Pastor, author, and Bible teacher, Alan Wright. We are moving on like you've called us to. What are we doing having to face leaky roofs and sinkholes right now?
This doesn't fit into the schedule. You know the kind of thing I'm talking about. And this happens in life, right? You get seasons in your life where you feel like you've arrived, and then you arrive and realize, are you kidding me?
There's a big Red Sea still in front of me. That's Pastor Alan Wright. Welcome to another message of good news that will help you see your life in a whole new light. I'm Daniel Britt, excited for you to hear the teaching today in our series called Moses, as presented at Reynolda Church in North Carolina. If you're not able to stay with us throughout the entire program, I want to make sure you know how to get our special resource right now. It can be yours for your donation this month to Alan Wright Ministries.
So as you listen to today's message, we encourage you to go deeper as we send you today's special offer. Contact us at PastorAlan.org. That's PastorAlan.org. Or call 877-544-4860.
That's 877-544-4860. More on this later in the program. But now, let's get started with today's teaching.
Here is Alan Wright. You ready for some good news? God still parts Red Seas. Turn with me to Exodus chapter 14 as we launch into a new series on Moses. Exodus chapter 14 is the second book in your Bible, and we're going to pick up reading at verse 11. This is the people of God after they have escaped from their slavery in Egypt, and now they have come to a seemingly impossible impasse with an ocean in front and an army behind. And this is where we're going to dive into the story of Moses. In coming weeks, we'll go back to earlier times in his life.
But semantically, here's where I want us to start. And this is where our blessing for the new year will be rooted. Starting at verse 11 of Exodus 14, they said, and I'm reading for the New King James Version today. Then they said to Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, have you taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you so dealt with us to bring us up out of Egypt? Is this not the word that we told you in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptian? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than we should die in the wilderness. And Moses said to the people, Do not be afraid.
Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace. And the Lord said to Moses, Why do you cry to me? Tell the children of Israel to go forth, but lift up your rod and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea. Verse 21, Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night and made the sea into dry land, and the waters were divided. So the children of Israel went on into the midst of the sea on the dry ground, and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left. And the Egyptians pursued and went after them into the midst of the sea, all Pharaoh's horses, chariots, and his horsemen. And verse 26, The Lord said to Moses, Stretch out your hand over the sea, that the waters may come back upon the Egyptians on their chariots and on their horsemen. And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and when the morning appeared, the sea returned to its full depth while the Egyptians were fleeing into it.
So the Lord overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea, and the waters returned and covered the chariots and the horsemen and all the army of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them, not so much as one of them remained." Well I hope everybody had a wonderful new year. I had some good time away.
I got to be with family on New Year's Day, had some rest and some good food. It was just absolutely perfect new year unless you were a Baylor Bear football fan. Now you've begun to hear not only North Carolina Tar Heel illustrations but Baylor Bear illustrations because we have a son at Baylor now.
He's a sophomore, and I've become a a rabid Baylor Bear football fan. And let me just tell you what the Baylor Bears had been. They had been the worst football team in their conference for many years running. They went 15 years without going to a bowl game.
Y'all there are so many bowl games that you can go to now, everything from the Sugar Bowl to the toilet bowl, you can go to a bowl game. They didn't go to a bowl game for 15 years. They went through a long stretch of time in which they were sort of just the laughing stock of their conference. And seven years ago they got a new coach, a man named Art Brows.
And man it's amazing how things can change when the leadership changes. And they started getting a little better. Next thing you know they had a winning season, and then they they've gone to bowl games. And then last year they won the Big 12 Conference, went to a good bowl game. And then this year not only won the Big 12 Conference but we're in the discussion of going to the playoffs, the new playoffs for college football. And they didn't get into that, but they're going to the prestigious Cotton Bowl to play on New Year's Day. It was the Bears moment to arrive. And for three quarters this thing was fantastic. They scored 34 unanswered points, long dazzling passes to their speedy wide receivers, including one touchdown that they threw to a 400-pound tackle who on that play was an eligible receiver who lumbered into the end zone untouched. They are over on the sidelines laughing. They're up by 20 points in the fourth quarter, and basically they have won the Cotton Bowl.
Sort of. What happened next was a series of flukish things that can make a game collapse. And long story short, Michigan State through a touchdown pass with 17 seconds left to win by one point. My father-in-law, Graham, who's been my Baylor Bear football watching buddy all season long, had been watching the game along with us. And the next morning I said, Graham, be honest about it, did you replay the game in your sleep last night?
And what if and what if? And he said, what happened to me was, he said, I woke up in the middle of the night and I replayed all those bad plays. I have everything turned wrong, he said. And then I changed a few of them. And when I then realized we had definitely indeed won, I fell back asleep peacefully. I don't know how you cope with it, but life often brings these times where you feel like you've come a long way. You've experienced God's freedom and favor. You've worked your way through a difficult problem. You know that you've gotten on the other side of some form of bondage.
You've moved on to some new place. And then there's a new obstacle in front of you, something that is disappointing and challenging or problematic. And when you get into that situation, there's a particular kind of pain and a particular kind of temptation towards anxiety and despair that happens then. Well, this is the exact situation that the people of God found themselves in. They had been slaves for 400 years in Egypt, 400 years. They had grown in number by the hundreds of thousands. They had been under the tyranny of a ruthless tyrant who increased their labor, who killed their sons, who it looked like would never let them go until the series of plagues and the Passover that set the people free, led by Moses, and they come out of their slavery. And just when they are ready to just celebrate and dance for joy, they look up and see a big sea in front of them. And Pharaoh has changed his mind and the army's chasing them down from behind and they feel trapped in the midst of that.
An army behind and an ocean in front. What do you do? I wish I could just replay some of the plays in my life, you know, and say, that didn't really happen that way. That's really not going on. But the fact of the matter is you can't solve it that way, can you? Because life is what it is and you find yourself in the midst of those moments.
What do you do? It was right at that moment of temptation towards despair and fear that the people of God were feeling that Moses spoke very directly to them and said, do not be afraid. Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord which you will accomplish in your midst today. For the Egyptians that you now see, you will see no more again forever. The Lord will fight for you and you will hold your peace.
You know what he did? He spoke a blessing to the people. Don't be afraid. Stand still and see the saving work, the powerful work of God which he will accomplish, he will accomplish. Some of the things that have haunted you that keep lingering in your mind, old disappointments, old remnants of shame, things that have you looking over your shoulder for the Egyptians all the time, this that you have seen, you shall see again no more forever, God says.
The Lord is fighting for you so you can be at peace. That's Alan Wright and we'll have more teaching in a moment from today's important series. Ever feel like something's holding you back, as if you lack an important key that could change everything?
Is there someone you love who seems stuck? You'd like to help them, but how? What's missing? Blessing. We all need a positive, faith-filled vision spoken over our lives. You can learn how to embrace the biblical practice of blessing through Pastor Alan Wright's new book, The Power to Bless, which quickly became an Amazon number one bestseller after its recent release. Until now, the hardcover book has only been available through retail sales, but this month, Alan Wright Ministries wants to send you the book as our thank you for your donation. Make your gift today and discover the power to bless. The gospel is shared when you give to Alan Wright Ministries. This broadcast is only possible because of listener financial support. When you give today, we will send you today's special offer. We are happy to send this to you as our thanks from Alan Wright Ministries. Call us at 877-544-4860.
That's 877-544-4860. Or come to our website, pastoralan.org. Today's teaching now continues. Here once again is Alan Wright.
In order to really wrap your mind around this kind of predicament I'm talking about, I know that it doesn't apply specifically to every person at any given moment. I think it's more that I sense that for us as a church and for many individuals that I've spoken to that just this kind of scenario, people have experienced it. Can I just give you one example, just as corporately as a church, is we as a church have been in a beautiful season in which we, a long season, I would say, of expansion. We built new facilities. We have launched a new campus. When we built the facilities, we borrowed money. And when we began our boundless stewardship journey that we're in, the first part of that journey was to pay off $700,000 of debt.
And God was so wonderful. And through some beautiful, large gifts that people gave and through your faithfulness, we took that first step and we paid off the $700,000 debt. And the next step was to launch our new campus, which is launched and is meeting this morning. People's lives are being touched and changed over at the Union Cross campus. And so we're off that.
And basically, if you were to say, well, where is the church? I'd say, we are more poised for the expansion of the gospel, for sharing a love of God in a more expansive way than we ever have before. Debt has been paid off. We're ready to see the financial prosperity move forward so that we can accomplish these initiatives. And then one day after, not long after, we've paid off all this debt. And I'm informed that we have found a leaky roof back in the Johnson building where our youth meet. It's a very expensive tile roof. They discover there's some damage internally and that there's also some mildew problems that have to be remediated to the tune of $140,000 that we don't have.
And so no sooner have we paid off the debt, we had to go out and borrow money to fix a roof. And then one day, Executive Director Miggett comes in and he says, there's a hole in the parking lot and it's not a pothole. He says, it's a sinkhole. And there's no dirt up underneath some of the parking lot. We've got to block it off. We're gonna have to pull up the pavement and replace the pipe and put new dirt in there. I'm just gonna tell you as a leader, you know, when you get these kinds of pieces of information, when you've just, you know, gotten to this place, right? This is what I'm talking about. You're like, wait a minute, Lord, I thought we had an arrangement here. You know, we are moving on like you've called us to. What are we doing having to face leaky roofs and sinkholes right now?
This doesn't fit into the schedule. You know, the kind of thing I'm talking about. And this happens in life, right? You get seasons in your life where you feel like you've arrived and then you arrive and realize, are you kidding me?
There's a big red sea still in front of me. That's the kind of thing I think the Lord wants to speak into. It's not something that is new for the people of God.
In fact, if you read your Bible through, what you'll see is story after story that's just like this. Abraham called up out of the Ur of Chaldees, Hebrews, the letter that applauds Abraham saying he went not knowing where he was going. So he follows and he and Sarah, his wife, are given an incredible promise by God.
And they are celebrating the fact that they've been given this promise. You got to remember Abraham was visited by God. God made a covenant with Abraham, put him into a sleep-like trance and spoke to Abraham. I mean, we're talking about, you know, rapturous visions of God. And so Abraham has got to be thinking, I'm there. I mean, I'm blessed. And then 25 years go by and they continue to face infertility.
That's a big red sea, as I'm saying. Joseph was a teenager. He'd been given a beautiful vision, a dream by God.
And Joseph's got to be thinking like, okay, I am so blessed. And then his brothers sell him into slavery. He goes to prison and he's sitting in prison. This isn't the scenario that I looked for, right?
That's an in-between place. David was anointed as a youth while keeping sheep in the fields of Bethlehem. He kills Goliath, is celebrated. The people say, Saul's killed his thousands. David's killed tens of thousands.
He's our man. And next thing you know, David thinking, I have arrived. I've been so blessed by God. He spends over two decades running for his life, hiding from Saul in the caves of Adullam, associated with a ragtag assembly of men.
And all this time before he's ever given the throne. Life just brings these in-between times, doesn't it? Where you have made it out of something, but you have a sense there is more.
And you're going somewhere with it. And I think that that's what this scene in the life of Israel is all about. It's about what do you do when you're in that spot? And there's a dual temptation that comes to us. The temptation when you're in that spot is to first just despair and become like the Egyptians and say, well, we just shouldn't even left Egypt.
Listen, this is a worse problem than I had before. Now, the fact of the matter is that the Hebrew people here are just not telling the truth. In the first place, they had never said to Moses, we don't want to leave Egypt.
They'd never said that. They were all worshiping the Lord and all glad to leave. When they saw all their deliverance, they were leaving.
But as they look back on it, to try to soften their anxiety, they were reinterpreting their past and saying, well, we didn't even want to come do this. The other temptation when you get in this spot is to think that there's just something that I'm going to be able to do to force this Red Sea open. And then into the midst of that comes this wonderful, wonderful word that Moses gives to the people that we're going to be just letting turn over in our hearts. Do not be afraid. Stand still. When you're in this situation, let your spirit, let your soul become still. Those who wait upon the Lord are going to renew their strength. Now is not the time to panic.
Wait and watch. See what the Lord's going to accomplish. God still parts Red Seas. Now to understand this story and to understand our New Year's blessing, it's important to let your mind relive the history. The Old Testament is real...is laden with real life stories of real life people that God has superintended and set up circumstances so that all of these events and all of these persons in one way or another are pointing to Jesus. The reason for this is that the longing in the people of God for their Savior would grow as they were given shadows. One day the full revelation of Christ would come. He would come in the flesh.
But up until that time, everything had been pointing to Jesus. So the New Testament says of the old that the old is full of types and shadows. Now what's a shadow? A shadow is very simply the dark area that is cast when the sunlight, the light shines upon you and your shadow is evidence that the reality is there but the shadow is not the reality. In other words, if someone sees your shadow but doesn't see you, they would be able to know that there's a person standing there. They may even be able to see some vaguely identifying features of that person. But the main purpose of the shadow, if you're looking at it, would be, oh, there must be a real person or else there wouldn't be a shadow. And that's what the Bible means by speaking of shadows.
So the whole story of the Exodus, which literally means the exit out of Egypt and the passing through the Red Sea, led by this man Moses, is a shadow of the gospel. Ever feel like something's holding you back as if you lack an important key that could change everything? Is there someone you love who seems stuck? You'd like to help them, but how? What's missing? Blessing. We all need a positive faith-filled vision spoken over our lives. You can learn how to embrace the biblical practice of blessing through Pastor Alan Wright's new book, The Power to Bless, which quickly became an Amazon number one bestseller after its recent release.
Until now, the hardcover book has only been available through retail sales. But this month, Alan Wright Ministries wants to send you the book as our thank you for your donation. Make your gift today and discover the power to bless. The gospel is shared when you give to Alan Wright Ministries. This broadcast is only possible because of listener financial support. When you give today, we will send you today's special offer. We are happy to send this to you as our thanks from Alan Wright Ministries. Call us at 877-544-4860.
That's 877-544-4860. Or come to our website, PastorAlan.org. Alan, I love what you're setting up here and I love when we can put the gospel into song and it comes back to me at these moments in there. There's a line, my red sea parted and I walked on through.
And that's speaking past tense, but it's speaking very futuristically as well. Yeah, I think we give the title, this whole series starts with this, God Still Parts Red Seas. And you know, it is something to look back and see these incredible miracles that have taken place. But so much of what we see in the old is a shadow of what we have in Christ. And the ultimate red sea that's been parted for us is the gulf of separation between us and God that has been opened up by the new and living way of Jesus Christ.
We're so excited to get started in this new series. If you only caught part of today's teaching, not only can you listen again online, but also get a daily email devotional that matches today's teaching delivered right to your email inbox free. Find out more about these and other resources at pastorallen.org. That's pastorallen.org. Today's good news message is a listener supported production of Allen Wright Ministries.
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