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False Starts Exo.

. 2:1 15; Acts 7:17 34 Since September, we at TLC have embarked on a teaching series The Naked Truth. The series seeks to unmask lifes issues and challenges and provides answers, insight to these issues in the light of the Word of God. God provides, for us, through His Word and by His Spirit answers to all that life throws our way. We need to see them, interact with them and respond to them. The topics we have covered so far include "Sometimes its hard" and "When your yesterday collides with today". We continue our series today by considering the topic of "False Starts". False Starts often occur in life, how does God respond to them and how should we? As a nation famous for our sprinters we are familiar with the concept of False Starts. In sports, a false start is a movement by a participant before being signalled or otherwise permitted by the rules to start. False starts are common in racing sports and it occurs when anxiety to get the best start plays a role in the athletes' behaviour. In some sports false starts disqualify you from the competition. Recently in Daegu, South Korea Usain Bolt false started in the 100m final and that false start led to his disqualification from the race. Show Bolts False Start. One headline read: "Usain Bolt displays his anger". It must be a frustrating, disappointing and demotivating thing to happen to any athlete. Just like in races, life is filled with False Starts A misguided or unsuccessful attempt to begin something. Sometimes when we false start we feel disappointed and demotivated and even disqualified from life or that aspect of life. Has this ever happened to you? Maybe you are feeling this way know. And sometimes the false start occurs regarding a legitimate need. For example: Abraham, in the bible, had a false start. God had promised him a son as his heir, but it did not occur in the tinge that Abraham and Sarah considered reasonable. So, after about ten years of waiting, Abraham, at his wifes suggestion fathered a child with Sarahs Egyptian slave Hagar and this precipitated no ends of problems. False Start but God would redeem the situation. About 15 years later God gave the promised son Restart. Why do we have to wait so long sometimes for the thing that is perfectly OK? Why can't I get it now? In our impatience many times we jump the gun. You know you have the potential, you have had a dream for so long, as long as you could remember was on your heart to doyou may even had attempted it before and did not succeed. You had a false start; it is not the end you can restart. Moses is a good case study as we consider the False Starts of life and our opportunity to Re-Start. When we look at Moses there is no way look at his finish and see or imagine his beginning, nor could we look at the beginning and in any way see the finish. At the end of the Book of Genesis the Hebrew people lived in peace in Egypt for many years but then a Pharaoh came to the throne that viewed the Israelites as

a threat to his nation. Many scholars speculate that some time before Moses was born Egypt had been invaded and dominated by conquerors known as the Hyksos. For years the Egyptians suffered under the yoke of these foreigners, but eventually they rose up and drove them out. From that day on the Egyptians became suspicious of any people that werent like them...people like the Israelites who lived in their northern region. Even though the Israelites had lived amongst them for a long time, they had never really blended in. They looked different; they ate different; they talked different; and of course they worshipped different. These Israelites served only one God vs. the dozens the Egyptians worshipped. And worst of all there were too many of them! If the Hebrews decided to overthrow the Egyptians, their numbers were a threat So the Pharaoh decided to do a pre-emptive strike. First he enslaved all the Israelites and then to reduce the risk war by reducing the number of potential soldiers Israel might be able to put into battle. And one of the ways he did that was by ordering every newborn male child to be thrown into Nile. Moses was one to the children destined to be thrown into the Nile. Moses was born to die! There should have been no way that this child should have lived to see adulthood, but Moses mother was a woman of faith. From the get go, Moses life is a false start; a life that was not to start. Sometimes we don't appreciate the tension and drama in the text because so much time is covered in a few lines but Moses was born into hardship, enslaved, oppressed parents and he himself destined to die before he even had a chance to live. Can you imagine anyone having a more difficult start? So often we look back on our lives and say: (1) If you had gone through what I have gone through you would understand why I am where I am right now! (2) If you understood all the pain and all the hurt and all the tragedy in my life you would lower your expectations about my future! Sometimes I find the modern mind to be selfdefeating. If everything is not perfectly right we are tempted to give up, we throw our hand up in defeat. Life is hard but God provides an opportunity to overcome the hardships of life through faith in Him. Do not allow your past to determine your future, no matter what our start is; it does not determine our future. Moses had a bad start but his future was bright. In the hands of God our future can be bright too. The key is that God can take any situation and make a way where there seem to be no way. Pregnant mother difficult times but God Young person you are worried about your life, your future but God You grew up in difficult circumstances but God Look to God for irrespective of what is going on God is able to make a way where there seem to be no way. The bible says: "the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits." (Daniel 11:32) Life was not easier for Jochebed but she know her God and should stood in faith in God and this gave her hope when all looked hopeless, gave her strength when she was weak... In verses 56 of Exodus 2, Jochebed made a basket and waterproofed it, and

then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile. His sister stood at a distance to see what would happen to him. (Ex 2:3-4, NIV) For yours I have read into the text that Pharaohs daughter saw Moses by accident but this is not so. The language used indicates that his mother deliberately and strategically put him, by faith, in this position so that Pharaohs daughter would see him. When we turn to God it does not mean that we stop thinking, reasoning Jochebed was strategic. Her strategy was as a result of her faith faith without works is dead (James 2:26 NKJV). It is not just a chance she took, she considered her situation and evidently prayed and then acted. She knew that Moses was special By faith Moses parents saw he was no ordinary child (Hebrews 11:23) And yes, the last person you would want to find your infant boy as a Hebrew woman was the daughter of Pharaoh but in faith Jochebed did it. Did God tell her to do itit seems soand God came through in the situation? Pharaohs daughter adopted Moses and gave him back to Jochebed to nurse God made a way where there seemed to be no way. God had given the parents of Moses more than they could ask or even imagine. Not only was his life spared, but was now protected by none other than the Pharaohs daughter and to top it off they are allowed to keep him and train him in the ways of God and they were even paid to do it. What should have been a false start God had caused a restart. Blessed be the name of the Lord. But the drama had only just begun. When Moses was weaned he was taken into the household of the Pharaoh, were he was raised as the son of the princess. Moses grew up in a holocaust! Every single Jewish boy was killed except for him. He knew in his heart and soul he was a Hebrew, knowing he looked different than every other boy his ageworse, he was probably jeered and teased repeatedly, the brunt of prejudice because Genesis 43:32 tells us Egyptians could not eat with Hebrews, for that is detestable to Egyptians But God had Moses in training, the call on his life required a certain type of training and it was available only in the courts of Pharaoh. God was refining for Himself the deliver of Israel. Who could have guessed that God would choose this individual to be the founder of the nation of Israel when he was raised in the wisdom of the Egyptians? Application: 1. We are all here alive for a purpose. Some of us should have ben dead already but there was a Jochebed in your life, maybe you dont even know who it is but there was someone holding your name before the throne of grace and that is what has kept you over these many years. 2. Don't underestimate what God can use. Your training may seem to be far from that God would want but God is not limited to use us only in the ways we consider. Maybe, just maybe you have been far away from Him all these years but He had you where He wanted you for such a time as this, to be change agent in your family, on the job or even in the nation. Who know, God's ways are above our ways.

Lets go back to the text: between verse 10 and verse 11 nearly 40 years are passed over in silence. The account in Exodus throws no light on the nearly 40 years Moses spent in the courts of Egypt. We started with Moses as a baby and now we see him as an adult. In the intervening years there are several facts that we need to understand about the life of Moses. Stephen in his account before the Sanhedrin in Acts 7:22 tells us, Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in speech and action. Moses was raised as an Egyptian prince and was given a remarkable education in the courts of Pharaoh. He was likely educated at the Temple of the Sun which was known as the Harvard of Ancient Egypt. He would have studied the various sciences, mathematics, astronomy, chemistry, medicine and religion, philosophy and the law. It appears that he was a great student for the verse says that he was mighty in words and deeds, in fact the Jewish historian Josephus in his Antiquities of the Jews gives an account of how by the time he was thirty Moses led the Egyptian army to victory in a battle against the invading Ethiopians mighty in words and deeds. Let us be careful to consider that in Exo.2 verse 11 Moses is now this military champion, the articulate and learned prince of Egypt. When you consider the history there is possibly an arrogance that Moses has. I am tempted to believe that his has lost the kernel of his faith the new philosophies, the new religion, his successes and his new way of life has pulled him away from his core belief. This is demonstrated in how he handles the situation that is about to face him. When Moses saw the abuse and oppression meted out to his fellow Hebrews his heart went out to them. He clearly saw the need for a deliverer and his mother would have told him that he was that deliver. Boosted by his military knowledge, strategy and accomplishments, along with his elite intelligence, one day as he witnessed one of the Egyptian taskmasters beating one of the Hebrew slaves he took matters into his own hands and could not sit still any longer and started what he thought would have lead to Israels deliverance. Acts 7:24 & 25 says, He saw one of them being mistreated by an Egyptian, so he went to his defence and avenged him by killing the Egyptian. Moses thought that his own people would realise that God was using him to rescue them, but they did not. It is tempting to think that as Moses witnessed the abuse to his fellow Hebrew that something just snapped. But scripture in Exodus portrays that this was all a part of a preconceived plan on the part of Moses. He decided that is was time to take action so according to verse 12 of our text, Glancing this way and that and seeing no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. He looked this way and that but unfortunately he never looked up. He knew Gods will. But the problem was that he did not bother to seek Gods way and Gods timing. He was trying to do Gods will in his own way and in according to his own timetable. That is the problem sometimes we understand what Gods will for our lives is but things are not happening fast enough to suit us, we become anxious. We false startwe try to give God a hand. Did the cruel taskmaster deserve to be punished? Yes! Was it wrong to beat the Hebrew as he did? Yes. Moses motivation was right but his timing and his

methods were all wrong. The significant thing here is that Moses plans are not the same plans made by God for the deliverance of the Hebrews. Moses became a murderer in an attempt to strike the first blow for the freedom of Gods people. Moses desiring to carry out Gods plan for the deliverance of the Hebrews, eager to do great things for God, forced a situation that led to a personal disaster. There is a principle that we need to recognise: 1. False Starts lead to personal disaster: a. Personal Rejection: Exodus 2, verse thirteen says, The next day he went out and saw two Hebrews fighting. He asked the one in the wrong, "Why are you hitting your fellow Hebrew?" The man said, "Who made you ruler and judge over us? Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian?" Then Moses was afraid and thought, "What I did must have become known." (Exodus 2:13-14) Moses thought that the men would recognise him as someone who was fighting on their behalf and had there interest at heart but instead when he tried to stop a fight between two Hebrews he cannot believe the response. They said: Hey, Mr. High and Mighty, who died and left you in charge? Youre not our leader. What are you going to do kill us if dont do what you say? Application: b. Personal Fear and anxiety: Then Moses was afraid and thought, What I did must have become known. It appears that Moses was right for the very next verse (15) says, When Pharaoh heard of this, he tried to kill Moses, but Moses fled from Pharaoh and went to live in Midian Moses fearful and anxious because his secret was out and the Pharaoh had found out and was now gunning for him. It happened so quickly, Moses moved from hero to villain in two days. Application: Lifes circumstances can change so fast. What we were sure about yesterday leads to c. Personal lose and isolation: Moses had to flee to someplace that the power of Pharaoh could not reach him. He fled to the desert in the land of Median. He lost everything, all that he had built over the years, know all the training was not longer all that. He is also isolated cut off from his friends, relatives. From riches to rags. He must have thought as he made this journey that his life was over, that God could not and would not ever use him again. He was wrong of course. But it would take him many weary years to realise it. Application: Our loses might not be as dramatic but. Application: Some of us fall into the same traps as Moses did. We grew up around Church, know bible or grew up with at least Godly principles. At one time maybe even surrendering our life to the Lordship of Jesus Christ but now we know better. Teenage years or worse even the college years and suddenly you get some new knowledge hear about things like evolution (a rubbished theory

by modern scientist but still taught as true). We learn some philosophy, we get little knowledge and we believe know everything. We let go the God who had kept us because now we can manage our lives. Worse if we have been successful in varying areas of our life; arrogant, self important, self-focussed false start. One aspect of our lives ok but the other shambles. False Start. False starts bring pain, trouble, disappointment, disillusionment, discouragementIsnt this situation just so real to our lives? Sometimes our greatest mess-ups happen when we are trying our hardest to do our very best. It is true to different measures for all of us. In the practical, everyday nitty gritty reality of life it is so hard to trust God with our lives, isnt it? 1. Many jump the gun by believing sex and love are the same thing, when intimacy is traded for something superficialfalse start and we are paying for it ever sinceemotionallyphysicallyfinanciallyspiritually we want a family but go about it the wrong way. 2. Even in the areas of success and wealth, many are desperate to make millions, take short cuts, only to get caught and later say, I knew what I was doing was unethical, I just didnt know it was illegal but really they knew! Its Moses all over again; glancing this way and that and seeing no one; he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. Have you ever noticed that you dont glance this way and that to make sure no one is going to see you do something good? It is when we are about to do something that violates our conscience, Gods Word, our core values, that we look to make sure no one is watching. Moses thought that his own people would realise that God was using him to rescue them, but they did not. Remember: the end never justifies the means! God is as interested in the way you get there, as He is that you get there. There is a reason the Scriptures say, Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD. (Ps 27:14) Have you noticed that the things that come fast and easy will take you down fast. The School of the Desert The school of desert is the place where we are forced to face ourselves, its a place of isolation, sometimes we may be in a crowd but isolated in our hearts. It is the place where God attempts to break our will and conform it to His will. It happens when we have come to the end of self-lead life then God can begin to work in our lives. It is when we have come to the end of ourselves, having push hard enough and manipulated long enough, that God finally gets your attention. It is then that you discover that God is saying, Cease striving and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10, NASB). F.B. Meyers gives a wonderful assessment when he wrote, Such experiences come to us all. We rush forward, thinking to carry all before us; we strike a few blows in vain; we are staggered with disappointment and reel backand there our vision clears We have

opportunity to find God. If we are willing we experience breakthrough in our lives of untold magnitudes. The very thing that was such a failure yesterday, God reuses, resuscitates and restarts. After Moses returned from the enforced exile in the desert of Median years later he was a different man, one fit for years of selfless and obedient service. Application Perhaps the only good thing about failure is that God uses our failures to teach us important things. First, we learn through failure is that no matter how talented we are, how educated we may be, without Him we can do nothing. Jesus tells us in John 15:5, I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. The second thing God teaches us through our failures is that we are capable of terrible things if we persist in our way instead of pursuing His way. Moses became a murdered. Thirdhiding our wrongs doesnt erase wrong: it only postpones its discovery. According to Exodus 2:12, Moses hid the body of the slain Egyptian in the sand but by next day the deed is known. When we have done wrong some very human instincts kick in; deny it, excuse it, rationalise it, reinterpret our shortcomings. But the best and only real way to hand it is to fess up. To call failure, failure; to call sin, sin. To admit we were wrong so that we can be cleansed and restored and go on with our lives. The final lesson that God can teach us through the failure of our own plans is that God is capable of working for us and in us, in spite of us. Moses the man who botched things so bad on his own was used mightily of God. His name is mentioned 700 times in the Bible. He was used by God in a greater way than any other Old Testament character, when he through failure learned to follow Gods plans rather than his own. If Moses can raise from his failures to be used by God so can we. This was the man that would personify what it meant to live in relationship with the living God who had lived his first 40 years worshipping pagan gods. Who would have guessed that God would entrust him with the care of the 10 Commandments when it clearly states, Thou shalt not murder. No wonder Stephen says, This is the same Moses! All of us need this transitional phrase in our lives! This is the same (Insert name) That the person who was, doesnt disqualify you from the person who will become. Maybe having had so many false starts, so many mess ups, so many failures, you have allowed your life to be defined by your worst moments rather than the moments that are yet to come. Maybe you have jumped the gun because life hasnt come to you the way you thought it would or should.

I would like us to look at Moses...the man this AM. He was the great law giver, a mighty man of God and one of the greatest men in the Old Testament. Yet as we study him we will find him to be a very ordinary individual. He had all the problems and hang ups that you and I have. He was not some super being springing from a phone booth with a giant "S" on his chest. He was simply a normal man empowered of God for a ministry which he was able to accomplish totally in the power of God. Whenever he was in the flesh it stood out like a sore thumb. This should be an important encouragement to us because whatever God has called us to, whether large or small, He will empower us to accomplish exactly as He did with Moses. So, Moses fled into the wilderness. Some might say "life begins at 40....but for Moses he probably felt like his life was over! But God had a plan! And Hes got one for you, too! For 40 more years, Moses sat in the wilderness. He had time to reflect, didnt he? You see, I believe that Moses needed to be humbled before the Lord....and being banished into the wilderness after living a "privileged life" would be quit humbling! He went from royalty to sheep herder! And Moses had a lot of time to think. Im sure that he felt like he would no longer be the one to deliver the children of Israel. He had gotten married, and probably accepted his humble life. But guess what? God wasnt finished with Moses! EX chapter 3 tells us that God spoke to Moses thru a burning bush and instructed him to go deliver his people. Moses didnt believe God. In vs 11 But Moses said to God, "Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?" 12 And God said, "I will be with you. Theres the difference in the first attempt to free the Israelites and this one. This time, Moses is allowing God to do the work! Too many times we attempt to do things in our power and volition when it is GOD that must be at the helm! I dont care how powerful or mighty you are. Its not by might, nor by power, but by the Spirit of the living God that we can accomplish ALL things! PHILLIPIANS 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. and that goes for you and I today! We can do NOTHING in and of ourselves, without the power of Christ dwelling inside us!

Impatience With God Acts 7:18-7:34 OPEN: Caitlin was a 4 year old and an only child. She really wanted to have a baby sister and kept pestering her mother asking when she could have one. One morning Caitlin told her mother, "Maybe if we both prayed out loud, God would hear us." So they prayed together. As soon as they finished, Caitlin asked, "What did he say?" Her mother explained that it doesnt work that way; sometimes it takes a long time to get an answer. Caitlin was indignant: "Do you mean we were praying to an answering machine?" Caitlin wanted an answer from God. She didnt want to be put off. She didnt want to talk to some celestial answering machine. She didnt want God to get back to her some time She wanted answer NOW!!! And she was impatient because God didnt seem to answer quickly enough. You know you dont have to be a 4 yr old to suffer from that kind of impatience. ILLUS: The great New England preacher Phillips Brooks was noted for his poise and quiet manner. At times, however, even he suffered moments of frustration and irritability. One day a friend saw him pacing the floor like a caged lion. "Whats the trouble, Dr. Brooks?" asked the friend. "The trouble is that I am in a hurry." said Brooks. "but God isnt." Its easy to become impatient with God Even some of the great men and women of Scripture grew impatient. A case in point is Moses. Now Moses is one of the greatest men of the Bible. He is a model for preachers and elders and men of all walks of life. In fact God told Moses that one day He would raise up a prophet like unto him that prophet being Jesus. And so Moses was a model even for Christ. And he was a man of great faith. Hebrews 11 tells us that the decision Moses made to chose his own people over the Egyptian culture hed been raised in was a decision based on faith. But Moses faith here was marred by impatience. And his impatience cost him dearly. We all know the story:

Moses is born in a time of trouble. His people have lived in peace in Egypt for a couple of hundred years or so. But then a Pharaoh come to the throne that viewed the Israelites as being dangerous no his nation. The suspicion of many scholars is that some time before Moses was born Egypt had been invaded and dominated by conquerors known as the Hyksos. For years the Egyptians suffered under the yoke of these foreigners, but eventually they rose up and drove them out. From that day on the Egyptians became suspicious of any people that werent like them... people like the Israelites who lived in their northern region. For, even though the Israelites had lived amongst them for a long time, they had never really blended in. They had looked different They ate different They talked different And of course they worshipped different. These Israelites served only one God vs. the dozens the Egyptians worshipped. And worst of all there were too many of them If the Hebrews decided to overthrow the Egyptians, their numbers were a threat So the Pharaoh decided to reduce the risk by reducing the number of potential soldiers Israel might be able to put into battle. And one of the ways he did that was by ordering every newborn male child to be thrown into Nile When Moses born, his mother Jochebed obeyed the order, but her obedience to Pharaoh was a bit creative. Instead of simply throwing her child into the water to drown she built a him a boat of bulrushes and set him afloat trusting God for the outcome. And God did! He delivered her child. He arranged for daughter of the Pharaoh to find him love him and desire to raise him Then Pharaohs daughter saw the need for someone to raise him And again - in the providence of God - Jochebed was chosen to be his nursemaid So for the next 40 years of his life Moses was raised in the courts of Egypt. As Acts 7:22 tells us: Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in speech and action.

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But not only that his mother raised him to know he was a Hebrew. And she raised him to know that the Israelites were his people and that God had made promises to his people. Amongst those promises was one that God had made to Abraham about 400 yrs. previously: "Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved and mistreated four hundred years. But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions Genesis 15:13-14 So Moses knew God had saved him. He knew that God had made a promise 400 years previously that his people would be enslaved And he knew that the time was growing near for his people to come out of Egypt and return to Palestine. Moses grew up believing he was a man of destiny. And he reasoned that God had saved him for a reason. Perhaps he was the one to lead Israel out of the slavery of Egypt. But day after day he saw the cruelty of Egypt. He saw his people being enslaved and mistreated. He saw the daily beatings the received. And I believe that day after day he prayed for God to come and show him what to do. But God was silent. God didnt answer his prayers. Day after day, the anger built up in him. Day after day, the frustration of not being able to do anything ate at him until one day he grew tired of waiting. He decided it was time to act. He reasoned: God has saved me to rescue the Israelites from the Egyptians. But God isnt acting as quickly as I think He should be. Therefore, God must want me to fulfil the prophecy MY way. And so, when Moses saw an Egyptian taskmaster beating a Hebrew he intervened. Exodus tells us Moses looked around to make sure no one was watching. Then he struck the taskmaster and killed him. And then he buried him in the sand. Acts tells us that why Moses did what he did: Moses thought that his own people would realise that God was using him to rescue them, but they did not. Acts 7:25

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Not only dont they want to follow him - his killing the taskmaster is common knowledge and he realises he will be punished for what he had done. And so he runs into the desert and spends 40 years in exile. NOW A FEW THOUGHTS 1. Impatience with God can cause us to do foolish things. Moses knew what he was doing was wrong. He looked around to make sure nobody was watching. He took matters into his own hands. And then he buried the evidence. He knew it was wrong. But he was angry at the mistreatment this taskmaster was dishing out. James 1:20 tells us the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. I have seen Christians who behave just that way. Ive not seen it here, and pray I never do. But Im not preaching this because anybody here is doing that. If I were to wait until you folks got caught up in this behaviour Id probably be too late to the party. Christians are tempted to act foolishly when theyre angry. Ive seen Christians get angry about something in church. Something they are convinced has to be rectified or the church will fail. But nobody seems to be doing anything about it. The Elders arent doing anything The preacher isnt doing anything And well Gods isnt doing anything either. So they decide to help Him out. Theyve just GOT to fix the problem no matter how much damage they cause. And so they look around to make sure no one is watching And they begin a whispering campaign in the church They kill the offender. They assassinate his/her character. They question their motives or actions or general behaviour. And they enlist others in their cause. But they do it quietly burying their actions so that they wont be caught. And the more that their will is thwarted the angrier they become. Ive been a preacher long enough to know that this happens in even the best churches. In fact, this kind of behaviour is as old as the earliest churches.

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Paul wrote the Galatians: The entire law is summed up in a single command: Love your neighbour as yourself. If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. (Galatians 5:14-15) This kind of mindset had settled into the church at Galatia. They were biting and devouring one another destroying each other to get their way. And then Paul goes on to say: The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21) Notice, among the sinful actions God condemned were: Hatred, discord, fits of rage, dissensions, and factions. And Paul says: Ive warned you before dont do that - it could rob you of your very salvation. those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:21) When we do things that arent according to Gods will, we can get ourselves in trouble. And because Moses was impatient with Gods timing he spent 40 years in the wilderness. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but his rashness cost him. Impatience with God will do that to us as well. SO the thing to remember is this: impatience with God will cause us to do foolish things. 2. Impatience is often caused by believing God isnt going to do anything. That He doesnt care. And so we may come to believe God needs MY help. ILLUS: I recently ran across the following e-mail from God I am God. Today I will be handling all of your problems. Please remember that I do not need your help. If life happens to deliver a situation to you that you cannot handle, do not attempt to resolve it on your own. Kindly put it in the SFGTD box (something for God to do). It will be addressed in My time, not yours. Now, of course, we know God didnt send that e-mail. But it perfectly captures the problem so many of us have with waiting on God. You see, Moses problem was that he made the mistake of believing God wasnt

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going to act and so HE had to. You know the old phrase God helps those who help themselves? Not only is that NOT in the Bible its pure heresy. If God helped those who helped themselves Hed have helped Cain (he helped himself to vengeance on his brother Abel) Delilah (she wanted to help herself to Samsons hair) Judas (he wanted to help himself to 30 pcs of silver) God doesnt help those who help themselves. He helps those who obey Him and listen to Him and wait upon Him. Granted, God wants to use you or I for His purposes. But make no mistake - He doesnt NEED for us to step in and save Him when things get a little dicey. Hes a big God and He can take care of Himself. What God wants are people who obey Him and listen to Him and wait upon Him. James tells us Be PATIENT, then, brothers, until the Lords coming. See how the farmer WAITS for the land to yield its valuable crop and HOW PATIENT he is for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be PATIENT and stand firm, because the Lords coming is near. James 5:7-8 Be patient. Wait upon the Lord. Psalms 27:14 "Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD." But at times its hard to be patient. And at times our impatience can cause to us to act rashly. And our rashness can hurt us in terrible ways. 3. But the good news is this - with God even our rash decisions can be used by Him for His glory. The Bible is filled with stories of people who messed up. People like Peter who messed up and denied he knew Jesus 3 times. People like Abraham that great man of faith, who is shown in Genesis to have struggled in his faith. People like David who committed adultery and arranged for the death of a friend. And of course - people like Moses For 40 years Moses languished in the desert because he didnt trust God enough to wait.

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40 years. But then one day God met him on the side of a mountain and He gave Moses a 2nd chance. And with that 2nd chance came the salvation of an entire nation. Our God is the God of 2nd chances. Of undeserved forgiveness. Of a new chance at life. CLOSE: The late Paul Leonard told a story about paying his way through Ohio State University It was a struggle. His father died during his senior year in high school, and his mother had become blind. With her encouragement, however, he enrolled at Ohio on the eve of the Great Depression. By night he was a taxi driver, and during the day he waited tables in a campus dining hall. "At lunch one day I was serving a table where faculty members were seated. As I returned to the table with my tray held high, the unthinkable happened! I slipped on a spot of gravy on the floor and watched helplessly as the plates slid off the tray, spilling onto an especially well-dressed man, one of my professors. My heart sank. What could I do to atone? I grabbed a towel to clean him up, but I only spread the mess over more of my professors suit. "Dont worry about it young man. These things happen." Was what I wanted to hear. Instead he locked his eyes on me and asked, "Mr. Leonard, what are you going to do about this?" "Im so sorry sir. Ill pay to have your suit cleaned," I responded. "I dont believe this suit can be dry cleaned my professor countered "Mr. Leonard, I believe it is only fair that you buy me a new suit." "Yes, sir," I managed to say. With a knot in my stomach, I agreed to meet him at a downtown Columbus mens store the following day. I recognised the name of the store, and exclusive mens clothier specialising in custom-tailored suits. I also knew that I could cover the expenses only if I were able to make payments over several months of work and scrimping. As I walked in the front door of the finely furnished store, I grew even more apprehensive. "Oh there you are," the ever-proper professor remarked. He had arrived early. He already chosen the fabric and the tailor had already taken measurements. My professor, a regular customer, had apparently vouched for my trustworthiness because the clerk nonchalantly accepted the professors remark, "Mr. Leonard

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will be responsible for the bill, as I have indicated." More than a little disorientated, I turned to follow my professor out of the door. Then he stopped. "Are you sure you want to do this?" he asked. "Yes sir," I responded. "It will take time, of course, but I" He interrupted me with words directed to the clerk. "Lets see that Mr. Leonard is fitted for a suit just like mine. And put them both on my bill." Not only was my debt canceled, but I received what I did not deserve. And my benefactor provided me with more than a suit and an indelible memory. He gave me an encounter with grace."

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Getting Ahead of God! Exodus 2:11-15 Acts 7: 20-29 Last week in our first in the series on the life of Moses we examined how Amram and Jochebed, the parents of Moses, passed on to their son a heritage of faith. The time came that they had to hand their son over to the daughter of Pharaoh. According to Exodus 2:10, And the child grew, and she brought him to Pharaohs daughter, and he became her son. So she called his name Moses, saying, Because I drew him out of the water. When Moses was weaned he was taken into the household of the Pharaoh, were he was raised as the son of the princess. She named the boy, Moses, a name that was rooted in the event of her finding the baby, meaning to draw out as she had drew him out of the Nile. God had given the parents of Moses more than they could ask or even imagine. Not only was his life spared, and protected by none other than the pharaohs daughter, but they are allowed to keep him and train him in the ways of God and they were even paid to do it. What a gracious God we serve. Between verse 10 and verse 11 nearly 40 years are passed over in silence. The account in Exodus throws no light on the nearly 40 years Moses spent in the courts of Egypt. We left off with Moses as a baby and now we see him as an adult. In the intervening years there are several facts that we need to understand about the life of Moses. But Stephen in his account before the Sanhedrin in Acts 7:22 tells us, And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and deeds. Moses was raised as an Egyptian prince and was given a remarkable education in the courts of Pharaoh. He was likely educated at the Temple of the Sun which was known as the Oxford of Ancient Egypt. He would have studied the various sciences, mathematics, astronomy, chemistry, medicine and religion, philosophy and the law. It appears that he was a great student for the verse says that he was mighty in words and deeds. The fact that he was mighty in deeds seems to indicate that he also had some military experience. The Jewish historian Josephus in his Antiquities of the Jews gives an account of how by the time he was thirty Moses led the Egyptian army to victory in a battle against the invading Ethiopians. Preceding the events of verse 11 and those that follow is a decision that Moses made in his heart described in the eleventh chapter of the Book of Hebrews (vv. 24-26). By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaohs daughter, (25) choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, (26) esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward. This seems to tell us that during that time Moses had made a critical decision to identify with the Hebrew people. At some point Moses had come to believe that he was to be Israels deliverer. Once he understood this divine calling upon his life he made his decision to give himself sacrificially to his people, he was ready for action. As we have already seen Hebrews 11: 24-25 records, By faith Moses, when he became of age,

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refused to be called the son of Pharaohs daughter, (25) choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, The decision that Moses made was truly remarkable. God did indeed intend for Moses to be the deliverer of His people from bondage in Egypt. Even though Moses was schooled in all the knowledge of the Egyptians there was much hat Moses had to learn yet. There would be a time when he would know the ways of the Lord, but for now he was too full of his own ways. In a later time he would be empowered by God, but now he was acting in his own self-energy. Moses was rash, impatient, headstrong and headed for trouble. We take up the biblical account of the life of Moses in verse 11, Now it came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown, that he went out to his brethren and looked at their burdens. And he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his brethren. Verse 11 in our text sets the stage for the coming events by saying that it happened when Moses was grown. According to Acts 7:23 Moses was, forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren, the children of Israel. According the later part of this verse, he went out to his brethren and looked at their burdens. And he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his brethren. When Moses saw the abuse and oppression that his fellow Hebrews were under his heart went out to them. He clearly saw the need for a deliverer and he wanted desperately to help them. Finally one day as he witnessed a one of the Egyptian taskmasters beating one of the Hebrew slaves he could not sit still any longer. Acts 7:24 says, And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended and avenged him who was oppressed, and struck down the Egyptian. It is tempting to think that as Moses witnessed the abuse to his fellow Hebrew that something just snapped. But scripture portrays that this was all a part of a preconceived plan on the part of Moses. He decided that is was time to take action so according to verse 12 of our text, he looked this way and that way, and when he saw no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. He looked this way and that but unfortunately he never looked up. He knew Gods will. But the problem was that he did not bother to seek Gods way and Gods timing. He was trying to do Gods will in his own way and in according to his own timetable. That is the problem when we understand what Gods will for our lives is but things are not happening fast enough to suit us, we become anxious. We try to give God a hand. Did the cruel taskmaster deserve to be punished? Yes! Was it wrong to beat the Hebrew as he did? Of course. But when Moses stepped in began his own Operation Deliverance, he was energised by the flesh not by the Spirit of God. Invariably when you act in the flesh you will have something to cover up. But it is just a matter of time until the truth catches up with you. The sand always yields its secrets, and corpse was not as hidden as Moses has supposed. Charles Swindoll puts it this way, Neglecting to ask Gods counsel, neglecting to seek Gods timing, you step in to handle things. And by and by, youve got a mess on your hands. Your stuck with a corpse, with a shovel in your hands and a shallow grave at your feet. [Charles Swindoll.

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Moses: A Man of Selfless Dedication. (Nashville: Word Publishing, 1999) p. 43] Moses motivation was right but his timing and his methods were all wrong. The significant thing here is that Moses plans are not the same plans made by God for the deliverance of the Hebrews. Moses did not see himself as a murderer but as one striking the first blow for the freedom of Gods people. Moses desiring to carry out Gods plan for the deliverance of the Hebrews, eager to do great things for God, forced a situation that led to a personal disaster. There is a principle that we need to recognise, God will not bless what he has not designed. Exodus 2, verse thirteen says, And when he went out the second day, behold, two Hebrew men were fighting, and he said to the one who did the wrong, Why are you striking your companion? (14) Then he said, Who made you a prince and a judge over us? Do you intend to kill me as you killed the Egyptian? What a terrible put down. Moses knew he was to be the deliverer and he supposed that everyone else would recognise it to. Acts 7:25 gives commentary, For he supposed that his brethren would have understood that God would deliver them by his hand, but they did not understand. But instead when he tries to stop a fight between two Hebrews he cannot believe the response. They say. Hey, Mr. High and Mighty, Who died and left you in charge? Youre not our leader. What are you going to do kill us if dont do what you say? Moses was both astonished because his secret was out and afraid because if they knew then Pharaoh either knew or would know shortly. The remainder of verse 14 says, .So Moses feared and said, Surely this thing is known! It appears that Moses was right for the very next verse (15) says, Then Pharaoh heard of this matter, he sought to kill Moses. But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh and dwelt in the land of Midian; and he sat down by a well. One would assume that Pharaoh already knew of Moses decision in rejecting his Egyptian upbringing. To Pharaoh this must have seemed the grossest kind of ungratefulness. And now he hears the Moses has actually killed an Egyptian official. This is only one remedy for a disloyal and out of control prince, have him killed. Now the only recourse open to Moses was to flee to someplace that the power of Pharaoh could not reach him. He fled to the desert in the land of Midian. He must have thought as he made this journey that his life was over, that God could not and would not ever use him again. He was wrong of course. But it would take him many weary years to realise it. The School of the Desert We will leave the lessons learned in the school of desert till next time but for now suffice it to say, it is when we have come to the end of self-lead life that God can begin to work in our lives. It is when we have come to the end of ourselves, having push hard enough and manipulated long enough, that God finally gets your attention. It is then that you discover that God is saying, Cease striving and know that I am God. (Psalm 46:10). F.B. Meyers gives a wonderful assessment when he wrote, Such experiences

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come to us all. We rush forward, thinking to carry all before us; we strike a few blows in vain; we are staggered with disappointment and reel back; we are afraid at the first breath of human disapproval; we flee from the scenes of our discomfiture to hide ourselves in chagrin. Then we are hidden in the secret of Gods presence from the pride of man. And there our vision clears; the silt drops from the current of our life; our self-life dies down; our spirit drinks of the river of God, which is full of water; our faith begins to grasp His arm and to be the channel for the manifestation of His power; and thus at last we emerge to be His hand to lead an exodus. [F.B.Meyer. Lance Wubbels. ed. The Life of Moses. (Lynnwood, Washington: Emerald Books, 1996) p. 30} After Moses returned from the enforced exile in the desert of Midian years later he was a different man, one fit for years of selfless and obedient service. Application Perhaps the only good thing about failure is that God uses our failures to teach us important things. First, we learn through failure is that no matter how talented we are, how educated we may be, without Him we can do nothing. Jesus tells us in John 15:5, I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. The prophetic words taken from Hannahs prayer in 1 Samuel 2:9 speak to us when she said, for by strength no man shall prevail. The second thing God teaches us through our failures is that we are capable of terrible things if we persist in our way instead of pursuing His way. Thirdhiding our wrongs doesnt erase wrong: it only postpones its discovery. According to Exodus 2:12, Moses hid the body of the slain Egyptian in the sand but by next day the deed is known. When we have done wrong some very human instincts kick in; deny it, excuse it, rationalise it, reinterpret our shortcomings. But the best and only real way to hand it is to fess up. To call failure, failure. To call sin, sin. To admit we were wrong so that we can be cleansed and restored and go on with our lives. The final lesson that God can teach us through the failure of our own plans is that God is capable of working for us and in us, in spite of us. Moses the man who botched things so bad on his own was used mightily of God. His name is mentioned 700 times in the Bible. He was used by God in a greater way than any other Old Testament character, when he through failure learned to follow Gods plans rather than his own. If Moses can raise from his failures to be used by God so can we.

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Well these days you can buy almost anything imaginable on eBay including a mans life. Yeah, no kidding, an Australian man has put his life up for internet auctionhis house, his job, his friends. It started really with his broken heart after his wife left him a couple of years ago. He said he wants a fresh start. Now you can sell your stuff, but everywhere you go, you take you with you. Im Ron Hutchcraft and now most of us would not go to those kind of extremes, but some of us do know the feeling of wishing we could start over, get that fresh start, move from a life thats unfulfilling to a life that matters. Millions of us have discovered where new beginnings can be found. It says this about Jesus in the Bible, If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come ( HYPERLINK "http://bible.gospelcom.net/passage/? search=2+Corinthians+5%3A17;&version=31;" 2 Corinthians 5:17 ). Now, thats not just a new environmentits a new you. Many of us actually divide our life into the same two chapters that they divide human history intoB.C. and A.D. me before Christ and after. Its all the difference in the world. Something happened when Jesus died on that cross that released Gods power to overcome the sin that has scarred our life and to make us into what God created us to be from the inside out. After all, if He can walk out His grave under His own power, is there anything He cant do in your life? Our website I think will be a spiritual encouragement to you. I invite you to go there. Its ALifeThatMatters.org because God put you here to live a life that matters. F.B. Meyers gives a wonderful assessment when he wrote, Such experiences come to us all. We rush forward, thinking to carry all before us; we strike a few blows in vain; we are staggered with disappointment and reel back; we are afraid at the first breath of human disapproval; we flee from the scenes of our discomfiture to hide ourselves in chagrin. Then we are hidden in the secret of Gods presence from the pride of man. And there our vision clears; the silt drops from the current of our life; our self-life dies down; our spirit drinks of the river of God, which is full of water; our faith begins to grasp His arm and to be the channel for the manifestation of His power; and thus at last we emerge to be His hand to lead an exodus. [F.B.Meyer. Lance Wubbels. ed. The Life of Moses. (Lynnwood, Washington: Emerald Books, 1996) p. 30}

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