Greg Laurie — The Excuses of a World Changer
If you want to be a world changer you need to learn how to say yes to God and how to say no to the devil and how to refuse certain things. That is what we are going to look at now. The life of Moses. A world changer. This is part two on Moses. We are going to look at what he said NO to. That is where we are going to pick the story up in Hebrews chapter 11. "It was by faith," verse 24, "That Moses when he grew up refused to be treated as a son of Pharaoh's daughter. He chose to suffer the oppression of God's people instead of the fleeting pleasures of sin. He thought it was better to suffer for the sake of the Messiah than own the treasures of Egypt. And he was looking ahead to the great reward that God would give him".
Interesting phrase. Better to suffer for the sake of the Messiah, who had not yet come, than to own the treasures of Egypt. And that is such an accurate description of what was going on. For Moses the world was his oyster. He could have anything he wanted. He had affluence and influence. The most beautiful clothing. The best meals. That finest education. And if he had played his cards right he might've been the most important man on the face of the earth. But underneath that beautiful apparel beat the heart of a Jew. His fellow Hebrews were suffering under the cruel taskmasters of Egypt. And he cared for his fellow Jews and for him he could not stay in this place that he was. He had to leave the palace. And verse 24 by faith when he grew up he refused to be treated as a son of Pharaoh's daughter. He grew up.
I heard that expression a lot when I was growing up. Teachers would say it to me. Other people would say Greg Laurie will you just grow up. Because I was always a prankster. I was always getting into trouble. I wore diapers until I was 30. Never shared that before. That was a joke by the way. Just wanted to see if you were listening. But the idea is I wasn't growing up as quickly as people wanted me to. Some people need to grow up. Now this of course is talking about Moses just getting older. But it's also about maturing. We need to grow up spiritually. One of the indications of spiritual growth is when we start thinking about others more than ourselves. If Moses just thought of himself he would say hey man I am living the life of a king. I will just stay right here. But no. Others were suffering and he thought I've got to do something to alleviate their suffering. He refused a lot of things. What did he refuse? He refused a position of power in Egypt.
Offering commentary on the life of Moses young Stephen said in acts 7:22 Moses was educated in the learning of the Egyptians. But see God didn't want him to be Moses the Egyptian scholar. God wanted him to be Moses the man of God. And by the way that's what the Lord wants from each of us as well. Moses refused the pleasures of Egypt. For him to stay in this place the power would've been sinful. Now God has used other men and women in the corridors of power to influence leaders. Of course we know Daniel was taken along with the other Israelites into the captivity of Babylon. But he had great influence on king Nebuchadnezzar. In fact Babylon played a role in the conversion of king Nebuchadnezzar. Some people don't know that Nebuchadnezzar the king became a believer. Daniel also influenced Darius Belshazzar too but Belshazzar did not listen.
So the point of this is that we have to ask ourselves Lord where do you want me to be. He might put you in a corridor of power. He might have you laboring in relative obscurity. But wherever you are you need to use your influence for his glory and ask yourself the question am I going to enjoy life in my own way or am I going to employ my life serving God and others. Let me simplify it. Are you going to enjoy your life or employ your life? Let me clarify something. If you employ your life for the glory of God you will enjoy your life like never before. Because serving the Lord is the most joyful thing you can do. Am I right? Do you know what I am talking about? It's true.
The Bible says in his presence there is fullness of joy and on his right hand there are pleasures forevermore. We who are serving the Lord have discovered a secret. And Jesus said it to us very clearly. He said it is more blessed to give than it is to receive. Another way you could translate blessed is happy. If you want to be a happy person be a giving person. If you want to be an unhappy person be a selfish person. If you want to be a happy person be a generous person. If you want to be a miserable person be a stingy person. Be generous with everything God gives you. Be generous with your time. Be generous with your money. Be generous with whatever is at your disposal. But if you're always hoarding and thinking how others can cater to you you're not going to enjoy this happiness. What motivated Moses?
God wants to use all of us at every stage of our life. Listen to what God says to Moses in Exodus 3. I am the God of your father. I am the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. When we hear that it sounds very impressive. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Right. But wait. Let's think about it for a moment because in the world changer series we've seen the flaws of everyone that God used. These people are not in the hero's hall of faith because they were great people. They are in the hero's hall of faith because they had faith in a great God. This hall of faith of Hebrews 11 is filled with a lot of interesting characters. All with serious problems.
Abraham the father of faith had flaws and lapses of faith and lied on multiple occasions. Jacob. Oh he was legendary for his deception and manipulation. Isaac favored one son over another and didn't really listen to the Lord. So really when God says to Moses I am the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob what he is saying is I am the God of flawed people. I am the God of people that make mistakes. Really what the Lord is saying is I am the God of second chances. And why would he say that to Moses? Because Moses needed a second chance. He killed a man and he had spent 40 years thinking he probably would never do anything for the Lord. But the Lord said buddy I'm recommissioning you. So park the Winnebago and let's get busy. We've got work to do. And we're going to go and deliver a nation from the power of Egypt. I'm aware of all that my people are going through. The Lord says that he has heard and he has seen the affliction that the people are facing. Moses I'm calling you to lead them out.
Now what Moses should've done was fall on his face and say thank you Lord for a second chance. I'm ready to go. But what Moses does instead is offer up a bunch of excuses as to why he can't serve the Lord. Exodus 3:11. I don't deserve to be used by God. He says who am I to appear before Pharaoh. Moses asked God how can you expect me to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. In a way Moses had a point. I mean would you pick Moses if you were God? Why not pick some young guy. Moses had a lot of baggage. He made a lot of mistakes. And in a way was sort of a has been. A failure. Even an embarrassment. Why use him. Use somebody different. No. I want Moses.
I have been whipping this boy this into shape for a long time. And he is ready to rumble. This is my man. You know it seems as though God goes out of his way to pick the most unexpected people. God wants to reach the nation of Nineveh so the Lord calls Jonah. Listen. Jonah was a racist. You say what do you mean? He hated the Ninevites. He wanted God to kill the Ninevites. God said you're the perfect guy to go preach to the Ninevites. I don't want to go. Yeah. Whatever. Let's go. And a great revival broke out.
When God wanted a courageous man to lead Israel out of the bondage of the midianites their enemies so he chooses Gideon who happens to be hiding from his enemy when the angel appears to him. Hiding behind a wall sort of threshing the wheat. An angel appears and says hey Gideon you mighty man of courage. The Lord is with you. Gideon is like is there another Gideon here. What you mean me. Yeah you. That doesn't make any sense. If there's anything Gideon was not at the moment it was a mighty man of courage.
Listen to this. God doesn't see you for what you are. He sees you for what you can become. He sees potential. It is said that the great master artist Michelangelo was looking at a big slab of marble. And he said I want to liberate an angel from that marble. See the great artist Michelangelo could just look at a slate of stone and see what would come from it. God looks at you and says I know what you can be. You don't know it yet but I know. I know what I can make you into. You'll be a mighty man of God. You'll be a mighty woman of God. I don't care if you are young or you are old or you think you're qualified? I will make you into that.
So God is saying Moses I've called you to be this man. Moses protested if I go to the people and tell them the God of your ancestors has sent me to you they won't believe me. They will ask which God are you talking about and what is his name. Then what would I tell them? God says we just tell them I am who I am. Just say the I am has sent me to you. Funny thing. Moses says who am i? God says I am that I am. Stop talking about yourself. Stop thinking about yourself. You just tell them I am has sent you. Moses it's not about you. It's about me. I think a lot of times we're afraid if we engage a nonbeliever with the Gospel that they will ask us a hard question we don't of the answer to. I don't have all the answers. So what? Just get out there and share your faith. If you don't have an answer go back and study more and you'll have more answers next time for sure. But don't let that stop you from telling others about Jesus. I don't know if I can prove the existence of God. My job is not to prove the existence of God. My job is to proclaim the good news of the Gospel.
You say what if they don't believe in the Bible can I still quote it? Are you kidding? God says of his word that it's alive and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword. If they believe it or not it is what it is. And so that would be like you know talking to someone you have a sword. They say I like I don't believe your sword is real ok man. Like I think your sword is like just an imagination. Here let me use my sword on you for a moment. They are going to believe the sword is real when I give them a good poke with it. I don't believe in the Bible. I don't think it is inspired by God. Really. Interesting. Here's what the Bible says. You just share it with them and the power of God's word will penetrate their heart. God says my word will not return to me void. It will prosper in the place where I send it.
The people won't believe me. That's in Exodus 4. The people won't believe me. Exodus 4:1. Moses protested again. They won't believe me. They won't do what I tell them. They will say the Lord never appeared you. The Lord says what do you have there in your hand. Moses said it is a shepherd's staff. Throw it to the ground the Lord said. Moses threw it to the ground and it became a snake. Moses was terrified and he turned and ran away. This is funny to me. He throws it. It is a snake! Probably a cobra. The Lord said take hold of the snake. And he reached out and grabbed it and it became a shepherd staff again. Exodus 4:5. Perform this sign and they will believe you the Lord told him. They will realize that the Lord the God of their ancestors the God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob has appeared to you.
So here is what God is saying. I am more powerful than the snake. I am more powerful than Egypt. I am more powerful than Pharaoh. So pick it up. Our modern vernacular might be take the tiger by the tail. Don't be intimidated. Face your fears and say the Lord is greater than all of my fears. That's what Moses did. He picked it up because he was being commissioned by God. And we have been commissioned as well by the Lord to represent Christ to a pagan culture. Moses was called to the pagan culture of Egypt. We're called to the pagan culture of the United States of America and to the world. And when I say pagan I don't mean that in a mean way. I mean it in a descriptive way.
When I use the word pagan I'm talking about people that believe in anything and everything but the right thing. There was a time when maybe because of our Judeo-Christian foundation there was a stronger belief in God and higher church attendance. But those days are far behind us. And most people as I said really have no understanding of scripture. They know very little about Christ himself. And I don't think most Americans have even heard the Gospel proclaimed accurately. I'm not a good speaker. I don't think I am. But I have a great message. And I'm confident in my message and that's why I proclaim it. And you have that same message. We all need to get it out. By the way by that applause I'm assuming you're affirming that I'm not a good speaker so thanks for that.
I'm not qualified. Verse 13. Lord please send it by the hand of whomever else you will send. That's a fancy way of saying get someone else to do it. Here I am Lord send him. Not me. And then he actually suggests his brother Aaron. You know Aaron my bro he is a guy who can talk. Man he has got the gift of gab. Use him. God says I don't want Aaron. I want you. I can't do it. I have a speech impediment. I stumble over my words. I stutter. I... I... I... I am not the guy. Yeah that's why I want you.
I want you an amazing story Jack Hibbs the pastor. Do you know him? Jack came to Christ at a Bible study I was giving years ago. You know how he came to the church. He saw a car load of cute girls. He is a nonbeliever. He follows them. Where are these cute girls going? He thought it was a party. They pull into a church parking lot. So he walks in. What is this? He sat down and I was speaking that night. And he accepted Christ. And he had no idea as to what God was to do with his life. He had a serious problem with stuttering. He could not utter a single sentence without stuttering multiple times. And he got married and he prayed. And he told me the first time he shared the Gospel with someone the stuttering went away. And after that he says I never stuttered again. I thought that is amazing.
So you come with your problems and say Lord help. The Lord can turn a disability into an ability. Stop with the excuses. They're not legit. You have no reason why you can't be used of God. You only have lame excuses. The Lord says I want you to do it. Say Lord thank you. I will do it and I know you will help me to do it. And ultimately Moses agreed and did what the Lord called him to do.
Let me say one last thing as we bring this message to a close. As Moses went out to proclaim this message of delivering the Israelites from Egypt the Pharaoh was resistant. So know this. When you decide to do God's will the devil is not going to help you. Okay. The devil is going to oppose you with everything he has. We will talk about that next time. But let me shift gears to one final point about excuses. Not only are there excuses we offer as to why we can't be used by God. But there are excuses offered as to why we will not become a Christian. You know you talk to people about their need for Jesus. They will say I don't believe in that. You say why? They will say you know the Bible is full of contradictions.
When someone says that to me if I have a Bible, I love to pull it out and say well I have a Bible right here. Show me one. 9 times out of 10 maybe 99 times out of 100 they don't know any contradictions. Because they never read the Bible. They just say that to make you go away. And if perchance they know of an alleged contradiction they are usually answered pretty easily. They will say I don't want to become a Christian because well the church is full of hypocrites. My word to them or to you if that your issue is come on and join us. There is always room for one more. Now look that's a joke. Okay. Don't take me seriously. By that I mean I'm not excusing hypocrisy. I wish we were better representatives of Christ. But having said that, that is an excuse really. There are hypocrites in the church. So what? That doesn't change what Christ said. That doesn't change what he promises. I have a lot of questions you might say. I have so many questions. I have questions about questions and even a few more questions.
All right. I understand that. I did too. But I will say this to you. If you will come to Jesus with all your questions I guarantee most of them will be answered in short order. Maybe not every single one. There might be a few you will have to save for heaven. But for the most part once that sin in your heart is removed because you believed in Jesus so many of those questions will be answered. Really what you're wanting to know is why am I here on this earth. What the meaning of my life? Here's the answer. You're here on this earth to know God. And you'll find meaning in your life when you come to Jesus Christ who died on the cross for you 2,000 years ago and shed his blood for the sins you committed and rose again from the dead and will forgive you right now.