Jerry Locke
Series of 11 Short Studies
FAMOUS FAILURES - PART 3 - MOSES
He Disregarded The Plan Of God

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LAKE WORTH BAPTIST CHURCH
4445 Hodgkins Rd. Fort Worth, TX 76135
Series of 11 Short studies by one of our
outstanding Independent Baptist
Preachers, Pastor Jerry Locke
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FAMOUS FAILURES - Part 3 - Moses: He Disregarded The Plan Of God

Exodus 2-3

Everyone knows what Post-it notes are: They are those great little self-stick notepapers. Most people have Post-it Notes. Most people use them. Most people love them. But Post-it Notes were not a planned product.

No one got the idea and then stayed up nights to invent it. A man named Spencer Silver was working in the 3M research laboratories in 1970 trying to find a strong adhesive. Silver developed a new adhesive, but it was even weaker than what 3M already manufactured. It stuck to objects, but could easily be lifted off. It was super weak instead of super strong.

No one knew what to do with the stuff, but Silver didn't discard it. Then one Sunday four years later, another 3M scientist named Arthur Fry was singing in the church's choir. He used markers to keep his place in the hymnal, but they kept falling out of the book. Remembering Silver's adhesive, Fry used some to coat his markers. Success! With the weak adhesive, the markers stayed in place, yet lifted off without damaging the pages. 3M began distributing Post-it Notes nationwide in 1980 -- ten years after Silver developed the super weak adhesive. Today they are one of the most popular office products available.

In our last gathering we began study of Famous Failures with Adam in Genesis 2-3, the original failure, a man who defied the command of God. In this study let's take a look at Moses. Please turn in your Bible to Exodus 2-3.

There should be no doubt that God had a great plan for Moses. When that Jewish couple looked into the face of their little boy baby they knew God was up to something special. Moses was an "illegal" boy, destined for death were it not for the plan of God. And when little baby Moses was careful placed in that little boat, not only was his big sister watching, Moses big God was also watching. He had it all planned out. Everything was on schedule. Pharaoh's daughter was there to take the baby and Moses' mother was paid to raise this baby for Pharaoh's daughter. Isn't God good? Moses was schooled so he would understand all there was to know about Egypt, so in God's time he could defeat them. Isn't God wise?

What could mess up a great plan like this? Moses. Moses must have heard how he was special; how he might be God's man for the hour; Moses could see things coming together. There are at least three things involved in any plan God carries out.

Timing.

Location.

Direction.

What was Moses' failure? He disregarded the plan of God. Moses thought he could carry out His plan for his life and disregard God's plan and get by with it. It got him into a mess of trouble.

Maybe, you are like Moses. You are disregarding God's plan for your life.

Your rushing when you ought to be resting.

Your worrying when you ought to be waiting.

Your politicking when you ought to be praying.

You will always get yourself in trouble when you run ahead of God.

1. Moses Fighting, Exodus 2:11-12.

Do you know what Moses was doing? He was taking matters into his own hands. He saw a cause and presumed it was a call. Moses looked this way and that way, but the one way he did not look was up! Moses lost the sense of the presence of God. We are all too "man-conscious" instead of "God-conscious."

2. Moses Fearing, Exodus 2:13-14.

When you run ahead of God, doing thins in the flesh you are asking for trouble. We can't be for God and do for God what is needed in the energy of the flesh. In fact, the things that is hindering us is the flesh. When Moses tried to tackle the job, he could not even bury one Egyptian successfully. Maybe he left his toes sticking out of the sand! In remind you, when God tackled the job He buried the whole army in the Red Sea!

We need more than our talent, our education, even our good intentions.

We need singers in the church who are more than entertainers.

We need teachers in the church who are more than educators.

We need preachers in the church who are more than interesting.

3. Moses Fleeing, Exodus 2:15.

And for 40 years he was in the land of Midian. He was one of the original "Fugitives." We need to quit praying, "God bless our work." We need to find out what God is blessing and do that! Why are we doing what we do?

-Need, or God?

-Ability, or Availability?

-Scholarship, or Relationship?

Can you imagine the sense of failure that must have overwhelmed Moses. And it did not go away. Again and again, for 40 years, his failure revisited him.

Like Moses, maybe you have failed God. Maybe it was a...

...Moral failure

...Marriage failure

...Ministry failure

I have some good news --- there is life after failure! I repeat what I said earlier. Failure becomes our friend when it drives us to God.

Moses had disregarded the plan of God. What did God do? How did God pursue Moses? I want you to see what God used to get his attention and allegiance.

Exodus 3:1 is a powerful verse. It is pregnant with possibilities.

Moses, once a prince of Pharaoh, is now a sheep herder. We have romanticized the idea of a shepherd's life, but I can't see how there was anything special about being on the south end of a herd of northbound sheep! Get my drift?

And to add insult to injury, these were not his sheep --- they were his wife's father-in-law's sheep. What a bummer! Unless Zipporah was a real special lady, she may have asked Moses more than once when he was ever going to get his own sheep.

Herbert and Hazel were riding down the road.

Hazel, "You know, Herbert, if it were not for my money we wouldn't have this car."

Herbert, "That's right, Hazel, that's right."

Hazel, "You know, if it were not for my money we wouldn't have our house."

Herbert, "That's right, Hazel, that's right."

Hazel, "You know, if it were not for my money we wouldn't have my jewelry."

Herbert, "That's right, Hazel, that's right."

Hazel, "You know, if it were not for my money we wouldn't have our color TV."

Herbert, "That's right, Hazel, that's right."

Hazel, "Herbert, the car wouldn't be here, the house wouldn't be here, the jewelry wouldn't be here, the color TV wouldn't be here if it weren't for my money."

Herbert, "Yea, Hazel, that's right. And if it weren't for your money, I wouldn't be here either!"

And the final stroke in this portrait of failure it is said that Moses ended up "on the backside of the desert." Have you ever been there? Maybe you're there right now. Is your e-mail address is: W.W.W. MOSES. B. S. O. D. (back side of the desert) .COM.

Failure had brought Moses to an all-time low. And this failure was not temporary --- he had been there 40 years by now. What a waste of time, your thinking. Oh, no its not! Not if you belong to God. Desert times are training times. Remember, failure becomes our friend when it drives us to God.

Exodus 3:2. Look at what God used to get his attention. God used a SIGHT --- a burning bush. There was nothing special about bushes in the desert. Like Ian Thomas says, "Any old bush will do." But this bush was an amazing sight. The bush burned but was not consumed. The miracle was not the bush, but God who was in the bush. God will use any old bush to get your attention.

He will use a failed ministry.

He will use a failed marriage.

He will use hurt, sorrow, tragedy.

Exodus 3:3. God recaptured Moses' attention!

Exodus 3:4. God reclaimed Moses' allegiance. Only after Moses drew near did God call Him by name. When Moses turned aside to see, God called him.

Exodus 3:5-6. What a holy sight this was. Moses had to painfully discover: God didn't need Moses; He needed God. God didn't need Moses' fine physique, ambition, royal upbringing, scholarship. Moses needed God.

Moses' wonderful 40 years of fruitful ministry came out of 40 years of miserable failure. Moses was given and assumed one of the most awesomely overwhelming ministries of all time. It was nearly a "mission impossible' situation. "Moses, your assignment if you assume it is . . .

1. to free 2 million Jews from Egyptian slavery.

2. utterly humiliate and ultimately defeat the armies of a world power, Egypt.

3. divide the Red Sea.

4. lead the Jews to a land you've never seen. I'll give you a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.

5. provide water and food for them without the Golden Arches.

6. overcome idolatry.

7. direct in the wilderness wandering for almost 40 years.

8. And by the way, all but 2 of them will be backslidden.

Exodus 3:7-8 is an Old Testament illustration of New Testament salvation. "Seen...heard...know...I am come down..." "Out of...unto." Moses lead the Israelites out of the bondage of Egypt and unto the blessing of God.

When Jesus saves us, He saves us from something and saves us to something.

From guilt to glory.

From hell to heaven.

From sinners to sons.

From bondage to blessings.

Failure doesn't have to be a permanent stumbling block. It can be a stepping stone!

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