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Minister asked congregation one question: 'Where are you?' based on Genesis 3:9

Preacher asks congregation, 'Where are you?'
Preacher asks congregation, 'Where are you?'Margaret Minnicks

On Sunday, May 4, Rev. Margaret Minnicks, associate minister at New Canaan Worship Center in Richmond, Virginia preached at First Union Baptist Church, also in Richmond. Her sermon was based on Genesis 3:9, “And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, “Where are you?” That was the very first question in the Bible. Her sermon was taken from her book, "Where Are You?" published in 2003.

After Adam sinned, God walked through the Garden of Eden and asked Adam, "Where are you?" God knew the answer to the question He asked. God knew where Adam was physically. That was not why He asked the question. God wanted Adam to own up to his sin and to take responsibility. God wanted Adam to put himself in the position for forgiveness and to take ownership for what he had done. God asks us that same question: “Where are you?”

Rev. Minnicks ascertained that we are all on a spiritual journey, and along that journey God asks us that same question. He constantly checks in with us and asks, “Where are you?” Our physical location might be important, but God asks “Where are you?” to keep us accountable for our actions.

The Bible teacher and preacher promised the congregation that in a matter of minutes she was going to take them throughout the Bible from Genesis to Revelation listing places in the Bible that are paralleled to our own lives.

First of all, Rev. Minnicks asked the congregation if they were at the Tower of Babel trying to get to God by building a tower. God soon destroyed the Tower of Babel. He wants us to come to Him, but we can’t build a tower to heaven. We can only get to God through His Son, Jesus Christ.

“Where are you?” Can you be trusted like Noah to build an ark and do something unusual even when you don’t understand it. It didn’t even rain when God told Noah to build an ark. Because of his obedience, he and his entire family were saved.

“Where are you?” Are you on a mission to Mt. Moriah to sacrifice your child that you have waited so long to have? Are you at the place in your life where you are willing to give back to God that which He has given you? Can God say you are faithful like Abraham who was justified by faith? Can you lay down your Isaac?

"Where are you?” Are you at the burning bush waiting for God to speak to you; to tell you to take off your shoes because you are standing on holy ground? Can God trust you to deliver people out of bondage and slavery?

"Where are you?"Are you at the stage in the spiritual development to accept an assignment from God? Or are you going to go in the opposite direction like Jonah and end up in the belly of the big fish.

“Where are you?” Are you at the Red Sea surrounded by water on every side with Pharaoh’s army behind you? Are you at the station of your life where you you can stretch out your hand knowing that God will push back the waters so you can walk through on dry land?

“Where are you?” Are you in the lion’s den facing a lion or in the fiery furnace? Are you are the place where you can say like the three Hebrews boys: "My God will deliver us, but even if He doesn’t we still won’t bow."

“Where are you?” In a pit like Joseph. Don’t despair. Remember Joseph went from the pit to the palace. Are you hiding in a cave like Elijah because he was afraid of Jezebel. Perhaps God is calling you to go on the mountaintop, but He wants to see how you respond to cave living first.

“Where are you?” Are you spending year after year in the wilderness because of disobedience and murmuring and complaining like the Israelites? Are you delaying your entrance to the Promised Land because of disobedience because you are spending 40 in the wilderness on what should have been an eleven-day trip?

“Where are you?” Are you on the mountaintop with Jesus and you want to build three tabernacles there? Perhaps you are in the valley. Say like the psalmist, “Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for thou art with me.”

“Where are you?” Are you up in a sycamore tree like Zacchaeus? God calls you to come down. He wants to eat at your house today? Do you need to meet with Jesus at night like Nicodemus to learn how to be born again? Perhaps you need to journey to the well like the Samaritan woman so Jesus can tell you all about yourself and give you living water. Then you can drop your water pot and run to tell others, “Come see a man.”

“Where are you?” Are you on Damascus Road like Saul coming face to face with Jesus? “Where are you?” Are you sometimes on mountaintops, sometimes in caves, sometimes in valleys. Are you on the Jericho Road in a ditch because you have fallen into the hands of thieves. Are you on the Emmaus Road walking with Jesus but not knowing it is Jesus because of your sadness and sorrow? And then after recognizing Jesus, you can say, “Didn’t my heart burn?”

“Where are you?” Are you like Peter denying Jesus three times until and later confessing that Jesus is the Christ? “Where are you?” Are you kitchen cooking like Martha or sitting at Jesus’ feet like Mary who chose the better part?

"Where are you?" Are you on the isle of Patmos saying like John, "I was in the spirit on the Lord's day"? And heaven opened up and showed you all that would come to be.

Rev. Minnicks confessed, "I don’t know where you are in your spiritual development, but I know where you ought to be." You ought to stand at the foot of the cross and be covered in the blood of the Lamb. You ought to be at the empty tomb and see that Jesus is no longer there. You ought to know that Jesus was buried but God raised Him from the dead. You ought to know that Jesus ascended into heaven and now sitteth on the right hand of God making intercessions for us. If you have confessed with your mouth and believed in your heart that Jesus died for your sins, then you are where you should be . . . in the family of God. You are saved and you can go to God and say, "Abba, Father" instead of hiding from him like Adam did.

Rev. Minnicks concluded her sermon by telling the congregation that it is just as important to know where you are as it is to know who you are. She said, "Therefore, I leave you with this one question. The question I have for you is the same question that God asked Adam so long ago. And that question is this: “Where are you?”

For more information about the book, "Where Are You?" click here.