God’s purpose to raise the nation of Israel followed an amazing plan that involved three major nations called Hebrews, Egyptians and Canaanites and many individuals like Abraham, Joseph, his brothers, Epiphany’s wife, the Egyptian king’s cup bearer, the Pharaoh and his daughter, Moses and Aaron, Joshua and Caleb and Rahab the prostitute (to name a few).
It’s noticeable however that some of these people responded differently to God’s plan despite his promise to bring them to a land flowing with milk and honey. In today’s sermon we will evaluate some of these people, their responses and seek our own hearts to find out whether we are actually moving with the divine plan or not.
1. Some people move ahead of God’s plan
I. Killing the Egyptian was “presumptuous“. Moses first looked “this way and that”. His conscience revealed that he had no legal authority to do what he did.
II. He was aware of his calling to redeem the Israelites. He impetuously made the wrong move at the wrong time. He became a self proclaimed redeemer. Like Moses some people take matters into their own hands, rush the plan and create a big mess.
III. This cost Moses another 40 years of training in a foreign land. God had to teach him the plan belongs to God and we are just instruments. Thus he will use us when he wants. Not when we want
2. Some people move behind of God’s plan
Exodus 3:1-22; 4:1-17
I. God renewed the calling 40 years later and Moses gave many excuses which indicates “a lack of faith” . This time he was moving behind of God’s plan.
II. He killed the Egyptian out of impulse, not by faith in God. The consequences were loss of charisma, excitement and faith. When failure attacks, we loose our faith leave everything behind including God’s calling, promises, plans and retreat back to our own small world where we feel secure
III. Some feel angry at God and blame him for not sticking to the plan. In reality who is responsible for switching to “Plan B”?
3. Some people move outside of God’s plan
Numbers 14:39-54, Deuteronomy 1:41-46
I. The children of Israel often moved outside of God’s plan because they were a “rebellious” nation.
II. Rebellious people are impatient with God at best. They think it’s futile to depend on God and choose to walk on paths that seem right in their own eyes, (Proverbs 14:12)
III. The sign board of a church once said this. “There’s only one God – stop applying for his position!”
4. Some people move with God’s plan
Joshua 2:1-24; Joshua 6:22-25
I. Rahab didn’t even belong to God’s chosen nation. Yet she stuck to the plan. She and everyone in her family was spared while others who lived in rebellion against God were put to death
II. People like Rahab are always “victorious” in everything because they follow God’s instructions to letter.
III. If you want to move with the plan patiently wait for God to reveal the perfect time, obey him by surrendering your own will to his, submit to authority and have faith in him.
I. Gladly God is capable of bringing good out of things that we mess up. The very impulse that led Moses to avenge wrong doing apart from due process of law was developed to do the work of God. Our mistakes bring the plan to a temporary halt but cannot thwart it. Are you in a mess because of presumptuous decisions?
II. God brings good out of mistakes we make. Yet he sends us through a time of discipline. In this period we are given the time to idly reflect on our old mistakes, learn to do what is right, learn to depend on God, develop patience and self control. For Moses this time of learning and reflection was as lengthy as 40 years!
III. When we are idle it’s easy to feel disheartened, get distracted, loose excitement and faith. This is why some people dropout from ministry. Therefore Pastors who are walking through such times must eagerly wait on God until they are called back to action.
IV. It’s very dangerous to move out side of God’s plan. This is deliberate rebellion against the authority of God and it’s safe to assume that God will judge the rebel that he will never see the fulfillment of God’s promises and plans intended for him unless he repents. How do we move outside of God’s plan? At least but not limited to purposely rejecting a call to serve God, disobedience to spiritual leadership, even marrying an unbeliever!
V. How do we move with God’s plan? At least but not limited to unconditionally obeying God’s word, depending on the Holy Spirit for directions, submitting to authority, Wait for the right time, prayerfully considering the divine will. What are you doing with God’s plan today?
Image Credit: Travis S.
(If this sermon was helpful to you please consider leaving your feedback in the comments section at the bottom. It would be a great encouragement to me personally.)