Summary: There are times when the waiting must end, and we must move forward on what God has spoken to us, this sermon helps in those times when it is time to move out and move forward.
Move out and Move Forward
Probably one of the most humiliating experiences of my life was failing seventh grade. There were all my friends I started school with moving on to the eigth grade and here I was staying in the seventh grade with a whole bunch of kids I didn’t know.
There is something about being held back that eats at us. It just takes something out of us. As a child, it is being kept in “time out” in your room while your friends are outside playing. As a teenager it is your parents saying that you are not ready to get your license while all your other friends have their license.
Or, it is your parents saying that you are not ready to single date yet while all your friends are single dating. As an adult, it is not getting that promotion at work that we knew we were ready for but our boss didn’t.
At church, it is not being asked to be a deacon when you feel in your heart that you would make a good deacon. We all have experienced the disappointment of being held back, detained, overlooked and not being seriously considered.
In our passage this morning, the Israelites have taken an 11 day journey from Egypt to the Promised Land and it turned it into a 40 year experience in the desert. They had been held back and detained by God Himself. But one day, God said you have stayed long enough at this mountain. It is time to move out and move forward.
And what we want to learn today is how to know when you stayed at the mountain long enough and it is time to move out and move forward. Some of us here may be stuck in some rut and it is now time to move out and move forward.
Read Scriptures: Deut. 1:1-8
I. It is time to move out and move forward when we are using our failures as an excuse for not trying again.
Deut. 1:2-3 “It takes eleven days to go from Horeb to Kadesh Barnea by the Mount Seir road. In the fortieth year, on the first day of the eleventh month, Moses proclaimed to the Israelites all that the Lord had commanded him concerning them.”
You talk about failure. Taking an 11 day journey and turning it into a 40 year desert experience is failure.
It would have been so easy for the Israelites to say, “We haven’t made it into the Promised Land these past 40 years so why try now.” In fact, they found a place they could be comfortable near Mount Horeb and so it would be easy to settle in and stay and not move forward. Isn’t that interesting how we can find ourselves comfortable even in our failures?
Some of us in this room may have this exact problem. Our life has not turned out like we wanted and we just given up and settled for what we got. God is telling the Israelites and He is telling you and me this morning to get up and move forward.
Don’t settle for not having the marriage you want, work at moving forward in your marriage. Don’t settle for the job you can not stand, get up and move forward. Don’t settle for the education you received, if your goal was to finish college. Don’t settle for being a mediocre Christian when God’s goal for you is to be the best Christian you can be. God is telling you to move out and move forward.
What area in your life do you need to move out and move forward?
II. It is time to move out and move forward when I know I have come too far to be stopped now.
Deut. 1:1 “These are the words Moses spoke to all Israel in the desert east of the Jordan--that is, in the Arabah--opposite Suph, between Paran and Tophel, Laban, Hazeroth and Dizahab.”
When Moses is giving this speech to the Israelites all that separates them from the Promise Land is the Jordan River. Moses knew that they had come too far to be stopped now.
There are some people who make to near the finish line but never make it across the finish line. They give up just a little too soon.
Sometimes what carries you across the finish line is the determination that I am going to finish what I start.
The Christian life is at best a struggle. And probably many times we have said that I don’t know why I keep trying. It would be so much easier to give up and live like my neighbors. But I know one bright and shinning morning, I am going to wake up on the other side of eternity and God is going to tell me, good and faithful servant you have finished the race and that will mean everything to me.