02(Exodus 06,06-07,07) Obeying from a Wounded Heart - Unity MBC
I. Fearing Freedom
A. We are made to be free; in fact, we need freedom. That’s what Christ has made us for.
§ Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.
§ We say we want to be free. The problem is that it’s not the whole truth.
§ We don’t always want to be free.
§ We don’t always want to be released from things that hold us back.
§ Freedom is wonderful but freedom also frightens us.
B. In Exodus 6 Moses, having accepted his calling, went to Egypt with his brother Aaron.
§ There he reviewed the plight of the people of Israel.
§ He saw for himself how profound their suffering was.
§ He watched the taskmasters whip and drive the slaves mercilessly.
C. But he will discover that their physical slavery is nothing when compared to their spiritual slavery.
§ You don’t always want to be released from the things that hold you back. Freedom is frightening.
§ You even resist it when it is offered.
§ The pharaohs that hold your church back are in a strange way comfortable, at least familiar.
§ What chains you to the fence you sit on are things you oppose in theory, not in practice.
§ You know you should get involved, should witness, should take charge, but you never do.
§ In a strange way you don’t want the freedom that breaking the familiar chains would bring.
D. Moses has heard the wonderful promises of God.
§ Moses has discovered that God is offering the people freedom.
§ And He has promised it in every kind of way imaginable.
§ Did you notice how many times in this passage the phrase, “I will” appears? Seven times!
§ God promises that He will free His people. That ought to be good news. But somehow it’s not.
E. Moses, profoundly stirred and deeply excited by God’s gracious offer, goes out to tell the people.
§ Can’t you just imagine it? Bravely Moses goes out to tell them, “There’s good news! A better day is coming. You’re going to be free!”
§ But listen to this wet-blanket response: (Exodus 6:9)
F. They had both an internal and an external problem.
§ They didn’t heed the message of freedom due to what was wrong on the inside: a broken spirit.
§ And what was wrong on the outside: cruel slavery.
G. Over the years I’ve worked with a number of people who were victims.
§ They were victimized by all kinds of circumstances.
§ Some of them were victims of poverty; others were victims of poor education.
§ Some were victims of unhappy families or even of bad religion.
H. But there is nothing so deadly as a combination of negative circumstances and a negative personality.
§ If you have been beaten and battered by the storms of life, you may not hear the call to be free.
§ Of if you do hear it, you do not hear it as good news.
II. Breaking the cycle
A. So how do we break that cycle?
§ How do we get past that deadly combination of broken spirit and cruel slavery in your own life?
§ I believe you break the cycle by choosing to be the good news for someone else.
§ You may not fully believe that you are free; you may think that you yourself are in bad shape.
§ But when you do something to make a difference in someone else’s life, you can begin to hear the sounds of freedom for yourself.
B. Example in Moses’ Life. (Exodus 6:12; 28-30)
§ Lord, I can’t even get your own people excited about being free. How am I, with all the stuff going on inside me of me, supposed to speak to the enemy?
§ How easy it is, when you meet resistance trying to help someone who doesn’t really want to be helped, how easy just to give up!
§ How easy to yield to the broken spirit that’s in us and never challenge the cruel slavery that’s in somebody else’s life.
C. But the answer comes in the form of God’s straightforward command to Moses. (Exodus 7:1-7)
§ God commands Moses to challenge the things that enslave the people.
§ God says, “I don’t care if you don’t feel like challenging the slavery of my people. Just do it!”
§ And Moses, you’ll find that you can heal the brokenness in your spirit if you will just challenge the cruelty of somebody else’s slavery!
D. You may think you can’t do ministry because you’re such wounded people yourselves.
§ To that I respond, yes, you are, but God commands, “Announce healing to the community, and you will find healing for yourselves.”
§ It is argued that we are not going to do evangelism because we are too busy attending to our own problems and our own issues. And that may be true.
§ To that I can only say that if that were true, you and I would still be wallowing in our sins and blind in our ignorance, because somewhere, somehow, someone looked beyond their pain and decided to follow God’s command and bring us the gospel. Whether they felt like it or not!
E. Some Day
§ In the past this church has been challenged to confront just a few of the powers that enslave.
§ You have responded, modestly perhaps, but you have responded.
§ But you still have some chains to challenge out there. I hope you can hear God’s command!
§ I hope you can listen to freedom!
§ Some day you will show this community that in this church there may be some broken spirits, some broken homes, some broken lives, but, by the grace of God and because of the sacrifice of Christ, you will have heard God’s command. And you will follow.
§ You will follow because you believe in the God of Moses.
§ You will follow because like Moses you’ve heard God’s voice in the commands of Scripture.
§ Some day, some day. Some day God’s people will no longer dwell on their brokenness but will fully accept God’s gracious offer of freedom. Some day you will listen to yourselves and you will hear freedom, not broken spirits and not cruel slavery, but freedom.
Down in the human heart, crushed by the tempter, feelings lie buried that grace can restore. Touched by a loving heart, wakened by kindness, Chords that are broken will vibrate once more.
Invitation: “Rescue the Perishing”