"Why Are You Crying?"
Sermon Notes for Dr. Thomas Atchison
The children of Israel have just been delivered from the strong, oppressive hand of Pharaoh. God with a mighty deliverance has brought them out of Egypt the land of slavery and oppression. They had started their journey with high hopes and expectations toward the land of promise.
But they have marched only a few days and suddenly they seem to be stopped in their journey. The Bible records they have encamped by the sea. Before them is the great Red Sea, on either side of them is a mountain and behind them are Pharaoh and his army closing in fast. On the surface it seems they are hopelessly trapped. For all practical purposes there was no way out. But in the midst of chaos and confusion the people come to Moses and begin to cry out to him, and as they cry to him Moses goes to God and he says God, what do you want me to do?
They are getting ready to stone me, what in the world do you want me to do?¨
Israel had trusted God for their deliverance but not for their circumstances. But this is not new. David despaired and said, “I will perish one day at the hands of Saul.” Elijah hid in a cave and asked to die. If we are Christians, we have trusted him to save us from sin but all too often we will not trust him with our circumstances.
There are lots of things that cause us not to trust.
We are diagnosis with a disease for which there is no cure.
We have more month that we do money.
We have a child who refuses to do right.
We have a spouse that has rejected us.
We lose our job
God tells Moses, there not but one thing to do get up and GO
I didn’t bring you out to take you back; I didn’t bring you out to leave you now. I didn’t bring you out to camp here, this is not the land I promised you there is so much more. There is nothing to go back to all that is left is to GO FORWARD!¨
The Lord would tell us today, there is nothing to go back to. If you go back you will be destroyed or have to return to slavery. And if you don’t pull up stakes now you will probably be destroyed. The best thing for you to do is GO FORWARD!
To the church the Lord would say, the fields are white unto harvest and what I want you to do is to rise up and go on to do the things I have called you to do & the things I have asked you to do. Forget the past, forget Egypt, forget the pain and agony of the past, bury it and GO FORWARD!
To individuals the Lord would say what you need to do is to get up, stop sleeping and being lazy! Stop wallowing in your pity; stop wallowing in your agony and pain of the past and GO FORWARD!
Stop wallowing in your bitterness and anger and GO FORWARD!
Stop enjoying where you are and GO FORWARD!
Before the church can go forward you as an individual must go forward because it is individuals that make up the church.
Have you ever heard people sit around and complain because the church is dry and cold and needs a revival but they never seem to be concerned to let revival start with them? What you and I need to realize is, we as individuals are what make up the church and for the church to have revival and go forward you and I must have revival and go forward. The church can’t do anything until you or I do, we are the church.
We are in a new millennium. The way things are going it can’t be long before the Lord will come back. Now is not the time to get lazy, now is not the time to be satisfied with where we are, now is not the time to put our stakes deeper, now is the time to rise up and GO FORWARD!
We are to be constantly moving forward until Jesus comes. I mean, what in the world are you going to go back for. There is nothing in the world worth going back for. Why would you want to go to the left or the right, there is nothing there either. And why would you want to stay where you are and be destroyed. There is nothing left to do but GO FORWARD!
Many had rather stay where they are and camp out and enjoy the view. We like it where we are. We have become satisfied and comfortable where we are. We like being depressed; we like being angry; we like not being active in the church; we like this place of bitterness, etc. But God is calling us out of our comfort zones and calling us out of these places where we have camped out and wants us to GO FORWARD!
He doesn’t want us to be destroyed.
You may be asking, but preacher, why do we need to go forward? Why is going forward so important? Let’s look at several reasons why it is important, why it is vital for us to go forward:
I. From Faith To FEAR
10 "And when Pharaoh drew nigh, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and, behold, the Egyptians marched after them; and they were sore afraid: and the children of Israel cried out unto the LORD."
When you fail to go forward, the first thing you are going to do is, you are going to stop walking by faith and start living in fear.
The minute you stop going forward or making progress in your spiritual walk, the next thing you know is, you will find yourself not longer walking in faith but living in fear.
Instead of putting your trust in God and His word you will begin to believe more the lies of the devil. The devil will put the fear of sickness, death, bankruptcy, failure and other things into your life, when God’s word says you can have victory over all of these things.
When they came out of Egypt that day and were going forward to the Promised Land, there wasn’t a speck of fear in their heart.
They marched out of there singing the songs of Zion. I believe the tambourines were playing and the people were dancing and rejoicing in the Lord. They were on their way out of bondage to Canaan land they were going forward. As long as they were moving in that direction, forward, they were full of faith and everything was all right. But the minute they stopped going forward faith was replaced with fear. Now, instead of an army full of faith singing the victory songs of Zion and marching toward Canaan they are like a bunch of scattered sheep crying and wailing in the wilderness and they are filled with fear.
If you are here today and you are filled with fear, it is a good sign that you have stopped in your spiritual journey in your spiritual progress. Somewhere along the way you have camped by the sea and faith is being replaced with fear. Unless you pull up those stakes and get on the move again you are in serious trouble.
How easy it is to enjoy where we are, to be satisfied where we are. But that is not what God wants for us. He wants to replace fear with faith and that comes by going forward.
11 "And they said unto Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt?"
Next, you will start murmuring and complaining. It is not long before fear replaced faith and then complaining set in. They started complaining to Moses.
They blame all of their problems on Moses. They don’t want to assume any of the responsibility themselves. Usually the problem is not with leadership it is with followers. Complaining is a sure sign of no forward progress.
Instead of being a marching, victorious army they are standing there murmuring and complaining against Moses and the God who has brought them out of Egypt. It’ll happen every time. You want to know who the murmurers and complainers are they are the people who have stopped going forward. They are the people who are not growing in the Lord anymore. When you are going forward with God up front where the action is then you don’t have time to complain. When you are spending time with the Lord in prayer and in His word and making progress in you spiritual journey there is no room for complaining.
It doesn’t mean nothing is wrong, something is always wrong. Life isn’t always pleasant. Things don’t always go to suit us, but when you are going forward with your eye on the Promised Land, you don’t have time to stop and murmur and complain.
12 "Is not this the word that we did tell thee in Egypt, saying Let us alone that we may serve the Egyptians? For it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness."
Finally they said to Moses, why don’t you just take us back to Egypt. It would be better for us if we were back in Egypt. Can you imagine that?
They had just been brought out from under the whips of Pharaoh and within 2 or 3 days they are standing there saying, ¡§we would be better off in Egypt.
Why anyone would want to go back to Egypt, the world, sin, bondage, and slavery. Yet we have a lot of people looking over their shoulders, a lot are looking to the left and to the right and you want to know why because they have stopped going forward. They have stopped moving in the direction God wants them to go.
If we stop going forward eventually we will start going backward. Do you ever find yourself missing some of the things of the past? Do you ever find yourself wishing you could go back and do some of the things you use to do? If you do then it is a good sign that you have stopped going forward. When the past looks better than the future you have stopped going forward.
IV WORDS OF FAITH
13 "And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever."
14 "The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace
Moses had seen God do Great and Mighty things. He knew God would see them through."
But God said MOVE IN FAITH.
CONFESSION IS NOT MOVING FORWARD
FAITH IS ONLY FAITH IF YOU ACT UPON IT
If you aren’t going forward you are hindering somebody behind you from going forward.
There were several million people in that valley. The people in the 50th row couldn’t go anywhere until the people in the 1st row moved. There are a lot of people standing behind you just watching and waiting for you to make the right move, to go forward.
Moms and dads, there are children just waiting for you to stop fussing and get back on the right path and start moving forward like you use to and if Mom and dad would do it then the children would do it. Have you ever thought that you might be holding your children back because you are the one setting the example? If you fail to go forward then they probably will also.
I wonder how many are standing behind us just waiting for us to make the right move to take the right step to exercise the right kind of faith before they move.
But preacher, they shouldn’t use that as an excuse. I agree, but whether we like it or not people are watching us and because we aren’t going forward they want go forward. I for one don’t want to hold anybody back.
Who is standing behind you waiting for you to move and they can’t move until you do? Someone has to start; someone has to begin to GO FORWARD!
It’s bad enough to think that I am at a standstill in my own life, but to think that I am preventing someone else from making progress is even worse.
When you fail to go forward you prevent yourself from seeing the miraculous.
God, I don’t know about going forward. There is a big sea ahead of us, how are we going to get across? I think I will stay here where it takes little faith.
15 "And the LORD said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward."
God told Moses, "You tell these people to start moving forward. You take that rod and stretch it out toward the sea, you’re going to move."
When Moses obeyed and took the 1st step and did what God told him to do, the winds began to blow and the waters began to roll back on every side.
God always moves when we are willing to obey Him and take the step of faith He asks of us.
How many times does the Bible say when the priest moved or when the trumpets sounded or when the army shouted God then did the miraculous.
But we have it backward, we say if God would do something then I would do something. NO! NO! NO! That’s all wrong, it doesn’t work that way. God says you take me at my word; you step out on the water, you GO FORWARD!
When you do then I will slip my hand under you & I’ll be there to see you through and I’ll do the miraculous. God is waiting on you and me. If you are willing to take the step to GO FORWARD!
God will part the sea and destroy the enemy. He will do the miraculous.
What is Gods will for this church?
What is Gods will for you as and individual?
Two words: GO FORWARD!