From Bad To Worse

April 21, 2024

Book: Exodus

Scripture: Exodus 5:1-21

Sermon Summary:

Have you ever faced a moment where every step forward seemed to be met with two steps back, much like Moses’ experience in Egypt? Our latest episode embarks on a year-long contemplation of the book of Exodus, emphasizing the message “Together for God’s glory.” As your host, I share insights from our Sunday sermons and Wednesday pastor’s Bible studies, where we’ve been dissecting Exodus to apply its wisdom to our daily lives. Our narrative begins with a European man’s escalating misfortunes, a modern-day parallel that sets the stage for a discussion on unity amidst adversity and the resilience required when our journey with God leads from bad to worse.

This sermon isn’t just about biblical tales; it’s about the transformative power of a personal relationship with the Divine. I recount an eye-opening experience that reshaped my understanding of how God works in our lives, heavily influenced by Henry Blackaby’s “Experiencing God.” We’ll explore the depth of God’s invitation for us to join Him in His plans, as Moses did, and the life-changing obedience this call demands. The heartfelt anecdotes I share will illuminate the contrast between transactional human interactions and the rich, love-based connection God desires with each of us.

Concluding our spiritual exploration, we confront the weighty cost of true obedience. With examples like Elijah’s sacrifice and the rich young ruler’s hesitation, this episode probes the sacrifices required on the path of faith. We celebrate the courage of biblical figures from Hebrews 11, who embraced God’s call despite the challenges. I offer a reflective prayer for strength and faithfulness, inspiring you to answer God’s call with a heart full of trust and surrender. Join us for an episode that promises not just knowledge but a chance to see how deeply and eternally significant a life walked with God can be.

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Sermon Points:

  • INVITATION: God issued Moses an invitation. Like Moses, God invites us to join Him where He is working.

  • ADJUSTMENT: When God invites us to join Him, we often must make adjustments to Him so that we can obey Him.

  • OBEDIENCE: God is shaping us through our relationship with Him. Obedience is to be our response to His invitation.

  • COSTLY: Obedience is not easy. Obedience to God is no guarantee to a life of comfort. Obedience is often costly and challenging.

Download a copy of the “Together in God’s Glory” Devotional Book – HERE

Key Takeaways:

  • Unity in Adversity: Just as Moses experienced escalating challenges, we too are reminded that our journey with God may lead us through tough times. It’s in these moments that we find strength in our unity as a church, “together for God’s glory.”
  • Personal Relationship with God: Our relationship with God is not transactional but deeply personal and love-based. As we embrace this, we find ourselves more willing to accept His invitation to join in His divine plans, just as Moses did.
  • The Cost of Obedience: True obedience to God can demand sacrifices, and while it may not lead to a comfortable path, it is a demonstration of our faith and trust in His guidance.
  • Faithful Living: Drawing inspiration from the heroes of faith in Hebrews 11, we are called to live courageously, embracing the challenges and eternal significance of a life walked with God.

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Scripture References:

  • The sermon examines the story of Moses in Egypt from Exodus 5, highlighting the moments when his situation went from bad to worse after confronting Pharaoh.
  • It also references John 5, where Jesus speaks about God’s continuous work in the world, and the importance of joining Him in that work.


  • The sermon begins with a contemporary tale of a European man whose day spirals from bad to worse, providing a modern-day reflection of Moses’ experience.
  • Personal anecdotes from the speaker’s life, including the influence of “Experiencing God” and a conference with Henry Blackaby, are shared to illustrate the profound changes that come with deepening one’s relationship with God.
  • The story of Gideon from the Bible is used as an example of the adjustments and obedience required when answering God’s call.


Well, you know that in our, at our church, our theme for 2024 is together and we are spending this entire year just exploring various facets of what it means to be together as the people of God in our church, and for the spring, our theme is together for God’s glory and we are using the book of Exodus to guide us in our time together on Sunday morning. And what we’re doing on Sunday morning is we’re actually taking just a few select passages and making some practical application out of the book of Exodus. But on Wednesdays, at the pastor’s Bible study every Wednesday at noon, we are actually walking through the book of Exodus verse by verse and just going a much deeper dive. And so if you’re interested in that, you can come on Wednesday morning, but also you can find those lessons online and join us as we continue to study. So today, the title of my message is From Bad to Worse and the text is going to be found in Exodus 5. But have y’all ever seen it go from bad to worse? Do y’all know what I mean by that? There’s a prominent social media outlet that sent a question out to all the people that post on their site and just said tell us an experience in your own life where things went from bad to worse. And so there are several of them listed. Let me just read you one selection. There was a European man who wrote this. He said it’s my first week at white collar work.

I find a parking spot where there’s no, no parking signs. Also, there’s a huge truck parked on that same road as well. So I leave the car and go to work. Two hours in I realized I forgot my old school bag inside the car. So I notify my supervisor. I’m going out to get it. The car’s two blocks away. He said sure, but if something happens, call me so I’ll know not to expect you. Okay, the car’s just two blocks away. I’m going to get the bag and come back. So I go there and I find my car’s back window smashed to pieces and my bag is gone. Inside that bag were art supplies worth about 50 euros but, most importantly, sketches and notes for the next three issues of my self-published comic book. I’m talking about a month of work and research storyboards, dialogues all gone.

I call the police and I noticed something on the front window an 80 euro illegal parking ticket. I look at the time it was written 10 minutes before I arrived. I asked front window an 80 euro illegal parking ticket. I look at the time it was written 10 minutes before I arrived. I asked the locals why did I get a ticket? And they said, well, parking here is forbidden. He said, well, there’s no sign saying so. And they say, yes, there is right there. The local is pointing at a no parking sign on a pole that was crushed to the ground by the parked truck which is now gone from the scene that was sitting on top of the no parking sign. And they said by the way, the guys who broke your window did it about 20 minutes ago. So I thought, well, I’d better call the police now so that they can find the culprit. So I called the police. They said they’ll be there in 10 minutes. I should wait. I called my work supervisor. He doesn’t answer. I called twice, three them. What was stolen? Get the description, everything. As I keep trying to connect my supervisor, my data showed I called him 36 times. He ignored me, never answered. So now 20 minutes have passed. Finally, the police leave. They notify me. They said we’ll notify you to find something.

Parentheses that was two years ago and I’ve long since given up. I’ve heard nothing else. So I returned to work devastated. My insurance policy is not good. I know I’m going to have to pay for the broken glass myself because of technicalities. I’ve lost three months of my life’s work on the profession I chose but can’t fully support me yet financially. I get to lose about 50 euros worth of art supplies in the bag and I’m going to pay 80 euros for a traffic ticket I got unfairly. Then I see my supervisor who is furious, screaming at me for being gone for so many hours. I was gone 35 minutes. I called 36 times and he fired me. So I pack my few things, I drive home and on the way home a taxi runs to a red light and crashes into my car. Ambulance ride, hospital, broken leg, 20 stitches. At least I have insurance. I have to spend the night.

At midnight I receive a text message from my girlfriend who finally says she can’t handle this relationship anymore. Don’t call me back. Midnight marks my birthday, so it is my birthday, so I can’t handle it anymore. So I doze off in the hospital bed. I wake up three hours later because an old man mistakes my room’s door for his own. He invades my unlocked room, screams at me at the top of his lungs to get out of his bed, tries to physically remove me from the bed. By the time the nurse gets there.

I can’t calm down enough to go back to sleep, so I decide to log into Facebook. It’s my birthday At. So I decide to log into Facebook. It’s my birthday. At least some birthday wishes from my friends might do something to my collapsed ego. Only to find out someone has hacked into my Facebook account, changed the passwords. It’s been two years. I still haven’t been able to regain my Facebook account, would y’all agree? From bad to worse, sometimes it feels like that’s how it is.

Well, in that light, I’m not sure what Moses was thinking when God called him to Egypt, as to how it was going to go. I don’t know what he thought. I do know how it went because it’s recorded in the Scripture. I’m not sure what he was thinking, but I know what happened. So let’s look at Exodus 5. God issues Moses an invitation go to Egypt and Moses finally arrives, meets with the elders of Israel, shares with them what God has told them.

We pick up the story in chapter 5, verse 1. Afterward, moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says let my people go so that they may hold a festival to me in the wilderness. Pharaoh said who is the Lord? Who is Yahweh? That I should obey him and let Israel go? I do not know the Lord. I will not let Israel go. Then they said the God of the Hebrews has met with us. Now let us take a three-day journey in the wilderness to offer sacrifices to the Lord, our God, or he may strike us with plagues or with the sword. But the king of Egypt said Moses and Aaron, why are you taking the people away from their labor? Get back to your work. And Pharaoh said look, the people of the land are now numerous and you’re stopping them from working.

That same day, pharaoh gave this order to the slave drivers and overseers in charge of the people You’re no longer to supply the people with straw for making bricks. Let them go and gather their own straw, but require them to make the same number of bricks as before, but don’t reduce the quota. They’re lazy. That’s why they’re crying out. Let us go and sacrifice to our God. Make the work harder for the people so that they keep working and pay no attention to lies.

Then the slave drivers and the overseers went out and said to the people this is what Pharaoh says I will not give you any more straw. Go and get your own straw wherever you can find it, but your work will not be reduced at all. So the people scattered all over Egypt to gather stubble to use for straw. The slave drivers kept pressing them, saying complete the work required of you for each day, just as when you had straw. And Pharaoh’s slave drivers beat the Israelite overseers they had appointed, demanding why haven’t you met your quota of bricks yesterday or today, as before? Then the Israelite overseers went and appealed to Pharaoh why have you treated your service this way? Your servants are given no straw, yet we’re told make bricks, your servants being beaten. But the fault is with your own people. Pharaoh said lazy, that’s what you are, lazy. That’s why you keep saying let us go and sacrifice to the Lord. Now get to work. You will not be given any straw, yet you must produce your full quote of bricks.

The Israelite overseers realized they were in trouble when they were told you’re not to reduce the number of bricks required of you for each day. When they left Pharaoh, they found Moses and Aaron waiting to meet them and they said may the Lord look on you and judge you. You’ve made us obnoxious to Pharaoh and his officials and put a sword in their hand to kill us. Well, like I said, I’m not sure what Moses thought when he arrived to meet with Pharaoh. I don’t believe Moses thought it would go from bad to worse, but that’s what’s happened. And these Israelite overseers, who were kind of the middle managers between the slave drivers and the Jews who were making the bricks, encountered Moses and said what in the world have you done? Wow, what an interesting story.

I don’t know if y’all are familiar with what some people preach nowadays called the prosperity gospel. Are y’all familiar with it? You know, if you’ll just be faithful to God, you’ll always have more money than month. Your kids, you know, will not misbehave in the grocery store. You know they’ll always perform on command. And yes sir, no sir. And yes ma’am, no ma’am. The road will always be smooth, everything will always connect. And somehow it’s connected to this idea that if you’ll be faithful, then that backs God into a corner and he now has to respond.

It’s like a transactional kind of thing, and I’ve heard that kind of gospel preached. And then I read my Bible and I can’t square this transactional relationship with God in what I read in the Scripture, because, you see, what God is after is a love relationship with you. That’s personal. He’s not going to relate to you transactionally. That’s not how it works. He’s in a relationship with you, you know. Think about it. How does it work in your marriage, those of you that are married? Is your relationship transactional? Do you say things like this Well, I did this and I did that. Now you got to do this and you got to do that. Try that and see how that works out. That’s a contractual agreement. You know, if I do this, this and this, then the other party does this, this and this. Well, that’s not a relationship.

Really, god is interested in a relationship, a real relationship with you. He loves you and he wants you to know him and he wants you to learn to trust him. And that is a very challenging life lesson learning how to trust God. Can you imagine how Moses and Aaron must have felt right now? They’ve heard this word from God. Moses has met with God and now this is what happens when he shares the message of God, he’s being obedient to God, and it is going to get very challenging. And so that’s why you and I, we have to learn to look beyond our circumstances, because sometimes we focus all our attention and all our energy on our circumstances and we have to learn how to look beyond our circumstances to the God who stands behind it. All you know years ago.

I just want to tell y’all what I want to share with y’all this morning. Years ago I was pastoring Tyler 1990. I was in Birmingham at the Baptist bookstore. We were home for Christmas and I ran into one of my seminary buddies who was pastoring in Birmingham. He and I went to seminary together and we were just standing there talking and he said hey, wiles, have you seen this new book? And I said no. He said, man, you need to get it, you need to read it. He said it’s really good. It’s just come out. I’ve just worked through it. I’d never heard of it. And he pointed it. He said and don’t do it by yourself, you need to invite some people to go through this book with you. And so I bought that book and I’ve got in my hand right now.

The name of the book is Experiencing God. It’s written by Henry Blackaby. Some of y’all may have done Experiencing God. In fact, before I came here to be your pastor, some of y’all that were here back then it was my understanding the church actually went through Experien, experiencing God prior to our arrival here. Some of y’all remember that. So this 24 years ago, some of y’all did it. Well, I bought this book in 1990. And right after that I was pastoring in Tyler.

Henry Blackaby was leading an experiencing God conference at First Baptist Church of Pittsburgh, texas. I don’t know if y’all know Pittsburgh, texas or not, but anyway I went to it and I spent two days with Brother Henry and y’all. I just have to tell y’all really changed my life Spending those two days with him, listening to him share his stories, and I’d already put a group of guys together. We were going through this book and so I ended up going to seminary with one of his sons and got to know that family. But Brother Henry basically took the story of Moses and his understanding of how God dealt with Moses and he began to expand on that and learned so much about how God had worked through other people in the scripture and their lives and how God was working through his own life, and the result of that is this book, experiencing God. It’s more of a workbook, if you will. I have been through it many, many times, and it was a life-changing experience for me, and the lessons that I learned have shaped me, and I just want to share a couple of those with y’all this morning that I learned from Brother Henry, that I’ve also learned in my relationship with God now all these years since, and so here’s how I would put it. It’s how Brother Henry puts it as well.

We start with an invitation. God issued Moses an invitation. I would say, like Moses, god invites us to join him where he’s working. So this begins with God, god’s initiative, which it typically is in the scripture. You go back and read Exodus 3, and in that encounter, here’s what God tells Moses Moses, I’ve heard the misery of my people. I’m going to rescue them from Egypt. I’m going to bring them up out of Egypt. I want you to go, I’m sending you to be my messenger and you will bring them up out of Egypt. I want you to go, I’m sending you to be my messenger and you will bring my people out of Egypt. I’m going to perform many wonders in Egypt and you will plunder the Egyptians. Now, that was the invitation from God.

Moses received that invitation and basically what God was saying was he’s at work and he’s inviting Moses to join him in his work. And the lesson there that I believe we all can take is this God is always at work and that’s what Jesus said. Jesus tells us in John 5, verse 17, 18, 19, 20, that section. There Jesus says my father is always working and I join my father when I see him at work. And so the Lord is at work.

The Lord was at work in Moses’ day. He was preparing, he was shaping, he was getting his people ready for deliverance. He had also been shaping Moses and forming him and preparing him for the unique role that he was going to play. And then he issues this invitation for Moses to join him. God does the very same thing in our lives. Right now. God is at work in your world. He’s working all around you. He’s leading people through circumstances, through the work of his Holy Spirit, and he’s inviting you to join him where he’s working. You don’t have to manufacture things for God. You don’t have to. You don’t have to dream up things for God to do? I promise you, god’s dreams are better than ours. He’s already at work in this world and he wants to invite us to join him in what he’s already doing.

Moses, do you think Moses had any inclination, when he was working in Midian as a shepherd, about the redemption of the Israeli people out of Egypt? Do you honestly think? Do you think Moses was standing there one day tending the sheep, thinking, you know, one day I think I’m just going to run back to Egypt and just set everybody free. You know, I’ve been thinking about it and I think I’m up for it. I think I can take Pharaoh on. Do y’all honestly believe that’s in his mind? Nothing could be further from the truth. Moses had no idea what God was getting ready to do, but God invited him to be a part of it. He does the very same thing right now in my life and your life. He’s at work and he invites us to join him.

Now Henry Blackaby says whenever that happens, he says you know it creates what Henry calls a crisis of belief, where you’ve got to decide now what. And here’s what happens, and I think this may be one of the hardest things you and I ever have to learn how to do? Henry calls it adjustment. When God invites us to join him, we often must make adjustments to him so that we can obey him. Adjustment precedes obedience. It’s a part of obedience, but it’s sometimes the steps we have to take so that we can obey. So, for example, god invites Moses. Guess what Moses can’t do? If he’s going to obey God, he can’t stay in Midian, he can’t continue working as a shepherd for his father-in-law. He’s going to have to make a life adjustment so that he then can go to Pharaoh and be obedient to God. So that phase of adjustment, that’s a hard phase. We find it over and over and over again in the scripture.

Abraham was in Ur and God called Abraham to go to a place where he did not know yet in Genesis 12. In order for Abraham to be obedient to God, he had to adjust his life. Noah, god spoke to Noah and God invited Noah to be in on what he was doing. Can you imagine if Noah said to God you know, I’m really busy building this new subdivision right now. I got a lot going on. Let me get that done and then I’ll obey you. No, noah had to adjust his life because God’s plan was bigger than any plan Noah had Gideon.

One of my favorite characters in the Bible is Gideon. Don’t y’all think that’s a really good name for a little baby? I love Gideon. Gideon, if y’all remember. When we meet Gideon, he is threshing wheat in a wine press. Okay, now if you know what that means. In the ancient world you would thresh wheat by having this instrument in your hand like a rake. You would throw the wheat up in the air and let the wind blow the chaff away and the wheat would fall to the floor. Problem was, if you’re in a wine press, it’s a walled structure. You don’t get much wind in that kind of a structure. Why was he doing that? Because he was afraid he might be discovered by the enemy. So he’s tossing up in, tossing up this wheat in a windless um container.

And god says gideon, you valiant warrior, you, you scaredy cat who doesn’t even have enough guts to farm your own stuff out in the open. No, he says you, valiant warrior, guess what Gideon had to do? He had to adjust his life so that he could then go and be the judge. God was calling him to be Matthew. You remember Matthew? Matthew was a tax collector. Jesus came, met with him. What did Matthew have to do If he was going to follow Jesus? He was going to have to adjust his life. He was going to have to separate himself from his role as a tax collector. Peter and John and Andrew and James they had to adjust their lives to obey Jesus. Now, here’s one of the reasons it’s hard when you’re in that period of adjustment. Are y’all still with me? It’s a little different than obedience. When you’re in the period of adjustment, not everybody understands it and applauds it. That’s why it’s hard.

I don’t know what the conversation was like between Moses and Jethro. Jethro had given Moses a place to live. He had given him his daughter. He had given him a job. Moses says I don’t know what Moses said. Let’s just pretend we’re there. Moses goes in to see Jethro and says hey, man, thank you for your work, thank you for the job. We’re pretty much moving to Egypt. Really, what you gonna do there? Well, actually I’m gonna go take on Pharaoh and I’m gonna rescue all the Israelites. It’s a big story. I’ll just have to fill you in later. I can see Jethro saying you are going to go take on Pharaoh. I’ve been seeing that in you the whole time you’ve been here. You’re my favorite son-in-law. I’ve told my wife I think that boy can handle Pharaoh.

Seriously, adjustments are hard because the people in your life just don’t always see them. Abraham and Sarah. Abraham tells Sarah okay, we’ve got to go. Where are we going? I don’t know yet. Well, how will we know when we get there? I don’t know that either. I just know God’s calling us to go.

Adjustments are difficult. Do you know years ago when Cindy and I were engaged, we were in college and we had kind of thought we’d mapped our life out? Cindy had applied to physical therapy school there at UAB. She was the first alternate. What that meant was she would get in because you had people that would get other appointments to other places. I was preparing to take the MCAT. I was working with a team of guys that all ended up going to med school. I was going to go to med school, cindy was going to go to PT school.

We had our life marked out for us and somewhere in there, as we were preparing on our journey, the Lord began to work in our hearts and we began having conversations about is this really what we’re supposed to do? And what I didn’t really understand was Cindy had called. I mean Cindy. God had called Cindy to ministry and missions when she was a little girl, and so we ended up having this long conversation and I shared with her well, you know what God’s actually calling me to ministry as well. And so, all of a sudden, all this preparation and the journey that we’re on, the plan that we were on, if we were going to be obedient to God, we had to make a pretty serious life adjustment. That meant we had to walk away from what we had planned and we had to take a different course. That meant that all that time and energy and biology and chemistry and all those things that we were studying to prepare us for one particular line of work, we had to adjust ourselves so that we could ultimately be obedient to God. So we ended up getting married and leaving and coming to Texas to go to seminary. It was a huge adjustment and it was I don’t want to say it was a huge sacrifice, but it felt that way at the time because we kind of had a life plan mapped out and the Lord had a different plan for us. Well, that’s how it works.

One of my favorite adjustment stories is Elisha. Do y’all remember Elisha in the Old Testament. Do you remember when Elijah was such a great prophet? And in 1 Kings 18, god told Elijah you’re going to anoint Elisha and he’s going to be the next one. And so Elijah goes and finds Elisha In 1 Kings 19,. When he finds Elisha, we don’t really understand all this y’all, but somehow the mantle that was on Elijah, so you know this blessing, this power.

Elijah sees Elisha. Elisha is a farmer. He has 12 oxen teams and he’s farming with 12 oxen teams. That tells us it’s a pretty good sized farm for the ancient world. Elijah goes up to Elisha, throws his cloak around him, signifying you’re the one that God has chosen now to follow me. Do y’all remember what Elisha did? You’re talking about adjusting your life. Elisha said let me go tell my mom and dad bye. I need to go kiss them goodbye. So Elijah says okay. Elisha then takes his oxen.

The Bible says slaughtered all of his oxen. He took all of the yolks and all of his farming implements, put them in a fire, cooked the oxen on the fire and fed everybody at the farm and left. That would be called adjustment. In other words, I’m not coming back to this right here. I’m adjusting my life to go be obedient to God.

Can you think of another one? How about the rich young ruler? Jesus said come follow me, follow me. There’s the obedience. Come follow me Now in order for you not everybody, but for you to follow me. You’ve got a relationship with all of your possessions that’s got to be broken Somehow or another. You’re so caught up in this. You’ve got a relationship with all of your possessions that’s got to be broken Somehow or another. You’re so caught up in this. You’ve got all your identity in this. I tell you what you’re going to have to do. Here’s your adjustment. What was his adjustment? Go sell everything, give it to the poor, then come back and obey me. Then come back and follow me. And what did the rich young ruler do? He said man, that’s a big adjustment and he just couldn’t do it. So it’s hard. I think it’s one of the hardest things to do because you have to adjust, sometimes, your relationships. You have to adjust your attitudes, your perspective, sometimes your belief system. But the point is, when God is inviting and God is calling and he’s inviting you in, sometimes it means you’re going to have to give some thought to what needs to be adjusted in my life to him so that I can obey him.

Now, with that said, let’s talk just a second about obedience, because God is shaping us through our relationship with him, and obedience is our response. That’s how we demonstrate our relationship with God is we’re willing to be obedient to God. Moses struggled with it. I don’t blame him, do you? I don’t blame Moses. My mom would have said that’s a tall order for Moses. I get it, but he eventually did it. He obeyed God, and so obedience is one of the ways that you and I demonstrate what we believe about God.

1 John, 2, 3 through 6, the Apostle John says we show that we know Him by obeying His commands, and so obedience demonstrates what we really believe about God. Because, at the end of the day, y’all, what does the Bible say? We walk by sight, right, isn’t it what the Bible says? What do we walk by Faith? Not always by sight. And so we’ve got to learn to trust God, even when we don’t understand, because we’re living in a relationship with a God who knows more than we know. And so that leads me actually to the point of the sermon. We finally got to it. It just took a while.

Here’s what I’d say about obedience Y’all, it can be costly. It just can be. Obedience is not easy. Obedience to God is just no guarantee to a life of comfort. It’s often costly and challenging. I don’t know where we got the idea that if we obey God it’s always gonna be easy. I’m not sure where that comes from, that everything is just gonna connect. I’ve learned through the years by watching people of God, by reading the scripture, by living in my own life. Obedience is hard sometimes. It can be very challenging, but here’s what I would tell you about it. It honors God, and God is honored through the faithful obedience of his people and he has a way of inspiring and encouraging others through our obedience.

For example, one of my favorite pages in the Bible is the 11th page of Hebrews. Let me just read to you. The writer of Hebrews gives us that photo album you know the family photo album where he’s showing you all these great people. And then he says this in Hebrews 11, verse 32. What more shall I say I do not have time to tell about Gideon, barak, samson, jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets who, through faith, conquered kingdoms, administered justice and gained what was promised, who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames and escaped the edge of the sword, and whose weakness was turned to strength and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. Women received back their dead, raised to life again. There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so they might gain an even better resurrection. Some faced jeers and flogging and even chains and imprisonment. They were put to death by stoning. They were sawed in two. They were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins destitute, persecuted, mistreated. The world was not worthy of them. And then he goes on to say and they were all commended by faith.

You know y’all, I would say this about following God it’s the best way. It’s the best way. It’s enriching, it’s deep, it’s meaningful, it’s rooted in eternity. It is the way, no doubt about it. It’s incredibly fulfilling, but it’s also challenging and can be costly. If it were easy, everybody would do it. It’s not easy, but here’s what I want to encourage you in today.

God is at work right now, all around me and you he is, and so look for him, look for him, Look and see where he’s working. And when you do, listen, listen for his invitation. When he shows you where he’s at work, is it him inviting you to join him in his work, and when you hear that invitation, lean in. Lean in with willingness and surrender and adjust your life and obey him, because that’s when you’ll learn how to really experience him in your everyday life. All of us have that opportunity. We may not live on the scale of Moses I mean who does? But we live where the Lord’s put us, and so I wanna encourage you look for him where he’s working, listen to his invitation, lean in when you get it and then learn to experience him where you live every single day. May it be so.

Let me pray for us, father. We thank you, lord, for your love for us. We thank you, lord, for the invitation to join you as you are at work in our world, and we know sometimes it’s hard and obedience can be costly it’s like it was for Moses and Aaron and so many others. And yet we also know that obedience is the right path. It’s the path of great blessing, fulfillment, and it pays eternal dividends. So, lord, those today who might be struggling with obedience, adjustment, answering an invitation, I just pray for them right now that you’d give them a sense of peace and courage to step into whatever it is you’ve called them to and that, in spite of circumstances, they’ll trust you. They’ll trust you as a father who loves them and who has a much bigger plan than we could ever imagine. And we pray, lord, you’ll find us faithful in our everyday lives as we respond to your invitations, and we pray that in Jesus’ name amen.