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Summary: This sermon is one in a series dealing with the need for congregational maturing. Aimed at men specifically and gifting as a means of war.

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Greater Friendship Missionary Baptist Church

February 2, 2003

With Raised Hands

Exo 17:5 The LORD answered Moses, "Walk on ahead of the people. Take with you some of the elders of Israel and take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go.

Exo 17:6 I will stand there before you by the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it for the people to drink." So Moses did this in the sight of the elders of Israel.

Exo 17:7 And he called the place Massah and Meribah because the Israelites quarreled and because they tested the LORD saying, "Is the LORD among us or not?"

Exo 17:8 The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim.

Exo 17:9 Moses said to Joshua, "Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands."

Exo 17:10 So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill.

Exo 17:11 As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning.

Exo 17:12 When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up--one on one side, one on the other--so that his hands remained steady till sunset.

Exo 17:13 So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.

Exo 17:14 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered and make sure that Joshua hears it, because I will completely blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven."

Exo 17:15 Moses built an altar and called it The LORD is my Banner.

Exo 17:16 He said, "For hands were lifted up to the throne of the LORD. The LORD will be at war against the Amalekites from generation to generation."

Last week while walking in the mall I came across Rev. and Sis Manuel. They were having one of those rare Saturday strolls young couples without children take, and they looked so happy. Holding hands.

Our babies and young folk are the church of today. We are the church of yesterday. Why? Because your and my relationship with the Lord is already molded and shaped into what it is going to be, by and large. For most of us there are few revelations left and few surprises and for a few of us we are just sort of hanging around the train station until time to board the last train out. And while there is a great deal to do we don’t have a lot of time left to do it.

Sister Manuel commented that since joining our family she has been able to look back and see church growth. And while a number of milestones have been reached, we have not reached a destination. She said that was ok because the church is better off for the journey.

Often times you have heard me say that God is not interested in your good ideas, or you doing something nice in His name. He is interested in you being obedient. But there are loads of folk who will continue to do what they think is nice to do for God. When you dial 911 you need help now. You need the police or fire department right now. The fact that one or the other comes to your door an hour later with fresh cookies just doesn’t cut it. God is saying move and we are saying wait Lord the cookies are almost done. The result is no matter how plain the vision God gives some people will ignore it and start to bake cookies. That’s why the Word is clear that everyone is not going to make this journey. More importantly, everybody can’t go. But to those who make the journey God promises something.

Exo 17:5 “The LORD answered Moses, "Walk on ahead of the people. Take with you some of the elders of Israel and take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go.”

God just spoke to somebody through this passage of scripture. Something inside bore witness and you just knew God was speaking to you. And I also know this Word is going to hurt and/or confuse some other folk. Lets talk about this passage for a moment.

As a leader my responsibilities dictate that I wear many hats and assume many roles. Sometimes responsibilities require that I physically get behind whatever God has ordained and I help push. Sometimes the vision requires me to hit the sidelines and cheer folk and encourage them. Sometimes it requires me to wait on the Lord until I hear from Him regarding our next move. But, Contrary to popular belief, it is rare that my responsibilities put me out in front of the church to lead. Somebody wants to know why? Simple, because that is God’s place. Hear me well. And on the rare occasion that I am instructed to go out front I do so believing that God has my back.

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