God Leading The Way

Sermon: December 8, 2019 – PastorBryon {NO AUDIO}

Introduction

As my Christian walk has progressed over the years I find more and more I want to hear from God for guidance and direction. So much that sometimes I find myself almost straining to listen harder. That’s the case when I prepare sermons. I don’t want to preach a sermon from me but from God and so I read and study scripture waiting for just the right scripture before beginning to write a new sermon. Sometimes it seems the scripture won’t come. Sometimes I wonder if I’m leaning too much on God and I’ll go ahead and pick something I think to be appropriate. Time and again after doing so I have found myself holding down the delete button on the word document and watching the words on the page disappear because something else has come to me and I know it’s what I’m supposed to preach.

I’m sure you would agree, waiting on the Lord can be difficult.

The Waiting Room

So here I sit in the waiting room. The receptionist took my name, recorded my insurance data, and gestured a chair. “Please have a seat. We will call you when the doctor is ready.” I look around. A mother holds a sleepy baby. A fellow dressed in a suit thumbs through Time Magazine. A woman with a newspaper looks at her watch, sighs, and continues the task of the hour: waiting.

The waiting room. Not the examination room, That’s down the hall. Not the consultation room, That’s on the other side of the wall. Not the treatment room. Exams, consultations, and treatments all come later.

The task at hand is the name of the room: the waiting room. We in the waiting room understand our assignment: to wait. We don’t treat each other. I don’t ask the nurse for a stethoscope or blood pressure cuff. I don’t pull a chair next to the woman with the newspaper and say, “Tell me what prescriptions you are taking.” That’s the job of the nurse. My job is to wait. So I do. Can’t say I like it. Time moves like an Alaskan glacier. The clock ticks every five minutes, not every second. Someone presses the pause button. Life in slo-mo.

Mac Lucado: You’ll Get Through This: Hope and Help for Your Turbulent Times.

As Christians when we wait on the Lord and then see the Lord at work in our life it makes it that much easier to wait the next time. In fact, what happens is that our faith increases and our trust in God increases and we don’t want to move without Him because we know His ways are the best ways.

Today were going to examine the life of Moses and how he came to be so dependent upon God that he wouldn’t make a move without him.

Exodus 33:12-16  

12 Then Moses said to the Lord, “See, You say to me, ‘Bring up this people.’ But You have not let me know whom You will send with me. Yet You have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found grace in My sight.’ 13 Now therefore, I pray, if I have found grace in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You and that I may find grace in Your sight. And consider that this nation is Your people.”

14 And He said, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

15 Then he said to Him, “If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here. 16 For how then will it be known that Your people and I have found grace in Your sight, except You go with us? So we shall be separate, Your people and I, from all the people who are upon the face of the earth.”

About Moses

If you’re not familiar with the life of Moses let me tell you he had been through a lot by this time in his life. Orphaned as a baby because his mother was scared he would be killed, Moses was raised by royalty. He lived a life of privilege and was provided the best education, the best clothes, and the best food. He was raised as royalty which put him in a position of authority over most in the kingdom.

When he learned he was Jewish and his people were the slaves in Egypt he developed compassion for the Jews. As time passed Mosses found himself wanting to defend them, and save them from the Egyptians but it wasn’t the right time. Rather than wait on the Lord he moved ahead to defend the Jews and got into deep water with the Egyptians. Moses became an outlaw and had to flea Egypt to save his own life. When he finally returned 40 years later at the age of 80 he was a different man, one who walked with God.

What does this passage teach us about God’s leading?

  1. It starts with submitting our will to God’s

We submit our will to His and trust that His ways are better than ours. Moses didn’t just wait on the Lord for direction he cried out to the Lord, he pleaded with the Lord to Guide him and the Israelite’s.

Moses didn’t try other things first, then when all else failed turned to God. No, he sought God’s direction primarily and refused to move without his guidance. Moses offers us a good example of what to do while we are waiting on the Lord. When you don’t hear from God or he isn’t giving you a new direction, stay put.

Proverbs 3:5-6 teaches us to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.”

  1. When God leads he makes it clear to us

You won’t miss God when he’s ready. Trust me, when God is ready for you to move he’ll make it perfectly clear to those who are waiting on his direction. Just look at the Israelites at the Red Sea; God said go straight, they said we can’t, it’s impossible to go straight. God said go straight, they said we can’t there is a sea in front of us. God said God straight and leave the sea up to me. Don’t trust what you can see, trust God.

Psalm 119:105 – Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light on my path. You’re not going to miss the boat so to speak.

  1. While God leads we will experience rest (v. 14)

God may not always lead us in the direction that provides the least amount of resistance. It was challenging for the Israelites to pick up their lives and leave everything they knew. Even thought they were slaves people find comfort in familiarity.

“. . . and I will give you rest” (Ex. 33:14). The rest that is spoken of here is a rest that comes while we are on our journey. It is a rest that reaches to the core of their being. It is not like a weekly day off, paid vacation, or guaranteed holidays. It is not merely a pause of activity, struggle, or of journey. It is calmness and a security that comes through walking with God.

In the Challenger space shuttle disaster, key NASA officials made the ill-fated decision to go ahead with the launch, after working twenty hours straight, and getting only two to three hours of sleep the night before. Their error in judgment cost the lives of seven astronauts and nearly killed the U.S. space program.

In recent years, our most notorious industrial accidents – Exxon Valdez, Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and the fatal navigational error of Korean Air Lines 007 – all occurred in the middle of the night with fatigue-stressed operators.

Rest provides the compass points that show us where to go. It gives us the physical and emotional endurance to make correct judgments. It is the solitude that gives us wisdom. The necessary tools for finding God’s way.

Rest is a testimony of trust.

Corrie ten Boom, the lady known for her family’s hiding of Jews during World War II, in which she was imprisoned, used to say, “Don’t wrestle, just nestle.” That’s what trusting is all about.

A benefit of living in God’s presence is that we can snuggle up close to our Heavenly Father, knowing that we can rest confident, secure, and victorious.

  1. Following God’s leading will set us apart from the world

I don’t know about you but I feel bad about myself when I present myself just like everyone else in the world or when I display a worldly attitude. Maybe it’s because I know better and I know God has set us apart from the world.

In Verse 16 it says, “How then will it be known that Your people and I have found grace in Your sight, except You go with us? So we shall be separate, Your people and I, from all the people who are upon the face of the earth.”

When we allow God to lead us we are distinctly different than the world. It’s like wearing a bright white shirt and getting a small black dot of dirt on it, the dot stands out.

Conclusion

If we read further in this text we learn Moses wanted to see God’s glory – he wanted a sign. God said you see signs all the time – my goodness, my grace – are all around you. But if you want a visible appearance – do the following: “Here is a place near Me. You are to stand on the rock, and when My glory passes by, I will put you in the crevice of the rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by. Then I will take my hand away, and you will see My back, but My face will not be seen” (Ex. 33:21-23). Moses did as he was instructed. He stood in the crevice of the rock and God passed by. A visible appearance, this time in human form. And Moses saw him, not his face, but his back.

We, too, when led by God, do not see God’s face, but his back. Why is that? We cannot see his face, because we cannot see him coming. We see God’s back, because we see where he has been, and what he has done in the past. We don’t anticipate, or second-guess God. It is only after long reflection that we are finally struck with what God has been doing all along.

It has been my experience that God does not always point the way, but he leads the way. When I look back, I see those leadings.

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