Lord God and Father,
open our eyes so we can see Your truth.
Open our ears so w can hear Your voice.
Open our mind so we can understand Your Word.
And open our heart so we may receive all that You want me to receive. AMEN
For the past two weeks, I have been speaking to you about being impact minded.
Remember, to impact something means to have an effect or to make an impression that would cause a change upon something. That change could be something that is positive or it could be something that is negative.
We have talked about the importance to multiply. We have talked about multiplication being more than making new Christians, it also includes discipling them as well.
Last week we discussed the need to be the salt and the light to the world. In being the salt and the light, I gave you five areas in which the church needs to focus on.
We need to focus on investing and inviting.
We need to focus on the Word of God and prayer.
We need to focus on meaningful relationships.
We need to focus on serving others.
We need to focus on praise and worship.
The fact is, PFC can make an impact in the Bismarck, Mandan, and Lincoln areas.
PFC can do the impossible in 2013, whatever that may be.
If we are focusing on these five ministry areas and if we are following the will of God, and if our eyes are on Him, we can be excited about what God is doing and what He is going to do.
If we are going to make an impact upon this area, in our neighborhoods, work places, and schools then we are going to need to buckle down and do it.
I say that because it is going to take commitment, dedication, sacrifice, and tenacity to get it done. It means that we are going to have to stop making excuses.
It seems all of us have all kinds of strong excuses not to do the things we ought to be doing.
Simply, the truth of the matter is... we all have Big Buts that get in the way of us consistently living a life that is sold-out for Jesus.
I know Joseph used this video a few months ago, but I am going to use it again.
I think you will all agree that it's time to "shrink the but" and start accomplishing great things for the Kingdom of God and for His glory.
SHOW VIDEO (Big But)
So basically today we are going to be talking about managing the buts so we can make an impact where we are.
If there was any one person in the Bible who came up with excuses not to do what God had called them to do it would have to be Moses.
He was saved from being killed as a toddler, raised in Pharaoh’s house, committed murder, ran away from Egypt, got married, had a family and then God called him to go back to Egypt to save the Israelites from slavery.
As many of us do, Moses had many excuses that he gave to God as to why he could not fulfill his calling to rescue the Israelites from slavery.
To be exact, Moses had five excuses that he used to not do what he was called to do.
Excuse 1 Moses said, “But I am not qualified.”
Moses is meeting with God at the burning bush and He tells Moses to go, God is sending him to bring the Israelites out of bondage.
Listen to Moses’ answer, But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” Exodus 3:11 NIV
This was no small task that God was asking Moses to do. He was asking Him to go back to Egypt, a place that Moses had not been for 40 years.
Moses didn’t feel he was qualified to do what God had called him to do. All Moses could see was his own unworthiness.
To God there is no good excuse for not fulfilling the call that God has put on our lives.
When God calls us we can say, “I’m not ready; I’m not worthy; I can’t do it, and so on. But listen, not of the excuses matter to God. When He gives us a calling in our lives, He already has a plan for us to fulfill that calling.
The only thing that holds us back is us.
Moses’ response to God was “Who am I?”
Who am I is about the worst excuse anyone could give to God.
Why? Because it is never I that will fulfill the calling. It is God.
God is calling us to make an impact and God is going to provide the means to fulfill that calling.
All we need to do is have faith in God and understand who we are.
We are His, we are His sons and daughters and He has qualified us to make an impact.
Excuse 2 Moses said, “But I don’t have the knowledge to do what you are asking me to do.”
God’s command to Moses, was for Moses to go talk to the Israelites and tell them what God said about them leaving Egypt. And Moses’ reply was, Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?” Exodus 3:13 NIV
This excuse tells us a lot about Moses and his frame of mind as he stands before God at the burning bush.
It tells us that Moses had not yet comprehended the fact that he was talking to the one true God.
When Moses was in Egypt, he was raised under their religions and they practiced polytheism which means they believed in many gods.
Most all of the gods of the Egyptians were man-made idols of stone or wood.
At the burning bush Moses comes to realize that he is in the presence of the Living God. The one true God, that is why God reveals to Moses His name, “14 God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” 15 God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.’” Exodus 3:14-15 NIV
God was explaining to Moses that He was the LORD GOD. The same name that Adam and Eve called God.
Moses needed to know this and God gave him the knowledge.
God always gives us the knowledge and the power to do what He asks us to do. Therefore by faith we do it.
Excuse 3 Moses said, “But I do not believe I can do it.”
Moses, once again doubts himself and his ability to fulfill his mission.
Moses answered, “What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ‘The LORD did not appear to you’?”
Exodus 4:1 NIV
Basically Moses is saying they are not going to believe me so I don’t believe in me.
Standing here, looking in from the outside, I say that makes sense. When God calls us to do the impossible, when He calls us to impact our world we might think the same thing. We might think that people won’t listen or they won’t believe.
Truth is some may not listen and some may not believe.
But what we have to understand and what Moses had to learn was this call was coming from God.
Moses was having a supernatural encounter with the LORD GOD at the burning bush
When we have a supernatural encounter with God we don’t need to make excuses and we don’t need to worry about what others think. If God has called us and we obey, we can do what He has called us to do.
Excuse 4 Moses said, “But I don’t have the right gifts for this mission.”
In thousands of churches all across America there are people who use this same excuse.
Last week I said, that there are people who attend this church who are not living up to their potential. What I meant by that is everyone of us have gifts and talents but if we are not using them to build God’s kingdom they are wasting away.
Moses said to the LORD, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.”
Exodus 4:10 NIV
Moses wasn’t lying when he used this excuse. But I love the Lord’s reply to Moses.
11 The LORD said to him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the LORD? 12 Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”
Exodus 4:11 NIV
When we are dealing with God the impossible becomes possible!
Our God is all powerful. There is nothing God cannot do and there is nothing God cannot use.
If God can use a burning bush or a donkey (Num. 22) then God can use you and me!
If God gives us a mission, and He has, then it can be done. All we have to do is use that which God has given us.
I cannot stress this enough, everyone has gifts and we are supposed to use them for the glory of God.
Excuse 5 Moses said, “But I don’t want to!”
But Moses said, “Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.” Exodus 4:13 NIV
When all is said and done any excuse is just a nice way of telling people no or is it?
Maybe an excuse is the way we deceive ourselves into not doing what we should do or a way to get us out of doing something we don’t want to do.
They are like the “get out of jail cards” on monopoly, a way to avoid something that might be unpleasant or might cost us some time or some money.
Moses was done with excuses and showed the real state of his heart. He would rather have God send someone else.
His problem wasn’t really a lack of ability; it was a lack of willingness.
Benjamin Franklin said, “It’s common for men to give pretended reasons instead of one real one.”
So the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses.
God was not angry when Moses with Moses’ first but, nor was He angry with the second, third, or fourth but.
God was angry when Moses was just plain unwilling.
There may be a hundred understandable reasons why Moses was unwilling, some of them might even make a lot of sense.
Perhaps Moses really wanted to serve, but was unwilling because of past rejection. Nevertheless, the basic truth was that Moses was unwilling, not unable.
And it is not much different today.
Today it might cost us too much time or too much money or it might cost us in our reputation or it might cost us in our popularity.
This one is really simple, are we willing to serve the Lord or not? Are we willing to stop making excuses and do what He has called us to do?
God has given us everything we need to do everything He has called us to do. We are promised this by the words of Paul.
I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency]. Philippians 4:13 AMP
He is our sufficiency and there is nothing that we cannot do when we focus our eyes on Him and stop making excuses and fulfill God’s will and build His kingdom.
4 Such confidence we have through Christ before God. 5 Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. 6 He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. 2 Corinthians 3:4-6 NIV
We need to be more confident in the fact that God is always going to give us what we need to get the job done.
He gave us Jesus, who came and lived and died and rose again. He gave us Jesus and Jesus gave us new life and a new covenant and the promise of eternal life. And with that life and covenant Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit who is the power we need to get the job done.
If we have given our hearts to God through Jesus Christ, there is no excuse. We have been given everything we need to make an impact.
All we have to do is step out in faith and do it.
Have you given your heart to God through Jesus Christ? Have you accepted Him as your lord and savior and accepted His forgiveness of sins?
If the answer is yes, then make an impact for the Kingdom of God.
If the answer is no, then give Him your heart and join those who have in making a positive impact on our world.