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Put Up or Shut Up
Miles McPherson - November 7, 2004

Message Recap

God is Big! He is unlimited in resources. His power, might, and abilities are endless. This Sunday's Service opened showing a clip from the film "The Prince of Egypt." In the particular scene showed Moses is leading the children of Israel across the Red Sea. We see God's mighty power unfold as the sea parts through the staff of Moses, and the children of Israel are able to cross to the other side.

Pastor Miles opened this message with a few announcements. The first mentioned were that in the upcoming week we are celebrating Veteran's Day. This is a time to remember and pray for those who are serving our country in the military. Those men and women who are serving are a grand example of John 15:13. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends.

There is only one more week until the move to the new facility for the Rock on Ruffin Road. The first Sunday services at the new facility will be held November 21. Also coming up on November 20, the Rock will hold their Thanksgiving outreach at the San Diego Rescue Mission, which is on a Saturday from 12-5 PM.

Just Do It!

So often we talk about what we are going to do instead of just doing it. Sometimes all we are is talk, because we are too afraid to do. We talk about getting a job, or getting good grades, going to church regularly, and so on. However, when we evaluate our actions are we doing all that we said we would?

Freedom Doesn't Mean Things Will Be Easy

Sometimes we think once we are saved, life will be good, things will be smooth sailing...

Exodus 14 shows the Israelites finally breaking free from the bondage of Egypt. God spoke to Moses, as he has brought the children of Israel out of Egypt into the wilderness, telling Him that Pharaoh's heart would be hardened and he would pursue after the children of Israel to bring them back to Egypt.

Exodus 14:10-12 states, and when Pharaoh drew near, the children of Israel lifted their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians marched after them. So they were very afraid, and the children of Israel cried out to the Lord. Then they said to Moses, "Because there were no graves in Egypt, have you taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you so dealt with us, to bring us up out of Egypt? Is this not the word that we told you in Egypt, saying, 'Let us alone that we may serve the Egyptians'? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than that we should die in the wilderness."

Just because the children of Israel were free from Egypt at this point, things were not easy for them. Once again Pharaoh pursued after them, and they were discouraged at the fearful situation they now faced.

Sometimes we think once we are saved, life will be good, things will be smooth sailing, and we won't hit bumps in the road. However, this just isn't true. There are things we must give up when it concerns surrendering our life to the Lord, whether it is drinking, drugs, pornography, or whatever sin it may be that enslaves us. When we quit doing something, it is still going to call us.

The important thing is we must beware of the enemy's plan to bring us back into the bondage of sin. Just as Pharaoh was coming along to intimidate and force the children of Israel back to Egypt, so the enemy lurks around scheming to bring us back to the land of sin.

1 Peter 5:8-9 states, Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith.

Do Not Fear

Pastor Miles defined fear in an acronym stating that fear is:

  • False
  • Expectations
  • Appearing
  • Real

It is easy to let fear overtake and overwhelm our hearts. 80% of the things we worry and fear about never even happen. 20% of the things we worry about that do happen are things we cannot even do anything about. A lot of times the thing we fear is failing, but we must realize that failure is a part of life.

How could we grow and further our faith if we never faced trials, and life was always easy?

Pastor Miles gave the example that when he was playing for the Chargers; he was cut from the team for a 5-week period. When this happens the player receives no pay during that time. So he began selling fine jewelry at College Grove. Apparently that business venture eventually failed, to which Pastor Miles was very thankful. If anything, we can learn from failure, and grow to do greater things for God.

Why do we fear failure, and the obstacles that come in our path? These things are a part of life, just as the Israelites faced the obstacles of crossing the Red Sea, and being chased down by Pharaoh and his soldiers, so we may think we have many obstacles in life to fear, but how could we grow and further our faith if we never faced trials, and life was always easy? The point is to live in faith and not fear.

Faith Forward

We cannot look at life considering the obstacles that may or may not be ahead of us. When Moses and the children of Israel stood before the Red Sea with Pharaoh not to far behind, one can only imagine the fear they must have felt. However, Moses focused on his faith in God before his fear of the obstacles before him.

Exodus 14:13-18 states, And Moses said to the people, "Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace." And the Lord said to Moses, "Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward. But lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it. And the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea. And I indeed will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they shall follow them. So I will gain honor over Pharaoh and over all his army, his chariots, and his horsemen. Then the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I have gained honor for Myself over Pharaoh, his chariots, and his horsemen."

Big Boys and Girls Don't Cry

Why cry about the obstacles we face when we have a Big God on our side! Therefore, our faith should be likened to that of what our God can do. Exodus 14:21-22 shows what big things God can do when His children step forth in faith.

Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea into dry land, and the waters were divided. So the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea on the dry ground, and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.

Miracles Happen

Exodus 14:30-31 states, so the Lord saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. Thus Israel saw the great work, which the Lord had done in Egypt; so the people feared the Lord, and believed the Lord and His servant Moses.

After the children of Israel passed through the Red Sea, the waters came back upon the Egyptians, on their chariots, and on their horsemen as they tried to catch the children of Israel. Can you remember a miracle like this in your own life? When we think on the miracles that God has done in our lives, and the ones we read about in His Word, our hearts are encouraged.

God is a God of miracles. When we look for and believe in the evidence of His miracles, we are able to resist the fear that quickly overwhelms, and walk forward in faith. Then we can truly be Christians who don't just talk the talk, but Christians who truly walk the walk.

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