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God Enough, Part 2 | Leaving Your Comfort Zone

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
August 18, 2023 3:00 am

God Enough, Part 2 | Leaving Your Comfort Zone

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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August 18, 2023 3:00 am

Imagine if the signers of the Declaration of Independence had stayed within their comfort zone. Imagine if Henry Ford was satisfied with the horse and buggy. Or if Steve Jobs thought the flip phone was good enough. Those men changed their world. And today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie points out that God wants to take us outside our comfort zone to change our world. It’s not about nations or cars or phones. It’s about letting God use us to impact people with an eternal message.

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A New Beginning is the daily half-hour program hosted by Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Southern California. For over 30 years, Pastor Greg and Harvest Ministries have endeavored to know God and make Him known through media and large-scale evangelism. This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners .

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Hey everybody, Greg Laurie here with an update on what is happening over on the island of Maui. As you know, devastating fires have effectively destroyed most of this old town of Lahaina and many lives have been lost. The number keeps climbing and there are a thousand people unaccounted for. This is so tragic. And as you also know, we have a church there called Harvest Kumalani.

It's about 10-11 miles from downtown Lahaina. Our church has been dramatically affected. Many people in our congregation have had their homes burned down.

Our church has a great sense of ohana. That's Hawaiian for family. They're pulling together. They're caring for each other. And right now we have a team on the ground and we're assessing the situation and trying to determine what we can do to help. We're very glad that our friends at Samaritan's Purse led by Franklin Graham are on the ground as well. We'll be working closely with them to do what we can for the people of this island that have had their lives turned upside down. As you know, we've established a special fund that we're calling the Harvest Hawaii Relief Fund.

And you can go to harvest.org and you can give. And we're going to put it to good use, bringing hope to the hurting people of the entire island of Maui. So let's keep praying for the folks there. Pray for the relief efforts. Pray for the first responders. Pray for those that are trying to rebuild the infrastructure of this island. They don't have power there right now. They can't really communicate at all. So they need God's intervention. Let's all be praying for them together.

And as they say in Hawaii, mahalo, which means thank you. Just take that little bit of risk. Why don't you step out of your comfort zone and see what the Lord will do through you? Imagine if the signers of the Declaration of Independence had stayed within their comfort zone.

Imagine if Henry Ford was satisfied with the horse and buggy, or if Steve Jobs thought the flip phone's good enough. No, those men changed their world. And today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie points out that God wants to take us outside our comfort zone to change our world.

It's not about nations or cars or phones. It's about letting God use us to impact people with an eternal message. You know, when I became a Christian, I was amazed to realize that God would forgive someone like me, that He would change me, that He had a plan for my life. But then when I heard that God actually wanted to use me, I thought, but what do I bring to the table? I'm not some great academic. I'm not a musician. I'm not a super talented person. I'm not an orator.

I'm just a kid. I'm a 17-year-old kid with not a lot to offer to God. I felt a little bit like that boy with the loaves and the fishes that Jesus called on and took what He had and multiplied it. So the thing that God could use me was an amazing thing, and I heard that I should be out telling people about Christ.

And I'd been a believer for about two weeks, so I thought I'd give it a go. And I found a lady sitting on the beach in Newport Beach about the age of my mom, and I thought she might be nice to me, you know. And I walked up to her, and my voice was shaking, and I was so nervous. And I engaged her in a conversation about Jesus. I'm sure I made a mess of it. But much to my shock and delight, when I asked her if she would like to accept Christ into her life, she said yes. I'm telling you, if that lady had asked me one hard question, I would have collapsed like a deck of cards.

Thankfully, she did not. And so then I was thinking, well, I want to do this more. I want God to use me in other ways. But I had this secret fear that God was going to call me to speak publicly. And like most people, I had the fear of public speaking.

In fact, when they do surveys and ask people what they're most afraid of, the fear of public speaking always comes out in the top three, sometimes even above death itself. Imagine. Okay, you have a choice. Die or give a speech.

Kill me right now. How many of you have a fear of public speaking? Raise your hand. Okay, sir, I want you to come up now and speak.

Okay. That would be a terrifying one. Well, I had that fear too.

And the first time I did it, I'll just say this. God gave me what I need when I needed it. God will give you what you need before you need it. He'll never give you what you need after you need it, but He will always give you what you need when you need it. And so I think we need to understand that God wants to use us.

And so here's my question. How many of you would like to be used by God? Raise your hand. Don't do it if you don't mean it. No, don't do it if you don't mean it.

Now all of you did not raise your hand. And that's disappointing, but maybe you'll change your mind after you hear the rest of my message. Because the greatest joy I know next to being a Christian is being used by God. If it's in a big way, if it's in a small way, I just love it. It might be a one-on-one conversation with someone and I'm able to just share a little something that helps them or points them to Christ. And sometimes it's more dramatic than that or praying for somebody or whatever it might be.

What a privilege it is. And I'm asking you today, how many of you would be willing to leave your comfort zone and let God use you? To take it to the next level, so to speak, in the Christian life?

Or are you satisfied with where you're at right now? Because I think for God to use someone there needs to be a sense of dissatisfaction, meaning that I want to do more with my life. I don't think I'm doing as much as I could do and I want the Lord to use me. God is looking for people to use. In the book of Ezekiel chapter 22 the Lord says, I looked for someone who might rebuild the wall of righteousness that guards the land. I searched for someone to stand in the gap in the wall so I wouldn't destroy the land but I found none.

Think about that. The Lord's just looking and right now I believe in the same way. He's just looking, saying, is there someone I could use? Someone that could stand in the gap. Someone who could speak up for me.

Someone who would not be embarrassed or afraid and would just take that little bit of risk and let me speak through them. Years ago God called a young man named D.L. Moody, Dwight Lyman Moody. Moody was not an educated man.

He was not an eloquent man. He was working in a shoe store and he had a co-worker that wanted to share the gospel with Moody, which he did. Moody became a believer so after that Moody felt a call in his life to start sharing the gospel. And the thing that prompted Moody was a statement from someone who said, Moody, the world has yet to see what God can do in and through the man who has fully consecrated to him. Moody said, I want to be that man. So Moody went from selling souls to saving souls. Remember he worked in a shoe store. And he was used powerfully to touch thousands, even millions of people. And God is still looking for a man or a woman that he could work through who is fully committed to him.

Listen to this. Everybody has a pulpit. Now I know I have a kind of cool pulpit here.

It lights up and everything, right? But you have a pulpit too. Wherever you are you have a pulpit. It might be the people you run into when you get your morning cappuccino or latte. It might be the people that are around you at work. It is people in your family. People in your neighborhood. People that you influence.

That is your platform. And you have your pulpit. I received a really encouraging letter from a school teacher who wrote me recently and said, Dear Pastor Greg, I am a high school teacher in a pretty tough area. As a public school teacher I have to find creative ways of witnessing to students and sharing the love of Jesus with them.

Because Jesus is a very foreign concept to many of the students here. Look at what this teacher did now. He says, So I decided to give the students some extra credit if they would go to the Harvest Crusade over the weekend. Then they were to come back and do a one page write up and they would get extra credit for them.

So that is what they did. The teacher says, I am very happy to report that a few of the students gave their lives to Jesus. And several were asking me questions which is an amazing opportunity to plant more seeds. The Crusade got many of the students thinking about things they never care about in their homes. My prayers for those that saw the Crusade and haven't made that decision will make that decision. But no matter what I will keep in contact with these kids and continue to be a witness to them. Now that is a guy that is using his pulpit.

Right? You don't have to be a preacher. We all have a pulpit to preach from. No matter who we are.

No matter what we do. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. We're thrilled when we hear from listeners who find Jesus through the various ministries of Harvest. Pastor Greg, in 2011 I was in a homeless shelter.

One of my veteran buddies next to me asked me if I had ever heard of Greg Laurie. He let me listen to one of your podcasts and I couldn't get enough. After that my life was changed.

100%. And now I have a relationship with my Heavenly Father. Thank you Pastor Greg. If your life is changed because of the ministry of Harvest, would you let Pastor Greg know?

Just drop him an email. Greg at Harvest dot org. Again, that's Greg at Harvest dot o-r-g. Well in today's message, God Enough Part Two.

Pastor Greg is talking about the privilege and responsibility we all have to share the good news. Well, some of us just don't want to do this. So we make up excuses. What is an excuse? An excuse? A fancy lie. That's all it is. An excuse is what I offer up when I don't really want to do something. It has been described as the skin of a reason stuffed with a lie. It has also been defined as a fancy lie all dressed up for dinner.

Right? That's all it is. And I bring that up because we are looking at Moses now. And we are looking at the excuses he offered to God as to why he could not be used by the Lord. So let's sort of backtrack and then come back to where we last left off.

Ok. So Moses. Right? He was spared by the Lord. And he was put in that little basket and taken into the court of Pharaoh and raised by the daughter of Pharaoh, the princess of Egypt.

The ancient Jewish historian Josephus felt that Moses would have become the Pharaoh himself. And Moses had everything that the court of Egypt offered. He had cool guy liner on. You know how the Egyptians had the little mascara and all that.

Right? He had all the cool Egyptian moves. He walked like an Egyptian for sure.

He had all the royal robes. But underneath that finery beat the heart of a Jew. And he saw how his fellow Jews were being mistreated. And one day he decided to dig matters into his own hands. And he saw an Egyptian slave driver mistreating a Jewish slave. And he looked to the right and he looked to the left and he killed the guy and buried him in the sand.

If you are going to kill someone don't bury them in the sand. Because the sand shifts and his deed was known and the Pharaoh discovered it and effectively put a contract out on the life of Moses. So Moses fled and went to the backside of the desert.

He probably thought he was done. He was now 80 years old watching a flock of sheep for his father-in-law. And he married a woman named Zipporah. And suddenly there is a bush that will not stop burning. And the voice of God comes to him through the bush and the Lord says, I have seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt.

I have heard their cry because of their taskmasters and I know their sorrows. And then the Lord says, I am calling you to go and deliver those people. Moses is saying, ah not me. I don't think I am the right guy. So he offers excuses.

Here is excuse number one if you are taking notes. He said, I am not deserving to be used by God. I am not deserving to be used by God. Exodus 3.11. Who am I, says Moses, to appear before Pharaoh? How can you expect me to lead the Israelites out of Egypt? Now he does have a point.

I mean if you were God would you have picked Moses? In some ways he was a has-been. A failure. An embarrassment.

Even worse. A murderer who was running from the law. He was a fugitive. And now he is an 80 year old dude who has been out in the sun. His day is done. There is no more. He is retirement age. He is beyond retirement age.

And the Lord says, yeah I think you are just about the right guy I could use at this moment. Moses moves slower now. He used to be an athletic guy.

He has gone from go-mo to slow-mo. He is more reticent. Apprehensive.

Cautious. I don't think I am the one Lord. You can't use me. Excuse number two. I don't have all the answers.

I don't have all the answers. Look at Exodus 3.12. Moses protested. If I go to the people of Israel and tell them the God of your ancestors has sent me to you they won't believe me. They will ask, which God are you talking about?

What is his name? What should I tell them? God replied, I am who I am. Just tell them I am has sent me to you.

I love that. So Moses says, who shall I say sent me? The Lord says, I am who I am. So Moses is effectively saying, who am I? The Lord says, forget about that. I am who I am. It is not about you Moses.

It is about me. Moses is saying, I don't have all the answers. God is saying, but you have all of me. And I will be with you.

See God will give you what you need. Jesus said, all power has been given to me in heaven and in earth. Therefore go into all the world and make disciples and preach the gospel.

Have you ever noticed that connection? Before he tells us what we are supposed to do he tells us who he is. I have all power. I have authority.

You go therefore because I am in you and I will speak through you and I will work through you. And the Lord was showing this to Moses. And then he says, I want to demonstrate my power.

He says, take your shepherd's staff and throw it to the ground. And it turns into a snake. Probably a cobra. Because the cobra was a symbol of Egypt. If you look at Egyptian antiquities today you will see the cobra was very much a part of their culture. The Pharaoh would even wear a headdress with a cobra on it. So I think it was a cobra because it was symbolic.

God was saying to Moses, you need to face your fears and you are going to be victorious over Egypt. But he picked the snake up by the tail. You never want to do that because the snake will bite you.

And let me tell you from experience. I have been bitten by many snakes because I used to have them when I was a kid. I was bitten by boas and pythons and gopher snakes and king snakes. It is kind of a freaky thing to have a snake bite you.

It doesn't hurt that much but there is something very icky about it. They fasten themselves. They are just there on your hand or your arm. And the way to get them off is you have to get up behind their neck and kind of press them. Pry their mouth open and they are still trying to bite. Then you are holding it and they are wrapping their coil around your arm. And they are like, get rid of one of those things. It is very hard because the moment you let go they try to bite you against it.

You know. So to pick a cobra up. A venomous snake by the tail. But the Lord was saying, face your fears. I am going to be with you. And then Moses says, excuse number three, I am not a good speaker. Exodus 4, 10 now.

Next chapter. Moses pleaded with the Lord. Oh Lord I am just not a good speaker.

I never have been and I am not now. Even after you have spoken to me I am clumsy with words. Now it is interesting because commentators have different opinions as to what this means. When he says he is a clumsy speaker. Some suggest that maybe he just didn't feel he had the right way of communicating. He was not a skilled orator. Others think he might have been speaking of a speech impediment. The King James translation is, I am slow of speech and tongue.

So some think that Moses may have had a problem with stuttering. This reminds me of Jack Hibbs. Pastor Jack Hibbs. How many of you have heard of Pastor Jack Hibbs?

Calvary Cappuccino Hills. He used to have a very severe stuttering problem. And so anyway Jack came to Christ in a funny way. It is not funny but it is interesting.

It reminds me of myself a little. He was out driving around with some buddies. And he saw a car full of cute girls so they followed them into a parking lot of a church. He didn't know it was a church. It was Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa. He walked in. I happened to be preaching that night.

And at the end of my message I gave the invitation and Jack gave his life to Christ. And then he sensed that the Lord wanted to use him. But he had this stuttering problem. And he would be so nervous whenever he would think of talking to anyone.

So he would go out with his Christian friends who would be sharing the gospel. And he said, I can't do that. I will stutter. But one day and I asked him about this so he texted me and these are his words. He said, one night on Lido Island I saw someone and I felt an overwhelming burden to go speak to them and share the gospel.

When I opened my mouth I was healed of stuttering in that instant and I have never stuttered since then. I love that. So you say okay I am not going to be defined by this problem. I am going to step out of this comfort zone and I am going to see what the Lord will do. Listen the future belongs to risk takers not mere ground holders. And it certainly doesn't belong to those that sit around and critique people that are willing to do something outside of the box.

You know look back historically in our own country. Creative people who broke new ground. People like Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Walt Disney, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk. Who lands rockets? Elon Musk does.

NASA has been blowing them up in space for years. Elon Musk a businessman says seems more financially responsible to land the rocket that you shot off. And he has been able to pull that off.

And I think of Billy Graham and the great innovations that he was involved in in bringing the gospel to people. But there are always armchair quarterbacks and those that love to critique. Those that do things like that. Most of these people live on social media.

Specifically Twitter. And that seems to be their so-called mission in life. I am here to just take shots at other people. What have you ever done for the kingdom of God? Why don't you step out of your comfort zone and see what the Lord will do through you? And so Moses says I can't do this Lord. I am just not the guy. And then he says excuse number four. I am not qualified.

He said Lord send anyone else. This can almost sound humble. Oh Lord I am not worthy. I am just too humble. In fact I am so humble I dropped the H. I am just humble. I am humble.

You know what you are? You are disobedient. That is not humility. If God says I want to use you and you say no that is not humility.

That is disobedient. And the fact that he says Lord. He says actually in verse 13. Oh Lord send someone else. What do you mean oh Lord? You don't say no Lord. You say yes Lord. Otherwise is he really Lord? If he is Lord you obey him. Pastor Greg Laurie pointing out how important it is to heed God's call to stand up and speak out for him. Great encouragement today on a new beginning from the message God Enough Part 2.

Well the new movie Johnny Cash The Redemption of an American Icon is now out on DVD. And it is thoroughly entertaining and interesting to watch. But it is more than that. Pastor Greg it could be used as a real spiritual tool. This could help people reach their friends for the Lord.

Couldn't it? Yeah and I want you to know we don't offer cheesy Christian films at Harvest. Okay if we are going to send you a film it is going to be good and I think you know that. You have seen the films we have done in the past. Steve McQueen The Salvation of an American Icon. A Rush of Hope.

Most recently Jesus Revolution. This documentary is first rate. High quality.

Beautiful cinematography. Some amazing people that joined us to be a part of it. And wanted to talk about Johnny Cash. Sheryl Crow. Tim McGraw. Winona Judd.

Marty Stewart. Members of Johnny's family as well. But the reason we made this film was to tell a spiritual story. There are other documentaries out on the life of Cash that are quite good.

But none of them do what this film does. We do talk about his musical career and his life and so forth. It is a very honest film.

Very straight forward. But we talk about how God gave Johnny second chances. That is what the title of it is. Johnny Cash The Redemption of an American Icon. This is a film that offers hope. Do you know someone that needs to be redeemed? Do you know someone that needs a second chance?

Maybe you are that person. This would be a great tool that you can watch and find inspiration. Or share with someone else that needs this hope. So we want to send you this special edition of Johnny Cash The Redemption of an American Icon on DVD. That yes has a streaming code. But it also has bonus content including a presentation of the gospel that I did. So after you watch the documentary film you could watch this little presentation of the gospel. Complete with a prayer for someone to accept Christ. You could have a watch party in your home and see people come to Jesus Christ. This film is done by the same team that brought you Jesus Revolution. The Kingdom Story Company. So let us send you now your copy of Johnny Cash The Redemption of an American Icon on DVD for your gift of any size.

Now let me explain. We want you to be extra generous as you send that gift. So we can continue to preach the gospel and teach the word of God through our radio broadcast A New Beginning. But also so you can invest in the kingdom of God.

Because you lay up for yourself treasure in heaven when you invest in a ministry like ours. So get your copy of this great resource. Here's Dave to tell you more.

Yeah it's a film you're really going to love. And we'll send it your way just as soon as we hear from you. Thanks for your partnership with us in bringing these studies each day. And to thank you tangibly we'll send you Johnny Cash The Redemption of an American Icon. Just call us at 1-800-821-3300.

That's 24 7 phone number 1-800-821-3300. Or just go online to Harvest.org. You know there's nothing like hearing the word of God and worshiping the Lord together. I want to encourage you to join us for something we call Harvest at Home. It happens every Saturday and Sunday at Harvest.org. You can join Christians from around the world as we worship and we study the word of God together.

So join us for Harvest at Home at Harvest.org. Well next time Pastor Greg points out that no matter how unqualified we may feel. We're fully qualified to be used of God.

Well see God is not concerned about your ability only availability. Join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and Bible teacher, Greg Laurie. A New Beginning is a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners. Helping people everywhere know God. If this show has impacted your life, share your story. Leave a review on your favorite podcast app and help others find hope.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-27 18:33:40 / 2023-08-27 18:44:29 / 11

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