Sermons

Summary: Learning to look for God’s will

Let me share with you some statistics from 1992. The New Republic in its January 27 issue reported that the number of products in a typical supermarket in 92 was some 30,000. In 1976 it was 9,000. Likewise in 1992’s produce section there was 285 products while in 1975 only 65. My how our choices have multiplied? When I was 10 years old little league was the choice for a young boy. Today one’s grandchild or child choose from baseball, soccer, football, swimming, martial arts, dance, gymnastics etc. and each of these have a dozen different levels and choices among them. Last week I caught ESPN2 televising competitive jump roping.

We have literally millions of choices before us each day it seems from the type of breakfast cereal we chose to the type of supplemental insurance coverage we sign up for. And it’s not going to get simpler anytime soon I’m certain. With all theses choices it’s no wonder that we sometimes put our lives on auto pilot. We simply “go with the flow” as some say. We just take what ever comes along simply because we feel so overburdened.

I don’t think there is a great deal of spiritual significance or discernment that has to go into choosing either Fuji or Red Delicious apples. Nor do I really think God is pleased or displeased by whether your computer is a Mac or PC. But there are other key choices, pivotal decisions, character shaping crossroads that are important. In fact, it’s amazing how many of these can come across as “no big deal” at the time.

I want us to watch a video that deals with the whole concept of “choosing”.

Greg Asimakoupoulos has a great little poem to help us apply this:

Your story is bound to be noticed

by those who observe what you write.

Will your words offer Christlike compassion,

with phrases of reasoned insight?

Will your sentences question the culture,

as you challenge the lies it conveys?

Will your paragraphs stand out in bold print

as you stand up to ungodly ways?

Will your story be read by the masses?

Or will it be left on some shelf?

The choices you make

and the paths that you take

will result in a book called Yourself.

Chapter 11 of Hebrews is truly a “Whose Who” of faith. And as we heard read Moses was one of these faithful men and women. Each of the lives in this chapter testifies to how the definition of faith in verse 1 applies. “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” (11:1 NIV) This assurance and certainty was so great for those mentioned here that verse 13 tells us, “All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth.” Moses, like the others, allows his certainty and sense of God’s future inform the choices he made each day.

Moses wasn’t stupid. His choice to reject his Egyptian heritage wasn’t the whim of youth but the careful choice of a mature man. I’m sure most of us have seen pictures of the wealth buried with the boy king, Tutankhamen. Well that’s the type of life that Moses chose to leave behind. Not only did he leave the wealth and beauty behind but the Bible says he chose to be mistreated with God’s people.

This type of choice has played well in movies for ages. In Return of the Jedi Luke Skywalker makes the same choice to leave a destiny of power for something better. In that scene Skywalker is told by the Emperor to “fulfill your destiny and take your father’s place.” After a moment of thought he tells the Emperor, “Never! I’ll never turn to the dark side. You’ve failed, Your Highness. I am a Jedi, like my father before me.” And then the Emperor turns his wrath on Luke.

Moses left the perks of the palace for the disgrace of the desert. He walked away from pleasure so that he could please his Lord. He left the certainty of power for the promise of God’s blessing. And the reason he did this was he had confidence in the greater things God was doing.

What are the pivotal choices that face each of us? Where do we face the choice of choosing to either embrace the world and its promises or embrace Christ? Some are obvious. Do we accept the world’s view that sex is just a part of dating, a way of getting to know someone better, or do we have faith that God knows what he’s talking about when we’re told it is reserved for marriage? Do we see how far we can “bend” the truth when it comes to our friends, our work, our tax returns; or are we above board and honest because we are confident that is what God honors? Do we seek the praise of people and the promise of popularity rather than the power of Jesus set free in a life dedicated to Him? Do we chose to be a party to the beauty parlor gossip or chose to speak only what is uplifting, beneficial and helpful? Do we go for the Great American Dream and leave God our leftovers—leftover energy, leftover time, leftover money? Or do we choose to spend our lives dedicated to the God’s Great Dream?

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