Hey, everybody. You're listening to A New Beginning, which is a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners. If this program has impacted you, I'd love to hear from you. So just send an email to me at gregatharvest.org. Again, it's gregatharvest.org.
You can learn more about becoming a Harvest Partner by going to harvest.org. The devil might say to you in effect, all right, I can see that you believe in Jesus now, so I'm just asking, let me have a few areas of your life still. You have to say to the enemy, you get nothing. You get nada.
You get zero. And I don't want you in my life anymore. I'm done with you. You can leave now. Goodbye. Get behind me, Satan, and go away. Amazing grace, how sweet the sound. Again, you hear all the angels are singing.
This is the day, the day when life begins. Ever gotten into a dialogue with a telemarketer? He refused his sales pitch, but he always has a rebuttal, a counterargument, a counteroffer.
Sometimes the best way to deal with him is just to say goodbye. Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie points out we can use that same approach with our spiritual adversary. We can't negotiate with sin. We can't come to an understanding with evil. We can't compromise with the devil. Today, some insight from our study of the life of Moses.
This is the day, the day when life begins. I heard a story of a hunter who wanted to shoot a bear, so he went out with his gun, marching through the forest, looking for his prey. Finally, he found a bear. The bear had his back to him. The hunter got his gun ready, lowered his sights, exhaled, began to squeeze the trigger, when suddenly the bear turned around and said to him, Excuse me, isn't it better to talk than to shoot? He was shocked because not only was it a talking bear, but it was a bear with a British accent. Then the bear said, Can't we negotiate the matter? And the hunter was a little surprised. The bear says, Let me ask you, what is it you're looking for? The hunter said, I'm looking for a fur coat. Ah, said the bear.
Well, I'm looking for a full stomach. Let's have a discussion about it, and perhaps we can reach a compromise. And the hunter said, All right, then. So he set his gun down. They disappeared into the forest, and apparently the negotiations were successful because the bear came out alone, so everyone got what they wanted.
The bear got a full stomach, and the hunter got a fur coat. That's how compromise works with the devil. When you try to strike a deal with the devil, you'll always be the loser. That is why the Bible tells us in Ephesians 4, 27, Neither give place to the devil, or as the New International Version puts it, never give the devil a stronghold.
Listen to this. The devil is evil. The devil is wicked. But I'll tell you one thing the devil is not, and that's stupid. He's been honing his craft for a long time now. He knows in general he cannot bring a believer down in one fell swoop, so he'll try to dismantle them a bit at a time, sort of like death by a thousand cuts. He does this through the strategic and very effective tool of compromise. But be forewarned, if you give the devil an inch, he'll take a mile.
So here's the takeaway truth. Don't get into deals with the devil, because you'll always lose. And I bring that up because now we have Moses trying to get the Israelites out of the bondage of Egypt, and Pharaoh is saying no. Exodus chapter 8, I'm going to read verses 25 to 28. I'm reading from the New Living Translation.
Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron. All right, go ahead and offer sacrifices to your God. But notice this. But do it here in the land. You might underline that phrase. Do it here in the land.
I'll come back to it. Moses replied, well, that wouldn't be right. The Egyptians attest the sacrifices that we offer to the Lord our God. Look, if we offer our sacrifices here where the Egyptians can see us, they will stone us. We must take a three-day trip into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to the Lord our God as he has commanded us. Pharaoh replied, all right, go ahead. I'll let you go into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to the Lord your God, but don't go too far away.
Underline that phrase as well. Don't go too far away. Now hurry and pray for me. So here's the Pharaoh. Doesn't want to let him go. Wants to keep him close.
Wants him on a leash so he can reel him back again. So he says in verse 28, I'll let you go, but don't go very far. Intercede for me.
Oh, this is clever. It looks like he's opening his heart to God, but he wasn't at all. You know, maybe you're involved in a relationship with a nonbeliever. It's a romantic relationship, even worse, a sexual relationship. So one day you decide to obey the Bible and you terminate the relationship.
You say we can't be together anymore. This is dragging me down spiritually. And your nonbelieving friend says, oh, man, don't do it. I'm so close to coming to Christ. Pray for me.
Oh, really? Oh, come on, please. You're never going to win someone to Christ by lowering your standards. You're not going to bring someone to Jesus by becoming more like them. If you become too much like them, why would they ever want to become like you? Take a principled stand on what the Bible says.
A.W. Tozer, a writer from years gone by, summed it up this way, and I quote, one compromise here, another there, and soon enough the so-called Christian and the man in the world look the same, end quote. That is why the Bible reminds you to not be unequally yoked together with a nonbeliever for what fellowship does light have with darkness or righteousness with unrighteousness or as a modern translation interpretation puts it, quote, don't become partners with those that reject God. How can you make a partnership out of right and wrong?
That's not a partnership. That's war. Is light best friends with dark? Does Christ go strolling with the devil? Do trust and mistrust hold hands? Well said.
No, they don't is the answer. And so the Pharaoh's trying to keep them close so he can still influence them. Listen, if Pharaoh could not keep them in Egypt, he would at least try to keep them near Egypt. Well, more plagues come. Now the Pharaoh is finally cracking.
Now let's see what happened then. Exodus 10, verse eight. So Moses and Aaron were brought to Pharaoh, and he said to them, all right, go serve the Lord. By the way, who are the ones who are going? We will go with our young and our old, with our sons and our daughters, with our flocks and our herds. We will go.
We must hold a feast to the Lord. Then the Pharaoh said, the Lord better be with you when I let you and your little ones go, but where evil is ahead of you. So basically Pharaoh says, so who's gonna go now? Well, everyone. The old people, the young people, even our cattle.
Oh yeah, young people. Forget about that. Your kids are staying here. Now Moses might have said, hey, it's a break.
Let's get out of here. We'll come for our kids later. But Moses knows he can't do this, but this is a good reminder how the Pharaoh is trying to break up the family. In the same way, the devil has declared war on the family and our culture today. Satan hates the family. There is a full-throated, all-out attack on the family and our nation today.
Consider this. When the family is strong, the church is strong. And when the church is strong, the nation is strong.
And when the family breaks down, the nation breaks down with it. Today there are many people trying to figure out how to fix our country. The rising crime rate.
The opioid crisis. All of the people ending up being incarcerated. And there's all these ideas. Oh well, let's just legalize all the drugs and let's just release people that are in prison serving time right now.
And let's just try this and change that. And we have the economic imbalances. I'm telling you, here's the thing nobody is talking about.
And this is the root of everything. It's the breakdown of the family. You can take almost every social ill in America today. Girls getting pregnant outside of wedlock. People getting into drugs. People becoming alcoholics.
Runaways. People who are attempting suicide. People who are ending up committing crimes. People who are joining gangs.
People who are incarcerated. Every one of those things, and there's many studies to back this up, can be directly traced back to the breakdown of the family. And specifically to the absence of fathers. So we need to do everything we can to strengthen the family. Let's start with you. You need to do everything you can to strengthen your family. You can't save America, nor can I. You cannot save all the families in America, but you can start with your family. And you can say, this family is off limits to the devil. Satan, you cannot have this family. Hey everybody, Greg Laurie here, and I want to personally invite you to the Harvest Ministries Israel tour.
April 9 to 19, 2024. Listen, this is your chance to walk in the steps of Jesus, literally in what we call the Holy Land. Learn more at Israel.harvest.org.
Shalom. Well, we're in the book of Exodus today, eavesdropping on Moses' dialogue with the Pharaoh in a message called The Danger of the Compromised Life. One final movement, and then we're done in this story. So the Pharaoh is just going to try one more time.
One more compromise. Exodus 10, 24. Pharaoh called to Moses and said, okay, go serve the Lord, but let your flocks and herds be kept back, and you can even take your little ones with you. See, the devil is fighting tooth and nail for every inch. Why would the Pharaoh care about their animals?
It was a small victory, but what it was was a foot in the door. First Pharaoh tried to keep them in the land, then he tried to keep them near the land, and then at least he wants to keep a part of themselves in the land. If their animals, their treasures, their livelihood were left in Egypt, their heart would be there as well. Jesus said, where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. The devil might say to you in effect, all right, I never wanted you to become a Christian, but I can see that you believe in Jesus now, so I'm just asking, let me have a few areas of your life still. Let me keep your money.
I still want a big say so in how you spend your money. You know true conversion has happened when the Lord has your wallet. The story is told of General Sam Houston, hero of Texas history. He came to Christ at a later time in his life. He was an older man. He said to the pastor, I would like to be baptized, pastor. The pastor said okay. He took General Houston down to a little country river.
As he was getting ready to baptize him, General Houston gave him his glasses. Then the pastor noticed that the general still had his wallet in his pants. He said, General, you want to take your wallet out, it will get wet. Houston replied, if there's any part of me that needs baptizing, it's my wallet. Has your wallet been baptized yet?
The answer to that is determined by how and where you spend your money. Don't forget to invest in God's kingdom. I love the response of Moses. We want to keep your animals, says the Pharaoh. Moses says, here's my answer. Read my lips. He didn't say that, but it's implied.
Exodus 10, 26, not a hoof shall be left behind. Pharaoh, here's the deal. Listen now. You get nothing. You get nada. You get zero. No deals, no negotiations, no compromises. I've had it with you. You're not getting anything from us. We're making a clean break and we're going three days into the wilderness.
We need to say the same thing to the devil. You get zero. You get zip. You had your time in my life. I saw what your plan was.
I saw the misery you brought and the havoc you brought. I don't want you in my life anymore. I'm done with you. You can leave now. Goodbye.
Get behind me, Satan, and go away. You show me a person that's starting to compromise and I'll show you a person that's headed to ruin. As I pointed out earlier, no one falls away all at once.
It's small steps. Show me a marriage that's unraveling so-called irreconcilable differences. By the way, I've been married for 45 years to Kathy and we have irreconcilable differences. Always have. Always will.
They're irreconcilable. She's neat. I'm messy. I'm usually early. She's sometimes late. She's cute.
I'm fat. It's irreconcilable. You get my point? You're going to have differences. Don't tell me you have irreconcilable differences. God can restore that marriage if you want Him to. If you would pray about it and more specifically do your part. Oh, I know there's some exceptions to this and that's another message for another time. But I'm telling you, most divorces I've seen and I've seen a lot in my years as a pastor could have been avoided. The relationship could have been restored.
But the people weren't willing to do their part. But anyway, my point was if a marriage is falling apart, if the husband has the wandering eye looking at other women or the wife is kind of drifting from her husband, that's because they haven't kept the marriage strong. You want a good marriage. You want a lasting marriage.
You want a blessed marriage. Keep romance alive. Keep affection alive. Keep communication open. Always be working on it to make it stronger. Don't neglect it. And the same is true of your relationship with God.
You show me a person that's falling into this sin or giving into this area and it's all these other little things. And the antidote to it is a close relationship with Jesus. As one old Puritan preacher put it, we need the expulsive power of a new affection. The expulsive power of a new affection. You say, what does that even mean? A new affection.
What is that? Christ. When Christ is your primary affection, it's expulsive. It drives the other things away and you won't find yourself wrapped up in compromise.
As Elijah said, choose you this day whom you will serve. And the problem is we're trying to live in two worlds, some of us. And we're miserable, aren't we?
Because you have too much of the Lord to be happy in the world and you have too much of the world to be happy in the Lord. It just doesn't work. And I wonder if I'm speaking to someone today that's let compromise into their life. They've made a deal with the bear. They've lowered their guard. They're doing things they weren't doing. You made this break with sin after you became a Christian and things were great. But now slowly but surely old vices have crept back in. You've backed off on your spiritual life and you've let these other things get a hold of you.
And you're saying, what is happening? Compromise is coming in and there's only one thing to do. You've got to clean house.
You have to admit it, acknowledge it, be specific about it and ask the Lord to help you to get these things out of your life. Only you can see this change. You have to draw the line like Moses drew the line. You have to say to the enemy, we're done here. Not a hoof shall be left behind. You get nothing. I'm done with this.
I'm done with compromising. And I believe the Holy Spirit will work in your heart and show you those areas that need to change. The Holy Spirit will show you maybe an area of compromise in your life. He'll show you a relationship that is toxic and harmful to you spiritually. He'll show you things that you know you shouldn't be doing. I don't have to say it. He'll say it to your heart. Pastor Greg Laurie, urging us to make a change in our relationship with the Lord today. Good encouragement. And before today's edition of A New Beginning concludes, Pastor Greg will come back to lead us all in a word of prayer.
So stay with us. Well, Pastor Greg, my wife and I saw Johnny Cash, the redemption of an American icon in the theaters some months ago. And we both loved it. There's so much about his life that we didn't know.
And with so many interviews with those who knew him best, you know, other entertainers and family members, we really felt like we knew him after the film. Excellent. I see you have a copy of the new DVD on the table. I'm hoping you won't notice me walking off with it when the broadcast is over.
Yes. Well, we want everybody listening to walk off with one of these if they want to, because for the first time ever, we are offering a very exclusive version of the Johnny Cash DVD. It's called Johnny Cash, the redemption of an American icon.
I wrote a book by the same title. This is a major documentary film produced by Lionsgate, the Kingdom Story Company. And it's out there.
Yes, it's streaming on platforms. But I'm offering you this new Johnny Cash DVD for your gift of any size. And it also has bonus content. And this is really important because you won't find that on the streaming platforms. But we filmed a special wrap-up message where I talked about Johnny's life. I brought the gospel into it, complete with a presentation of the gospel and how a person can come to Christ and even a prayer. So when you order Johnny Cash, the redemption of an American icon and DVD from us, you will get that bonus content. And also, you'll get a streaming code.
So what that means is you can download it into your phone, your tablet, your computer, and have the DVD, which you can keep or give to someone. Be a great gift, especially to someone that does not know the Lord. Seems like everybody loves Johnny Cash. You know, he's an iconic figure. There's not that many icons out there, but Johnny's one of them. He was loved by my grandparents' generation.
That's where I first heard about him. My parents, my generation, and the young generation today. It seems as though each new generation discovers the man in black and loves his music.
It just transcends time. You know, to describe his music and say, well, it's country music. Well, it is in that category, but in reality, it's kind of just Johnny Cash music. There was only one Johnny Cash, only one man that spoke as he spoke and sang as he sang that familiar boom chicka boom sound, you know, that he developed and actually, toward the end of his career, produced some of his most amazing music and his spiritual life is similar. It's sort of like bookends.
He started strong, had a lot of lapses, and he finished strong. So it's an inspirational story. This is not just a music documentary. This is a story of the man, the man who was transformed, the man in black who was changed by the Lord.
And it's a story of hope and redemption that I think anyone who watches will be inspired by. So order your copy of Johnny Cash, the redemption of an American icon that includes bonus content and a streaming code for your gift of any size. One word about that, we have to pay a little bit more for this resource than we would normally pay for something we would offer you. So I'm going to ask you all to be very generous in what you send to Harvest Ministries. And when you send this gift, we will invest it in evangelism and the teaching of the Word of God.
So order your copy of Johnny Cash, the redemption of an American icon, now out on DVD. Yeah, that's right, and we're eager to get a copy on its way to you. Thanks for your generosity as you partner with us so these daily studies can continue to come your way. You can call us any time 24-7 at 1-800-821-3300. Again, 1-800-821-3300.
Or go online to harvest.org. Well, next time as Pastor Greg continues our study of the life of Moses, we'll see the wisest plan is to put God first in our lives no matter what. More on that next time. We've been studying Moses' encounter with Pharaoh today and considering the danger of compromise, and Pastor Greg concludes this way. We're going to pray together, and I'm going to ask you to just commit it to the Lord and turn from it, call it what it is, sin, repent of it, and say, Lord, this is the day I'm marking it on my calendar, the day when I got rid of this compromise in my life and I made a stand and a decision to return to my first love in Jesus Christ.
This can happen for you right here, right now. Let's all pray. Father, we are Your people gathered in different locations.
You're here with all of us. And we think of the words of the psalmist who said, Search me, O God, and try me, and know my ways. See if there's any wicked way in me, and lead me to the way everlasting. Lord, we ask that Your Holy Spirit would shine a light in our heart into every recess of it. And if there's an area of compromise sometimes called leavened in the Bible, yeast, that tends to have a great effect, a little breakdown here, lowering our guard there, a compromise in another place, Lord, would You show it to us? And we want to break free from it.
And we don't want to live that way anymore. We want that expulsive power of a new affection where we love You with all of our heart, with all of our soul, and with all of our mind. So, Lord, we commit this area to You now. We commit these areas to You now. Forgive us of our sins and fill us with the Holy Spirit. Here's our deal with the devil. There is no deal. It's off the table. We're done here. Not a hoof shall be left behind. We give it all over to You, Lord, from this moment forward. And we pray this in Jesus' name. Amen.
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