way of life that would make a different kind of people – God’s people. And so it seems that the stay at Mount Horeb was a time of formation. They were formed into one nation and into God’s people, understanding God’s ways. According to researches, their stay was for slightly over 11 months, which was also the second year since they left Egypt. But you cannot stay at a mountain too long. It may provide for security. It may remind you of God’s power. It may be fertile because of the rain that gathers and flows down into the plains or valleys. It may thunder and quake around the mountain to remind you of God’s power. But you cannot stay at that mountain too long. For the Israelites, the mountain consolidated them but they needed to move on. There was a purpose and a goal ahead of them, indeed even a better place – the Promised Land of Canaan. They had to break camp and move on.
For many years we here at Lifespring have been around this mountain. We acquired this property in 2004 when we raised that last million on the historical day of 30th May 2004. We saw God on that day. We moved onto this property in 2005 and started having our services in tents that we set up every Sunday except for the Sunday School block until we raised this tent in the following year if I am not wrong. Ever since then we have been at this mountain wondering when we shall move on and sometimes being afraid to move on. There were times when we wondered like the children of Egypt whether to move back to Pipeline Hall where it was comfortable with a nice good hall. This was because we were rained on here and our shoes got stuck in the mud. But we began to be comfortable even with that. But last year, we began to hear the Lord say, “You have been around this mountain too long”. We sought to borrow money for the move but a special meeting of members said to wait. It was not a good move. As we waited on the Lord, our drawings were miraculously approved by the City Council and we began to see God’s favour. At the same time, some members of the congregation said we should not borrow money from the bank at 27% interest. Instead they offered close to a similar amount interest free. And then we began waiting for a good contractor to help us start the work. He pulled out last minute. Little did we know that through that disappointment God would help us save half a million shillings for the work of excavation and backfilling, and then on top of that give us a contractor who has given us very favourable terms and a good relationship. Because of that we are saying NU KUHAMA. We have been in this tent too long. Over the next three months we will put all our prayer faith and effort to help us cross over in to the new sanctuary. God has clearly been with us and has shown us his hand in the past year. We praise him and we thank you for allowing him to use you to bring us this far.
For us as a church, there are reasons obvious why we have been around this mountain too long. One was simply that we had not enough money for a building. We kept wondering where to get the 20 million for building on top of running the ministries of the church. Every indication was that it was not a good move. Second even if we did have the money, we did not have the papers. The truth is many of the buildings here have been built without proper documentation from the Council. We sought to do things the right way and wait until God opens doors. And He certainly did. Everything seemed to come together at about this time last year when we began excavating. And to be honest we have still been fearful of not making it, not making our monthly payments, not making it to where we need to be. Then we remember that we have seen God’s favour to be where we are today.
But I want to speak into your life today. Has God been saying to you recently that you have been at this mountain too long? Break camp … and maybe you have set out, or on the other hand you are paralysed with fear. The first thing indeed is to ask what God is saying about where you are today, and what He is doing about where you are today. In the case of the Israelites, He wanted to form them into a nation from the 12 tribes. He wanted to give them His laws and commandments so that they would be His people in His ways as they went forth to Canaan. But what about you, what is God saying about where you are today.
Every stage and time of our life has a purpose in the eyes of the Lord. Ultimately God’s purpose is that His LIFE may be fully lived in your life. His purpose is as Romans 8: 29 says, for us to have a LIFE identity – to conform to the image of His son Jesus Christ. But we must learn to read the seasons. Is it the season of shaping and moulding or is it the season of breaking out to some other place in the journey God has for you. For us here at Life spring we hear God saying this is the time to make the move. NI KUHAMA. His blessing for us is in the move. You do not want to miss out on a move of God. Next week we will look at the signs of the seasons, but for today this is the question we leave you with. What is God saying about where you are today?