Summary: The life of Moses gives clear examples of how to move forward under God’s guidance.
August 24, 2003
Text: Exodus 33:12-23
Subject: God’s Presence
Title: Where Do We Go From Here
There is an old saying that says those who don’t know where they are going are sure to get there. There is a great amount of truth in that statement. As believers especially, there must be a goal or a plan in our lives. That is why we have the bible. It gives us guidelines by which we are to live our lives. There are certain areas of our Christian walk that are totally directed by the commandments in the Bible. The great Commission is one of those. We are told to go and preach the gospel. The Bible also tells us to love one another. It is not a suggestion. It is a command. So there are some things we do because we can know without a doubt that we must.
On the other hand, we are sheep. Sheep follow the gentle voice of the Great Shepherd. The Psalmist said that the Lord is my Shepherd. He gives me everything I need. He feeds me. He leads me. He shows me what is right and what is wrong. He comforts me. All that is required is that we be followers and allow Him to be the Leader.
A young woman wanted to go to college, but as she read the application her heart sank. One question asked, “Are you a leader?” Being the honest sort, she answered “no.”. Several weeks later she received a letter form the university that read, “Upon receiving 1340 applications from students to attend this university and seeing that 1339 of them are leaders, we find it only proper to accept at least one student who is a follower so they will have someone to lead.”
This church is a following church. My hope is that you are following with me. I am not following the Assemblies of God or the Northern Missouri District or what Tabernacle of Praise is doing. But my purpose here is to follow wherever God leads us.
From my perspective, I have seen good movement recently in the direction this church is taking. As you grow spiritually, it is only proper to expect to grow numerically as well. It is going to happen. In the meantime we will continue to seek God to find out “where do we go from here?’ In this process, there are three things we really need to do before we go anywhere. (1) We need to hear from God. (2) We must wait on God. (3) We have to have an experience with God. Our scripture today shows us how Moses followed these three steps before he was willing to go anywhere. Where do we go from here?
I. Before we go anywhere, we must hear from God. (12-14)
A. God will show us what work to do. In verse 12 Moses said, “You say to me, ‘Bring up this people.’” God gave Moses a specific work to do. We all have our own ideas about what it takes to make a church successful. We are ready to go to work. I used to be one of those people who would get a vision and then hit the ground running. I just couldn’t wait to implement the plans I had. Often, I got ahead of God. You see, when God calls you to do a specific work He will give you details. Nobody understood this better than the apostle Paul. In Galatians 1:15-16 he wrote, “But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me into His grace, to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles …”When the Lord called Paul, He gave him a specific work to do – not just to preach, but “To preach among the Gentiles…” Once God has shown you the specifics, He will get even more specific. In Acts chapter 8, Philip had left Jerusalem and began preaching in Samaria. Look what began to happen. 8:6-8, “And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many who were possessed; and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed. And there was great joy in that city.” Philip was in the will of God. He was right where he was supposed to be. He listened to specifics and cast out demons and healed the lame. Now watch what happens after Philip had preached to a city. Verse 26, “Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, “Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” If we wait to hear from the Lord He will gives us detailed instructions on how to minister to this town. Now, back to Moses – God had called Moses to bring the people out of Egypt. He had mad a covenant with them. They were His people and they were to Worship Him and Him alone. God gives Moses detailed plans for the wilderness tabernacle and for worship. One step at a time. Why is that? First, if He showed us the big picture it would overwhelm us so much we would run away (i.e. Jonah). Second, if He showed us we wouldn’t understand it anyhow. Third, He reveals to us His plan for our lives and purpose, as we need to see it. He asks in verse 13, “Show me now Your way, that I may know you and that I may find grace in Your sight.”