Bold – Deliver Us From Normal

Bold

There comes a point in the life of someone where you feel like everyone has found IT except you. It is like God has been playing seek and hide with you, and you are beginning to get used to the idea that you are the only one who has not figured him out. He declared that you need to seek him, and you started, but you have begun to despair and you are feeling like he is doing a really great job at hiding, and you have resigned, to make a life around your new status, of the person who did not find God

You start getting used to a new normal…both him and the people he was meant to reach out to.

I would like to tell you a story of a man, who had felt that God was doing a great job of hiding and he had become used to this new normal… And yet God was asking him not only to break away from this normal for himself, but to be the agent of breaking a whole nation from a normal they had become accustomed to…God required him to address his normal-ness so that he could see other peoples’ normals.

Double tragedy

·      Moses had gotten there-Gotten used to the life of a person who cares for his fathers flock. From the palace to a shepherd…

·      The Israelites had gotten there-From the people who were meant to display to the Nations who God is to the people who were beginning to get used to being slaves… this has been happening for generation after generation, to the place where it became their new normal and anyone who would try to hope, listen to God or any such thing was considered an enemy and a false prophet.

 What hit him!

·      Best ideas down! His best ideas for how he would rescue the Israelites had failed. He ended up losing the very things he thought God was going to us, His prestige, his office, his eloquence, his networks, his physical strength, his charm, his respect among people, his youth and his securities and finally what was at stake was his mission.

·      Even Looks: You can imagine even his looks were compromised. You can imagine if your greatest output is to ensure that the sheep stay alive and are not eaten up by wolves, that your priority will not be your looks. Yet when he was in the palace of Pharaoh, his looks, and what he carried, were the things that distinguished him from the others. But now he was changing his normal to something lesser.

The greatest threat is not when you are hit with death, with failure, with a realization that you did not attain the goals that you set out for yourself, it is when someone comes to the dangerous reality and whispers these quite words to themselves saying ‘This is it!’ But God was at work-God had seen the suffering of the Israelites. READ Exodus 2:24-25

God is saying “Listen, I have heard your cry and I AM CONCERNED ABOUT YOU!” If someone came and told me that they are concerned about me, I would pause there… I would be all ears. I would want to know what they see, I would like to engage with them, I would like to know what they consider to be how to get out of where I am.

God remembered that time that he had told his people that they were not going to be like any other nation, Normal. They were meant to be exceptional, they were meant to be the people who bring about change in the whole community around them… but right now, they were normal. Under oppression. There was nothing exceptional that we would expect from these people. But in Exodus 3:1, at the burning Bush, the new normal got interrupted!

When you expect nothing, chances are that you will get nothing. And that is the mantra of the normal life. You should not expect things to happen. You should not expect God to break through the silence, you should not expect a miracle from him, because it is his desire to break you out of your normal encounter of life, and demonstrate to you that he has always been there. He has always loved you, and he is the same powerful God who has been around in your life.

Maybe you have spent so much time explaining things away as coincidence but suddenly God is now breaking through, and you cannot ignore the facts anymore… you are on a new low. But in a moment of weakness, Moses dared to inquire… (Exodus 3:4-9)

Then Moses starts thinking, ‘wait, I know this voice, the voice of hope, the voice that reminds me of the promises that I trusted God for, and then he is immediately reminded of all the mistakes he has made in his life… and instead of excitement, he gets to the place where he is thinking… I had gotten myself used to the idea that I will always be a failure, I had gotten used to the idea that nothing much will come out of my life, I had pretty much given up hope for things I have prayed over for so long, and now someone wants to awake this dangerous thing called hope.

But this is my new normal…

When you are already used to the pain, used to the new normal failure, used to the noise, used to being put down, it takes a lot of energy to hope again. You have formed a whole life and existence to manage your season of pain… and then someone tells you that you need to change. I don’t want to hope again. I was getting used to this. Don’t mess with this. It is too costly to hope again.

So what you do, is that you make a comeback, surround yourself with ammunition to push hope away. You have to maintain your new low-normal. You have to have what we call push-backs! (Read vs 11-12)

1.    Push-Back 1,  (3:11)-(Questions his identity) I am not good enough!

Our typical responses are – I am not the spiritual type / I am not the confident type / I will have to change my life too much / I don’t understand this Christian thing / You don’t understand the damage that was done on me, please don’t bring hope near, it will spoil this cozy thing we had setup here.

 God’s Response: I am enough for you Moses. I have everything you need. I will make way where there is no way so that you can bring light to the world.

 I will help you figure it out. But you need to let me take my rightful place in your life. Sorry it does not happen any other way….

2.    Push-back 2: (Questioning God’s identity) I have no authority!

Moses comes to the place where he is a little distracted from his own identity and now is suspicious of whether God will come through this time round…

·      This is a wounded person / This is a person who is wondering where God was in all the events that have brought him to where he is now / This is a person who is looking a the child that they are needing to bring up by themselves and wondering where this same God was when they were making the decision about that man / This is the person looking at the text message from the Landlord reminding them of all the months when rent has not been paid or the business that went sour and wondering where God was when he desperately needed him.

God responds to Moses by displaying his sufficiency. (Exodus 3:14-17)

What is it about Abraham, Isaac and Jacob that was so unique? That this becomes a reference point? This is like God is pointing to the beacons that he has put through history. He is basically saying ‘I have been there all along’ Through the seasons. Through Abraham I am the one who brings fruitfulness where there is barrenness, through Isaac I am the one who is a reminder of fulfillment of God’s covenant, and then Jacob, a father from whose 12 tribes the Israelites found their identity.

There are many who come to God today feeling that he has been muted all around us. Through the promise that God gave to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, he is essentially saying that I am still here. I am the one who created you and put you where you are. I have been here all along. I have always been interested in you and I will not tire until I have fought for you and won. When he describes himself as “I AM” he means that he is the one with all Authority and he is able to stand for you no matter what you are going through. He means that there is no force that can come against him, no struggle that he cannot break, no world view that is a threat to him. You name it, You cannot be allowed to be like every other normal person. Because he is alive and he is interested in your business.

The Kind of victory I will do among you is that it will not even be an army that will reap the plunder, it is those who are considered weaker among you, the women, that I will make to take the plunder.

3.    Push-Back 3: (Reputation): They won’t believe me…

People will not believe me. I don’t have a good track record. God, OK, you are good, and people will remember you from the past. But I am not the kind of guy that should represent you. I am not packaged well enough to carry the mantle of the fathers… I am just not packaged like that.

God responds to Moses by asking him to

·      Put down his staff and it becomes a snake… (4:1-5) “What’s that you have in your hand?”

·      Put his hand in his cloak and it comes out leprous… and he does it again and it comes out clean… (4:6-7)

·      Promises him more miracles (Water from the nile becoming blood) (4:8-9) that there are many more miracles…

He is essentially saying “I have been at work in your life already and I can break into your normal world and make something super amazing out of it.’

  4.    Push-Back 4: Gifting (4:10)-I’m not impressive.

Some people are thinking, “Yeah, that is for the gifted people, who am I? What can God do with someone like me?” Moses said to the Lord, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.”

God’s response: 4:11-12 God saying that he is not limited by our limitations. He is not limited by my past.

One of the most powerful statements in this passage is how God uses the normal things that Moses had. His staff. The one thing that could easily be an evidence of his new normal season, the one thing that no one noticed, the one thing that was so inconspicuous was the thing that God had chosen to us. What are the things God is wanting to use in your life. The inconspicuous relationship, the unattractive gift, the non-impressive is always appealing to God.

God uses the normal things we have to make them abnormal. The things that you are ignoring and using your energy to compare with other people, God is thinking “Just what you have is what I will use”

But this is also a warning, that if it is not fully used to enhance the kingdom of God, even the small things we have can be dangerous. Moses used this rod to tap the rock 2 times.

5. Push Back 5: I don’t feel like it

Lord, I get what you are saying. It makes sense to me. Actually, I have read about you for many days… and I have had many times when I have been tempted to start trusting again… but you know what… I just don’t feel like. It comes down to this… feelings.

Up until now, God has been gently answering Moses concerning where he was going. There comes a time when he thinks, “My son died on the cross for you, just in case you are thinking this is another fun ride. There is something at stake. There is blood that has been shed so that you can understand him, refuse to live in the caves’ I am a lord of Love, but also a God of justice. I want it all, I want it back!”

A new faith has come into the market. It is really attractive. It says only do what you feel like. Or only do it when you feel like. But there are many whose relationship with God has stalled because… they don’t feel like it.

The new normal

There is a new normal. This is what God proclaims to the Children of Israel through Moses, that they will be different. They will have to be, for the sake of our children and for the sake of the future. I have come to church today to tell you that God is concerned about you. He is concerned that his people have taken on a new normal. And it is dangerous because in the light of the enemy, they have no guard. Yet he expects that they be above. The kind of people who need to hear the proclamation of Isaiah 43:1-7.

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3 Responses to “Bold – Deliver Us From Normal”

  1. lydia lutukai Says:

    Im speechless so to say.im so lifted,i have been in this state for the past few weeks,its been tough,no one to really talk to,but This has ministred to me,im praying for change for me,only then wil i get by,thankyou.stay blessed

    Like

  2. Emmanuel soreh Says:

    but the sermon was powerfull loved it kabisa

    Like

  3. awesome sermon! Says:

    This is one of the most uplifting sermons I have ever heard. I loved it. I’ve been wondering whether to continue hoping and asking God to take me to the next level or to try and accept things as they are. This was very relevant for me.

    Like

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