Comprising Our Service
Moses and Paul lived centuries apart but were both in every sense of the word; men of God. Both were not ignorant of the devil’s hatred for God and the devices that the devil would employ to stop God’s people. Though Paul wrote our text in 2 Corinthians 2; 11; Moses lived it! Moses knew that where God was working the devil was also working; trying as he would to hinder and even stop God’s work. Such was the case that we seen this morning, God called Moses to deliver his chosen people from the land of Egypt. With four plagues passed, Pharaoh began to scheme and plot on how he might hinder or stop Moses and the people. His first compromise was offered and rejected by Moses. The compromise to stay in the land of Egypt to worship God was probably a no-brainer for Moses. Moses saw right throw it; and didn’t even need to consult with others about it; it was that obvious a trap!
But oh, how many individuals and churches don’t see the trap of the devil as Moses did! They think, “Well, if we are to reach the world, the church must become like the world!” So churches adopt the world’s music, the world’s dress, the world’s entertainment, the world’s idea of church, where you go and hear the pastor give the latest book review, or hear the latest philosophy for life or see the newest celebrity to hit the scene. God deliver us from such! Truly the church of the 21st century has become just like the Laodicean church, which says about itself, “I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing” but is really as the Lord sees “ wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:” Rev 3; 17
That’s what eventually happens when you give in and compromise with the devil. We lose that special sense of God’s sweet presence and become just another club!
This morning we saw the first of four compromises put to Moses; the first compromise was to worship God the world’s way; don’t separate from the world’s idea of worship!
So we come to the second compromise in v28, where Pharaoh says, “And Pharaoh said, I will let you go, that ye may sacrifice to the LORD your God in the wilderness; only ye shall not go very far away:”
I like what one fellow wrote about this second compromise; “Pharaoh was ready to lengthen the chain, but it was still a chain. Complete liberty he was not ready to grant the Israelites”. That’s something to think about! Does the devil have you on the end of a chain? Though it maybe a long one, it is still a chain! The devil doesn’t care how far you want to go in the Christian life, as long as you, “not go very far away” he wants to keep you on his chain, his leash! Here’s the second compromise we need to be watchful of as Christians, the compromise of not going far enough in the things of God.
I.e. the compromise is a compromise in our service to our God; not going to the lengths, the distance that God expects from us. The devil doesn’t mind that you are saved, but don’t be fanatical about it! The devil doesn’t mind that you are saved, but just don’t act it like! The devil doesn’t mind that you are saved, but just don’t get serious for God! Don’t go very far in this Christian life!
I can’t help but think of a man was in this same situation. His name was Tony! Tony was in his late 30’s when he became saved. The church had an eight week Sunday school campaign, “Flock football” and he came because of a friend invited him and he got saved. I first noticed Tony because he would set way up in the balcony section as we were in the choir loft, you could barely see him. I remember seeing him there many times for church and one night I meet him. He saw that I was one of the young preachers there and he asked me, “why is the Christian life miserable?” “Ever since I got saved, I have been nothing but miserable!” Well, I began by asking him some basic questions, like what he did for a living, where he lived, and found out why he felt the way he did. Tony worked as a bartender, and if that wasn’t bad enough it was a strip bar in Arlington. I said, brother, you need to get a new job, immediately! He told me some excuses that he couldn’t make the same money he did else where. He said he had a lot of debt, etc. He said, “Isn’t just being saved enough? Why do I need to quit my job and start all over?” I don’t know what Tony did, but that was what was making him feel that his Christian life was miserable; he wasn’t going far enough in his separation from the world. He just wanted to be saved and go no further in the expectations that God had for him. That’s why, he felt miserable, his job, the atmosphere, his attitude all working together to hinder is Christian life! The devil had him on a chain!
That’s the devil’s idea here in this compromise, you don’t have to be a serious Christian, just being saved is enough, you don’t have change anything about your life, just live as you did before you got saved, don’t get fanatical and start reading the bible or start praying, just exist don’t live!
Salvation is not only being liberated from sin, but also it is being liberated from self as well! How far have you gone with the lord? Only you and the lord know just how far, but I can assure you, you have gone as far as you wanted to go!
I want us to think about this compromise in our living for God, for that is what it is! Just as Pharaoh was trying to persuade Moses to compromise as to how far they should go; the devil is saying the same thing to us today!
You can be saved but don’t go very far in:
If there is one thing the devil is not, it is dumb. The devil hinders most, fights most where the greatest potential power lies. Our greatest power lies in Prayer.
Torrey, said in his book about prayer that the devil isn’t scared by our machinery, our organizations, our methods the devil is scared of only one person, that person is God!
That’s exactly right! The devil isn’t afraid of us, he’s afraid of what God could do through us, if we yield ourlives to Him! When we pray we are asking God to work through us, touching the lives of others around us! That’s the way we ought to think. Maybe the missing link in your prayers is you. Some, pray foe example “God, save this person, I love them,” and that’s it! That’s a great thing to pray about, but maybe the reason why they are still lost is because God is waiting on you to speak to them about the gospel? I.e. God is waiting on us sometimes to fill in the missing element!
After seeing the way some folks live their Christian lives, we ought to pray “God, work in spite of us!”
It isn’t that we are such great deserving people, but it is that we have a Heavenly Father that is in a giving mood!
Luke 11:9 “And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.”
If the devil can persuade us not to pray, the victory is surely his.
A. Devil attaches our desire to Pray.
1. Mar 11:24 “Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them”.
Maybe we don’t desire what we want in prayer bad enough; we lose the desire to pray!
2. He says, you don't have time to pray today, do it
tomorrow. But your tomorrow may never comes!
3. He says, Do you really think that God wants to listen to you? He tries to accuse you, to yourself.
B. Devil knows that if He can compromise us out of prayer, then his work is half done.
C. Prayer is as simple as a child asking for a piece of bread from their parent. Don't make it complex. When Peter was beginning to sink in the water, he didn't bet-a-round the bush, "Lord Save ME!"
D. If you will make time to pray, you'll find it isn't so hard after all.
Just how far have you went in prayer!
You can be saved but don’t go very far in:
Why does the devil fight so, when it comes to giving? Because giving is a trait of God and taking is a trait of the flesh. We are never more like God when we give of ourselves, instead of holding back.
A. Being able to give your money faithfully, regularly and completely tells a lot about our hearts.
Money is a sensitive area with most because it consumes them, that’s all they really care about, that’s the only important thing to them. When you are saved, money and the pursuit of money has to take the back seat to Jesus. You will never be the Christian you ought to be if money has a hold on your heart instead of God! He alone is to be our one great pursuit; he is what we should be consumed with! I like Matthew and Zacchaeus, they were tax collectors. They were in our slang, yuppies. They lived for one goal, one pursuit, money, they jingled as walked! But there came a day in both of these men’s lives when they meet God! Matthew gave up his good Job to preach, and Zacchaeus made restitution to all he had hurt! Their hearts let go, of their pursuit of making money and clung to God instead!
But not all the yuppies, who came in contact with Christ had a change of heart! Matthew 19; 16-23
This man’s fault wasn’t that he had money; it was that money had Him! This man went away being consumed with money as his god!
The thing about it is this, God isn’t broke, he really doesn’t need our money. But the thing which is needful is that our hearts be right with Him! Money is a good indication of where your heart is, toward God.
How far have you went in giving last year? Have you gave more or less? Obedient Christians give because God has made them able to give. I tell you want, I would rather be able to do the giving, than be is such straits that I had to receive.
The devil’s compromise is just be saved, don’t go very far in giving, you earned it, it’s all yours, God doesn’t deserve any of it!
You can be saved but don’t go very far in:
Evangelism, soul winning, has become the Cinderella of the church. She is locked up in some basement of the church, kept out of sight and out of mind!
What reason do we have to exist as a church if we are not at least trying to reach the lost?
John 20:21 “Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you”.
Chances are that you did not find Jesus on your own; you had to have some one lead you, guide you, and show you the bible, right? So why do we think that others will find God on their own? That they will just trip and fall in salvation? The answer is that they wont. They want find god on their own! Let me give you some things why the devil doesn’t want you to go very far in sharing your faith.
A. Devil knows there is someone that only you personally can keep out of hell. That person thinks the world of you, trusts you, respects you.
B. Devil knows, The Gospel really can save someone.
C. Devil knows, that God really and truly loves people.
D. Devil knows, that others will be inspired by watching you!
E. Devil knows, that you will on your way to be more like your Savoir.
How far have you went in sharing your faith? Further than what the devil wants you to go? There is nothing like seeing someone trust Christ as their savior!
I could go on and talk about how we should go further in other areas tonight, like applying what we hear. Not just being a hearer of the Word only but a doer of the word! For some not going further means, not being baptized after being saved, or not joining a bible practicing Church, or not being the right kind of parent or spouse, or friend.
But the condition is the same, of not going further in our walk, life, service for God!
Closing: Remember, what we said this compromise was really like. It was like the devil just lengthening our chain, and not being set free!
There’s something awful about being bond by chains! I found this true story, which is more truer than we realize…
It was in a little colonial house in eastern Virginia . . . that Henry lived. . . apparently alone.
One late evening, friends came to visit. Henry and his guests sat in the candlelit parlor, quietly talking, watching the flickering shadows on the walls. There was a lull in the conversation. . . and a noise!
Faint at first, then louder. A scratching sound. . . beneath the floor. Everyone had heard it. Henry. . . pretended not to. There were lighthearted remarks about ghosts and such, and after a minute or so, Henry stretched, yawned, asked to be excused so that he might retire for the night.
When his visitors had gone, Henry tugged at his collar, sighing. He was alone again. And none too soon.
For as Henry's friends rode off into the dark, against the fading counterpoint of their horses' hoofs . . . another noise. Like the first. Followed by the sound of dragging along the floor joists beneath Henry's feet.
Henry stiffened, silently regarding the inconspicuous trapdoor in the hallway floor.
He reached for a lantern, approached the secret entrance, bent down, took hold of the smooth iron ring. .. and pulled the false panel away.
Henry peered into the gaping blackness, lowering his lantern, then himself, into the cold cellar.
As the flame cast a soft yellow light all about, there was a rustling in the comer. A figure,. barely visible through the gloom, cringing in terror of the brightness, waited.
Henry walked toward it. Henry lifted the lantern. . . and the light fell
directly. . . upon a face! A horribly animated countenance with twisted features which snarled one moment and wept the next. A blanched wild-eyed visage, filled with torment. The face. . . of Henry's wife.
Henry could not recall the duration of her madness, nor could he recount the endless procession of days and months he had descended the cellar stairs to feed and to care for her. All the hours of Henry's life had by now blended into one solitary hour of despair.
For Henry, the anguish had not diminished. . . to watch his wife tug against her straitjacket restraints . . . to see his love imprisoned through no wrong of her own. .
Once in a great while, like the pulsing glow of a near-cold ember, the faint reflection of a happiness long past shone in the beleaguered woman's face. And then, like a flash of black lightning, the horror would return.
These were the visions that stalked Henry from the depths of that secret place. . . the waking dreams he took to bed with him at night, and at morning into the warm sun. Was this on his mind? Did those visions haunt him, as he addressed the assembly at St. John's Church the next day, March 23, I775?
These were his words:
"Shall we try argument? . . . Shall we resort to entreaty? . . . What terms shall we find which have not been already exhausted? . . . We have petitioned,…We have remonstrated,…. we have supplicated. . . . We have been spurned with contempt. . . . There is no longer any room for hope. . . . Is life so dear or peace so Sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains? . . . Forbid it, Almighty God! . . . I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death “ Patrick Henry.
 Gleanings in Exodus - Vol. 1, Arthur W. Pink
 How to obtain fullness of power, R.A. Torrey
 The rest of the story, Paul Harvey’s