From The Pulpit: of Faithful Central Baptist Church
“Know Your Limitations” Exodus 33:1
Last summer I was called to audition for a national television talk show where a panel of pastors from all of the country who would discuss topics of the day similar to The View. I knew a cople of guys there, but the producers were matching us up to see who had chemistry.
The night before I wrote in my journal and I said to the Lord, ‘Lord I want this, but with three stipulations. Number one, I only want it if it’s a platform for your glory and for your kingdom. Secondly, I only want it if it will not interfere with the calling on my life to pastor the Faithful Central Bible Church. Thirdly, I only want it if I am not enticed by the money and it will not change my lifestyle.
After a long day, they eliminated me, and six others. Here’s where I’m going with this, whenever you go into the world’s systems, you must go in with limitations or non-negotiables.
When Paul speaks of the will of God in the book of Ephesians, Paul says the will of God is the boundary that He set beforehand. If you don't set those boundaries going in, you will struggle with being double-minded in order to get what you want.
This principal applies to whatever your field is. You must have your mind set on what you will and will not allow into your life and what you will and will not participate in just to get the job. At the end of the day, I wasn't the best fit for the group, but I knew going in I had three criteria that I trusted God not to allow to be violated. My heart was fixed.
If you get nothing else of what I say today, know your limits. Look at a man by the name of Moses in book of Exodus: 33.
“Then The Lord said to Moses, ‘Leave this place, you and the people you brought up out of Egypt, and go up to the Land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, saying, I will give it to your descendants.’ The Lord replied, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” And Moses said,” If your presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here.”
Non-negotiable Number 1: The driving force of every move in your life is a desire to be in the will of God.
“Lord, I want this, but I only want it if it glorifies you, if it’s a platform for your glory.” Moses said, “We don’t want to go if your glory is not going.” You may have to grow into this one. Let me move to this place, this job, this assignment, but only if it’s a place to stand that will demonstrate and manifest your glory.
The catch is you don't always know that God’s glory is being manifest. You go in by faith with your heart fixed and motives pure. Moses said to God, ‘Show me your Glory’, and God said ‘You can’t handle all my glory, but I need you to know I’ll be there.”
Sometimes you don't know that God was there until after He’s been there. That’s why you must go by faith. There’s something better than you seeing God,— it’s the confidence that no matter where you are, God always sees you.
Are you at a place where you can say, ‘Lord if you’re not in it, I don't want it’? God will give you discernment to let you know He ain’t in it. My faith has to be that God can see further than I can and knows what’s down the line before I get there.
It is a part of the very definition of the love of God that He desires only what is best for me. If I struggle with whether God wants my good, I’ve got a problem before I get in.
Go to Deuteronomy 3: It must be settled in my mind that my faith is in a good God. God takes Moses to the top of a mountain to look over into the land he just told him he was going into. He says look North, South, East and West—you will never cross over into it.
I must also understand that the goodness of Christ can contain a no. My faith in the goodness of Christ must allow that if He’s always good and He’s good all the time, I must allow God is even good when He says no.
Some of you have had your faith polluted by a contemporary theology that suggests that God is always a yes man. A no is not always a negative confession. My faith in the goodness of God acknowledges the sovereignty of God and the sovereignty will always include the option of a no.
How do you handle a sovereign no? For 25 years Moses served God knowing he wouldn't go in. My fear for most of you is that you’re one “no” away from leaving God. Has anyone, other than me, ended up thanking God for saying no? God says you cannot imagine the things that I have for you. You have to learn to trust me even when I love you enough to tell you no.
Does it end with a no?
In Luke Chapter 9: Jesus is praying on Mount Tabor,—the land God promised Moses was going to, but never went to. And as Jesus was praying, the appearance of His face was transformed and His clothes became dazzling white and Moses and Elijah appeared.
Moses died at 120 years old. They never found his grave. The last time you see Moses, he’s climbing on the hill and walking into a mist. And when Jesus goes to the top of the mountain, Moses was standing in the presence of Jesus transfigured. He’s where he wanted to go in a different form.
God will bless you according to His own will. It’s a heart issue, it’s a soul issue, a mind issue and a spirit issue, you have to be sold out for Jesus and trust Him.