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Charles Stanley - A God-Centered Message



Well, the Bible is a God-centered book, with a God-centered message, for God-centered people. Does that fit you? Well a few of you. Certainly I hope it fits all of us. God-centered book, with a God-centered message, for God-centered people, who want to walk in the ways of God, be obedient to God, experience the blessings of God, which is exactly what happens when we trust Him. When we come to this book of Exodus and we begin to see how God works in people's lives, sometimes we think, "Well, that's what happened back yonder". No, this book is up-to-date from Genesis 1:1, all the way to the last verse of the Revelation. It's the issue is, do we see the lesson?

Do we see what God is saying to us? Because there's nothing outdated about the Bible. If you don't see it as a God-centered book with a God-centered message for God-centered people, then what do you do with it? You put it on the shelf somewhere and say, "That's one of my copies of the Bible". But if you see it as a guidebook, as a way of life, lessons that apply to all of us every single day of our life, then the Bible is a God-centered book for you. And there are only two ways to live: according to the Book, and forget the Book. And you understand what happens when you see people living their life with no relationship to God, no relationship to Christ, and no interest in the Word of God.

So, I want you to turn if you will to this sixth chapter of Exodus and I just want to mention a couple of things here before we get into the middle of it all. And they have been to Pharaoh several times asking to let the Hebrews go and he said, "No", each time. "Then the Lord said to Moses, 'Now you will shall see what I will do to Pharaoh, for under compulsion he will let them go, under compulsion he will drive them out of his land'". God spoke further to Moses and said to him, "I am the Lord".

Now, over and over again He says in this passage of Scripture. "I am the Lord. I am the Lord. I am the Lord. I am the Lord". And God intends to make a statement about our relationship to Him, our relationship to our life. And what's the principal? What is the lesson from this passage? What's God trying to say? Well, God has a will for each and every one of us. And that will is according to His best plan. He knows about your abilities, your talents, your skills and whatever.

So, what's happening here is that God's people have been in bondage all these years and God has called Moses after he reached the age of eighty to confront Pharaoh to let them go. And naturally, he doesn't want to let them go. They've been in bondage and they have been doing all the work. So, when we think about this whole idea of the will of God for our life, and how He works in our life, and how things happen that we think are just happenstance are the divine will of God.

And so, when you look at this passage, I want us to see a couple of things that I think apply to all of us. He says over and over and over again, "I will, I will, I will". And likewise, He says in this passage again and again, "I am the Lord. I am the Lord. I am the Lord. I am the Lord". Would you agree that God is the Lord of your life? Well, a few of you right here in the middle do. Do you sense God as the Lord of your life? That means He's in control. You submit to His control because you want the best for your life.

And so, here is this awesome servant of God who grew up in Egypt in the palace of Pharaoh himself. Banished on the other side of the wilderness, and now God has said to him at the age of eighty, I have your most important work to do. So, this is where we get in trouble. When we can't quite figure out how God wants us to do something, we hesitate doing it. And as a result, what happens is, we step out of the will of God and God is not able to accomplish what He wants to do in our life.

And I think about a lot of people who've lived half their life, or most of their life, or whatever it might be and are still wondering what God was up to in their life when they were born. The truth is He has a purpose for every single one of us. And it's, it's a joy to find out what the purpose is. Sometimes it's frightening, it must have been frightening to Moses to find out, "You want me to go back and talk to Pharaoh about letting the people know, go? And God, You know he's not going to"?

So, it looked like an impossible task, but the issue is this. When He says four times, "I am the Lord. I am the Lord. I am the Lord. And, I am the Lord", He was making a point. You don't have to worry about what the responsibility is going to be or what the consequences are going to be. All you have to remember is this. He who sent you is the Lord, the Sovereign of the universe. So, when you and I are faced with situations and circumstances and we think, "Well God, You couldn't be expecting me to do thus and so". Remember who's calling you. Remember who's telling you. Remember who's talking to you, that is Almighty God. And yet, He was asking him to do something that appeared impossible.

So, I want us to look at this in this light. Whatever God calls you to do, He assumes full responsibility. Did you get that? What did I say? He assumes full responsibility for equipping you, enabling you, supplying you with whatever's necessary for you to do what He calls you to do. And I think many people miss out on God's blessings because they think, "Well, Lord, here's what You're asking me to do", forgetting the fact He would never ask you to do anything that He would not equip you to do, provide for you to do, whatever that might be. And what He was asking of Moses was impossible, from all human's point of view.

"You mean, God, You're asking me to go back where I was thrown out of, and asking Pharaoh, who's the ruler of the world as far as they were concerned, to do anything"? "Yes, I am". Well, think about this. Be blessed with the very idea that God would choose to have you do anything! In other words, if Almighty God, the Sovereign of the universe, decides to ask you to do this and, or that, or whatever it might be, be blessed the fact that He sees within you the potential. And with His command, or His charge, or His responsibility, His requirement comes all that is necessary to enable you to accomplish it no matter what it is.

So, remember we said this is a God-centered book. His message is God-centered. Everything about it is God-centered. So, if that be true, do you believe that whatever God calls you to do He'll enable you to do it? Well, a few people down here in front do. Think about this. Do you believe that God will enable you to do whatever He requires you to do? Then, you should be open to whatever He requires you to do. Right? So, why are you hesitating? It may be God has said something to you about your job, about your marriage, your home, whatever it might be. Your health? God is able to equip you, enable you, give you whatever is necessary in order to accomplish His will, His purpose for your life.

So, He's committed Himself to Moses. "I'm sending you to do an impossible task. And I'm going with you. I am the Lord, I am the Lord, I am the Lord, I am the Lord and here's what I will do". And He promises over and over and over again. This is why prayer is such an important part of our life. Because when you and I humble ourselves before Him and get quiet and ask God to speak to our heart, what is He going to do? He's going to give us direction for our life. And with that direction, listen, that direction may not have to come but one time. But, but the reassurance and the enlarging of our confidence may come over and over and over again because He knows that some things He may require of us, we just don't see how we could do it.

And I think all of us would agree with with Moses at this point. And here he is at a point in his life that, first of all, he was banished out of, out of Egypt and now God is sending him back and He's sending him back to free a whole nation of about two million people, and he doesn't have an army. He doesn't have anything but the Word of God. And watch this carefully. That's all you need to obey God is His Word. Watch this. When He tells you to do something, with that command is everything you will possibly need in order to be obedient to God. And oftentimes people head in the right direction, want to do what God wants them to do and because they can't figure it out, in other words, it just doesn't all add up.

They say, "Well, God, You must be talking to somebody else". Well naturally, naturally Moses probably thought that, but notice how God spoke to him. He spoke to him through a burning bush that he would never forget. He didn't just whisper in the dark. In the burning bush, He said, "I'm sending you to do an impossible task. But I'm going with you and with Me will be your power, because I'm going to exercise My power through you to get it all done".

How many times have we missed opportunities in life because we were interpreting the opportunity in the light of the way we see ourselves? Well, I could never do that. Well, that would never work for me. That must be, God must be speaking to somebody else. No. You say, "Well, at this point in my life, God couldn't do thus and so". Don't underestimate what God can do in your life. Listen, it may be something that no one else thinks is fantastic, but you know in your heart, being who you are, being where you came from, being your past and what's happening in your life, it's an awesome thing.

So, don't compare God's command to you to God's command to someone else. Because God in all His wisdom knows exactly what you're capable of doing and being with His help, with His strength, with His guidance, with His power, with His support, with His encouragement. And when you have that, nothing is impossible. That is, whatever God requires of us, watch this, with the requirement comes everything necessary to get it done. And this is why He said to him four times, "I am the Lord, I am the Lord, I am the Lord, I am the Lord". And this is why He said to him in this passage, "I will lay My hand on Egypt, bring out My hosts, My people the sons of Israel, from the land of Egypt".

Listen, He said, by great judgment. And so He didn't tell him a lot, but He says, "By great judgment I'm going to do it". So, you and I don't have to figure out how God is going to do whatever He wants to do in our life. Obey God, and leave all the consequences to Him. So, the question is this, "Do I believe God can handle all the consequences"? Yes, or no? If I hesitate to obey Him, here's what it says. I don't trust Him. I don't believe Him. I don't think He can handle it. No. We trust Him. If Moses had waited till God had shown him all the details, he would never have left the mountaintop. But He says, "Here's what I'm going to do, trust Me". And he trusted Him.

So, when I think about this passage of Scripture and think about what he faced and think about the impossibility of it, it was possible only because one man was willing to trust God. So, wonder what would happen in your life if you honestly and truly said today, "Lord, I don't know how much time I have left, but for the rest of it, I'm going to give it all to You. I don't understand what You'll do with me. I don't understand how You'll do it. I don't understand with whom You'd have me to do it. But Lord, the rest of my life belongs to You. Forgive me for waiting this long to give it to You, but the rest of it belongs to You. I want to know, Lord, what could You do in my life at this point"?

And one of the first things the devil's going to say to you is, "Ahhhhhhh, you're dreaming". No. What does God want to do in your life? Now watch this. You may be eighty and what God wants to do in your life may be through somebody else who's twenty, whom God will use to do an awesome work in the lives of many other people, but He started with you. Don't underestimate what God is willing to do in your life. Because you can't figure that out. And when I read these passages and read what He says, "I'm going to lay My hand on Egypt and bring out My hosts, My people the sons of Israel from the land of Egypt by great judgments".

The only thing He told him how He was going to do it, by great judgments. That is, I'm going to judge Egypt. He would never have figured out how He was going to do that. When God wants to accomplish something, He finds somebody or some people through whom He wants to do it. And the question is this. Are you living available for God to choose you to do something that maybe you never even thought about before? Don't underestimate what God can do in your life. Can you imagine first of all, let's take a look at who Moses is. Born into slavery, placed in a basket, placed in the river, and miraculously ends up in Pharaoh's household, educated with the very best, and forty years tossed out of the country, other side of the desert.

In other words, what a mixed up messed up life that looked like. God's hand was in it all the way. He was taking a Hebrew from among the Hebrews into a pagan land and doing what? Educating him, listen, educating him not to serve in Egypt. Educating him to do what? To spend forty years in the desert never recognizing that it was God who put him there. It was God who kept him there, and God kept him there long enough that he had no hope of anything until God arrived on the scene. Watch this. Never too late to listen to God. It may be too late for some things, but it's never too late to listen to God.

What is it that kept Moses' feet on the ground and his heart toward God? That is, "I am the Lord, I am the Lord, I am the Lord, I am the Lord". I'll take you for My people. I'll be your God. I'll bring you out. I'll give you a possession. What's God saying? This is why's we start this message off and that's simply this. The Word of God is a God-centered book, with a God-centered message, for God-centered people. This is the Book, and this Book should not be on your shelf, but on your table or in front of you, whatever it might be. What is God saying to you?

You say, "Well, now I don't know if that applies to me". Yes, it does. Watch this. Do you think that God has kept all this together for all these years and it not apply to you? Which part of it doesn't apply to you? Well, you say, "Well, what about that part about Daniel being in a Lion's Den? That doesn't apply to me". Well, it better apply to you, for the simple reason there are lots of dens besides lion's dens, amen? And therefore, if you're walking in the will of God, living in the will of God, nothing can touch you any more than could touch Daniel. All of this, this isn't just history, this is life lived out in the power of God so that you and I have one example after example, after example of God's grace and love and mercy and goodness, forgiveness and cleansing and eternal life.

That's what this Book's all about. So, if you don't read the Bible, you're just cheating yourself. And that's why God, who knew Moses perfectly, said to him, "I will, I will, I will, I will", eleven times. That's just why He said to him, "I am the Lord. I am the Lord. I am the Lord. I am the Lord", four times. Why do you think God says it so many times? Because He knows our minds are so full of so many other things that He wants to remind us that He's still God. And that He still does what He promised to do. That He's still the God of the Old Testament and the New Testament. He's the same God who led one man, one man, who was a shepherd to free two million people to serve God. One man.

Don't underestimate what God wants to do in your life. And don't listen, don't try to compare yourself with somebody else. In the mind of God, you don't know what's going to happen in that person's life who's going to influence somebody else's life, who's gonna be an influence in somebody else's life in a way that you and I could never figure out. And when I read this over and over, and over, it comes to me that in these few verses He says, "I will do to Pharaoh. I will bring them out. I will deliver them. I will redeem them. I will take you. I will be your God. I will bring, give, make. I'll do all of those things".

Why do you think God said that so many times to him? Because He knew that Moses would have a lot of reasons to doubt Him. "I was an enemy and You're sending me back. I'm a shepherd. And besides that, what a mixed up crowd that is. Besides that, they'd probably take my life if I went back". Think of all the justifiable reasons Moses had to say, "I can't do that. That'd be suicide. I'd make a fool of myself. They would never accept me. I'm an enemy. I couldn't do that".

Don't underestimate what God will do in your life, because what you're doing is, you're limiting God. What you're doing is, you're doubting God. But He said to him, "I am the Lord. I am the Lord. I am the Lord. I am the Lord". It must have been reiterating in Moses' mind night after night, after night: "I am the Lord. I am the Lord. I am the Lord. I am the Lord". Don't underestimate what God can do in your life. It may be that you may have a conversation with somebody who would change their life whom God will use to change many other people's lives.

You say, "But I'm"... Mm, mm, mm. Forget the buts and the ifs and just say, "Lord, here I am. Whatever You want to do in my life, Lord, here I am. I'm going to trust You, God. Maybe I haven't trusted You many years, but I'm, the rest of my life, I'm going to trust You. I just want to see what You can do in my life, God". You don't ever have to worry about God failing. He will use you beyond your expression, if you will trust Him.

And Moses is a perfect example of it. Who am I, Lord? And God showed him. Who are you? God'll show you. And you can have one of two responses. You can walk out of here thinking, "Well, that was just a sermon. That was about Moses". No, it's about you and about me. It's about us. It's about all of us who name the name of Jesus as our Savior. And watch this. Here's the reason it's so important. You don't know what God is going to do through your life today that you won't ever see a generation from now. You may be living for today and God sees that, but He also sees the influence, the testimony, your witness in somebody else's life.

The important thing is this. Are you living to the fullest of your life each day? So that whatever God has in mind, He'll be able to say to you, "Well done, my good and faithful servant". If I were sitting out there where you and I were not a Christian, here's the question I'd think. I'd think, "Well now, if that's really the truth, what should I do"? And I'll answer that question. Surrender your life, to the Lord Jesus Christ and say, "Okay, God, here's what's left, Lord. I give myself to You and whatever You choose to do, the answer is yes".

Maybe you're already saved, and you're sitting here this morning and you've got your life pretty well planned out, or you think you have, or you've about figured out when you think you're going to die, how long you're going to live, and all those things. Why don't you forget all about that, and for the next thirty seconds think this, "God, here I am". This is all I have to offer this morning, but I'm giving You myself so that, the rest of my life, demonstrate what You can do to a man or woman my age, my capacities, demonstrate what You can do through me the rest of my life. Here I am, in Jesus' name. Amen?

Father, we love You and praise You and bless You for Your forgiveness and cleansing. Forgive us, Father, for our doubts, our fears. Forgive us for trying to program our life better than You've programmed it. Forgive us, Father, for thinking there are some things You can't do in our life, for limiting Your possibilities, for limiting Your will in our life. Father, forgive us for comparing ourselves with other people, what they can or cannot do. Or what we think we can or cannot do.

Thank You for being this awesome, indescribable, invincible God who can do anything, everything and all things, and who's waiting for us to yield ourselves totally completely and absolutely to You. Lord God, may each one of us afresh and anew this morning say yes, yes, yes, yes, God, to whatever You have. Yes is the answer. Yes, yes, yes! And then, watch You work and know in our hearts You make no mistakes. You provide all of our needs. You enable us to do whatever You require us to do. And you will reward us for our obedience. We just say thank You, thank You, thank You for patience, love, kindness and generosity. In Jesus' name. Amen.

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