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Watch 2022 online sermons » Beth Moore » Beth Moore - Your Faith Map - Part 1

Beth Moore - Your Faith Map - Part 1

Beth Moore - Your Faith Map - Part 1
TOPICS: Your Faith Map

What I am hoping we have before us is the kind of concept that will not only be intriguing to us, it's intriguing to me, but that will be helpful to us, that it would give us insight into our own journey with God and that we'll really, really connect with him over where we are in the midst of the pathway that we're on at this present season of our lives. And that's why we're looking to the Bible as somewhat of a spiritual locator. Anybody know what I'm talking about? That when we open this app, it's gonna be the application that we find in the Word of God to our own lives, looking to the Bible as our spiritual locator.

The first question God asked man is still one of the most pertinent questions we could ever hear from God. Very, very simple three words, "Where are you"? He asked that to Adam in Genesis chapter 3. And the beauty of it was that God, of course, knew exactly where Adam was. God asks all sorts of questions in his Word but here is the odd thing about it: he knows the answer to every question he is asking. What God is doing when he comes with these inquiries is inviting us not only into dialogue, not only into interaction, but ultimately what he is inviting us into is intimacy with him. Questions, where are you? You know, sometimes I think maybe the Lord would have us try to answer where we are in this present season of our lives so that we can think about it ourselves, so that we can try to answer, so that we can look around us. And we could say, "This is apparently where I am".

Sometimes it's gonna be a fabulous place, and that's just as important this weekend. It's just as important for you to behold that you're in a really, really good place that you know, if you're like me, that you have been in a really, really bad place at some point in your life, and that you get to look around and go, "Lord, we are not where we were". Anybody? That's a beautiful thing, but it can also be that sometimes he wants us to see the absurdity of it. What is a daughter of a King doing in that kind of mess? Anybody? Where are you? I love what he said to Elijah. And this would be in 1 Kings chapter 19. Now, Elijah has been to the heights of the wonders of God. God has done such mighty exploits through him that they... it's stunning. But he gets to a point where all it takes is one woman, Jezebel, to threaten him, and he is off and running. And he hides in a cave. And it says, "Suddenly, the Lord speaks to him and says, 'What are you doing here, Elijah?'"

God knows exactly what he's doing there. He knows he's hiding. But you know what he's wanting Elijah to do? "You tell me, you tell me because as you tell me, it'll help you articulate either the gorgeousness of it, 'Thank you, God, I'm not where I have been.' Or sometimes the craziness of it, 'I am hiding in a cave. 'I have watched you fall like fire from heaven 'and consume an offering under impossible circumstances, but here I am and I'm hiding in a cave.'" I've been thinking about this so much because I've been thinking about times in my life when that question could have come to me, Beth, where are you? Not out loud, through the scriptures, that still, small voice in your heart that's just going, "What am I doing here? What am I doing here"?

Has anybody ever been in a situation where you've been in so much sin and you have looked in the mirror and thought, "What, what, what are you doing? How did you get here? What has happened here? What went awry"? To try to come to some way to verbalize those answers when I've been just found in the depths of my sin. "Where are you? Is that a fit place for who I have called you to be"? No, Lord, no. I remember a man, a dear brother of mine at my church many years ago saying something that I think all of us who were in that class never forgot. He said, "Sin will always take you further than you meant to go, and it will keep you longer than you meant to stay". I can testify to that. It will take us further than we meant to go. Like, I mean, we meant to mess with it. We just did not mean to get buried in it. We just meant to taste it. We didn't mean to get addicted to it.

Am I speaking anybody's language in the house? You're thinking, "Oh, it's gonna get like that that fast"? Yes. Yes. One of the things I love about God is he comes to deal with the real thing, and his Word speaks to a real estate. And he's so faithful and he's so kind and he's so gracious. And he has this way of doing what Jesus did with the woman at the well which he told her everything she had ever done, and it was not very pretty, and she could not have been more excited to hear it when she realized, "This is the Christ". She ran into town and went, "I met a man that told me everything I had ever done". And they were going, "And you're happy about it"? Because something about him, when he brings something to the surface and we allow him to, instead of it shaming us, he brings us dignity.

Listen, you'll never find another savior like that. There's no one that can match that. There's no one that can do that for us like he can do it. I thought about, I've gone back and forth over whether or not to share this story with you because I'm praying so hard that you will understand that it's coming to you out of a bit of brokenness and not out of any kind of a pride. So, I'm just gonna have to trust you. I'm just gonna ask you to please understand. Please hear the context of the story. A couple of weeks ago, I got the opportunity to be at Gordon College in Boston. I don't know if you've ever heard of Gordon College, but it's a fine, fine evangelical university in Boston. And I had been invited to receive an honorary doctorate there. And now I want you to understand something. That's very different from an earned doctorate, so it's why I'm not suddenly going by Dr. Beth. That's, you don't, at least I didn't feel worthy of it. But I came to receive it.

And so, I'm part of the whole commencement, and it came, as God would have it, at a pinnacle of public criticism when I felt like I had been beaten from head to toe. Anybody just going through a season where you feel like every single square inch of you has a bruise on it? Anybody? I need to see somebody. Can anybody just go there with me? That was me and, in some way, still is me, but it was at the height of it, especially when it's coming from a part, a segment of people that you love so much and that you want to serve so badly. So, it was that kind of thing we're just like... and so, I was going through... see, the enemy knows something about me. He knows that growing up, shame was my middle name. And if something was home to you for so long, one of the enemy's best ploys with us is to see if he can just drag us back into the same old thing, and why? Because, well, it worked so many times.

Anybody relate with that? So, it's just what he does with an addiction. I mean, you've done it so many times. Instead of thinking of something new, if he could just get you back to the old thing, then he doesn't have to be particularly creative. Anybody understand that with me? And so, this had been such a part of my life, so it's not a really hard thing for the enemy to try to play on me again. And for some reason, the way this season hit me, if you've ever been in a smaller environment like a small town, or a smaller church, have you ever had the feeling that everyone was talking about you? Anybody know what I'm talking about? Even if you know some people are saying good things, and some people are saying bad things. And some people are not sure if it's good or bad, they're just discussing it. But you have that sense that everybody's talking about it. I need to know somebody is able to relate with what, okay. Well, that's what I was feeling.

And, of course, it's not true, but it's the way that it seems, especially when you get hit with a lot of it all of a sudden. So, it was right in the pinnacle of it. And for some reason, I was so aware. This is one of the things that goes with being out there and sometimes recognized is that you also deal with the really bad part of it. And I had found that even going to the grocery store, because I have had lots of pictures taken in the grocery store. And I found even pushing around my grocery basket through this time, that I was trying to dodge eye contact. It was like keep your eyes down, and people will not realize it's you. And certainly don't talk, not with this accent. Do not say a word. Do not say a word. And so, it was that. And it's ridiculous, ridiculous, but anyway, it was my present condition when I went.

And so, they got us all dressed and ready, and we filed in with the president and the part of the faculty that would be up on the platform. And we got on all our stuff. And so, I'm already feeling it 'cause we're about to walk through the whole ground and we're outside on these grounds. And this is my world. This is like, if anybody's talking, it's gonna be this world. Do you understand what I'm saying? So, I'm already just feeling it. I can kind of feel my face burning a little bit, and I can feel my chin is down a little bit 'cause I don't know how it's gonna go. And so, not that I think there's gonna be an outcry, but just that feeling. I just don't want to look at anybody else and somebody be looking at me like this... And so, you know, it's just like keep your head down, keep your head down, and just walk, just walk, just walk. And I just felt like the Lord, did not hear any words, but I just felt like the Lord just put on my heart, "Stand up tall and walk tall".

And so, I can't even tell you, I can hardly tell you this story without wanting to cry because I did, with everything I had. I'm 5'5", and then I had on a little bit of a heel. And I'm telling you, I went to 5'8" with everything I had, with everything I had. I had that little thing on my head, and I mean I was having it up as high as I could. And so, it was so meaningful to me and so meaningful to my daughter. One of my daughters was with me, and she had been through this big ordeal as well. It's not easy for your family to go through something like that. And I'm gonna tell you, it was not wasted on her either. She got it 100%, and it nearly brought her to tears as well. But they sent me, the president of the university sent me a picture afterwards.

And I don't know if you can see it? I'm gonna bring it to you 'cause this is when they're doing the actual this business... when they bring you up to the... and I just want you to see it because, you know what I see there? That girl, she is 5'8". Anybody know what I'm talking about? That girl is 5'8". And it is not because, don't feel like that God will put that on my heart because I had done so right. I am often a train wreck, but it was like, "You know what, you are mine. You belong to me. I say whether my own servant is pleasing to me or not. It is not up to popular vote whether you are acceptable as my servant. The only thing that matters is what I think about you". And so, I want you to hear that, that sometimes he also puts us in the situation where we look around us and go, "What am I doing here"? And that was that moment. "What am I doing here"? Except the pure outpouring of the grace of God.

Where are we? And where is it I want to be? For some of you in this room, you're gonna be where you want to be. In other words, yes, yes, yes, now I have a name for it. This is where I am right now, and it's where I want to stay until I get home to Jesus. But for others, it's gonna be like you know what? This is not where I want to stay. This over here is where I want to be. You kind of getting this with me? So, here's where this goes. It's gonna be a way of looking at the Bible as atlas in some respects. And what you and I are looking for on that map, Melissa and I were at Gordon College in Boston. We decided that we did not want to get into a cab.

So, when we went into downtown after the services were over and we moved from the hotel that was out in the suburbs all the way in town, we decided no, we are gonna challenge ourselves. We're not getting in a cab. And so, we must have walked in two days, I mean every bit, at least 20 miles. And so, we constantly, we were going by a little tourist map, but we were needing something constantly that just went, "You are here". It was like, no, we see the map. We know where it is on the map. What we don't know is where we are. I just, I mean it was just that kind of confusion. I need a "you are here" moment. I need the red dot. I need those three words. I need to know where I am. And so, here's what we're gonna do. We're gonna see how we can put this into play by two sections of scripture that are gonna launch us. One is gonna show us how we can look back at the Old Testament Israelites as a positive example in specific respects. And then we're gonna look at another set of scriptures that's gonna say how to look back and go, "Okay, I'm gonna learn from them what not to do".

So, we're gonna look back at the Old Testament what to do at times, what not to do at times. Where they were that we want to be, yes, hallelujah, and amen, and where they were that we don't want to be, please help us, Jesus, have mercy on us. So, look first at Hebrews 6:10 through 12. I love these verses so much. I pray that there is a servant in here right now that she's gonna go, "This was my Word," that the first scripture we read, "That was my Word". Listen to this, Hebrews 6, verse 10, "For God is not unjust". No matter what we see, no matter what kind of injustice, that is not coming from the heart of God. "God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you demonstrated for his name by serving the saints, and by continuing to serve them. Now we desire each of you to demonstrate the same diligence for the full assurance of your hope until the end, so that you will not become lazy but will be imitators of those who inherit the promises through faith and perseverance".

You are not forgotten. You need to know that God sees your work. It may be that you have worked in the nursery of your church for 30 solid years and that a lot of the parents that drop their babies off with you, the dearest thing in their lives, do not even know your first name. It may be that you have diligently taught the scriptures but that somehow, in your circle of believers, you aged out in their eyes and they no longer want to hear anything you've got to say. It may be that you serve the poor or the broken in such a way that is never seen, and it may be that you've gone ages working with people in recovery that you feel like continue to relapse. And you think, does this mean anything at all? And you need to know your God has not forgotten your work, and the love that you have shown for his name by serving the saints. This is such a gorgeous concept because this is what he's saying, "This is how I feel about you".

That the way that I serve Jesus, the primary way that I serve Jesus is to serve women. It is what compels me constantly. I have two things that drive me every single day of my life. Single woman, get on her feet and, single woman, stay on her feet in Jesus. That's my thing. That is my passion. It drives me every single day and night of my life. And so, in my mind, "That is how, Lord, this is how I serve you is to serve them". Now, I want you to know as you do that, he's not missing it. It says, "Now we desire," in verse 11, "each of you to demonstrate the same diligence". Diligence is demonstrative. I like that thought. That could be its own lesson right there. Diligence is demonstrative for the full assurance of your hope until the end, so that you will not become what another translation says, "sluggish".

Of all things I don't want to be, a slug is really right there at the top. There's just nothing redeeming about a slug, nothing redeeming about... I love all sorts of little creatures, I really do. But slug is not really one of them. That's just, of all things, that's not what I want to be. And I wonder if anybody just feels like sluggish in their faith. And we don't always know why we got where we find ourselves or what it was that just made us feel like we had molasses in our veins instead of warm blood flowing through every single artery in the name of Jesus. We don't have to figure it out exactly, but we can say, "Unplug the slug". We can say that. We can say that. Or, "I want my fervor back. I want my faith back and be alive in you and reveal yourself to me". I love where it says in verse 11, "Now we desire each of you, each of you, each of you". It's saying that no one else can cover us. Only you are your own each.

As much as we love the people that are really mighty in faith around us, it matters to God about you and your own walk, not just your Bible study leader, your pastor, or one of your ministers, one of your favorite authors, whatever it may be. He is just as concerned about you, your each, your own each, you walking out the phase. We want to imitate their faith and patience. It says "perseverance" in the CSB, which I totally love, I love this version. But I think that I tend to want to lean into the other translations that say, "Who by faith and patience". Same exact word, "makrothumia," is the basic word that it's coming from in the Greek, and it can be translated patience or perseverance, either one. But something about that it's gonna take faith and patience to really walk in the promises of God and ultimately to walk in those promises all the way into his presence. Something about knowing it's gonna take faith and patience is important because for some of you, it's like, "You know, I expected something faster than this".

Somebody in this room is really tempted to quit right now because you think nothing's happening here. But God constantly compares it to a harvest, and it's always about planting seed, planting seed, planting seed. And let me tell you, planting seed always means it's gonna take a while. It's gonna take some seasons where it's gonna look like nothing is happening whatsoever. And as the parable says, the really short parable says, that when it comes up, the farmer looks at it and has no idea how it happened. Yes, he planted the seed, but how in the world that thing is gonna turn into corn is another matter entirely. It takes time, faith, and patience. We live in a world of immediacy and urgency. Nothing about this world system is training us up in patience. If you're gonna have any perseverance and patience, and if I'm gonna have any perseverance and patience, and that's what it's gonna take for us to fulfill our callings, that we will do it deliberately because nothing out there is going to train us in it.
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