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Confidence in Crisis - Part 6: Faith Without Cloud or Pillar

Ron Kelly
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Ron Kelly

Senior Pastor, Village SDA Church, Berrien Springs, Michigan

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  • April 25, 2020
    12:30 PM
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Father thank you for your presence in our lives that you are our hiding place. And now Lord as we enter into the scriptures I pray May our hearts be open to the searching and convicting who come for the guidance the assurance for this full spectrum of encounter with you Lord may we not shun me we not run bless us now and lead us I pray that a watch before my lips and a guard before the door of my mouth and I pray for the holy boldness bless us now as we make the journey in Jesus' name amen this morning I've been tired of my message faith without cloud or pillar and I am quite confident that it is probably the most significant of the series competence and crisis that will bring to your attention so it's my hope in prayer that you'll come to this message with a humble heart a readiness to learn and a willingness to make the journey with Christ you have your bombers this morning open them to the Book of Genesis it's an interesting prophecy that God makes Genesis 15 to Abraham he's told him that in Abraham's family all the nations of the earth will be blessed but 3 chapters later there's an encounter with God that reveals some dark times in the lineage of Abraham's family Genesis Chapter 15 God said Abraham know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs well they will be enslaved and oppressed for 400 years. I want to talk with you for a moment about the symbolism of the type ology of the Exodus and our experience as we anticipate the final exodus when we think about Jacob and his children making a journey into the land of Egypt we realize they were treated with favor they were shepherds So the Egyptians really didn't want anything to do with them but they were given a very very very favorable piece of land Goshen and in that land they prospered considering that Abraham and Sarah were barren or at least Sarah was for 25 years then Isaac and Rebecca bury and eventually in a odd sort of way perhaps with a bit of Divine Comedy. Eventually there's a child that comes through the lineage of Abraham for which there are many children and thus we have Jacob he wrestles with God beside the river Jabot and after this he is no longer Jacob he's Israel it's on his journey home it's an important thing for you to notice because if there is a metaphor that will come out of this message it's the fact that Christ is leading us if we will be less. And it's in the journey that there's transformation on that journey back to to the Land of Promise Jacob has a transformational encounter any is no longer the deceiver the supplants or the one who adds to the one who looks out for the outcome he's now dependent on the God who called him back into the crisis of meeting his brother and going home when we think about this explosion. Of population that comes during these period of years in Egypt we realize that God fulfilled the promise in an abundant way and their way it appears that he held back with Abraham and Sarah held back with Rebecca and Isaac It appears that God's abundant blessing is upon the children of Jacob while they're in the land of Egypt so abundant is it that eventually a point comes where the Pharaoh says we've got a problem on our hands these people are multiplying way too fast I want to talk with you a minute about what that journey into bondage might look like in a modern day the experience in Egypt did not turn into an immediate sojourn of slavery it started out in a cooperative you could say a symbiotic or mutually beneficial relationship between the Israelites and the Egyptians but eventually it turned into something that was oppressive something that was affliction will when I think about the experience of the American church the Protestant church not just the American Protestant church but the Protestant church in general but I'm going to focus my sentiments especially around the experience of Protestantism in America it appears that we have found ourselves descending into a journey of bondage it's a bondage of desire but in the mix of that desire there is also a certain type of affliction especially I think about the fact of how many smaller churches in America are closing every week we say that's all part of a demographic shift to some degree it is but it's more than that it is a surrendering of our unique identity distinctly constructed by the Word of God and what's happening is is that there is a new bondage of desire and on the back side there's affliction. Our churches I'm going to speak 7th Day Adventist for a moment our churches and our schools in many places are struggling to exist let alone to succeed and our young people as it were of being thrown into the Nile never to be brought back to us the gods of this age are destroying heart mind and soul for God and the affliction comes on the back side I want you to think about this kind of bondage I want you to think about it in the terms of addiction how many different experiences are substances are the western Christian world struggling to be free from there used to be a day when there was a lot much less to tempt and it was much more difficult to get at it I think today about the bondage of substance it can be illegal drugs it can be prescription jugs it can be alcohol it's all around us when I think about the dynamics of our free love from the sixty's onward the immoral 80 of relationships the addictive dynamics of pornography and the outcome on the back side the affliction as husbands who can't love their wives and husbands that are absence in homes I think about the elements of money gambling I think about the dynamics of materialism Oh yes we've got more than anybody else and it's destroying us behind the scenes we were born almost as it were to shop and how many hours do we spend in front of these devices whether they're in our pockets or mounted on our walls we're living vicariously through the experience of other people we make our way to the same arenas we stand and shout and yell in ecstasy over some of the same songs. It appears that we have a new bondage a bondage of desire that is now addicted us to those desires and the ability to get free or the desired even recognize there might be an addiction is gone. When I think about Israel's experience at the moment in which there was to be some kind of intervention Pharaoh says we're going to do a little population control here and all the baby boys are going to be thrown in the Nile River it just so happens that there are 2 women ship and poor. They are in excess chapter one and they determine in their own hearts that no matter what is said on the throne what's going to happen on the birthing stool is going to be different and when one of those little baby boys slips into their hands in the cord is cut and they swatted on the back in a suave and often prepared to be laid in the mother's arms they determined they'll have nothing to do with the deliverance of these Hebrew baby boys into the hands of the God of Egypt the Nile River where are the shippers and the poor was today where are the godly women who recognize that the heart and soul of the Christian experience not only of their own family and their own children but the church is there Ian is being ravaged by the interest of the people on the inside as they make their way to the places sometimes on the outside sometimes not. Writing and patriarchs and prophets the author says it was when the Israelites were in a condition of outward ease and security that they were led into sin they failed to keep God ever before them they neglected prayer and cherished a spirit of self-confidence ease and self indulgence left the citadel of the soul on guarded and debasing thoughts found entrance it was the traitors within the walls that overthrew the strongholds of principle and betrayed Israel into the power of Satan it is thus that Satan will seek to compass the ruin of the soul in the precincts of our mind we can hear the echoes of Jesus speaking of false prophets many that would come in his name in this for instance their not echoing false future prophecy but their failing to properly edify instruct exhort and console the people of God There are people inside Christianity that have led us into the arms of the world there are people inside Adventism today that have led us into the arms of the world and a new love has developed and it's a new form of bondage and the affliction on the backside is the destruction of the Holy Communion holy fellowship and as I are to worship a holy gone it was by associate with idolators she goes on to say and joining in their festivities that the Hebrews were led to transgress God's law and bring his judgments upon the nation so now it is by leading the followers of Christ to associate with the godly and unite in their amusements that Satan is the most successful in a luring them into sin. And then quoting 2nd Corinthians $617.00 New Testament teachings straight from the heart of God through the pen of Paul come out from among them and be separate says the Lord and touch not the young clean thing God requires of his people now as great a distinction from the world in customs habits and principles as he required of ancient Israel and if they fade fully follow the teachings of His Word this distinction will exist it cannot be otherwise. I want you to think about this in the Greco-Roman world if you were going to watch the same entertainment you had to be in the theater if you're going to watch the same sporting event you had to be in the coliseums today we don't need to go to those places all we have to do is dial it up in the right u.r.l. on our phone our i Pad our computer our Smart t.v. But is there a diminished dynamic of influence upon us because we're not sitting shoulder to shoulder with someone who doesn't progress professed Christ or is the effect just the same our the heart's desire is drawn out in worship to something that will destroy the love of the holy the good the true God him sell Christ is calling us to a distinction in the privacy of our own home in the privacy especially of our own mind he's calling us to balance that protect a relationship he's calling us out of the bondage of desire and back into the freedom of the soul the allows to be a fear to evil. They allow us to have the power of the Spirit in our own lives breaking the bondage of sin setting us free from a new kind of slavery Oh yes we've not felt the destruction of the age upon those who resist its influence yet we've not seen the switch from desire to destruction that she had in the future. But if one thing is clear that from the age of economic in lightening in the 1950 s. in the sixty's on words from the age of the electronic revolution with the television and all the various silver screen to come afterward there has been a not so subtle attempt to draw God's people into association with the heathen and create a desire in the heart and a bondage of the mind that makes us every bit as much stuck in Egypt and citizens of this earth as were those of the Israelites the warnings given to the Hebrews against the simulating with the heathen were not more direct or explicit than those forbidding Christians to conform to the spirit and the customs of the young godly she goes on to say Christ speaks to us love not the world neither the things of the world if any man loves the world the love of the Father is not in him 1st John $215.00 and then James 4 for the friendship of the world is empty with God and whoever therefore will be a friend of the world is an enemy of God and then she gives this very practical advice I hope for every parent I hope for every pastor I hope for every teacher I hope for every path find a leader and a venture director I hope for every Sabbath school teacher I hope this isn't blaze in the mind of every young middle age and old person the followers of Christ are to separate themselves from sinners choosing their society only when there is opportunity to do them good yes indeed there is a new affliction on the Church of God Its influence is marginalized its effect is diminished its power to protect itself appears to be greatly greatly evaporating we should we cannot be too decided in shunning the company of those who exerted influence to draw us away from God. While we pray Lead Us Not Into Temptation we are to shun temptation as far as possible yes at the beginning of this message it's important for you understand there's a new bondage on the face of the. It may not be addiction for you yet but eventually that's what it turns into and we worship our own desires as opposed to being liberated from those desires by God's chosen instrument Jesus Christ the 2nd component of this faith without cloud or pillar this journey is that moving from where you're at to where you should go all requires a decision it requires an intervention for many the rationalizing will be such that there's no need to move from where I'm at and you can find myriad number of preachers or teachers theologians and commentators who can tell you that where you're at is just fine and those pangs of conscience and those pains of conviction set those aside experience God's grace in a new way there is a liberating power to God's grace there is a freedom in God's grace it is the breaking of the bonds of desire it is a it is a severing of the ties with the things of this world but it starts with a decision it starts with an intervention for some this message might be the intervention there was a message brought to Moses take your Bibles and turn to the Book of Exodus Chapter 3 you remember he thought the deliverance would come through his training through his favorite His and what the nation but it found himself instead in exile but in that exile God came again to 40 years of retooling a deeper connection with him less of a dependence on his own military might and stratagem and we find God encountering Moses in Exodus Chapter 3 there's a burning bush. You're sandals off of his feet there's a mystery and then there's a conversation verse 10 therefore come now and I will send you to Pharaoh said you may bring my people the sons of Israel out of the gin but Moses said to God who am I that I should go to Pharaoh that I should bring the sons of Israel out of the Egypt and he said Certainly I will be with you and this shall be a sign to you that it's I who have sent you when you have brought the people out of Egypt you show worship God at this mountain the Moses said to God Behold I am going to the sons of Israel and I will say to them the God of your father has sent me now then they may say to me what is his name what shall I say to them and God said to Moses I am who I am and he said thus you shall say to the sons of this you know the I Am has sent me God Furthermore said to Moses thus you shall say to the sons of Israel the Lord God of your fathers the God of Abraham the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob has sent me to you this is my name forever and this is my memorial name to all generations slip over the chapter for the conversation is ongoing but eventually Moses says I don't want to be a part of it verse 10 the Moses said the lord please Lord I've never been eloquent neither recently nor in times past nor since you've spoken to your servant for I am slow of speech and slow of tongue and the Lord said to him who made man's mouth or who made him mute or deaf or seen or blind is it not I the Lord now then go I even I will be with your mouth and teach you what to say but he said Please Lord send a message by whomever you will and verse 14 is an interesting. Revelation of a real encounter between God and His chosen instrument then the anger of the Lord burned against Moses and he said is there not your brother Aaron the Levite I know that he speaks fluently and behold he's coming out to meet you and he will be glad in his heart why do I spend the moments on this part of the message the birth pangs of deliverance because most of us have gotten very comfortable where whereat most of us don't want to move we may have affliction all around us and yet somehow our minds have dealt with the dissonance and turned it into a regular relationship and somehow we think we're better off with what we know than the discomfort of change worse than that there are things that we love that we don't want to call problematic we don't want to identify as addiction we don't want to identify as competitor for love for God We certainly don't want to call Idol Moses had gotten quite comfortable in the quiet shepherding life of Midian Moses was in a place where he himself did not want to move his youthful ambition had faded away to the questioning of middle age and he wasn't ready to go back and embrace the challenges which he better understood now and of course he better understood himself nothing's different when it comes to his arrival with the Israelites he shows up to declare that God is here to answer their prayers and everything is fine and good until the 1st encounter with Pharaoh and then Pharaoh says You folks have a problem you're enjoying too much free time from now on you'll make those bricks without straw everything that Moses was afraid of starts to become true he becomes odious in the nostrils of his own people and in chapter 5 Verse 20 he turns to God and he says why did you send me. When they left Carol's presents chapter 5 of Exodus 1st 20 they met Moses and Aaron here with waiting for him and they said May the Lord look upon you and judge you for you've made us odious in the Pharaoh site and in the sight of his servants go over to chapter 6 verse 30 then Moses said before the Lord behold I am unskilled in speech how will Pharaoh listen to me the doubt about whether or not he be received by his own countrymen when he was rebuffed in the moment of deliverance for decades before the frustration that his own people have with him as they think he's brought these trouble upon him there are birth pangs to Deliverance Moses is afraid Pharaoh won't listen Moses afraid his own people won't listen and if you're a pastor listen to me today you have the same fears. You're afraid that is God deepens conviction in your heart and you're the instrument you're the catalyst you're the call for something to change you're afraid that God's people won't follow God's servant on a journey out of bondage to the promise land this is the challenge for every administrator who becomes more comfortable politicking the way to community than actually pastorally leading to community there's trauma in the camp of Israel as deliverance is the birth pangs of Deliverance are upon the nation and there will be trauma in your household when you say we've been watching too much of this you've had too much screen time with that the habits and the entertainment you've chosen and some of the sporting events etc The music you're listening to God's been speaking to me as the dad or the mom of this house and it's time for some things to change and if you think there won't be birth pangs associated with deliverance you need to think again. God is in this moment globally attempting to awaken his people showing that there is anguish an affliction coming on the backside of desire that the party can't go on forever and that there is a day of judgment on the horizon and he would love to put a safe inside the shelter of his sanctifying and sanctuary grace but if we think that we can hold on to that while he's holding on to us if we think he does not desire embrace as he attempts to embrace us we're living under a colossal spiritual misunderstanding No it's not up to you to effect the change but it might be up to you to announce and lead into the change and you'll be doubting like Moses did who's going to listen to me and I'm going to create a problem and the truth of the matter is when there's darkness and destruction and devastation and bondage in the house but it's become appreciated even loved vice is a monster of such frightful mean to be hated needs but be seen yet stared too often in the face we 1st endure them pity then embrace yes breaking the embrace will not be easy and yet God will go before us and he will fight the battles for us and he will give us the words we need the restraint we need the patience in the wisdom we need the resolve we need but there are birth pangs to deliverance if anybody thinks there are they're not reading the word and they haven't said much on the side of right the 3rd part of this experience of faith without clouding pillar is God's building of our faith when you look at the experience of Moses and the people of God There's an encounter probably by a river palace in which water turns to blood. There's an encounter where serpents which were formerly dead sticks and rods are locked in conflict and the serpent of God from the rod of Moses destroys the serpents of Egypt and its magicians and then there's one more dynamic of miraculous manifestation in which the people of Israel are given an up close close and personal look at the destruction that's coming the God of frogs in the land of Egypt becomes the plague of frogs all across the land even in Goshen this 1st of the terrible plagues 3rd in line of the miracles of Deliverance Perhaps you could say 2nd in some ways yes the serpents than the water to blood now the frogs even in Goshen these amphibians are jumping all around and getting into everything and finally God draws a line and every plague forward from that time on is only outside of Goshen in sex sickness on cattle boils hail locusts darkness and eventually a pacifier in the midst of that moment God's people gather there in such a hurry that they take their dough without putting 11 in it they assemble together to follow Moses who's led by God All of them by the pillar of cloud by day and the Pillar of Fire by 9 and they start on a journey a journey to worship a journey of liberty they don't leave poor though they've been told ask for the wealth of Egypt and it's freely given to them finally we come to the testing of their faith a turn if you would Exodus Chapter 14 they've made their way out of Egypt. And it appears to those that are doing reconnaissance for Pharaoh that they don't know where they're going and they're in trouble Exodus Chapter 14 now the Lord spoke to Moses saying Tell the sons of Israel to turn back in can't be for a rock between mid doll in the sea for Fairleigh say to the sons of Israel of the sons of Israel their wandering aimlessly in the land the wilderness has shut them in when they find their over the stupor of the grief of so many corpses in Egypt 1st born in every household where the blood was not applied which means everybody that was still there when they finally shake off the stunned grief that the prize of their parental journey their firstborn are gone the rage the resentment the resistance of the poor the Spirit of God really enters the heart of Pharaoh and he says We've made a terrible mistake it's time for us to strike back and so with 600 of his best chariots and so many others he starts marching after Israel and when you know it he catches them in exactly the right spot there with the mountain range on the left and the northern end of the Red Sea on the right Israel comes down into a segment of of Egyptian real estate where there is no retreat God's people have been following the cloud that's going before them it is not perhaps the path that they would have marked out if they could have gone from Egypt to Canaan without a transformative journey where the appetites that they had acquired in Egypt were purged and left behind they all would have said hurrahs but the journey is transformative and this God who had built their faith is now going to test their fate. God has brought to its knees the most powerful nation on the face of the planet some 3500 years ago God has shaken the confidence of the Egyptians to where some of actually gone out with the Israelites the land is ravaged agriculturally its economy its spirituality its all left in doubt there is really nothing in Egypt that's left but there is one thing the Israelites were to take out of the experience in Egypt especially the last several weeks and that is that their God can intervene and deliver and they can have confidence in his ability to take them from the beginning to the end but that a confidence is going to be tested the going to come to a place where the Egyptian army is behind and the Red Sea is before and there's nowhere else to go why is it important that this test of faith is experienced God's not desiring to reveal the absence of their competence he's looking to increase it but for all of us we should understand not only is there a journey into bondage if we're not paying attention not only is that journey mainly a bunch of desire and affliction on the backside not only is it difficult to make a decision that we need to move the birth pangs of Deliverance upon us and not only does God take us on a journey of liberating fav building experiences but God brings us eventually to moments where he says will you trust me that's where Israel is on the edge of the Red Sea They've watched God shake a nation that no one ever imagined could be brought to ruin in such a fashion and here that nation is ready to destroy and recapture and this encounter there at the Red Sea is one worthy of our reflection. Verse 11 Exodus 14 then they said to Moses is it because there were no graves in Egypt that you've taken us a way to die in the wilderness Why have you dealt with us in this way bringing us out into Egypt is this not the word that we spoke to you in Egypt saying leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians for it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness certainly we have evidence here that for many the faith building dynamic was on the waning side and the fear dynamic was on the ascendancy I want you to know that Moses response is important for many even though all don't benefit by verse 13 Moses said to the people don't fear stand by and see the salvation of the Lord which he will accomplish for you this day for the Egyptians whom you've seen today you will never see them again forever I want to talk to you for a moment about spiritual mirroring relational emotional mirroring the spirit you bring into your home the way you deal with the crisis is likely to be mirrored in the lives of the people around you you bring fear and foreboding to your lips you create fear and foreboding in the hearts of the people that are seeking to find confidence and know which way to go God is calling every leader listening to me here to make an advance journey with Jesus as Moses did so that in moments of crisis when the heart quails when there's natural fear and foreboding someone can say don't be afraid the same God who brought us this far is going to take us the rest of the way but then there's this very interesting experience between Moses and go what verse 15. Then the Lord said to Moses why are you crying out to me Tell the sons of Israel to go forward now something that I think is very important 1st of all recognize is that the the enemy was as visible as was the presence of God The cloud that had been above them was actually before them and whatever need of shade they had God provided for them but the cloud was not be far behind them the scripture makes it very clear that the cloud that was before their face verse 19 look at it the angel of God who had been going before the camp of Israel moved and went behind them and the pillar of cloud moved from before them and stood behind there's an emphasis on the word before here I want you to know that God will allow same to manifest his menacing presence to strike fear into our hearts he will look more visibly present than sometimes the presence of God but I don't want you to forget there was a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night it was before the. The patriarchs and prophets the author actually states that they went from believing it was God leading them to it being a harbinger or an omen of disaster can you imagine they're going to be moments when you doubt what God has been doing up to the present they're going to be moments when you wonder if you really got it right which means letting God be God is exceptionally paramount in importance yes indeed there are going to be times when you say to yourself has this really been what I thought it was because the enemy will be visible and then you're going to doubt some element of the assurance of God because it probably won't be quite as disappointed. Why are you calling out to me I find this a very interesting expression from gone to most. We don't have the full scope of the dialogue we don't know what prayers were uttered but we do know this he didn't bring them that far to leave them and we do know this there are only 2 directions they could go mountain on the right water on the left and before them and the Egyptian army behind you might say there was actually nowhere for them to go except where the cloud had postured they were headed and the appraisal of the situation from God to Moses says go forward there are a lot of people listen me today they're not going anywhere. I didn't say in the 1st segment of this message but if your children were born in Egypt that is in Goshen in Egypt if your children are raised in an Adventist home you've got a double challenge on your plate as a parent as a grandparent as a teacher because your children grew up what they grew up with was all they ever knew Winston Churchill once said If you want to understand a man look at the world when he was 20 you may say to yourself yes my children have been born in Goshen in Egypt friends don't think to yourself that Egypt isn't trying to invade the experience of your children of your family. The truth of the matter is there are people listening to me who have decided that the conveniences of life in Goshen even as Egypt encroaches on the purity and the innocence of their family the Goshen isn't such a bad place to be I'm here to tell you today that if you go through this experience with coven one team and nothing changes if you go through this global pandemic with the restriction of liberties and a knowledge it has the overtones it has the echoes of of plague similar to those we just read about if you go through this whole experience and there are no prayers like the prayer of David search me and know me and see if there be any wicked way in me if you go through this whole moment and a spiritual sense of confidence without any sense of reflection and potential movement then you're in a very dangerous position this is a divine wakeup call these are birth pangs of Deliverance these are God's attention getting moments they are the echoes and the evidence of God's prophetic ability rapid movements associated with final movements who would have thought that from February to March the world could be such a different place yes there are people listening to me for whom I'd fear this moment these weeks these months of sheltering in place these economic hardships these medical traumas it will come and go and because it doesn't directly touch them nothing will change God calls us out of our. Let me make another observation for those that are older than me and by the way I was not born in Goshen I was actually born in Egypt. And I spoke about this a few Symons ago I was actually born in the dysfunction of Egypt Fortunately I was brought into the family of faith and I discovered the beauty of holiness if you were born in Goshen you have a peculiar challenge on your hands because you don't want anybody upsetting the comfort the joy the indulgences that you come to know but in this church especially if you're a generation older than me I hear my teachers I hear the old preachers those that are generation older me talking about Farrah's say ism all the rules the truth of the matter is we've gone from fairy say ism to La safe areas I'm. With you we just live and let live and whatever happens happens we've gone from a period in time in in the experience of God's church where there used to be structure and yes the structure was it time abused and wrongly pro prioritize the values were held up above the people but we now gone to a place where values are relics of a spirituality of times gone by that ought to be jettisoned And so what does the road deliverance look like go forward God said The cloud had been before their face it's time to move we don't currently have a cloud in a pillar do we we don't see the visible manifestation of God showing us which path to taking you say to yourself you're in a tremendous disadvantage or are you I need you to mill the 3500 years ago during the days of the Exodus none of them had the privilege of holding one of these 66 books written over a period of 1500 years. They didn't have the opportunity to enter into a dialogue with the living God through a written word they had oral tradition they had the stories they had memorization they had many things but they were at a great disadvantage and that the Holy Words of God were not written down friends if you could look to the sky and get an omen or a sign that would be good but if you could talk to a living God and you could hear his voice that would be even better take your bibles of you and open up to the book of Luke Luke Chapter 17 all of us are on a journey that favors some of the Old Testament the Lord is my shepherd I shall know one the next verses say he lead with me we sing about it we're going to sing about it Luke Chapter 17 Jesus has us on a journey hanging in the walls of the General Conference is the the picture the painting of the Jesus of the narrow way this journey is our journey there is a called a transformation in the making of the journey Luke Chapter 17 Jesus had an encounter says in verse 11 while he was on his way to Jerusalem he was passing between Samarian and Galilee he entered a village and 10 lepers men stood at the distance to meet him and raising their voices they said Jesus Master have mercy on us when he saw them he said to them Go show yourselves to the priests and as they were going I want to emphasize this as they were going the scripture said they were cleansed this journey of following Christ is a transformative one it's a confidence building one and occasionally it's a confidence testing one in 1st John 17 it says if we walk in the light is he's in the light we have fellowship one with another and the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin. John Chapter night the blind man was sent to the pool of scent of Siloam to wash how much is lost when we fail to make the journey walking in the light is how God cleanses us when we walk in the light as he is in the light we have fellowship one with another and the blood of Jesus Christ cleansing us by how many have rejected the journey. Here to say today there are many did nomination all of filiation that have not rejected their denominational affiliation but they have still rejected Christ Christianity has been kicked to the curb while Adventism or whatever ism you want to put on it is left behind it's an ethnic identity it's a group of people with this their own sense of culture and their own habits but what's been left behind is so many of those who have dreams that Jesus be the shepherd leading the modern Deuteronomy Chapter 30 this is what Moses wrote the command which I command you today is not to mysterious it's not Faraz it's not in heaven that you should say who will send to heaven for us to bring it to us that we may hear and do it nor is it beyond the sea that we should say who will go over the sea and bring it to us that we may hear it and do it but the word is very near in your mouth and in your heart that you may do it Michael Card contemporary song writer put it this way No it's not up in heaven where your thoughts could not reach nor be on the ocean on some distant beach no the word is so near in the inner most part it's alive on your lips it abides in your heart and friends for centuries for millenia people waited for the presence of Christ. Do we really think in all of those years that preceded the Incarnation the birth of Jesus the God Spirit was not near to those he would come and visibly manifest himself to do we really think that Moses promise about the word being near is for some far off time in the past or in the future or is there this promise of a living God who was who will say we'll hear a voice behind to say this is the way walk in it how are we going to come to that moment when in the judgment Jesus has to say as it says in Matthew chapter 7 Depart from Me you workers of iniquity they had just stood before Jesus that we prophesied we taught we work miracles and Jesus said you're going to have to leave we don't belong to each other we don't even know each other how does this happen it happens when God's people reject God's call to move where God is going and we're God's people refused to go where God is going they are left behind in a bondage which they may actually desire and then in the last moments there is the devil's dastardly desire to destroy and he comes with the armies of this earth be there Gyptian whatever they might be and once he's infected us and once he's choke the life of God out of this he only has one thing that he desires to do and that is to extinguish is from his presence we're not there yet friends that's what's coming that's why we're going to see 7 plagues again that's why we're going to see the battle of Armageddon when the devil thinks in the final bold stroke he's going to take all the advantages of the visible enemy and destroy those who still have confidence in an invisible god but they're keeping his word and Jesus will come riding on the white horse and he will deliver us and destroy the evil. And we'll go on rejoicing saying Lo This is our God we've waited for him we've journeyed with him through life I want to make perhaps the most important call I've ever made about moving in the last moments of this message when they left Egypt they went as a group we make our 7 day journey through the cloudless universe we're going to go as a group how is it that we should think that the God manifest himself and cloud him piller. The god he wants to bring his word very near to us that God is going to lead us on a 7 day journey from this worldly Egypt to our heavenly Canaan land how is it that we should think in the most trouble as perilous spiritual moments of verse history that we're not going as a group now. There are things you're going to learn about God that you're only going to learn with the group there are things you're going to learn about yourself that you're only going to learn with the group and for all those who are isolating think somehow God's going to take you on your own individual journey from spiritual Egypt to the real promised land you're making a grave mistake God is calling us together when Paul would write in Hebrews 1025 and yes I believe he wrote the book don't for sake the assembly together are somewhere in the manner of doing but all the more so as you see the day approaching. If ever there was a call to togetherness it's now this is why Christ prayer and John 17 matters so much this is why in those thousands of references in the Spirit of Prophecy it would be a prayer for pressing together and for unity and a reference to the prayer of Christ there are things we're going to learn about God in each other that we're only going to learn in the group and there's a love for each other that's going to grow that's going to make us different it's going to protect and preserve and cleanse and bond and unify. If our churches are going to make this journey they're going to gather they're going to pray they're going to bond they're going to work because we're not just a get out of Goshen we're to go to the promised land and on the way we're going to divide as many people as want to go to go with us there's only one direction for God's church to go there's only one direction for our schools to go there's only one direction for our homes to go and that is to go forward the enemy is trying to encroach upon us he is trying to win this through desire before he seeks to destroy us with the power of this destructive artifices indeed friends if you want to have faith without cloud or pillar the familiarity of the sharing words of Christ will have to be residing in the precincts of your mind the have to be sung in the congregation of your home and in the communion of your church the things that will drive back here and create confidence will have to be will they will have to be modeled by your leaders and preach from your preachers they're going to be taught by your dad's and nurtured by your ma. All of these things that would allow us to have all the confidence we need as St seeks to rally the greatest display of intimidation we've ever seen there for us the word is need. The cloud was there the pillar was there they thought for a moment though lest you think that physical manifestation is what we really need they thought for a moment it was all divine hoax but when that east wind started blowing and Moses started walking to the wire. They went in the moonlit night the dark of midnight they crossed the Bible makes a very clear in repetitive ways a wall on the left a wall on the right and dry ground under their feet that Deliverance is for you and it is for me but if we don't make the journey if we decide we don't want to move if we can endure the the difficulty of those birth pangs of deliverance if we say leave us alone if we're not willing to acknowledge that we need to get out if we're not willing to make the transformative journey then we should find ourselves someday shaken into the arms of Lucifer. Abandoning our love for Jesus for the bonds of affection to this earth are too strong and we're left in the embrace of the one who wants to destroy So what is the appeal friends the appeal is a let the Spirit speak the appeal is to be still and know that he is God The appeal is to let the conviction deepen in prayer the appeal is let the peace of God reign supreme in your heart as you start to move the appeal is to rehearse the promises the appeal is to move in communion and community the appeal is a call to prayer the appeal is to recognize that in the heart of all of us there's something that's gotten pretty comfortable with Egypt the appeal is to go forward the appeal is for the Spirit of God to rejuvenate his church rejuvenate our lives rejuvenate our homes rejuvenate our relationships the appeal of this let Jesus lead us on the cross that spiritual Jord the next generation have their own Red Sea moment. The next generation had to take a journey of faith every generation and especially this one for Jesus will come soon indeed friends the appeal This is the lead God lead can he have the desires of your heart can he talk to you about what's wrong can he speak to you the competitors' let him let him lead you to true freedom let him lead you to true function let him lead you to true fruitfulness let him lead you. All the way from here to heaven we're going to go most of the way without a cloud without a pillar we know Isaiah speaks of this and we know that God will manifest themselves as he needs to manifest himself in these n. times the boy up our faith to remind us he's near but there's no cloud pillar right now but there is a call it's a call to surrender to heart a new community and a journey for not just for our sake and our children sake but for although there are citizens of Egypt trapped in the dysfunction and the despair of sin God is calling this church back to might and power not through our own strategem our own genius our own money but through the spirit of the learn the question is will we go I invite you let's make this journey let's go with Jesus let's let him lead us all the way May God bless us as we come to what appears to be at least the lessening of fear. The lessening of restrictions maybe we can start to see the light at the end of the tunnel coated 19 May the light of Jesus continue leading us to higher ground God be with you be in His Word the remember the word is so near especially if you desire to hear this media was brought to you by audio post a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse you would like to listen to more sermon or even the w.w.w. audio verse or.

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