church family, Ministry

CAGE FIGHTERS PART 3

Great day today at PFA.

A new family had just moved to Prescott and after the service the husband told me this story.

He said “when you ask us if we had any prayer request to come forward I did. I ask God to help me find a job soon.

As soon as the prayer time was over I went back to my seat and my cell phone began to ring even though I had thought that I turned it off. It kept ringing so I left the sanctuary and answered it. It was someone wanting to hire me….I got a job just seconds after prayer.”

I love stories like that. It makes what I do as a pastor so amazing to see people ask and then receive. 🙂

Here is the outline to today’s message.

CAGE FIGHTERS
Living a Life of Spiritual Adventure
Pastor Steve Lummer
PART 3

The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” John 3:8

CAGES CHRISTIANS GET LOCKED INTO

* The Cage of Responsibility—Practicing responsible irresponsibility with Nehemiah
* The Cage of Routine—Learning the danger of empty ritual with Moses
* The Cage of Assumptions—Breaking out of the eight-foot ceiling with Abraham
* The Cage of Guilt—Reconditioning our conditioned responses with Peter
* The Cage of Failure—Experiencing shipwrecks and snakebites with Paul
* The Cage of Fear—Climbing the cliff with Jonathan

Today : The cage of Routine

Do you have a hard time believing God for the LITTLE stuff while taking for granted the BIG stuff?

Right now you have no sensation of motion —–we are all just sitting in this room . But in reality …the reality is that we are sitting on a planet that is spinning around its axis at approximately 1000 miles per hour. Planet earth will make one full rotation in the next 24 hours….Not only that, but we are also hurdling through space at approximately 67,000 miles per hour…..and you thought you weren’t going any where today ..
Before the day is over we will have traveled 1.3 million miles in our annual trek around the sun…

Let me ask us all a question – WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME WE THANKED GOD FOR KEEPING US IN ORBIT? …WE NEVER SAY …”man I hope we making another rotation today….but we did it again yesterday.

Isn’t it strange that we have a hard time believing God for the LITTLE STUFF in life while at the same time we take the BIG STUFF  for granted.?

WE TAKE THE CONSTANTS FOR GRANTED….AND THAT CAN BE A PROBLEM WHEN IT COMES TO GOD TOO…HE IS THE ULTIMATE CONSTANT…GOD IS SO GOOD THAT IT IS SO EAST TO TAKE HIM FOR GRANTED.

1. THE RUT OF ROUTINE CAUSES BLINDNESS.
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever—John 14:16

2. THE BURNING BUSH EXPERIENCE HAPPENED IN A BORING PLACE.
Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro and he led the flock to the far side of the desert and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2 There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. 3 So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.”  -Exodus 3:1-5

3. THE PLACE AND PACE PRINCIPLE.
After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves.  Matthew 17:1

4. THE HEALTHY CHOICE OF  HOLY ROUTINES.
The Lord says: “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men. Isaiah 29:13

5. THE DECISION TO THROW DOWN .
Then the LORD said to him, “What is that in your hand?” “A staff,” he replied.  3 The LORD said, “Throw it on the ground.” -Exodus 4:2-5
In Exodus 3, God called Moses to lead the greatest rescue operation in history-the exodus of Israel out of Egypt. But Moses had a laundry list of excuses and concerns. In all fairness, you would too!

Moses isn’t just concerned about the Egyptians. He wonders whether the Israelites will embrace his leadership. He says in Exodus 4:1: “What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, “The Lord did not appear to you?’ Then the Lord said to him, ‘What is that in your hand?’

‘A shepherd’s staff,’ Moses replied.

The Lord said, ‘Throw it down on the ground.’

Moses threw it on the ground and it became a snake and he ran from it.

Then the Lord said, ‘Reach out your hand and take it by the tail.’

So Moses reached out and grabbed it and it became a shepherd’s staff again. ‘Perform this sign, and they will believe you,’ the Lord told him. ‘Then they will realize that the Lord-the God of Abraham, the God if Isaac, and the God of Jacob-really has appeared to you’.”

Like all ancient shepherds, Moses had a staff. It was probably a six-foot long wooden rod that was curved on one end. It was a walking stick. It was a weapon. It was a prod used to guide his flock. And Moses never left home without it. It was his badge. It was his ID.

The shepherd’s staff represented two things to Moses: identity and security.
Let me ask you the question that God asked Moses: what’s in your hand?

Where do you find your identity? What is the focus of your security?

Is it a job? A relationship? A brokerage account? A title or degree or position?

There is nothing wrong with any of those things, but let me cut to the chase. If you find your security in anything other than a relationship with God then you have a false sense of security. And if you find your identity in anything other than a relationship with God then you have a false sense of identity.

You need to throw down your staff.

What if Moses had held on to his staff?

Here’s my hunch: his staff would have remained a staff. His staff would have remained an inanimate object. He would have forfeited the miracle!

Moses experienced some amazing miracles during his lifetime. He had box seats for the ten plagues; the parting of the Red Sea; and the manna in the wilderness. But there is something unique about the staff becoming a snake. As far as we know, this is the first miracle Moses ever experienced!

If Moses had held on to the staff he would have remained a shepherd. He would have spent the rest of his life counting sheep. Here’s the bottom line: if you hold on to whatever is in your hand you’ll never experience the miracles God wants to perform!

* Parts of this message were taken with permission from Mark Batterson’s book Wild Goose Chase

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