Don’t Reject the Voice of God
INTRO: “There will be no peace in any soul until it’s ready to obey the voice of the Lord.” ~ D.L Moody
There are turning points – Abraham, Moses, the Children of Israel, this Council in the book of Acts – and there will be turning points in our lives as well.
DO WE LISTEN OR IGNORE?
Stephen addressing the council – ACTS 7:17 – “But when the time of the promise drew near which God had sworn to Abraham, the people grew and multiplied in Egypt 18 till another king arose who did not know Joseph. 19 This man dealt treacherously with our people, and oppressed our forefathers, making them expose their babies, so that they might not live.
Pharaoh rejected Joseph’s family, and the favor dried up.
He wanted to – “to extinguish what threatens.”
The devil doesn’t want you to hear God – 1. What threatens my pride – 2. What inconveniences my flesh?
20 At this time Moses was born, and was well pleasing to God; and he was brought up in his father’s house for three months. 21 But when he was set out, Pharaoh’s daughter took him away and brought him up as her own son. 22 And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and deeds.
Don’t reject your past: God will use it!
23 “Now when he was forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren, the children of Israel. 24 And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended and avenged him who was oppressed, and struck down the Egyptian. 25 For he supposed that his brethren would have understood that God would deliver them by his hand, but they did not understand. 26 And the next day he appeared to two of them as they were fighting, and tried to reconcile them, saying, ‘Men, you are brethren; why do you wrong one another?’ 27 But he who did his neighbor wrong pushed him away, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and a judge over us? 28 Do you want to kill me as you did the Egyptian yesterday?’ 29 Then, at this saying, Moses fled and became a dweller in the land of Midian, where he had two sons.
He should have rejected his feelings, BUT if we cf. vs. 35 they rejected Moses as well.
“It came into his heart” vs. God placed it in his heart (Kings, Jeremiah, Rev.).
I feel like eating that. I feel like doing that. I feel like saying that. I feel like dating them. I feel like leaving that. I feel like giving up on that.
~ Feelings take the course of least resistance –
To truly hear God’s voice, you will need to stop listening to the flesh.
Perfect example: “I want to hear from God!” – BUT later today I’m going to flop down on a couch for 4 hrs, eat 3000 calories, drink a 6-pack of IPA, and really enjoy Lady Gaga’s…
DOES THIS BUILD ME UP SPIRITUALLY?
30 “And when forty years had passed, an Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire in a bush, in the wilderness of Mount Sinai. 31 When Moses saw it, he marveled at the sight; and as he drew near to observe, the voice of the Lord came to him, 32 saying, ‘I am the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ And Moses trembled and dared not look. 33 ‘Then the Lord said to him, “Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground. 34 I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt; I have heard their groaning and have come down to deliver them. And now come, I will send you to Egypt.”’
A turning point – The waiting time was CRUCIAL!
“Take your sandals off” – approach GOD with reverence.
God says, “I see the oppression and the pain.” Don’t reject Me, run to Me.
35 “This Moses whom they rejected, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and a judge?’ is the one God sent to be a ruler and a deliverer by the hand of the Angel who appeared to him in the bush. 36 He brought them out, after he had shown wonders and signs in the land of Egypt, and in the Red Sea, and in the wilderness forty years.
Don’t reject God’s timing.
Don’t reject authority – who made you? God wants to see our heart.
Stephen recaps Israel’s Rebellion Against God
37 “This is that Moses who said to the children of Israel, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your brethren. Him you shall hear.’ 38 “This is he who was in the congregation in the wilderness with the Angel who spoke to him on Mount Sinai, and with our fathers, the one who received the living oracles to give to us, 39 whom our fathers would not obey, but rejected. And in their hearts they turned back to Egypt…
“Turned back to Egypt” – back to bondage, oppression, and slavery.
REJECT THE VOICE OF EGYPT! – We remember the good ole’ days.
They rejected Moses [THE LAW – obedience], they rejected Christ, and they’re rejecting the work of the Holy Spirit.
ARE YOU REJECTING OBEDIENCE TO THE FATHER – ARE YOU REJECTING A SURRENDERED LIFE TO CHRIST – ARE YOU REJECTING THE WORK OF THE SPIRIT?
How long will you reject? “Well, when God starts doing this or that…”
1. ALL THE FUN WILL BE OVER [lust of the flesh]
2. I WON’T BE ABLE TO HAVE THIS OR THAT [lust of the eye]
3. IT’S NOT MANLY TO FOLLOW CHRIST [pride of life]
This is why rules and religion don’t work.
God’s heart is not to condemn – John 3:17, “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”
Romans 5:8 declares, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
EXAMPLE OF THE MOM: He wouldn’t let me love him while he’s awake so I will love him while he sleep.
Communion – “Take your sandals off” – approach GOD with reverence.
BEFORE Passing out elements – Do You Truly Know Him? JOHN 6:35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.