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Life In The Penalty Box Part 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
July 6, 2021 1:00 am

Life In The Penalty Box Part 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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July 6, 2021 1:00 am

If life were a bed of roses, we might never appreciate how good roses smell. For 40 years of Moses' life, herding sheep was his job. But during this season, God prepared him for leadership beyond his wildest dreams.

 Click here to listen (Duration 25:02)

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One reason for us. Jesus phone number for your wife were a bit of roses would not appreciate how good roses smell 40 years of Moses life herding sheep was his lot of time during which God prepared him for leadership beyond his wildest dreams church in Chicago. This is when one looks or teaching helps us make it across the finish line. Insert I imagine many of us have the same kind of self image issues Moses gave it's very difficult for us to see God when were in the desert.

But the good news that Moses experienced is that it is not necessary to see God in the desert to know that he can show up in the desert and he is with us, even in the desert. Now there in the desert. Moses was going through some very great emotional turmoil. He obviously had an anger issue. He had revealed himself unto his people, and in effect said I can help you and they turned against him. We know that story. And so it is there in the desert that God is preparing him for something great. Even as you mentioned, just a moment ago. Dave so as we listen to this message.

Let us be encouraged and before we go to the pulpit of Moody church, let me remind you that I've written a book entitled getting closer to God. Lessons from the life of Moses. Now the reason that I want you to have this book is so that messages just like this are yours in permanent readable form here is what you can do. Go to RTW that's RTW or call us at 1-888-218-9337 now I'm going to be giving you that contact info at the end of this message.

For now I want you to listen carefully because many of you may be experiencing a desert. But there is good news. Even in the midst of endless sunshine and hot sand. I believe that God allows everyone of us to go through a desert experience you've never been through a desert experience. There probably is one in your future. Israel was in the desert for 40 years and what was God doing during those 40 years that Israel was in the desert. We find that the Lord says this he found him, that is Jacob or the children of Jacob in a desert land and in the howling waste of a wilderness. He encircled them. He cared for them. He kept them as the apple of his eye like an eagle that stirs up its nest that flutters over its young spreading out its wings catching them bearing them on its opinion. Illegals do egos build nice nests and make them very comfy.

First of all they put in a sharp rock, sand, pieces of which way again and even sharp objects that they might be able to find if they can pick up a piece of glass or something. They put that and then they they they fill out the nest and make it very very comfortable with all kinds of others, and everything in those little eaglets absolutely love it but problem is the little eaglets won't go out of the nest to test their wing and so what mom eaglets does. She begins to take away the feathers begins to pull out down in these little little things find themselves on a sharp edge of rock and they say you know things are so bad we better learn to fly. And then, if anything, the mother eagle will come and push them out of the nest and then sweep under them to catch them when they're in flight. God says that's what I was doing for you when you are there in the desert. They were in the desert because of their own disobedience and the disobedience of those before them.

But God says I'm with you there in the desert. I am working there in the desert with you know it's easy to trust God when the bushes burning when the waters are parking when that mountain is shaking and when money is flowing and when the board is glowing. It's easy to trust God. But it's hard to trust God when you're in transition when you've been unfairly fired from a job.

It's hard to trust God when your optimistic dreams and hopes in a relationship. Suddenly, suddenly end in in bitterness and in disaster. It's difficult to see God there but blessed is the person who knows that God is not with us only in our ops but also in our downs, not only when we are there in the palace but also when where they are in on ending monotonous desert day after day week after week, month after month. It says it came to pass after these many days that God intervened, how many days multiply 40×365.

Thank God for pocket calculators, as some of you have heard me say when it comes to math. I've always said as long as I'm right 90% of the time. I mean who cares about the other 5% 14,600 days of monotony of boredom of hopelessness. Moses had to learn to trust there's 1/3 lesson and that is the lesson of obedience were going to go into this in detail next week when I give you the five excuses that Moses had as to why he didn't want to go we would think that God would be saying to Moses go back to Egypt and that Moses would say will, of course. Where you been with Moses is still hurting Moses still remembers the pain of rejection. He still has in his heart.

Now this and probably the root of bitterness over all that is happened and so and so he objects to God and God says go and Moses says no. And God's is Moses. What are your excuses will look at them next week but notice in chapter 4 verse one Moses says behold they will not believe me or listen to my voice. They will say the Lord in the purity you sing. I've been through this before.

I was rejected by them. I don't want to go. I don't want to be hurt again and furthermore they have no reason to believe me. After having been away for 40 years as a shepherd. Why should anybody believe me God says Moses what's in your hand said a staff that is a branch of a tree, maybe three or 4 inches in diameter. Lord says I thrown on the ground up the fruit on the ground. It became a servant Lord said, these are the kinds of things I'm going to enable you to do to prove that I sent you, but I'm asking this. Where did Moses get the staff.

Where did he get it from where did he get this broad door staff as it is sometimes called.

He got it when he was in the desert, not in the palace. He picked it up when he was serving time in the penalty box goddesses. This rod is now going to be a rod with great significance wherever Moses goes he takes it. He's about to go over the Red Sea and the Bible says that Moses put his rod or his staff over the sea in the Red Sea part later on. He's supposed to hit the rock, and he does hit the rock and water comes out. The next time he's to speak to it and he hits the rock again in disobedience.

But the point is, wherever you see Moses from now on, you see that rod because the rod of Moses now becomes the rod of God. God did something to him there in the desert.

You see, God tests our loyalty in the desert God test the depth of our commitment in the desert. God sees what we are really like, in the desert and in the desert. He gives us the equipment and the ability to learn things that we could never learn anywhere else so that we could be more useful to him in the future than we are now.

Perhaps I could change the metaphor, you'll know what the penalty box is maybe it isn't so much a penalty box as it is a bullpen everybody who's ever lived in Chicago more than a year knows what a bullpen.

The Cubs and the socks they have their bullpen what they're there for us to help them to get ready to get back into the game.

Ask a question, are you alive today is a actually it is one of the few requirements we have, to attend literature if you're alive today, God is not finished with you yet, no matter how hot the desert.

No matter how long the desert, God is there for you. So what if you picked up in your desert patients love the ability to pray brokenness that you didn't have before your desert experience the ability to forgive so that you can become godlike and so God allows you to have hurts and injustices to teach you to be more like him. So God to work for you with you in the desert experience some of you if we could see you actually if we could see your feet.

There'd be some sand in your sandals here in the desert goddesses. I'm here in the desert with you that I think is probably one of two important lessons we learn about Moses in the desert. First of all that God is with us. God is with us. It says in the Scriptures that God was with Joseph when he became a ruler in Egypt when he became next to Potiphar, and part of her at the responsibility of the Secret Service detail of the Pharaoh the king and Joseph was exulted in Egypt. The Scripture says and it says the Lord was with Joseph and exulted him later on Joseph because of his faithfulness to God has a lie told about him.

He is slandered Potiphar's wife says he tried to force me to go to bed with him and you know that the opposite was true but you know and so Joseph is cast into the into the pit into the dungeon. Another dungeon talk about somebody was spent quite a bit of time in the pits would be Joseph is cast into the prison's reputation is ruined because Potiphar believes the story that his wife gave him everybody is speaking scandalous lies about him and what does it say in the text same chapter Genesis chapter 39 and the Lord was with Joseph in prison. He's with us when were sick is with us when were well is with us when were rich is with us when were poor. He's with us when our friends encourage us is with us when our friends reject us. The Lord is with his people and now I come to a statement I never want you to forget on your deathbed. Somebody should be able to asking out your member that statement, the pastor, Luther said that Woody church is preaching on Moses and use only II absolutely should bill quoted.

Are you ready for want to make sure everybody's ready for never interpret the silence of God is the indifference of God. Don't ever interpret the silence of God is the indifference of God. 40 long years of slavery, of the Hebrews in Egypt.

40 years in the wilderness wanderings, believing that every day for the rest of his life was going to be like the last one he didn't foresee the burning. What she didn't foresee the shaking mountain. He didn't foresee the parting of the seat. All they saw was the day after day monotony in the desert, God was silent but God was working directing leading orchestrating twin appointed and don't ever misinterpret the silence of God is the indifference of God. Last lesson you develop deep roots in the desert because in order to survive in a desert you have to go somewhere and those roots have to have to reach down really really deep and you have to find an oasis somewhere.

You have to be like that tree planted beside the water or you will be no more.

You don't have to develop deep roots when everything is going well. When everything falls apart. That's when your nest is stirred up. That's when you're in distress that you develop those roots and I like to refer to the redwoods in California which I saw one time that grow right into the heavens. These redwoods have basically shallow roots, but they are interconnected. I'm told underneath you find that this redwood is connected to this redwood is connected to this one have this one, get some water. They all benefit which is a wonderful example of the body of Christ because sometimes in the depth of our despair when we are there in the desert. We can't go it alone and God uses the desert experience to have other believers become our friends to help us because sometimes you may be in that desert and you may not even be able to get your own water, but there's somebody there who can get water for you and together we develop deep roots in the desert. You've heard me say that someone asked the sculptor. Apparently a true story. How do you make an elephant in the sculptor said actually he said it's very easy.

He said you simply take a block of marble and you chip away everything that isn't elephant tell you what God is doing in the desert is chipping away everything that is in Jesus and only the desert can do that. The palace can and it is in the desert that we learn the lesson of servant hood. The lesson of trust and the lesson of median edits in the desert that God tests the depth of our yielded nests in our desire to please him. After the desert has done its work.

He invites us back into the game to play like we've never played before. Would you join me as we pray our father. Surely those 40 years must've seemed long to Moses on an and yet you are there working hearing listening, remembering there are some of your children. Lord, some of you have adopted into your family who lived years with in justice with poverty, with heartbreak from people from illness. Perhaps when you at this moment stir up their souls and let them know that you are doing a deeper work in their lives than could ever be done if they had only success only mountains and no valleys grant has the ability that during our desert experience. We may learn from you. In Jesus name we pray. Amen and amen welfare friends.

As you know, God takes everyone into the desert. Israel had its desert experience. Moses did, of course, also Jesus was in the desert and I speak to those of you who are in the desert today.

I hope that you been encouraged as a result of this message and if you've been encouraged. It's because other people have invested in this ministry, would you help us here at the ministry of running to win wherein more than 20 different countries in three different languages because we have so many people who stand with us who believe that these messages are transforming for all who hear them now to thank you in advance. But if you'd like to become an endurance partner that is someone who stands with us regularly with their prayers and their gifts we would deeply appreciate your help and your partnership. Now here's what you do go to RTW that's all one word RTW and when you're there, click on the endurance partner button that will give you all the info you need or if you prefer you can call us at 1-888-218-9337 they'll be giving you that phone number again but before I do I want to just share my heart and thank you so much for those of you who continue to support this ministry who join our team.

I like to think of it as joining the running to win family and helping us getting the gospel of Jesus Christ to so many different parts of the world. Here's what you do. If you'd like to become an endurance partner go to RTW

Click on the endurance partner button or if you prefer, call us at 1-888-218-9337 thank you again for joining us.

God bless you.

Time now for another chance for you to ask Pastor Luzerne, a question about the Bible or the Christian life.

What to do when it seems we've been on the wrong path for a very long time. Here's the story from one anonymous listener when I was 18 I gave my heart to the Lord.

I truly felt his presence and his call as sometimes happens, the seed was choked and there was not much growth I married, wandered and committed atrocious sins against my Lord, lying, adultery, and so on. At 50 years old. I allowed the Holy Spirit to change my heart I hate my sin. I confessed it to the Lord and I know he forgives me I don't know how to forgive myself. I know he can but will God use me again for his kingdom will my friend. Thank you so much for connecting with us and letting us know what is on your heart couple of comments. First of all, how can you forgive yourself. Well let me ask this.

If God has forgiven you.

Why can't you forgive yourself. There's no use wallowing in the past would you need to do is to give that to God.

The whole mess has to be transferred to his shoulders and I'm glad that at least at the age of 50. You realize that it's time for your life to go on track correctly by yielding to the Lord and letting the Holy Spirit of God, change your heart. So at least there's something left in your life that is very much redeemable and that is your future so should you forgive yourself. Absolutely God has and you must do it to. Now you ask another question. Can God use you. The answer is yes.

In your question, I noticed that you spoke about the call of God. I don't know what that meant call to what you don't define it. God may not be able to use you in the way that he would've been able to use you if you had followed through with your decision. At the age of 18, but in God use you.

Of course in other ways he can use you by creating within you the fruit of the spirit blessing those around you who knows you might have opportunity to serve in the church and God sometimes surprises us with unexpected grace and I hope that happens in your life as well. You are alive. Obviously that means that God still has a purpose and plan for your life. Follow it fully from here on out some wise counsel is always from Dr. Erwin Luzerne. Thank you Dr. lutes are if you'd like to hear your question answered. Go to our and click on ask Pastor Luzerne or call us at 1-888-218-9337 that's 1-888-218-9337 you can write to is running to win 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614 today. Erwin Luzerne concluded life in the penalty box.

The first in a series of 12 messages about Moses and getting closer to God. Next time God calls Moses to a task, but finds only excuses excuses. Make plans to join us for Dr. Erwin Luzerne this is Dave McAllister running to win is sponsored by the Moody Church

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