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Robert Morris - Passing the Pit Test


Robert Morris - Passing the Pit Test
TOPICS: Dream to Destiny

Hey, everyone. Let me just start by asking you to pray for a member of our body that's going through a serious health condition. Dr. Charlie Bazaldua has been my physician for over fifteen years, probably close to twenty, and his son, Joel, was in a very serious skateboarding accident Thursday night, and had bleeding on the brain, swelling. And then yesterday they literally had to remove part of his skull so the brain could swell. And one of the things, when they asked us about pray for the bleeding to stop, when we were there, when the surgeon came out, and he said, "You know, there wasn't bleeding, but there is swelling". And they removed — I think. This is my understanding now. I could have missed something, but about three inches high and about seven inches long, part of his skull to allow this the swelling, because it's just like when you bump yourself, you swell. But our head has a protective helmet, that God gave us, our skull, and when the brain can't swell, that's when serious, even death could happen.

So I ask you to pray. I wanted to just let you know, a few weeks ago, we had our Students Conference, and we had some of the students leading worship, and we had some of the students then at every campus, during every service pray over that generation, and Joel was one of those. Actually, here's a picture. Look at this picture here. That's Joel, right there. So in the eleven o'clock Southlake service, he was the student who prayed. And so when we heard about this, because Steve and Melody Dulin are very close friends. Debbie and I are close friends. He's not just our physician; we're friends, and we've known him for a long time. As a matter of fact, Melody gave the baby shower for Joel sixteen years ago. And so, just like you would if something happened to your friends, we just immediately went to the hospital and were with them during the surgery, and in the waiting room and things like that. And then we wanted to go in and pray for him as elders and anoint him with oil, and they just said, "We just can't do that. We can't really allow any type of stimulation right now".

And so I just got this idea. In the Bible, it says that they took — It in Acts 19, if you want to look it up later — it says they took handkerchiefs and cloths from Paul. Do y'all remember this? ...from Paul's body and laid them on sick people, and the sick people were healed. And so, you had to wear a mask, you know? And so I had my mask, but I put an extra one in my pocket. The reason I do is because for some reason, I'm the number one person that breaks, the little cord breaks on me constantly, and so I always carry a backup. So I just pulled it out, and we poured oil on this little mask, and I said "When y'all go in..." The family would be able to go in. "...then just put this on his body". And Charlie texted me this. They put it in his hand. I want to show you. Look what he did. This is after surgery. He's holding this mask that we poured oil on and prayed over. And so, another thing that I was thinking about was that he stood on the on the stage and prayed, and then he opened the Students service the next week and gave a testimony and prayed.

So two times in the last three weeks, he's spoken, and those are the first two times he's ever done that from the platform. And there was such an anointing — I remember watching both. I've seen both of them. And then they said, where the brain injury is what can affect your speech. So I want us to pray that he is going to stand again on the platform and declare the mighty works of God. So we're going to pray now, but if you can just remember, Joel is his name. If you can't remember Joel, then remember Pastor Robert's doctor's son. If you can't remember that... You know, I was praying one time, and I was praying for a person, and I thought, "I know several people by this name". And so I said his last name, and I felt like the Lord chuckled, thinking, "Do you not know that I know who you're praying about? Do you need to give the address, too, so that I'll..."

So, you just pray, and if you can't remember the name, you just pray. But what I'd like to do is take the next twenty one days and just pray every day. Could we just, as the Holy Spirit reminds you, or as your iPhone or Android reminds you. If you want to do that, that's a good way to remember, you know, just set something. But let's just pray for healing. And then if there's someone else that you know, you say, "I've got someone close," Then let's just remember as we pray, Lord, we're praying for every person in our body that needs physical healing. All right, can we do that? Okay. All right.

So, Lord, we just come in agreement right now for Joel, and Lord, we pray that this surgery that allows the brain to swell. We don't know the extent of the bruise, and we've heard there can be full recovery, or not. And that is just a medical realization, and so, Lord, we're praying for full recovery, and we're praying in these next twenty one days for as we talked a few weeks ago, natural, that his body as You created it to heal itself; medical, that You'll give the doctors, continue to give the medical professionals and doctors wisdom; and we're also praying for miraculous healing for Joel, in Jesus' name, amen. Amen.


So, thank you very much. All right, so we're going to continue our series, Dream to Destiny, and I want to remind you that every person has a dream from God. Remember, Joseph's dreams were from God. And every person has a destiny from God. God has something that only you can do. Robert Morris can't fulfill your destiny. Only you can do it. But many, many people live with the dream instead of in the destiny, and you know what I mean by that? In other words, they'll say, "I have this dream. I have a dream. I have a dream. I want to do something for God. I have a dream". But God wants you to step into the destiny and fulfill the destiny. And some of these tests were after Joseph actually stepped into his destiny. He was still taking tests.

These tests last the rest of your life, and the reason is because God is building our character to support the destiny. You will never do more — It's not that we do it; God does it through us. But let me just say this, your destiny will never be larger than your character will support, and the reason for that is even, destiny is greater responsibility in the kingdom, and God knows that that responsibility would become a burden, not a blessing, or a weight that you couldn't carry, and so He won't allow you to step into something you can't bear, in essence, for your own good. So, we're talking about that. Last week we talked about The Pride Test. This week is Passing the Pit Test. All right? So Genesis 37. I'll pause and make a few comments as we read this story. Verse 13. "And Israel..."

Now remember, that's Jacob, Joseph's father. His name was Jacob. God changed it to Israel. So, the Bible will use them interchangeably. "And Israel said to Joseph, 'Are not your brothers feeding the flock in Shechem? Come, I will send you to them.' So he said to him, 'Here I am.' Then he said to him, 'Please go and see if it is well with your brothers and well with the flocks, and bring back word to me.' So he sent him out of the Valley of Hebron..." That's where they were. "...and he went to Shechem". I want you to start looking when you read the Bible for things to jump off the page at you, all right, because this jumps off, and there's a lot in the Bible that's actually funny that I think we miss. It says, "Now a certain man found him..." Found Joseph. "...and there he was, wandering in the field". Okay, It doesn't say that he went up to the man and asked him where his brothers were. He was just wandering in the field.

Now, remember, he was a dreamer. I think he was a daydreamer, also. He's just wandering around, and a man comes up and finds him and says, and he says to him, "...And the man asked him, saying, 'What are you seeking?' So he said..." I kind of think he might have even thought, "Oh. Thanks for reminding me". "'I am seeking my brothers.'" That's what I'm here to do. I'm seeking my brothers. "'Please tell me where they are feeding their flocks.' And the man said, 'They have departed from here, for heard them say, "Let us go to Dothan".' So Joseph went after his brothers and found them in Dothan". That's in Alabama. Okay. All right. It's just a joke.

Now I underlined this, so we could... But we'll come back to it later. "Now when they saw him afar off..." In other words, a long way away. "...even before he came near them, they conspired against him to kill him". And then we have kind of a synopsis of the conversation. But what I want to show you is they had a conversation. They saw him so far off that they had time to have this conversation. Okay? "Then they said to one another, 'Look, the dreamer is coming! Come therefore, let us now kill him and cast him into some pit..." We're talking about the pit test. "'...and we shall say, "Some wild beast has devoured him".'" Notice, they said, "This is what we're going to say. We're going to say a wild beast has devoured him". Later, we're going to find out this, that statement about whether they said it or not, actually.

"'We shall see what will become of his dreams!' But Reuben..." Ruben's the firstborn. "...heard it, and he delivered him out of their hands, and said, 'Let us not kill him.' And Reuben said to them, 'Shed no blood, but cast him into this pit which is in the wilderness, and do not lay a hand on him...' And these little hyphens here are, the reason he said that is that he might deliver him out of their hands, and bring him back to his father. So it came to pass, when Joseph had come to his brothers..." I'm just showing you, it took a long time from when they saw him for him to get there. "...it came to pass, when Joseph had come to his brothers, that they stripped Joseph of his tunic..." or his robe, his coat, "the tunic of many colors that was on him". Remember, many colors. "Then they took him and cast him into a pit. And the pit was empty; there was no water in it".

Okay, this kind of reminds me of a story I heard a long time ago about a man that worked the late shift, and when he got off, you know, it'd be dark, but he would cut across the cemetery on his way home. And one night he was cutting across the cemetery, and you know how sometimes it is, overcast or whatever, no moon out, no stars, very dark. And unbeknownst to him, the gravediggers had dug a grave, and he fell in. And he began to shout and scream and holler and pull up dirt and rocks and grass. And finally he decided he wouldn't be able to get out, so he would just sit down, and surely someone would come along in the morning and find him and pull him out. Later that evening, a drunk was walking across the same cemetery, and he fell in. Unbeknownst to him, the gravediggers had dug a grave, and he fell in, and he began to shout and scream and holler and pull up dirt and rocks and grass.

And just when he was about to give up, a hand out of nowhere touched him on the shoulder and said, "Hey, buddy, you can't get out of here". But he did. You can get out of the pit if you're properly motivated. So we're going to talk about the pit and getting out of the pit, all right? So here's the first thing: The position of the pit. Now what I mean is, "What got me in this position"? Whatever pit you might be in — it could be a financial pit, a family pit, a marriage pit, a relational pit, a spiritual pit. It says there was no water. You could feel like you're in a dry place. But what got you in that position? And I'm not talking about looking down on yourself or condemning yourself. I'm talking about like the way David did. Search me God, and try my heart; test me, know my thoughts. See if there's a wicked way in me.

In other words, "God, did I do anything to cause this situation in my life that you want to help me and learn in that area and grow in that"? I don't think we do that many times. I think we do what Joseph might have done at the first and just simply blamed his brothers. In other words, "It's not my fault I'm in the pit. I didn't I didn't do anything wrong. It's always somebody else that's doing things to me. That's the reason I'm in this pit. It's not pride in me. It's envy in them". And that's the way he could have thought. But when we think that way, we're going down the wrong road. It is very prevalent in our society today to blame where we are now on someone else. And this wasn't very prevalent years ago. You know, at the Southlake campus, Jelani shared about how his grandfather didn't say verbally to his father, "I love you," but his father would say that to them.

Okay, that's kind of the generation he grew up in, and what happens though now is we go to a counselor or something, and they tell us, "You know, that shouldn't have happened," and pretty soon we blame the way we are on our parents and we say, "Well, it's it's their fault". But here's the problem with that. We lock ourselves into that, then. And you need to remember, you've been adopted by a new Father who does love you and who does tell you that He loves you and shows His love to you. So I'm just saying, don't let that happen. I think Joseph might have done that. By the way, why wasn't Joseph with his brothers, anyway? I don't know if you ever thought about that, but many theologians have thought about that, and I've read a lot about this. And some of you might say, "Well, he was only seventeen".

David was taking care of sheep when he was seventeen. They're the same age. So why wasn't he with his brothers? Well, many theologians believe it's because there was such animosity that the father had to separate them. And here's the other reason. Why did he send Joseph to check on his older brothers? Let think for a minute because there's one brother younger. There are twelve, remember. Benjamin's younger. So there are ten older brothers. Eight of them were in their twenties and thirties. Reuben and Simeon, the two oldest, were in their forties, and he sent a seventeen-year-old to check on them and on the sheep. Listen, they knew how to take care of sheep. He was not sending Joseph to them to check on them or the sheep. He was trying to develop a relationship with them.

See, Joseph brought some of these tests on himself, but we're going to see as we keep going that some of the tests he didn't bring on himself and he passed with flying colors. But I don't think he passed this one with flying colors. It says, verse 18, "Now when they saw him afar off..." Remember that? I read that, and I said, we're going to come back to it. "...even before he came near them, they conspired against him..." "Conspired". They had a long conversation about this. Have you ever thought about how they saw him so far off? Simple, he was wearing that blasted coat. He wore that thing everywhere. He would have worn it in Texas in August. I mean, this coat of many colors that you could see for a mile away. You know, orange, purple, pink, blue, green, yellow, red. I don't know, but "many colors" is what it says. That's how they saw him afar off.

Okay, when you read the Bible, look for analogies. Here's an analogy. He was his father's favored son. I don't know if you know this, but you are your Father's favored son or daughter, all of you. Favor means grace. God's grace is on you. He's put His favor on you. He favors you. His father gave him a gift. I don't know if you know this, but your Father has given you a gift. Here's the problem: he was proud of his gift, and he showed it off every chance he got. And a lot of people are proud of their gifts, and they show them off. And your gifts aren't for showing off. They're for helping people. I've had people say to me before — they just slip it into their conversation, their gift, and this is just one that kind of stands out to me.

I've had many, many people say to me, "Pastor, I just wanted you to know I'm a prophet". And I feel like saying, "So am I. So I actually already knew you were a prophet". I just think, "Why do you have to tell me you're a prophet? Prophets encourage people. Why don't you just encourage me? Why don't you just use your gift instead of having to show it off"? And that's exactly what I think he had to do. Now, I want to point out something here. Because he was proud of his gift, and he showed it off all the time, he actually lost his gift. Now, some of you might think, "Now, hold on Robert Morris. I remember a Scripture. I don't remember where it is..." It's Roman's 11:29, by the way. "...that says the gifts and callings of God are irreversible or irrevocable".

Without repentance, the Old King James says. Let's say irrevocable; let's use that version. Okay. I didn't say the father took it away from him. I said he lost it. And, by the way, if you're going to use Romans 11:29 for that, number one, that's not even talking about your gift. That's talking about the Jewish people. Just read Romans 11 and see it's talking about the Jewish people. But secondly, how do we know God didn't restore it to him? First of all, I think in a couple of ways. He became the second wealthiest man in the world. I think he eventually had hundreds of coats. I think he had a closet, personally, that had one of those buttons that you just pushed the button, and the coach just went by. But I actually think he got this coat back because it never tells us what happened to it, but I don't think his father ever threw it away. Personally, that's just my...

Now, I don't know, but it's possible that he actually got that coat back with the animal's blood on it, and he would look at it and think, "Thank You, God. Thank You, God, for that pit You delivered me out of, and what You've done in my life". It's possible. But I'll tell you what he did get back that's more important than the gift: he got relationship with his father back as you began to pass these character tests. So the first is the position of the pit. Here's the second, is the perspective of the pit. And what I mean by that is, let's get God's perspective of the pit that you're in, whatever pit you're in. Let's get God's perspective.

Now, the first one that will show up to tell you why you're in the pit and give you perspective, is the enemy, the accuser of the brethren. He's there. The way to tell, by the way, what voice you're hearing, whether it's God's or the or the enemy's... This is one of the most frequent questions I get asked, How do you tell? It's very simple. If it's condemning, it's Satan. If it's convicting, it's the Holy Spirit. Now you might say, "Well, what's the difference"? Condemnation is general; conviction is specific. God will say to you, "You were..." I'm just trying to think of an illustration, and this first one that came to my mind. I don't have this in my notes, but God might say to you, "You were wrong when you spoke that way to your wife, and I want you to go ask her forgiveness". He's very specific. Satan will say, "You're a bad person. You're mean. You're evil. The reason you're in this pit is because you're just a bad person".

Satan is a pit professional. He hangs out in pits to tell everybody that. You need to know — when I said if it's condemning, it's always the enemy. God will never condemn you. Never. I wish everyone would memorize the scripture I'm about to give you. It's right after the most memorized scripture in the Bible, which is John 3:16, and I'm not taking anything away from verse 16. Here's verse 17, though. "For God did not..." Did not... Did not... Did not... I'd like to say that about fifty more times, until we get it. "...did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved". And then the next verse, which I don't have time to read to you says the reason He didn't send His Son into the world to condemn us is because we were already condemned. We were born condemned.

So, some will say, "Well, why did this happen"? And I have such a burden for us to understand, have a biblical world view. I'm actually thinking about preaching a series on a biblical world view because we've lost it. If you don't view the world through the Bible, if you view it through humanism, or if you view it through any other world view that's out there, it'll mess up everything you go through, and you won't be able to understand it. Now, look at verse 31. It' says, "So they took..." I want to show you how good Satan is at giving you perspective that's wrong. "So they took Joseph’s tunic, killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the tunic in the blood. Then they sent the tunic of many colors, and they brought it to their father and said..."

Now watch this. They didn't tell him an animal had whipped him up. They said before they were going to say that, but they didn't say that. They said, "'We have found this. Do you know whether it is your son’s tunic or not?' And he recognized it and said, 'It is my son's tunic.'" Watch this. "'A wild beast has devoured him. Without doubt Joseph is torn to pieces.'" They didn't tell him that. He just saw that and came to that conclusion. Okay, I hope you never ever forget what I'm about to tell you. Satan is so good that he will fabricate evidence to get you to believe the lie. He wants you to jump to the wrong conclusion. And that's what they did. Think about that. Think about these brothers. Here's what they did. They said, "We found this. Is this your son's coat"? As if they didn't know. And then, by the way, do you know how long it was before Jacob found out he was alive? 22 years. He found out he was alive when Joseph was 39.

This is when he's 17. 22 years. And it makes me a little mad at the brothers because I'm thinking, 22 years, if you heard your father crying himself to sleep and you never walked across the hall to tell him, "Dad, he's alive. It wasn't a wild beast. That's not what happened". 22 years he believed the lie. Please, please hear me. Satan will fabricate evidence. I've been doing this a long time. I've seen it a lot. So, I'll just give you an example. Just going to give you an example, all right? Here's something I've watched him do many, many times. "You're married to the wrong person, and I'll give you evidence".

And here's the evidence that he gives: "She's opposite of you". Well, of course she is. That's why we call them the opposite sex. And that's what actually attracted you to her. You don't want to marry someone like you. You know you. You would kill you if you married you. You like what is different in her. Yes, you have similar interests and all, but that's why it's so much fun. Debbie and I have been married 42 years. She still surprises me. Hopefully, I still surprise her3. But we still, we have fun together. Now, I understand that you may have been in the wrong marriage or a bad marriage or an abuse of marriage. I understand that. I understand.

And again, do not hear condemnation if you've gone through a divorce. If you've been divorced — listen to me — you have not forfeited your destiny. Don't let the enemy tell you that, and don't hear condemnation when someone speaks about that. But I'm just telling you, don't let the enemy tell you a lie and then fabricate evidence. Don't let him do that. Hey, by the way, I don't know if y'all know, but that same drunk that was walking across the cemetery that night, his wife finally got tired of him coming home drunk, so she decided she'd scare him. And so she went to the Halloween store and bought a devil's costume, with a pitchfork and red tail and all that, red suit and all. And so she was hiding behind a bush, and when he came home, she jumped out and said, "I'm the devil"! He said, "Put her there. I married your sister".

Okay, so anyway. So my kids tell me now that these are dad jokes. Is that right? Okay. All right. Okay. We can edit. George, edit that for TV, okay. All right. Okay. Thank you. All right. Here's point number three: the purpose of the pit. I mean, what's the purpose of the pit? God did allow this. What's the purpose of the pit? Well, one reason was to save his life because they were going to kill him. So even though he was sold into slavery, that was a lot better than dying because God even delivered him from that. Okay, but here's the purpose of every pit, it's to cry out to God. That's the purpose of every pit. I could show you many scriptures. I'm just going to show you a couple, but it's to cry out to God. Hey, who else is there to talk to in a pit? Now, you can talk to yourself, but you won't encourage yourself much. God's the only one.

So look at Jonah 2. "Then Jonah prayed to the LORD his God from the fish’s belly. And he said: 'I cried out to the LORD...'" Why? "...because of my affliction," because of the situation I got myself into, because God told me to go that way, and I went that way. Because of my affliction, I cried out to the LORD, "'...and he answered me. Out of the belly of Sheol I cried, and You heard my voice.'" "Sheol" is an Old Testament word for "the pit". Many times, it's actually translated, "the pit". And just to prove it to you again, verse 6 says, "'You have brought up my life from the pit...'"

See, the question is, are you going to cry out to God or are you just going to gripe, when you're in a pit? Are you going to cry out to God, and say, "God, what are You trying to do in my life"? Or are you just going to gripe about it? Or are you just going to gripe about who threw you in the pit and that it wasn't your fault that you're in the pit? And it might not have been your fault? I'm not even saying that. I'm just saying, why not ask God what the purpose is, what He's trying to do in your life? I actually think that Joseph started out the wrong way. I think this is actually the turning point of his life because I can watch the other tests, how he just passes with flying colors after this.

But I think he started out saying, "Now, God, I just want to remind You of the dream You gave me. The dream is that they're going to bow down to me one day. They're going to be sorry for this. Yeah, and I know God, I know God, You're going to get them. Now, I don't want You to get them, God, but I just know You, God. I know You're going to get them for what they did to me because they were wrong. They were wrong, God, and You know they were wrong, but one day they'll bow down to me, God". That's probably where he started. Then after a few minutes of God not talking to him, you know, he probably started saying, "Well, now, Lord, I do want to admit that I might have had a little something to do with this, but mainly it's their fault. Just want to remind You, it's their fault, and You're going to get them. Don't forget You're going to get them. But I just, I might have had a little something to do with it".

After a few hours, I think he was like, "Oh, God, it's my fault. I know it's my fault, God". And he repented. And I think the moment he did is when Judah said, "Hey, let's pull him up out of the pit and sell him instead of killing him". Judah got that idea. There are a lot of things in the Bible that we need to understand that are analogies, similes. Let me let me show you one. It says Rubin, who was the firstborn says — I think this is verse 22 — "'Shed no blood, but cast him into this pit which is in the wilderness, and do not lay a hand on him'— that he might deliver him out of their hands, and bring him back to his father".

Okay, Ruben is the firstborn. Do you know who else is the firstborn according to Scripture? Jesus. The New Testament tells us He's the firstborn of many brethren. Can I tell you what Jesus came to Earth to do? To deliver you and bring you back to the Father, exactly what Rubin did. See, by the way, that's the purpose of the pit, is to deliver you out of what keeps getting you into pits, and then bring you back into relationship with the Father. Okay, Joseph is also a type of Christ in this story. They took Joseph's robe off of him. They took Jesus' robe off of Him. Joseph was sold for 20 pieces of silver to Midianite traders. They took him to Egypt and sold him, most would believe at a profit, and the price — we don't know this from the Bible. We know this from history.

The price of an Egyptian slave at that time was thirty pieces of silver, and Jesus was sold for thirty pieces of silver. Judah is the one that had the idea to betray him and sell him into slavery. Judas, and you might not even know this... "Judas" is the Greek word for the Hebrew word Judah. We have a lot of names in the New Testament that, for instance, even we call... Never mind, I'll get off on all sorts of... I could give you several names. Let me just give you one. The mother of Jesus' name was not Mary. That's the Greek word for Miriam. Her Hebrew name was Miriam And as Josh brought up, Jesus' name was... I thought more of you would get that. I'm very... Maybe you just didn't expect me to have you... Yeshua.

See, Jesus would be His Greek name. Okay. All right. So all these things are... And by the way, the Midianite traders were carrying balm and spices and myrrh. And when they came to embalm the body of Jesus, they were carrying balm, spices, and myrrh. There's just a lot of similarities here. But here's what I want to get through to you: if you're in a pit, I know for a fact that God will not leave you in the pit. And do you know how I know that? Because He didn't leave His own Son in the pit.

Psalm 16:10 says, "For You will not leave my soul in Sheol..." which is the word for the pit. And that's talking about Jesus. Listen, Jesus went to the pit to deliver you out of every pit that you get thrown into or that you even dig for yourself and fall into. He came to deliver you out of every pit, and restore you to relationship with the Father. So I want you to just bow your heads and close your eyes, like we do every service, and just take a moment. If you're new here, or the first time watching or something you might not know, this is what we do. We just ask the Holy Spirit, "What are you saying to me"?

Maybe you're in a financial pit right now, and maybe some of it's not your fault. You didn't do anything wrong. But maybe the Lord would show you some things you need to change. Maybe you're in a marriage pit, as we talked about, our relational pit. Maybe you're in like a depression or discouragement type of pit, an emotional pit. Whatever it is, let the Lord give you His perspective on the pit. Don't let the devil. And then, remember the purpose is to cry out to God. "God, I can't get out of this pit by myself. But You can get me out of this pit". And cry out to Him. So let the Lord, let the Holy Spirit take this message and direct it to you personally. All right?

Father, I want to thank You that You deliver us out of every pit, the ones that we a fall into because of our own sin and the ones that someone else even pushes us into, and maybe it wasn't even our fault that we're in the pit we're in now. But, Lord, thank You that You deliver us from the pit, and I pray Your blessings on my brothers and sisters, in Jesus' name, amen.

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