Standalone 2022Pastor Dave Edwards - June 26, 2022
Community Group Study Notes
Have someone in your group give a brief recap of Sunday’s message, highlighting the primary Scripture passages and main idea of the message.
Moses carried a rod for 40 years – he never imagined God had a special purpose for it. What are the strengths and successes you need to dedicate to the Lord?
Why is it so difficult to give God the good things in our life?
Why is it so important to give God ownership of our life?
Leprosy is an Old Testament picture of inner compromise. It represents the things we need to clean out of our life. What issues do you struggle with letting go?
Why is a clean heart so important to God?
Why is having a teachable spirit so crucial to moving forward? What is God teaching you right now?
This week, set aside an extended time for reflection. Begin by reading Read Psalm 51 or Psalm 139 a few times. As you read, pray the Psalm as your own. Ask God to cleanse your heart and to know your heart, and to cultivate in you a teachable spirit. Reflect on what God is asking you to let go of, and on what next step He is asking you to take. Share your reflection with wise counsel and seek accountability in these next steps.
Eight Days of Hope is serving the Fillmore neighborhood of Buffalo from July 16th-23rd. Consider serving individually, with your family, or with your Community Group! This week, make the commitment to register for a day of service with Eight Days of Hope. Register at https://eightdaysofhope.com.
What a beautiful time of worship together. That song still just eats my lunch every time I hear it. One word from you. Things change on your authority. Whoo! Sorry, Dave. Getting on me.
- Spike a hymnal.
- So he said, "It makes me wanna spike a hymnal." So this is my buddy, Dave Edwards. Dave's been with us many times here at The Chapel. He's a good friend. One of the things that I appreciate, I was actually singing over here and feeling a little emotional because I've known him for a very long time. We've known each other for a long time. We've both had friends who've been in ministry who aren't in ministry anymore. There have been stumbling blocks and hindrances and all that kind of stuff. So when I've got buddies who've been at it for a long time, over 30 years, just like I have been. Now, this summer will be 30 years. That's a lot. And that faithfulness, I'm really, really appreciative of, and having friends like that. Dave's one of those guys of all the people that I know, and I know a lot of people, I know a lot of people, and it's true, isn't it? I know a lot of people.
- It's true. You know a lot of people.
- And of all the people that I know, this guy has spoken to more people face to face than any person that I know. He has spoken all over the country. He just trained pastors in Pakistan over Zoom this past weekend. He's been doing this for a long time. He's now one of the Discipleship Pastors and Teaching Pastors at a church called The Church Project in the Houston area, North Houston area, the Woodlands area, but is also still going out and speaking and still doing his ministry that way. So we're really glad to have him back here. He feels like he's at home when he's at The Chapel. So would you give a big Chapel welcome to my buddy, Dave Edwards?
- Thanks, buddy.
- Thanks. All right. Good morning, Church.
- [Congregation] Morning!
- It is so good to be back. It's been about five years since I've been here, and so I'm so glad to get to be back. I told your pastor, in a lot of ways, I feel like an adjunct family member and so I feel at home. Thank you for just all the years of great ministry. And I've enjoyed doing life with you and I'm humbled to stand here because you got a great pastor. He's an incredible preacher, an incredible teacher. Would you just take a minute and give Pastor Jerry a round of applause? Let him know that you love him. So I'm humbled to be in this spot. I'm also excited to be here because I'm gonna read a text today that I personally, I love this text. And when I met with all the pastors and we prayed about what was gonna happen today, this is the thing that came up in my heart is I really wanted to read this story because it applies to all of us, especially in a certain area. God always uses people. When you look out through history and the way God has demonstrated Himself, starting from the very beginning, all the way forward up to now, God always uses people. And more specifically, He always uses people that are in motion in some way, that their lives are moving forward. And it may not always be pretty, it may not always be perfect, but He comes to people who are in motion. But you know as well as I do, there are moments, there are seasons in our life in which we just get stuck. There are moments where, for whatever reason, we get stuck in a place, stuck in a mindset, stuck in a pattern, stuck in a habit, stuck in some way of thinking. And then God then comes along and gives us traction to kick up out of that stuckness. I don't know if that's really a word. But to kick out of what we're stuck in to help us move forward. And moving forward is not always pretty. I have to say I've spent most of this last couple days being in motion, getting here. Just getting here from a lift to the airplane and to, you know? And so I obviously in 30 years of speaking, I've had a lot of different travel experiences and a lot of my struggles have been in relation to just staying in motion and getting to where I'm supposed to be. I spoke at a church outside of Washington DC years ago, and I flew in and I was late. Of course I was. Everything's delayed. And I landed late, and when I land the event started. So they're on the phone going, "We started the event. "Where are ya?" So I'm getting off the plane and I'm headed to get my bags, I'm headed to the rent-a-car. And so I'm hustling through Washington Dulles to get all that stuff together. I get my rent-a-car. I get in the car, they're on the phone, they're going, "Okay, we're on this number song "and we have this many minutes left." And I'm leaving the airport and so, I'm praying for what televangelists call driving favor. And you know what I'm saying? And so I just, "Give me favor and help me get there, God." And I thought if I get pulled over, I'm just gonna say something spiritual like, "The Lord has need of me," or something like that. And something like that, I don't know. And so, I'm driving and I'm praying and I obeyed the speed limit mostly. And I went through the lights that were mostly yellow. And there might be a split decision on some of that, mostly yellow. But I'm driving and praying. I'm like, "Please don't let me get pulled over. "I know I shouldn't do this, but I have to go." And you know? And intersection after intersection, I didn't see one patrol car. And I thought, "Well, maybe God's put a cloak of invisibility over me "and no one can see me." And I don't know what's going on. And so I keep driving and the event's calling. They're like, "The band's on their second to last song." And I'm weaving in and out of traffic and trying to get there. And from the airport all the way up to the church, I made it! I made it on time and I got there just as the band was finishing the last chorus of the last song before I went up. And like a relay runner, I walk in and they placed the microphone in my hand like a baton, like they're, "You're up," right? And I run up on the stage and I, whew, I just made it. And I made it without getting pulled over and without getting caught. I was like, "Well, that's amazing. "It just has to be, God got me here." You know? So the event went great and I finished, and I drive back the next day, all the way back to the airport, no patrol cars. And I was like, "Maybe it's the route I'm taking." Maybe. I don't know. And so I get back on the plane, I go onto my next deal. And what I didn't realize was that when you go to DC, the reason why you don't see a lot of patrol cars at intersections is because that all the intersections... They have cameras, kids. That's right. They have cameras. And they have cameras. So a couple weeks goes by and I get a ticket in the mail. I get a ticket from the DC police department! And I open it up and it's a picture of me speeding. Like, not just my lights, but I'm in the shot. Like... It's a black and white picture and there I am all panicky and frantic. License plate, there's no doubt that it's me. I have to say I've been stopped before. I'm trying to be a good citizen. It gets the best of me sometimes, but I've never had someone send me a picture of me speeding. I pull it out of the envelope and there I am speeding. And think about what I'm saying. They sent me a picture of me speeding. So I just sent them back a picture of money. And I was like, "There it is." And they sent me a picture of handcuffs and I was like, "Okay, you win." So my point is this, is that moving forward is not always perfect and it's not always pretty. But at least we're in motion, right? And this is the heart of God is that we would find the traction for what we've been stuck in to kick up out of that place and to get our life in motion. A lot of people go, "Hey, I wanna serve, "but I don't know if I can. "I wanna be more involved. "I'd like to be involved in a small group. "I wanna be involved in some of the ministries, "but I'm not sure I'm ready. "I don't know if I'm good enough. "I don't know if I'm qualified." And there's a lot of things that can keep people stuck in their spiritual life with the Lord. And so this is why this text matters. It's because we pick up the story of a guy who had kind of comfortably gotten stuck. We have the life story of a guy named Moses. Moses grew up in the ultimate gated community. He grew up in Egypt. He was educated in the greatest arenas of education in that day, right? And so while Moses is in Egypt, he sees an Egyptian, who were the bad people, beating an Israelite, who were God's people, and he snaps, he flips out. He kills this Egyptian, he buries him in the sand. He runs off to Midian, which is a little town on the backside of a mountain, and he becomes a shepherd. He gets married, he raises some kids. He goes to work for his father-in-law herding sheep. And Moses will spend the next 40 years of his life in this little town called Midian. And Midian is a place that represents what it's like to be stuck, what it's like to get in a comfort zone and just like it too much to really wanna leave. And as the years pass, things begin to die off in Moses, his dreams, the hope for the future. He just kinda settled for what he had. He was like, "I've got the herd. It's not mine. "It's my father-in-law's, but at least I got a job. "And I got a family and I'm comfortable here. "And maybe my past won't catch up with me." But God knew where Moses was. And God comes to Moses and engages him in Midian and says, "Moses, now I'm gonna send you back to Egypt "and you're gonna say to my people, 'Let my people go.'" And now all of the voices of the things that had kept Moses stuck for so long began to speak back to God and Moses begins to go, "What if I can't do it? "What if I mess it up? "What if they don't believe me? "Oh, well, God, what if I go and I let you down and I fail?" It's the voice of being stuck that begins to rise up inside of Moses. And God's not thrown off by it. It's interesting. We get to Exodus 4, we'll read in a minute, God doesn't lecture him. He doesn't talk down to him. He doesn't preach him a sermon. He doesn't tell him about, "Oh, you're a good guy. "You can do this." You know what God does? God's an educator. I wanted to do this text today because the educators in the house, because what God does in Exodus 4 is that He gives Moses a series of object lessons. For any educator that's ever had to use an object lesson to teach a concept, this is what God is doing with Moses. He's taking him back to school and he's gonna educate him on how to move from Midian into the next assignment of his life. This also story is also a story of graduation because it represents Moses leaving one stage of his life and enter into the next. And for every senior who's carved out a Midian of high school and is comfortable with your friends and comfortable with your surroundings, and now God is about to send you out, you need these three things to know how to make that transition. For every college student that is about to graduate into the work world, you need these three things to make this transition so that we don't go, "Ah, I'd rather stay here. "I'm happier here. It's safer here. "I understand Midian. "I understand the streets and the places and the typography. "I wanna stay here." And yet God always uses people that are in motion, and so He calls us to move forward. I came this morning to tell you that you were made to move forward. You were made to move forward with God. And so in this text, God uses three objects. All right, so I'm just gonna put 'em up here so you see it. So He uses the staff. Right? He uses the hand of Moses. And He uses a pitcher of water. These three objects that are found in Exodus 4, all have attached to 'em a principle to help us move forward. So for everyone who said, "I don't know a lot about the Bible." Today is not overly doctrinal, it's not overly theological, it's extremely practical because these three things all contain an action that each of us can do. And with each action, as we do it, it helps us to move forward. You see it? So here we go. Let's read it. Let's start here in verse one, all right? Now, watch this. Ready? Then Moses said, "What if they won't believe me?" Right? Look at this. What if? You see it? What if they won't believe me? For they may say- For they may say, right? You see this doubt? You see the voices of him being stuck? It's easier, it's safer, it's better to stay here. What if they say they don't believe me? What if it doesn't work? You see it? Now watch this. What if they won't believe me or listen to what I have to say? For they may say, "The Lord has not appeared to you." Look at the next verse. Watch this. Look at this. And the Lord said to him, "What is that in your hand?" And he said, "A staff." I'm sure Moses was like, "You know you're God, "you're all-knowing. "You should have gotten that one." Pretty easy to figure it out, right? But He says, "What is that in your hand?" He said, "It's a staff." Then God said to him, "Throw it on the ground." Right? Not to throw it away, but to throw it on the ground. Now look. Now look at this. So he threw it on the ground. Now watch this. Look at this. He threw it on the ground and it became a serpent, and Moses fled from it. And really, who wouldn't? If you dropped anything on the ground and it turns into a snake, where are you gonna be? I'd be in the other room with the door locked. Unless of course you're a middle schooler, then you get really close to it and try to blow it up with an M80. But personal testimony time later, all right? So... And Moses fled from it. But the Lord said to him- But the Lord said to Moses, look at this, "Reach out your hand and grasp it by the tail." This is important in just a minute. This word tail right there is gonna be important. Here's choice number one. Choice number one, handle your power with care. Moses was a shepherd. He made his living with that staff. That staff wasn't a fashion necessary, that wasn't just some stick he found on the side of the road and went, "Look, it goes with my toga. "I'll need it when they do "Old Testament oil paintings of me," right? This wasn't just some sort of add-on. The staff for a shepherd was the thing that he used to herd the flock and to fight off foxes. The staff for the shepherd, for Moses, was the thing that he used to provide food and shelter and income for himself and his wife and his family. Wrapped up in that staff was the success of Moses. And for anybody, including God, to ever say to a shepherd, "Throw your staff down," was a big stinking deal. Because Moses wasn't just tossing his stick on the side of the road to see what would happen. In that one action, when Moses laid that staff down in front of God, he was symbolically letting go of his success, of his strengths, of his hope, of his dreams, of his ability to provide. The staff was the very thing that he leaned on for his life. And now God has said, "I want you to take the thing that you love "and the thing that you lean on, "and I want you to throw it down." For 40 years, it had never occurred to Moses that there was anything significant about that staff or that it contained anything worthwhile. It was something that he used just to make it through the day and provide for his family, but beyond that, he didn't see the purpose in it. And in the success of our life, there is a greater purpose. In the strengths and the talents of our life, there is a greater purpose than just our own consumption. And yet Moses had to throw it down in order to see it. Let me tell you why this matters to Moses. Ready? It's through that staff that the plagues are gonna be issued against the House of Pharaoh. It's through that staff that when all of Israel runs up against the Red Sea and they see no way out, that God is gonna tell Moses to take his hands, with his staff in his hand, and to stretch it out. It's through that staff that the Red Seas were gonna be parted wide enough for a million plus people to walk across on dry ground. But for that to happen, God had to own the man and all that his life contained. Because for God to use something, He must first own it. And what we're witnessing in Exodus 4 is a transfer of ownership. He lays it down. He says, "This is my staff. "It's what I use to provide and make my living with." And God says, "I want you to throw it down. "I want you to place it before me." This is so powerful. And so, if you go back here and you look at what this says. Verse three, verse two, look at it. Then the Lord said to him, "What is that in your hand?" He said, "A staff." Now Moses throws it down. He picks it back up and look over here at verse 21. Look what it says about the staff. Look at this. This is amazing. Moses also took with him, look at this, the staff of God. In verse two, it was his staff. He throws it down, he picks it back up, and now it's become the staff of God. God is inhabited his purpose. You see it? This is such a powerful thing. For God to use something, He must first own it. For God to use a life, He must first own it. This is why every time you come to church, and every time you sit in small group, someone talks about giving their life to Christ. The point of the video this morning is knowing you're one and sharing the gospel with him is because knowing Christ is about transfer of ownership. For someone to become a Christian means that they say, "God, I recognize that you are the Lord, "not only over the world, but over my life. "And so I surrender my life, the contents of my life, "the will of my life. "I surrender it to be led by you." The way salvation happens is that there's a transfer of ownership. Maybe we got believers in the house that you've been Christian for a long, long time, but it's easy to take the success of our life for granted and just assume that it's there for our own pleasure. And maybe there needs to be a moment. Maybe we got stuck because we just started to kind of, we forgot that God's the owner of all of it. Maybe there needs to be a moment in which we just say, "God, I want you. I wanna give you my work. "I wanna give you my income. "I wanna lay down before you my talent, "my opportunities, my ability. "I just want you to know that I know that it's not mine." Because nothing will help you get unstuck like recognizing God's greater purpose for the details of your life. Powerful thing. And as far as I know, the church is the only place that's teaching this idea that our life is not our own, that we've been made for a bigger purpose. I told you, I fly a lot and I'm six, four. I don't really fit in coach. I can get in it. I can get in the seats, but I have to fold myself up to get in it. I look like a Shriner driving a clown car. Right? It's a crazy look. And so, I remember I was on this flight and I was in this seat and there was a guy who sat in front of me, whose main goal in life was to turn his seat into a Serta perfect sleeper. I don't know what was happening. I don't know why people feel like they need to recline their seat for a 30 minute flight. I mean, we're just gonna go like this. And this guy is trying to achieve maximum comfort. So if you haven't flown, they have a little button on the armrest that reclines the seat, and this guy's mashing on the button and banging into the seat and mashing on the button and banging into the seat. And every time he did, pain would just shoot through my body. The seat would jam into my knees and pain would shoot through my body. And he turned around and said to me, "Would you please let me lean my seat back?" I said, "I'm not stopping you. "It's just that I'm tall and I can't become smaller." He turns around angry, like, "Ah!" Angry, like . Angry! 30 seconds goes by, he starts it again. After 30 seconds like I'm gonna go, "I'll just take my kneecaps off and you come on back. "That'll be fine. Just go." He starts it again. Mash on the button and banging in the seat, mash on the button and banging in the seat. He turns around and says to me, "It's my right to lean my seat back." I went, "Not when I have to dislocate my hips to do it." So he gets up and he goes away. So I think, "Well, he's just moved to another part of the plane." Few minutes goes by, he comes back with a flight attendant. Yes. Comes back with a flight attendant. Points at me and goes, "There he is. "That's the one right there." I'm in my seat. I'm crammed up like this. I got my old diet Coke in my hand. I'm like, "Hello. Hi." And the flight attendant looks at me and turns to this man and goes, "Sir, you need to sit down. "You need to calm down." And I go, "See?" I'll never forget the guy turning around saying to me, "It's my right to lean my seat back." This is the way our culture thinks. "Hey, it's my money, my right, my weekend, my right. "Hey, they're my friends, my right. "Hey, it's my opportunity, "it's my right to do what I wanna do. "I can do whatever I wanna do." And we lose sight of the fact that there is a greater Creator, that there is one who gave us those things. This is why when Paul writes, he says, "Do you not remember that you've been bought with a price?" So each one of us has to have a moment in which we deal with the strengths and the successes of our life and say, "God, I want you to know that I know "it's not mine to do whatever I wanna do with it. "I lay it before you." Moses drops that stick on the ground, it becomes a serpent. The lesson is, men, if we misuse our success, there's a serpent in it. It'll turn on you. And God tells him to grab it by the tail, right? The most dangerous place to grab a snake is by the tail. I'm sure Moses is like, "I'll do it, but just tell my family I said, 'Goodbye.'" Right? I mean, that's all. I mean, and let me tell you why this is so important. Because God is teaching Moses to pick up the things from a different perspective. When he picks it up by the tail, all the sudden he has authority over that staff. Moses is now not just herding sheep with that staff, he's been given authority to lead with it. And instead of hanging onto the head of the serpent, which is what the world does, is grab for the head of the serpent to be led by the idea of the culture, he turns that staff upside down and crushes the head of the serpent and lives with a new authority in his life. That's the power of surrendering the successes of our life. I've heard a lot of sermons about surrendering the sin in our life and the struggles of our life. What about the strengths and the things that we love and the places that we go and the things that we have, to say, "God, I want you to know these are yours." So God says, "As I send you, "remember graduates to handle your power with care." Not only that, but number two. So sign number two, he then uses the hand of Moses. Now look at this. Ready? Now watch this. Look at this. And the Lord furthermore said to him- Now look at this. Said to him, "Now put your hand inside the fold of your robe." So over your heart. You got it? Right? Over the fold of your robe. So then he put his hand inside and when he took it out, behold, look at this, right? Watch it. Behold, it was leprous like snow. Leprosy was nasty, right? Leprosy was incurable. It was contagious. The way it worked is that it started in a place on the flesh, and as it spread, it would create numbness and it was followed by death. But leprosy is an Old Testament picture for the way corruption and sin works in our life. That it starts in an area and if we don't deal with it, it spreads, it creates numbness towards the things of God. And over time, eventually something dies off. And so here's God and Moses speaking and Moses takes his hand and he puts it over his heart and he pulls his hand out and it's covered with leprosy. I'm sure he's thinking, "How is this gonna help me with Pharaoh? "Do I just go into his court and fling my hand at him "and make everyone go, 'Ew, gross?'" Right? And the next verse, he takes his hand, he puts it back over his heart, he pulls it back out and it's clean again. What does that mean? What does that mean to you and I? Point number two, hate private corruption. The hand represents the task that Moses has been called to. The heart represents his inner life. This is God's way of teaching Moses, and you and I, that whatever lives in our heart will leak its way into the rest of our life. That no matter how cool or connected we are, how clever we might be, whatever lives inside of here eventually will leak its way out into the rest of our life. You see it? And so he says to Moses, "Moses, you gotta hate it enough to do." I know when you put this point on the screen, that word hate seems so intolerant. And it seems you're like, "Couldn't you use a softer word for that?" And I'm not sure I could, but he's asking Moses to hate it at a depth that he'd do something about it. For instance, let me see if I can illustrate it for you. By show of hands, how many of you guys, how many of y'all have pet peeves? How many of y'all have something that ticks you off, just by show of hands? Just raise your hands way up. Married people point at each other. Not good. And some of you are like, you've been married long enough that everything's a pet peeve. You're like, "I just hate the way they breathe in and out." And that is, sorry, too bitter for this early in the morning. Sorry. And so we all have pet peeves. We all have things that drive us crazy. Do we have anybody that has driving pet peeves? Anybody? Yes. When you get behind someone who drives with their blinker on for 40 miles an hour for no apparent reason. I can't take it. I don't even- I can't. I don't have any patience for that. I asked this question, who has a pet peeve, a couple weeks ago, and there's a lady in the front row and she said, "I hate people who lie." And I thought she said, "I hate people who fly." I was like, "That's gotta be tough to live with. "Every time a plane passes over, she's like, "'I just hate those people.'" Just indiscriminate free-floating anger towards random aircraft, you know? And so since we're bonding, let me tell you one of my pet peeves. If I'm not behind Serta perfect sleeper person, I hate it when I get behind some kid who wants to play peekaboo with me. The peekaboo on the plane, no, I can't take it. I personally have no margin for that. I'm just, I'm out of grace. You know? And they're popping over the seat and I'm acting surprised. If I'm on a two hour flight, we're rolling into that second hour and I'm running out of ways to reference expressions of surprise. I just wanna grab that kid and go, "Listen, it's always gonna be me. "Sit down." I can't take it. We all got stuff that ticks us off. Some of us are neat freaks. Something that gets out of place that sets you off. Some of us have eating pet peeves like people that eat with their mouths open. We all got stuff that drives us crazy. And for most of us, our pet peeves, we're so passionate about it that we don't want it around. Like, don't act that way at the table. If people drive like that, I'm gonna press on the gas and I'm gonna get as far away as I can from them. Right? We police our pet peeves to the point that they never get anywhere near us because they tick us off. Now, let me ask you a question. Can you imagine how different our life would be, our experience with God would be, if we were as passionate about dealing with the contents of our heart as we are our pet peeves? That if we kept a close watch over our heart the same way we police our pet peeves? And what this text is asking us to do is to consider the things that we're letting live in our heart, to say, "God, I've let my expectations live inside of me. "I feel frustrated most of the time. "God, I feel afraid. I'm afraid of the future. "I'm afraid of what's next. "I feel anxiety. "I got this anxiety about some situation "that I can't seem to get out of. "I'm struggling with depression. "God, I've got these things living inside of me "and I've just let them live there for so long, "I didn't know what to do." How long has it been, Church, since you just said, "God, fall fresh on me? "I've let these things live inside of me. "I've carried these things for too long. "I need you to give a clean heart and a clean mind. "Fall fresh on me." That's what He was asking of Moses to say, "Whatever lives in here will find its way out here." And if we say, "God, I believe that you sent Jesus "to die on the cross for me, "that you died for all my sins, "that you took my place with all my sins "and scars and secrets and struggles, "and all the things that live inside of me. "God, I'm asking the forgiveness that you won on the cross "to make it real in me. "Fall fresh on me." It's interesting that when David writes in Psalms 24, he talks about getting into the presence of God. And he says, "God, who gets into your presence?" And the answer is, look what it says. He who has clean hands. Look at it. Clean hands and a pure heart. Because what lives in here will find its way out here and they always go together. And so God says to Moses, "Moses, I know you don't know what's going on in Egypt "all the way. "I know we can't predict the future "and know what's happening." But He says, "As you move forward to get traction, "handle what I've given you with care. "Hate the private corruption enough in your life "to do something about it." And then finally, number three, to honor God's personal counsel. Look what He does, right? Look what God does with Moses. So you see how He's using these objects? And with every object, there's a lesson, right? With every object, there is a truth for us to live out. That we handle what we've been given with care, right? That we hate private corruption enough to deal with it. Because sin can't live in a heart where confession dwells, right? Where we're saying, "God, I wanna keep a short sin list. "I wanna keep my heart clean towards you. "I don't wanna let things stack up. "I don't wanna let months and years go by. "So God fall fresh on me and wash over me." And maybe this morning, there's some of us just need to ask for the cleansing power of God to clean us out and to start fresh with Him. And then God goes on to teach Moses about these next two signs. Look what it says. If they will not believe you or heed the witness of the first sign, that they may believe that was the last sign, but if they will not believe even these two signs or heed what you say, then you shall take some water from the Nile and pour it on dry ground and the water which you take from the Nile will become blood on dry ground. Now, let me show you why this is important. Look what this says. If you go back here to verse eight, look what it says. Look how he qualifies this. Look. If. You see it? If they will not believe you, of the witness of the first sign, that they may believe what is the last sign. Then He says, "Then." Right? Then if you go to the next thing. He says, "Then you shall take some water." You see it? Look at it. But if they won't believe even these, if they wanna believe in these, or pay attention what you say, then look at it. See right here? See what God's doing is He's qualifying these signs. He's telling Moses the circumstances under which this sign is gonna work. He says, "If they don't believe this, then you shall take. "If they reject these first two signs, "then you shall take some water." The water from the Nile, the Nile for the Egyptians, was a thing of worship. The water was their life source. It was the thing in which they turned to it. It irrigated their soil. So God is saying to Moses, "At the right time, "you're gonna take a pitcher of water "from the thing that the Egyptians worship, "and you're gonna pour it on dry ground "and it will become clear to the Egyptians "the path at which they walk is covered in blood, "that it's a dead end." "It'll become clear," God says, "to the Egyptians "that they've been drinking from the wrong source." Some of us have been drinking from the ideas of the world, old negative thoughts, past fears, past failures. We've been drinking all those things. Now God says, "Let me teach you how to get through this." So what God's doing with Moses is that He's teaching him how to do this sign. God's a teacher. And then He goes on to say to Moses, "Now, as you go, "I'm gonna go with you "and I'm gonna teach you how to do this. "I'm gonna teach you how to perform these signs "and I'm gonna teach you what to say." And for all the teachers in the house, God is using these practical everyday objects in order to teach Moses these life-transforming truths for him to move forward, to get traction, to kick up out of Midian and to move forward. You're made to move forward. You know what I found to be the biggest struggle most people have in getting unstuck? Is that they're just not teachable. And to be teachable means to be willing to admit we don't know it all. To say, "There's some things in my life where "I'm really good. "I'm really good at my career. "I got some- "I'm really good at my skillset. "I'm really qualified to do what I'm doing." But to be teachable means to say, "I'm willing to admit "there's some things that God knows about me "that I don't know. "And there's some things that God can see about the future, "I can't see. "So I'm just gonna keep my heart humble. "I'm gonna stay teachable so that He can lead me." One of the kinda the sweet things about doing what I do is I always remember where I came from. I never forget where all this started. Growing up, man, I was diagnosed with dyslexia. They told me that I would never get out of school, never really be able to read or write. They put me off in like a slow learner school, told me I would never get out. I grew up drinking from the Nile of all these ideas of why life wasn't gonna work and all these limitations of how these things were insurmountable. But there was a moment in my life where I gave my life to Christ and it gave me a new confidence. And I began to have a new dream about what God wanted to do with my life. And I went to a Christian school and it was the educators that helped me to turn that around. So all the teachers in the house, it was the teachers that were patient enough to help me sound out words and to learn how to write and to learn how to see the e's not look like threes, and to have everything go the right way. And for me to do that, I had to be led. I had to be teachable. I had to say, "I don't know, but I know someone who does, "and just help me through it." And there was a season in my life where I couldn't read. And so this morning, even if you don't understand all this, and you're like, "What? A staff? A hand? "I'm not sure about all this happening." Just for you to watch me read scripture makes you a witness to a miracle. 'Cause there was a moment where I couldn't do it. And my greatest fears as a dyslexic, you know what they were? Reading in public, speaking in public and writing. I've spent the last 30 years of my life doing the three things I thought I could never do. I never saw any value in those things until I threw 'em down before the Lord. I never understood that God could use it until I had a moment where I transferred the ownership of it. And out of it, I learned that whatever I thought was gonna limit me, could never limit God. And if we'll transfer the ownership of our life to the Lord and if we'll keep our heart clean, so our life is clean, and if we'll stay teachable and to say, "God, you show me the things I don't know. "Help me to navigate through this next season of my life "with the things I don't really understand. "God, you teach me. "You teach me and I'll follow." And as long as Moses did those three things, this man was on the front end of some of the greatest miracles of the Old Testament. What really kept him out of the Promise Land was his anger, that he never really dealt with it. It stayed in his life and it leaked his way into his leadership and it sabotaged what he did. But as long as we go, "God, I surrender the success of my life. "God, I ask you to clean my heart out "and give me a clean life. "And God lead me and teach me." With those three things, you'll find that you're able to move forward. You were made to move forward. God's given you the power that you need to do whatever is next in your life. So my challenge to us is that you'd move forward. You were made to move forward. Surrender your life, keep your heart clean, and stay teachable. All right, let's pray. Let's pray. If you've never transferred the ownership of your life to the Lord, there's never been a moment of salvation, this is your morning. Maybe you're here because you love the people and you love the teaching or you love the music, but you'd have to say, "I never really understood that "I was supposed to just give my life to Jesus. "My will, the contents of my life, everything." If you've never done that, the Bible says: If we're willing to believe that He's the Son of God, that He died on a cross and rose again, and ask Him. That's our transfer where we ask, "God, I ask you to take hold of my life "and all that is within it." If you've never done that, would you walk with me this morning through this prayer? Would you just say, "Dear Jesus, "I believe you are the Son of God. "I believe you died on a cross from me. "And I believe that you rose again. "And as best as I know how, "I make you the owner of my life, "the leader and the Lord of my life. "I lay my life down before you. "From this day on, I'm yours." If you just prayed that prayer along with me, would you just look right here at me? If you just now prayed that prayer along with me, it's fantastic, it's powerful. Just a minute, Pastor Jerry's gonna tell you what to do. I'm gonna ask if you would, just to bow your heads one more time. If you're a believer, but maybe you just got stuck in Midian and maybe this morning, you just need to say, "God, you own my success. "You own my talents, my family, my opportunities, "my future, my ability. "I just want you to know that I know that it's not mine, "it's yours." Ask Him this morning to fall fresh on you, to peel back the layers of your heart and to say, "God, fall fresh on me. "Forgive me, cleanse me. "Help me to let all that stuff go. "Help me to let it go. "And God, I thought I knew it all "but I admit today, I don't, so teach me. "I'm willing to be led and to be taught. "Give me a willingness "to move forward." And I pray now for everybody here at The Chapel, that you'd sink it deep into our heads and deep into our hearts, that we were made to move forward. In your strong and powerful name, I pray, amen. Amen.