Our message series this fall is called Jumping Hurdles. We’re exploring some great stories in the Bible to learn life lessons. Each of the people in these stories faced hurdles or challenges in their lives. Somehow, with God’s help they were able to jump those hurdles and fulfill their purpose in life. We want to learn how to receive God’s help for our own hurdles in life.
1 Peter 4:12 (ESV) Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.
This verse speaks of a hurdle in life as a fiery trial. That seems a little more dangerous than a hurdle, doesn’t it. We learn from this verse that these fiery trials are allowed into our lives to test us. They test our faith to rely on God in the midst of the trial. Peter warns us not to be surprised when we face a fiery trial. They may come unexpectedly, but God wants us to be prepared. If we’re not to be surprised when these trials come, how should we react?
1 Peter 4:13 (ESV) But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.
We are to rejoice when we face fiery trial that God allows in order to test us. We see clearly from this verse that fiery trials create suffering in our lives. So, how can we rejoice in the midst of a trial we are suffering from? We are to look to eternity, when we will receive a reward for the things we’ve suffered in life for Christ’s sake.
Today’s message is entitled “Roadmap to Success.” So, how can fiery trials or hurdles lead us to success? First of all, we need to be careful how we define success.
1 John 2:17 (ESV) And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.
The world defines success as accumulating things, whether money, fame, power or possessions. This verse defines success as doing the will of God. Those whose lives are devoted to accumulating worldly things will have nothing for eternity. But those who do God’s will, will abide forever, will have eternal life with God. The stories that we are studying in this series are of people who have done God’s will
Would you say that doing God’s will is easy or hard? We’re learning from this series so far, that doing God’s will is hard. Why? Because of the hurdles or fiery trials that we have to overcome in the race of life. As we do, these tests help us to grow stronger to defeat the things of the world and achieve true success. Success that will have an eternal impact.
Today, we’re going to look at a story of two brothers who submitted to God’s will in difficult circumstances. We’re going to learn how to submit to God’s will in our lives and so follow God’s roadmap to success.
Exodus 4:10 (ESV) But Moses said to the LORD, “Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue.”
God’s plan was to deliver His people from slavery in Egypt. And God was calling Moses to be the leader of Israel. But Moses was very reluctant and began to argue with God. Moses was first of all worried that the people would not believe that God had spoken to him. So, God gave Moses the ability to perform supernatural miracles as proof.
In the verse we just read, Moses is complaining that he is not able to speak well enough to be a leader. Seems to be the common fear of public speaking. God replies that He created Moses’ mouth and would help him speak. Moses than asked the Lord to send someone else to be t he leader.
Exodus 4:14 (ESV) Then the anger of the LORD was kindled against Moses and he said, “Is there not Aaron, your brother, the Levite? I know that he can speak well. Behold, he is coming out to meet you, and when he sees you, he will be glad in his heart.
God began to get angry with Moses resisting of His plan and will. So, the Lord was patient with Moses and allowed Aaron, his brother to be his spokesman. Aaron, as we’ll see, was glad to see Moses and did not resist God’s plan at all. God directed Moses to tell Aaron what to speak in private and Aaron would do the public speaking.
Exodus 4:30 (ESV) Aaron spoke all the words that the LORD had spoken to Moses and did the signs in the sight of the people.
So, Moses told Aaron what to speak and He spoke to the people publicly. Not only did Aaron speak for Moses, he also did the supernatural signs that God had given to validate their words. Although Moses was reluctant to do the public speaking, he accepted God’s plan to be the leader of Israel to bring them out of Egypt. We must understand that God’s plan is best.
Let’s talk for a few minutes about God’s plan for our lives. God’s plan for our lives is not all about us, it’s all about Him. As believers, we are to live for Him and His plan, not ours. God’s plans for our lives are often not what we want to do. They often include God calling us to do things that we don’t think we can do. But as you submit to God’s plan, God will make a way. Over time, you’ll begin to realize that His ways and His plans are best. Not only for God’s kingdom, but for your life.
Maybe in this season of your life, you are arguing with God like Moses. You are reluctant to do the things that God is calling you to do. The best example to follow is that of Aaron, who cheerfully followed God’s plan. Yet, Moses, also followed God’s plan B by faith and had great success. We must understand that God’s plan is best.
Exodus 6:29 (ESV) the LORD said to Moses, “I am the LORD; tell Pharaoh king of Egypt all that I say to you.”
As our story continues, Moses and Aaron went to meet Pharaoh, the leader of Egypt. They spoke to him and requested that he let the people go. Pharaoh did not listen to them, and made the working conditions worse for the Israelites. This did not make the Israelites happy with Moses, or make Moses happy with God. Moses began to doubt that God’s plan would actually work out. So, the Lord again told Moses to speak to Pharaoh everything that God told him.
Exodus 6:30 (ESV) But Moses said to the LORD, “Behold, I am of uncircumcised lips. How will Pharaoh listen to me?”
Again, Moses argues with God, worried that Pharaoh wouldn’t listen to him and Aaron. He continues to have worries and doubts about his speaking abilities. Especially since the leaders of the Israelite workers were blaming Moses for the difficult working conditions. Pharaoh had now refused to give straw to the workers to make bricks, yet they would have to meet the precious quota.
Exodus 7:1 (ESV) And the LORD said to Moses, “See, I have made you like God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron shall be your prophet.
The Lord again spoke to and encouraged Moses. He assured Moses that He had made him His spokesman, a figure of divine authority who would bring judgement on the pagan nation. Aaraon was to be the prophet, who spoke the words that God gave Moses. God was helping Moses overcome his doubts, by impressing him on the supernatural origin of the plan. Not only would God give Moses the words to say, He would cause those words to ultimately bring about the release of Israel from Egypt.
And ultimately, that’s what happened. God, through Moses, brought judgement on Egypt and their gods through the ten plagues. God’s power finally convinced Pharaoh to let the people of Israel go. God’s plan was fulfilled, as the reluctant Moses overcame his doubts with God’s help. God works with us to help us overcome our doubts. Sometimes, the hurdles that God allows to come into our lives can bring doubts. We may begin to question God’s plan or our ability to overcome the hurdle. Sometimes, it takes longer than we would like to pass the test. We can take encouragement from God’s patience in dealing with Moses’ doubts.
Perhaps some of us are struggling to yield to God’s direction in an area of your life. It may be that you find it difficult to witness or share your faith with a friend or a relative. Or perhaps God is dealing with you regarding your finances or use of your time. Maybe God is calling you to some other change in your lifestyle. Whatever it may be, remember that God equips you to do everything He call you to. He will patiently help you overcome your doubts and fulfill His will.
Exodus 29:1 (ESV) “Now this is what you shall do to them to consecrate them, that they may serve me as priests. Take one bull of the herd and two rams without blemish,
With this verse, we jump ahead in Exodus by a number of chapters. Israel has been released from slavery in Egypt and have arrived at Mount Sinai. There God gives Moses the ten commandments and other instructions for His people. The verse we just read is part of God’s instructions to consecrate Aaron and his sons as priests. As priests, they would represent the people before God in the tabernacle.
To follow God’s plan for their lives, they would need to be consecrated. To be consecrated is to be fully set apart from their own plans and committed fully to God’s plan. The first aspect of consecration was the sacrifice of animals for the forgiveness of their sins.
Exodus 29:4 (ESV) You shall bring Aaron and his sons to the entrance of the tent of meeting and wash them with water.
Here we see the second part of consecration, which was the washing of Aaron and his sons to make them clean and pure. The New Testament speaks of cleansing by the washing with water through the Word of God. Those who are to be fully committed to God’s plan, must not only be forgiven, they must cleansed by the Word.
Exodus 29:7 (ESV) You shall take the anointing oil and pour it on his head and anoint him.
Anointing oil in the Bible represents the anointing or empowering by the Holy Spirit. This represents the enablement aspect of consecration, so that God’s power resides on the priests. The New Testament tells us that every believer is a priest before God now. When we are consecrated to God, we have complete access to God’s presence. We no longer need an earthly priest to represent us before God. We are able to approach God as we are consecrated and committed fully to God’s plan.
I believe that this morning, God is calling each one of us to consecrate ourselves to Him. To commit yourself fully to following God’s plan for your life. To give up following your own plans and affirm that His plan is best. Consecration involves recommitting your life to follow God’s way of purity and holiness. Consecration involves putting your doubts behind and trusting the Lord for His direction. Consecration is not thinking of what is the minimum I must follow to go to heaven. Consecration is seeking God to walk in the standards of His Word.
When you are fully consecrated to God, the power of His Spirit will rest upon you. In order to follow God’s roadmap for success in our lives, we all need the Spirit’s power. On the table in the foyer is a book called Power for Life. The book Power for Life is how to receive the Spirit’s power to carry out God’s plan. If you have not read it yet, I’d encourage you to pick one up and read it. It will help you understand and follow God’s plan for your life. Commit yourself fully to God’s plan
Today, we’ve looked at the life of a reluctant Moses, battling his doubts. Yet, God was faithful to help him and us understand that God’s plan is the best. God’s plan is the best to build His kingdom and the best way that we can live our lives. Ask God to show you and help you follow His plan. God’s plans are not easy, in fact, no one can carry out God’s plan on their own.God will help you overcome your doubts and insecurities.
Today, God wants to help you to commit yourself fully to His plan. Lay your plans aside and consecrate yourself to serving Him alone. As you do that, you will receive the power of the Spirit. That power will enable to follow God’s roadmap to success. The success of doing God’s will, following His plan and making a difference for eternity.