Too Small To FailSeries: You In Five Years. James Dewhurst January 19, 2020
You in Five Years
Too Small To Fail
Today, as we jump into week 3 of our series, I want to give us some more practical steps for change, with a message called – Too Small To Fail!
I want to start with a little back story! There was this man named Abraham who had a wife named Sarah, and they were childless. They were also really old. As a matter of fact, the Lord visited them when Abraham was 99 years old and Sarah was 90 and told them that they were going to have a child. The Lord told them that they were going to have so many kids, that they will outnumber the stars. That’s scary to hear at 20. At 100, that is quite possibly the worst blessing you could ever receive! But Abraham believed God’s promise, and Isaac was born. Abraham’s faith took God at his word!
So, through a series of events, Abraham’s descendants, the Israelites, ended up as slaves in Egypt, for 400 years. The Lord rose up against Moses, who after bringing 10 plagues on Egypt, ultimately lead the Israelites out of slavery and through the Red Sea. Their deliverance from Egypt, and their walking through the Red Sea was just a picture of the Salvation and Baptism Jesus would bring in the future! The tragic part is, because of their attitudes, disobedience and a lack of faith, the Israelites just wandered around in the Sinai desert for the next 40 years. You can leave Egypt, and never enter God’s promised land. Too many people have a saved soul, but live a wasted life!!!
Faith in Christ is more than just fire insurance! There’s a calling on your life. You are God’s masterpiece. There is so much potential in you. He’s got plans for you to walk in!
God had great plans for the Israelites, but they weren’t willing to walk into them!
Remember last week? The first law of motion – matter at rest wants to stay at rest!
> It’s not going to be easy to leave the desert of your temper!
> It’s not going to be easy to leave the desert of your habits!
> It’s not going to be easy to leave the desert of your gossip!
> It’s not going to be easy to leave the desert of comparison!
> It’s not going to be easy to leave the desert of unforgiveness!
It is never going to be easy to become who God called you to be! It’s much easier to remain lazy, bitter, angry, critical and entitled. Water always seeks its own level!
24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. (ESV)
We can’t just follow God out of our problems. We must follow him into his promises!
An entire generation of Israelites had saved souls but wasted lives!
You can leave Egypt, but that doesn’t mean Egypt has left you!
God doesn’t just want us to walk out of our past, he wants us to walk into our future!
The Bible tells us in Numbers, that after the Israelites left Egypt and were on the border of entering into God’s promised land, he told Moses to send spies to check it out. The Bible tells us that there were 7 nations living in their promised land, along with giants, that they were going to have to defeat in order to step into the future God promised.
The report that the 12 spies brought back was not great:
27 And they told him, “We came to the land to which you sent us. It flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit. 28 However, the people who dwell in the land are strong, and the cities are fortified and very large. And besides, we saw the descendants of Anak there. 29 The Amalekites dwell in the land of the Negeb. The Hittites, the Jebusites, and the Amorites dwell in the hill country. And the Canaanites dwell by the sea, and along the Jordan.” 30 But Caleb quieted the people before Moses and said, “Let us go up at once and occupy it, for we are well able to overcome it.” 31 Then the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we are.” 32 So they brought to the people of Israel a bad report of the land that they had spied out, saying, “The land, through which we have gone to spy it out, is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people that we saw in it are of great height. (ESV)
+The report the spies brought back to Moses was colored by fear, instead of faith.
+Because the nations living in Canaan were great and powerful, Israel felt small!
+What the spies didn’t realize, was that because they were small they would win!
17 “If you say in your heart, ‘These nations are greater than I. How can I dispossess them?’ 18 you shall not be afraid of them but you shall remember what the LORD your God did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt, 19 the great trials that your eyes saw, the signs, the wonders, the mighty hand, and the outstretched arm, by which the LORD your God brought you out. So will the LORD your God do to all the peoples of whom you are afraid. 20 Moreover, the LORD your God will send hornets among them, until those who are left and hide themselves from you are destroyed. 21 You shall not be in dread of them, for the LORD your God is in your midst, a great and awesome God. 22 The LORD your God will clear away these nations before you little by little. You may not make an end of them at once, lest the wild beasts grow too numerous for you. 23 But the LORD your God will give them over to you and throw them into great confusion, until they are destroyed. (ESV)
-Notice that Moses starts by reminding the Israelites to remember God’s faithfulness from the past when they are facing present challenges.
Remember the Red Sea?
In times of trouble, the easiest thing for people to forget is God’s faithfulness!
+(V.21) Moses – Stop looking at how small you are and start looking at how big God is!
+(V.22) God promised to drive out the nations, but he would only do it “Little by Little”
Healthy change is a process. God likes to work incrementally!
29 I will not drive them out from before you in one year, lest the land become desolate and the wild beasts multiply against you. 30 Little by little I will drive them out from before you, until you have increased and possess the land. (ESV)
God gave the Israelites just enough power to win one battle at a time!
Why did God do this? Why didn’t he just do it all at once? Two reasons:
1. If God gave them all of the power, all of the answers, and all of the victory at once, why would they ever need to pray again? God wisely gave them just enough strength for each day, so they would need to return to him. Power is perishable!
– We can’t by relying tomorrow on yesterday’s revelation!
– We can’t be relying next month on last month’s quiet time!
– We can’t be living life this year on what God said last year!
Too many people are stuck telling stories about what God did instead of what God is doing in the present! We have all got to keep our walk with Christ in the present!
We only look back long enough to build our faith to step forward!
2. The second reason is that God in his wisdom understood that the Israelites had to increase in size in order to inhabit each city. They weren’t large enough as a nation to handle everything at once. So, God protected them by blessing them little by little!
What’s worse than not getting what you want, is getting what you want and losing it!
28 For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? 29 Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ (ESV)
In life, we have to maintain whatever we obtain!
Even though we desperately we want things now, God waits until we are ready!
You see, victory isn’t one big battle and it’s all over. Victory is small things repeated!
The Israelites took their promised land one city at a time, and one battle at a time. They had to defeat the Hivites, the Amorites, the Jebusites, the Girgashites, the Hittites, the Canaanites, and even the Termites. With each battle, they grew to possess the promise!
Our problem is, we despise small things!
(We want the prize without the process!)
10 For whoever has despised the day of small things shall rejoice, and shall see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel. “These seven are the eyes of the LORD, which range through the whole earth.” (ESV)
Charles Spurgeon – “Courage my heart! Go on little by little, for many littles make a great whole.”
Executing the small things daily will allow us to achieve big things!
Thought: In order to be successful, sometimes we have to start so small we can’t fail!
I want to close today with 3 practical steps to help bring about lasting change:
1. Spell it out specifically! The easiest way to miss a target never really has one!
2. Track it Diligently! It is very easy to deceive yourself without accountability or data!
3. Guard it Aggressively! Don’t skip twice! Once your momentum starts keep it going!
13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. (ESV)
Ministry: Offer a prayer for people who need to embrace the small steps!
Need prayer? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org