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James Merritt - Don't Beat Around the Bush

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    James Merritt - Don't Beat Around the Bush
TOPICS: Red Sea Moments, Exodus, Moses

True story. You won't believe it. This happened. Former of president George W. Bush was in an airport lobby and he noticed a man in this long flowing white robe. He had long flowing white hair and a long flowing white beard. He had a staff in one hand and two stone tablets on the other hand. So he walks up to this guy and he says, "Excuse me, are you Moses"? The man just ignored him. He just stared at the ceiling. Wouldn't even talk to him. So Bush got right in front of his face and he said again, "Sir, I'm asking you, are you Moses"? And the man just started at the ceiling and would not even look at at president Bush, it was not the president's time. But so finally Bush tugs on the man's sleeve. And he said, "Sir, I want to know, are you Moses"?

And the man finally responded in a very irritated voice, "Yes, I am, get away from me". And Bush looked at the man and he said, "Why are you so irritated"? And he said, "I'll tell you why. The last time I spoke to a Bush, I spent 40 years in the desert. Get away from me". Now, if you're familiar with the story of Moses, you'll understand the humor of that story. But if you're not, let me just kind of take you back, 'cause you will be after today. If you're new today or you've not been watching for a while, we started a series last week, we're calling "Red Sea Moments". We're gonna study the life of Moses. And if you missed last week, let me kind of give you a rerun and catch up where we were. When we last left Moses, he had just been rescued from a basket made of reeds as an infant. He had been adopted into Pharaoh's household and he spends the next 40 years going up as Egyptian royalty.

Now get the picture. Pharaoh has adopted him as his grandson. His daughter is now Moses's mother or Moses's particularly mother and caregiver. He's been educated by the leading thinkers of Egypt. He is the fair-haired golden boy. He's every girl's dream. He was the most eligible bachelor in all of Egypt. I mean, he is the man. There was a servant woman selected by the palace to help raise him, who was none other than his own mother. But his mother taught him something. From the time he's a little boy she said, "Moses, you're not one of them. You're one of us. You are not an Egyptian. You're a Hebrew. You're not a pagan. We believe in God". Well, one day he sees this Egypt beating one of his countrymen, takes matters into his own hands. He kills this Egyptian, tries to cover it up, but the body is discovered.

Now Moses has to flee. And he flees to this desert called Midian. He becomes a shepherd, marries a woman, has a family, goes from the penthouse to the outhouse. And Moses seems resigned. He's gonna spend the rest of his life on the backside of the desert. Nobody will ever know who he was. Nobody will ever care. He's gonna be in total obscurity. Now the interesting thing is, Exodus tells us basically nothing about the 40 year period of Moses' life. It only takes 12 verses. And all we know is what I just told you. He's a shepherd in a desert. He's got a woman. He's got kids. That's all we know. And for 40 years, God goes silent. You don't hear a word from God, not a peep, not a whisper, not a word. And then all of a sudden, God shows back up and the same God that rescued Moses as a baby, now it comes to an 80 year old man through a bush that began to burn, but it would not burn up. And he taught Moses three important lessons that he would never forget. And that we should never forget either.

Now let me just kind of say this to those who may be watching online right now. Some of you in this room, you may be asking, I got a question. This guy's been dead for 3,500 years. What has he got to do with me? What does a Red Sea have to do with me? What does a burning bush have to do with me? Well, as you're going to learn in this series, we all have Red Sea moments. We all have what I call burning bushes in our lives. And Moses is all of us. And we are Moses and the God of Moses is still alive. And the God that moved in his life wants to move in your life. So today you're going to learn three lessons. And here's what I wanna teach you today. You ready? Don't ever beat around a bush that calls your name. I like that, don't you? I thought that's pretty clever. Don't ever beat around a bush that calls your name.

If you brought a copy of God's word, I'm in the book of Exodus. That's the second book in the Bible. The third chapter. Now let me tell you, I'm talking to today. You either today, there's some of you right now and you know what you feel like, where you are in your life. You feel like you're on the backside of the desert. You feel like God's forgotten you. Things are not going well in your life. Maybe you didn't get to do in life what you wanted to do. And you've never gotten to do what you did want to do, or maybe you got to do what you did and it didn't work out that well. And for whatever reason, you are in an emotional, spiritual Barron desert, and you think nobody knows. And nobody cares. If you believe that, there are three lessons, I would encourage you to write down. If you don't need them today, you will need them tomorrow. They were true about Moses. They are true of about you.

Number one, remember God confirms his promise. God confirms his promise. Now the third chapter of Exodus begins pretty innocently. Here's what we read. Now, Moses was tending the flock of Jethro. That's important by the way. His father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness. And he came to Horeb, the mountain of God. Now keep in mind 40 years God hadn't said anything. Deathly silent. You could hear a pin drop, 40 years. Not a peep, not a whisper, not a word, for 14,600 days. All Moses is known is three things, sand, sheep, and silence. That's all he's known all these years.

Now, here's what I wanna tell you. You may feel like the same way. You may feel just like Moses. You may say, you know, that's the way I feel. All I got around me is sand and all I've got around me is sheep. And all I've got around me is silence. I want you to remember this just because God doesn't say anything doesn't mean that God hasn't said anything. And it doesn't mean he no longer has anything to say, but here's what you gotta understand about Moses. The story of Moses doesn't actually begins with Moses. The Moses actually begins 600 years earlier with a man named Abraham. So we've got to leave Exodus for just a moment. We gotta go back to the book of Genesis. Centuries before Moses was ever born, God made a promise to Abraham.

In fact, he made a prediction and a promise. He said, Abraham, I'm gonna make a great nation out of you. I'm gonna make a nation out of you that you will not believe. You won't even be able to number the sands of the sea. There will be so many descendants that you're going to have. However, your people will be afflicted. Your people will be persecuted and your people will be enslaved for 400 years. We read this in Genesis 15. As the sun was setting, Abraham fell into a deep sleep, and the thick and dreadful darkness came over him. Then the Lord said to him, know for certain, that for 400 years your descendants will be strangers in a country, not their own, and they will be enslaved and they will be mistreated there.

Now God has a perfect record when it comes to keeping predictions and making predictions. When God makes a prediction, they always come true. They absolutely never fail. God would be the greatest weatherman in the history of this planet. If he says it's gonna rain, it'll rain. If he says it's not gonna rain, it won't rain. His predictions always come true. So what happens? The Israelites move to Egypt. Pharaoh dies. A new ruler comes on board. They're afflicted. They're mistreated. They're enslaved. However, along with God's prediction to Abraham, he makes a promise. Here's the promise. But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves. And afterward, they will come out with great possessions. He says, Abraham, your people will be enslaved, but they will be liberated. They will be delivered. And just as God's predictions always come true, God's promises are always kept.

So now we're 400 years later, the Hebrew people have given up on God. They had forgotten God, but God had not forgotten them. So now we're back in Exodus. During that long period, the king of Egypt died. The Israelites grown in their slavery and cried out and their cry for help because of their slavery went up to God, God heard their groaning. He remembered his covenant, his promise. He remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob. So God looked on the Israelites and he was concerned about them. No, God had not gone to sleep at the wheel. God had not turned his back on his people. God had not forgotten his promise.

I want you to hear me clearly. The moon may quit glowing and the rivers may quit flowing. And the wind may quit blowing. The waves may quit crashing. And the clouds may quit raining. But no matter whatever happens, God will never fail to keep his promise. Never has, never will. Now though Moses didn't know it, though Moses didn't know it, when he was born, though his parents didn't know it when they conceived him, though the Hebrew people didn't know it when they saw him, this man named Moses always reminds me of one thing, God, you always keep your word. God, you always keep your promise. When you say you're going to do something, you always do what you say you will do. Don't beat around the bush.

Realize God keeps his promises. But number two, realize God calls his people. Remember God confirms his promise, but realize God calls his people. Now, remember God had promised Abraham, I'm gonna send you a deliverer, but what does God do? Here's how great God is. He doesn't delegate that to anybody. He handpicks the man. He chooses the man. He says, okay, Moses, you're going to do it. And here's what God does. In God's Providence, he chooses the only man in the world that was uniquely qualified to deal with Pharaoh and the nation of Egypt. We're reading in Exodus three. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him. Flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire, it did not burn up.

So Moses thought I will go over and see this strange sight. Why the bush does not burn up. When, this is important, when the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called him from within the bush, "Moses, Moses"! And Moses said, "Here I am". Pretty simple, right? Moses in the desert, he sees a bush that catches on fire, which by the way, in dry parch land under our hot sun, wasn't all that unusual. What was unusual was Moses is watching that bush, but there's no ashes. It's not consumed. It's burning, but it doesn't burn out and it doesn't burn up. So what does Moses decide to do? He walks over and he puts all of his focus on that bush.

Now watch what the Bible says. The Bible says, when he looked at the bush, then God spoke. What's the lesson? It is when we're most focused on God that he speaks most clearly to us. It is when we are most focused on God that he speaks most clearly to us. You know what I've told people all in my ministry. You ought to have a time every day when you open this book. You ought have a time every day, when you shut your iPad down, get off your computer, turn off your cell phone, close your door, open this book, read this book and have time with the Lord because it's when you're most focused on God that God speaks most clearly to you.

So you ought take a time every day. I do every day of my life. You need to take a time when you get away from everybody, you stop, you look, you listen, you say, God, I need you to speak to me. So now Moses hears a voice he hasn't heard in four decades. Oh, Moses may have forgotten God, but God had not forgotten Moses. Now you may be saying, boy, that's exactly where I am. I'm in the desert. And I haven't heard anything. Listen to me, you may be wandering in your own desert right now, but God hasn't forgotten you either. He didn't forget Moses, hadn't forgotten you.

Now the first words that Moses says to God are three very simple words, right? He hadn't heard from God in 40 years. God says, "Moses, Moses"! What is Moses saying? Here I am. One word in the Hebrew language. The word is hineni. Hineni, hineni. But it's the word that God wanted to hear Moses say, because, see, whenever God speaks to us, whenever God speaks to you, God speaks to me. He wants you to say one thing to him, "Here I am". God knows your identity. He knows who you are. God knows your capability. He knows what you can do. What God wants to know is your availability. Will you answer my call? Will you fulfill my plan? Will you do what I want you to do with your life? I know you stop. I know you look, I know you listen, but are you willing to obey?

Well, Moses needs to be reminded of who he's talking to. "Do not come any closer," God said. Take off your sandals for the place where you're standing is holy ground. Then he said, I'm the God of your father. The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob. At this Moses hid his face because he was afraid to look at God. Now watch this. This is so important. Just like God knew who Moses was, God knows who you are. He knows you on a first name basis. The deal is he knows who you are. He wants us to know who he is. And I've told our young people here. We had a ton of young people over the week. They're all sitting over here at 9:15. I told our young people this. I said, lemme tell you something. God is not the man upstairs. He's not the big guy in the sky. He is the holy God who created us. He is the holy God who made us. He deserves our reverence. He deserves our ultimate respect.

And by the way, wherever God is, is holy ground. When you're standing where God is standing, you're on holy ground, you know? And by the way, now I'm gonna kind of just gonna chase a rabbit for just a minute. If I can. One of two things is true when you came to church today, you have to believe one of two things. You believe that God shows up here every Sunday or you don't. Now I'm the pastor of this church. If I didn't believe God were is here, I wouldn't show up. I'm being honest. I wouldn't come here. I go find some other place. So when you walked in here, every Sunday you walk in here, you believe one or two things. I believe God is here. Or I do not believe God is here.

So I'm gonna take it by faith. The fact that you came, you said, "Yep, I believe God is here". If you believe that, this is holy ground. And I say that to say this, well, to show the same sense of reverence and respect when we gather for worship. Let me tell you what that means. If you really believe God shows up, if you really believe this is holy ground, you need to get here on time. I knew I would get an amen. Don't worry about it. You need to get here on time. You don't need to leave early. And while you're in here, you need to be here. You don't need to be on your cell phone. You don't need to be texting. You don't need to be, you know, think about where you're gonna be eating lunch. You need to be engaged. Sing when we sing. Pray when we pray, listen when we preach, take notes, listen to what God... Ask God, say every person of God, "Speak to me". You know why? Because when you're in the presence of God, he demands two things from you. I want your full attention.

And I want your full affection. And when Moses gave God those two things, then God spoke to him. Now watch what happens. Now that God has Moses' full attention, now he gets down to business. You ready? The Lord said, I've indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I've heard them crying out because of their slave drivers. I'm concerned about their suffering. So I've come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing of milk and honey. It's the home of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, the Jebusites. The termites, I mean, everybody's there. And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me and I've seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them.

So now, go. Listen, can you just see Moses' face right now? He has listened. He is excited. God, you showed up. God, you're gonna do what you said. God, you're gonna take care of business. And he's so excited. And then God says, so I'm sending you. Who? I'm sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the Israelites out of Egypt. You've been there. I'm sure all of us. If you're like me, I've never had a burning bush. I never walked by a bush and hear this deep voice go, "James". But I've had that still small voice speak to me a thousand times. And see that's the way God works. God doesn't do literal burning bushes anymore. He could, he doesn't do it that way. Usually when God calls it's just through that still small voice. It's that conviction in your heart. It's that wise word of a trusted friend.

But let me tell you what I want you to see here. God has a way of getting our attention. There's no such thing in life as coincidences. Nothing is random. I wanna tell you something. Some of you're not gonna like it. I don't particularly like it either, but it's true. So if God loves me and God cares about me, why does God allow tragedy to come into my life? Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people? Have you ever thought about the fact that he's trying to get your attention? So many people waste the bad times of life. They get bitter. They get angry. I don't deserve this. This is not right. This is not fair. And all the time, they don't see the forest for the trees because you know what?

Sometimes that's exactly what it takes for God to get your attention. It's exactly what it takes for God to remind you, you can't do life on your own. You need me. Nothing is ever random. And so things don't just happen. And God has a way of calling us and doing it such a way. We know it's him doing the calling. Now I'm gonna make a statement. Some of you are not gonna believe it. And you're gonna walk out that door, not believing it. Your life's not gonna change one bit. But if you'll believe it, it will change your life. You ready? God calls all of us to something. God calls all of us to something. God doesn't just call the Moses of this world, folks. God calls the somebodies. God calls the nobodys. God calls the everybodys. Everybody has a calling.

Now I know when some of you're sitting there, thinking right now, you're thinking, well, now you can preach all you want to, but God would never call me. Do you realize what an unlikely hero Moses was? Listen to this. This guy is 80 years old. He's slobbering when he eats. He can't sleep at night much. He's bend over. He's old. He's washed up. He was a murderer. He's a man on the run. He's a fugative from the law. He's a minimum wage shepherd. He even tells God, I don't really speak well. I've got a speech impediment. And God looks at Moses and says, yeah, that may be all, that may be true, Moses. But you're the one I promised to Abraham. And you're going to be the one that will lead the Israelites out of Egypt.

And here's what's mind boggling. And I bet you've never thought about this. What do you think God had been doing for 80 years? You ready for this? This is so cool. God had been preparing Moses to do what he wanted him to do. Now think about it. He was fluid in the Egyptian language. He knew Egypt's gatekeepers. He knew how to navigate their culture. He knew their religious beliefs and practices. He knew their laws and their loopholes. He was the perfect person to go to Egypt, the perfect person to do God's work. So let me give you some good news. If you're sitting here today and you're one of those people that are saying to yourself right now, I am the most unlikely person in the world God would ever, ever call. You are exactly the person he loves to call. He loves to call the very people that say, oh no, you would never call me.

I told our young people this. And if you're under the age of 20, I'll just tell you this. Unlike what the world will tell you, it's one of those ridiculous things I've ever heard. The world will say, you can be anything you want to be. There is a Greek word for that, stupid. Listen. If I could be anything I wanted to be, I would've played in the NBA and I'd be a billionaire today. No, you can't be everything you want to be. But I will tell you this. You can be everything that God called you to be, and God handpicked you and God handmade you to fulfill a certain calling in your life. Seren Kierkegaard said this, "At each man's birth there comes into being an eternal vocation for him, expressly for him. To be true to himself in relation to this eternal vocation is the highest thing a man can practice".

One of the biggest lies that you've been taught or you've come to believe is, well, God only calls preachers. God only calls ministers. God only calls missionaries. God calls everybody. God calls all of us. Let me give you a great illustration. How many of you have ever heard of "Veggie Tales"? Heard of "Veggie Tales"? Okay. Listen to this. Three time Emmy winning animated TV series, movie brand, has sold more than 16 million books, 7 million music albums, 250 million music streams.

Phil Vischer, creator of vegetal said he always knew from the time he was a boy, he wanted to make movies. But he grew up in a church that kept telling him, no, God only calls preachers and God only calls missionaries. And God only calls ministers and God only calls church workers. So he just figured, okay, I guess that's what I need to do, 'cause I wanna fulfill God's call. So he goes to college to study for the ministry 'cause he wanted to fulfill God's call for his life. But he said, he just couldn't get away from this thought in his heart. Every time he saw how much influence movies and TV had on kids, the more he thought how God could use him to produce high quality films, to have an impact for God. He said, I'm quoting him. "I figured God could use a filmmaker too, regardless what anybody else said".

So he drops outta college. He and a friend, Mike Nawrocki, start a video company. They turned their voices into Bob The Tomato and Larry The Cucumber. And they began teaching Christian values and virtues to a generation of kids. Phil Vischer has just as much of a calling on his life as Billy Graham, me or anybody else. And thank God he listened to that call. No, your name may not be Moses, but you are Moses. God has a calling for you. It may be teaching school. It may be building houses. It may be driving a truck. It may be developing real estate. It doesn't matter what it is. If that's your calling, God's calling, if you listen... You know why I love what I do so much? There's a lot of reasons I particularly care for what I do. You don't see the crazy wacko emails I get. You don't see the anonymous letters that I get. You don't understand that being a pastor's like being a doctor. You never get a vacation.

I go on vacation. But if something happens in the church, somebody dies or whatever, I don't wanna do funeral. I've got to come back. That's who I am. There's a lot of negative stuff about my job, but you know what? I love what I do. I love what I do. I get pumped about what I do. What I'm doing right now. You know why? You couldn't pay me enough for me to do what I do. You couldn't pay me enough to get up here and preach the way I'm preaching. You know why I get so thrilled? I know I'm fulfilling God's call for my life. This is what God called me to do. He didn't call me to do it. He called me to preach the gospel, but he called some of you to be a school teacher. Some of you to dig ditches and some of you to drive trucks, that's okay.

God calls his people. Last thing, we're done. You remember, God confirms his promise. You realize God calls his people. Now this is what we've done. You rejoice that God completes his plan. You rejoice that God can completes his plan. Now listen, God promised Abraham I'm gonna send someone to deliver. Well, it's one thing to make a promise. It's another thing to have a plan to carry it out, but God always has a plan. God's plan always works. So now Moses is about to get the shock of his life. I wish I could have seen Moses. I wish I had a cell phone, could have taken a picture. I guarantee you his chin bounced off the ground. So now go, I'm sending you the Pharaoh to bring my people, the Israelites out of Egypt. I'm sure Moses is cruising along. You're gonna do this. You're gonna do that. And he says, okay, Moses, I'm sending you.

Now, we've already said Moses was qualified to go to Egypt, but that's not all God called him to do. God said, by the way, Moses, you're not just gonna lead the people out of Egypt. You're going to lead the people into the desert before they get to the promised land and God doesn't play around. So what does God know? Watch this, this is so good. Why did God put Moses in the desert for 40 years? To punish him? To make him miserable? Nope. God put Moses in the desert for 40 years. So now what's true about Moses. Guess what? He not only knows Egypt like the back of his hand. He knows the desert like the back of his hand. He knows the name of every snake. He knows every watering hole. He knows the best pass to take and the best pass to avoid. He has a PhD in desert living.

And oh, by the way, the nation of Israel, you know what they were, they were a gigantic flock of sheep. What's Moses been doing for 40 years, he has been a shepherd. So you know what God had been doing for 40 years. Let me just say one sentence and you'll get it. Mr. Miyagi and the karate kid. All of a sudden, God comes to Moses. What does he say? Wax on, wax off. Paint the house. Moses, you know why I had you in the desert for 40 years? You know why I had you raised in Egypt? You know why I had you educated in the finest schools, took the finest leadership lessons. You know why you were a shepherd on the back side of nowhere because that same desert you've been living in is the same desert you're gonna lead those people through to get to the promised land. Don't tell many God didn't know what he's doing in your life.

One of the beautiful things about growing older and I'm one of those guys that say I'm growing older. One of the beautiful things is you look back, Wayne, this is a great lesson. You look back on your life and you realize, you thought you were pulling the strings. You thought you were moving. No, God was moving the checker pieces around the board. God was moving the chess pieces around board. God knew what he wanted to do. God knew what he wanted you to do in his plan. God has a plan. So he put Moses through 40 years of desert bootcamp. So now he's ready to lead. Moses, you can lead in Egypt. Moses, you can lead in the desert. 'Cause think about this. God didn't need Moses. God could have snapped his fingers and done what Moses did. God could have called any angel that would've been far more qualified than Moses to do what God wanted to do. He could have certainly found someone more willing, but what does God do?

This is why God is so great and why God has a sense of humor. So God, you're about to pull off what you promised 400 years ago. You're not only gonna lead the people out of Egypt, You're gonna get to the promised land. Hey God, who you gonna get to do it? Michael Jordan? A great army general? The CEO of a 500 Fortune country? No, I'm gonna take an 80 year old shepherd that's grown up in the backside of the desert. It's unbelievable. And he doesn't tell Moses how he's gonna pull it off. That's another thing that frustrates, you know, sometimes God will say, I want you to do something. You know, we'll always say, how do you want me to do it? You know, what's so frustrating? God won't answer you. I just wanna know one thing, will you do what I want you to do? Yes, Lord, but... No, no buts. Will you do what I want you to do? He does not tell Moses, here's how you're going to pull it off.

Say, well, why doesn't he do that? Because it's God's job to show us how to do it. It's our job to just be willing to do what he's gonna do before he tells us. It's his job to come up with a plan. It's our job to obey our part in the plan. What I'm trying to tell all of you today is this. Your life is not insignificant. I don't care if you're a multi billionaire, you work for minimum wage. It doesn't matter. Your life is not insignificant. You are a piece of God's puzzle. You have a part in God's plan, but God never expects you to carry that plan for him. He wants to carry that plan out through you because notice this now, none of this was Moses's idea. He's minding his own business. None of this was dependent on Moses' power.

But the God that calls people, is the God that enables people and the God that empowers people to complete his plan. 'Cause you hear this over and over in verse seven through 10, God says I have seen, I have heard, I am concerned. I have come down. Why does he keep saying that? He wants Moses to know, Moses, don't get any funny ideas. You understand who's in control of this operation. It's not you it's me. I'm the one that's in charge. But just as we all tend to do, you know what Moses does? Same thing I did when God called me to preach. He argues with God and he plays what he thinks is the Trump card. He says, oh, I know what's gonna get me out of this assignment.

So here's what he says to God. But Moses said to God, "Who am I"? He's just telling the truth. "God, I'm 80 years old. I've been out of the Egyptian loop for 40 years. All I know is how to live in the desert and scratch out a living and tend sheep. Who am I? That I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt." And how often have we done that? How often is God coming? You knew God was calling you to do something. You've had that burning bush experience, but you resist. You'll say this, "Oh God, I couldn't do that. Oh God, I'm not ready. Oh God, I'm not qualified. God surely you don't need me".

But you know, I love what God does. By the way, I'll save you some time. Whenever you have all these excuses to God, I hate to break this bubble. He doesn't listen. He doesn't pay attention. So Moses gets through and he gives Moses the only answer that he needed. Now watch this. And God said, "I will be with you". If those five words are not good enough for you in your life, you don't know the God that I know. I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that is I who sent you. When you brought the people out of Egypt, now watch this, you will worship God on this mountain. Now God just says to Moses, all right, Moses, this is what you're going to do. This is you. He says, "I'm gonna give you three things, Moses. I'm gonna give you my plan. I'm gonna give you my presence. And I'm gonna give you my power. And I promise you that I will exercise my power to carry out my plan."

And you see, he uses that little word so powerful. When. Watch this. When you brought the people out, you will worship God on this mountain. What mountain is that? It was the same mountain where God would give Moses the 10 commandments. He said, Moses, you might wanna put a marker here, 'cause we're coming back to this spot right here. 'Cause I got other work I want you to do. So here's how we wind this up. Moses said to God, suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them the God of your fathers has sent me to you, and they ask me, what's his name? Then what should I tell them?

God said to Moses, "I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites. I am has sent me to you. This is really getting complicated to Moses. So now God, who do I say you are? I am who I am. Oh great. And who is, who am who I am? Who am you? I am who I am. Translated, I will be what I will be. What did he mean by that? When he said Moses, all you need to know, and all they need to know is so simple. I am who I am. It's the name Yahweh. Most sacred name for God. Orthodox Jews won't even speak that name out loud today. I am who I am. What was God saying? Moses, let me tell you who I am. I am the God that keeps his promises. I'm the God that calls his people. I'm the God that completes his plan. Your job is to believe I keep my promises, your job is to answer when I call and your job is to obey me as I complete my plan".

So you say, okay. Here's the point of the whole story. And some of you need to hear this clearly, 'cause you're doing it right now. Don't beat around the bush with God. Too many people miss so much in their life that God wanna do. 'Cause they just beat around the bush. Say, what do you mean? I'll tell you what I mean. When it comes to God's plan for your life, don't beat around the bush. Just surrender to it. When it comes to God's purpose in your life, don't beat around the bush. Live for it. When it comes to God's presence in your life, don't beat around the bush. Walk in it. When it comes to the work that you know God's called you to do, don't beat around the bush, do it in God's power. 'Cause when you do that, you get the blessing. God gets the glory. I'm done.

Last thing. I came across a prayer when I was studying for this message. When I read that prayer, oh God, this is the prayer our people need to pray. I'm gonna leave it up here for a minute. You wanna take a picture of with your phone? You can or whatever. I would encourage you to take a picture, write it down or whatever. 'Cause let me tell you, this prayer pretty much says it all about not beating around the bush. Lord, I am willing. So I'm gonna ask you guys a question right now. Are you willing? Willing to do what? Lord, I'm willing to receive what you give. No matter what it is, I'll receive it. I'm willing to lack what you withhold.

If you don't wanna give it to me, then I'll know you don't want me to have it. I'll not gripe or complain. Lord, I'm willing to relinquish what you take. Lord, I don't own anything. You own everything. You take whatever you want. I'll be happy with whatever is left. And Lord I'm willing to suffer what you require. No matter what it takes, no matter what sacrifice, no matter how much it hurts, no matter what pain it may bring. I'm walking with you. I'm going all the way with you. You know what that prayer is? That is the prayer that brought Jesus into the world. That is the prayer He prayed in Gethsemane before he went to the cross. And if he was willing to pray that prayer. So should we. So here's the question and we're gonna say, amen. Be honest. You can't lie to God anyway.

So you're not gonna get anywhere by doing that. What are the areas in your life you've been beaten around the bush with God? When it comes to spending time with God every day, reading your Bible, speaking to God, letting God speak to you. Quit beating around the bush. You're not too busy for God. When it comes to tell people about Jesus, having a one, asking God to give you the opportunity to bring other people to Christ, quit beating around the bush. Don't keep the gospel to yourself. When it comes to your finances, quit thinking it's your money. It's not your money and God doesn't give you what he gives you just so you can blow it on yourself. God has given you what he gives you so you'll take a portion of it and give it back to him for his work.

Quit beating around the bush. When it comes to coming to church, don't just come to church. Get involved in church, get engaged in church, worship, disciples, serve, sin, quit beating around the bush. We all have a burning bush in our life. And lemme tell you something. You may think you can kind of turn your back on that bush. I got news for you. It never burns up and it never burns out. And you're gonna see that bush every day of your life. And it will not quit burning until you quit beating around that bush.

When it comes to being saved, there are people in this, may be some of you in this room right now. You're not saved. You don't know Christ. You're not ready to go to heaven. And here's what you've been thinking. I know I need to do it. I know it's right. I know it's true. I need to get around to it. Just not quite ready. Quit beating around the bush. I've been saved, but I've never been biblically baptized. Quit beating around the bush. I've been saved and I'm baptized, but I don't ever attend church. Quit beating around the bush. I'm saved and I'm baptized. I go to church, but I don't join a church. Quit beating around the bush. Life's too short. And your life's too valuable to beat around the bush.

Would you pray with me right now, with his bound, with eyes closed? I just wanna say very quickly. Jesus Christ came because he didn't beat around the bush. He died because he didn't beat around the bush. He did what God told him to do. What God had planned for him to do. You were put on this earth, you were born to be born again. You came into this world to give your life to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. And you can only do that through Jesus Christ. And if you're one of those people that's been saying for a while, yeah, you know, I need trust. I need to give my life to Jesus. I need to be forgiven. I need eternal life. I need for God to change me. Quit beating around the bush. Why not today? Why not right now. Sitting there in your home or sitting here in this building. Why not right now? You pray this to God:

Lord, I'm a sinner and I need a savior. I can't save myself, but I believe you died for my sins. I believe God raised you from the dead and I believe you're alive right now. Lord Jesus, come into my heart, save me, forgive me. I repent of my sins and I surrender all that I am to all that you are. Thank you for hearing my prayer. Thank you for saving me today.

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