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"Provisions of Faith"

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I have a fear of heights. I think we’ve talked about that before but just to remind you of how wimpy I am, that’s my greatest fear - followed closely by rats. Anyway, I’m sort of a big talker sometimes. You know the old saying, “Your mouth has written a check your rear-end can’t cash”? Well, I’ve struggled with that. Well, about 13 or 14 years ago, a good friend of mine, Brian Malone, and I made a deal with each other that before either of us got married, we would go sky diving together. I was banking on the possibility that he’d forget or one of us would die or something - I really didn’t think I’d have to go through with it. Well, come to find out as PROVIDENCE would have it, Brian and I both got engaged and were scheduled to get married in the same summer - 2007 - 10 years ago. Well, May 2007 rolls around and I get a phone call from Brian Malone. Daniel, do you remember our agreement? Yeah. So, Brian finds a sky diving company located in Hattiesburg, MS. We get there and, come to find out, this sky diving place is in the middle of a COW PASTURE! Not too safe. Y’all, I was a nervous wreck. I tried everything I could to back out. The whole flight up to 14,000 feet, I interviewed the guy I was going to be strapped to just to make sure he had no reason in the world to end his life that day and take me with him. I made sure he hadn’t been drinking that day, too. I’ll never forget that bay door opening, me being strapped to the belly of some dude I’d never met but in whose hands I had to put my life, and then me dangling over the earth 14,000 feet in the air. At that point, they don’t give you a choice. You’ve got to jump. And, in a moment of complete insanity, I jumped. Well, he jumped and took me with him. I’ll be honest with you. It was one of the most exhilarating experiences I’ve ever had.
I want to go back to something that we spent some time on last week. If you’ll remember, we talked about Esther coming to a crossroads of faith. Would she obey? Would she follow God’s calling on her life in what He had prepared her for or would she just play it safe?
Disobedience to God’s will in your life is costly. We said that last week. Remember what Mordecai said to Esther -

“You don’t have to know a lot of things for

Disobedience to God’s will in your life is costly. We said that last week. Remember what Mordecai said to Esther -
Esther 4:14 ESV
For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
Many of us come to that crossroads and we choose the “safe” way. We choose the “comfortable” way. We choose to live the complacent, not going to rock the boat life. We like the life of a 9-5 job, the comfortability of our life, coming to church for an hour or two a week, sitting, being fed, checking church off our list, and moving on when God has prepared and called us to SO MUCH MORE! Maybe you’re at the crossroads and God has allowed you to go through a season of life where life doesn’t make much sense…you’ve struggled, you’ve suffered, you’ve been through the refiner’s fire and you’re finally making sense of the “what.” You know what God is calling you to do. You see how God is making your mess into a ministry and it’s scary. You’re afraid to get out of the boat.

“But then I realize there is never going to be a day when I stand before God and He looks at me and says, 'I wish you would have kept more for yourself.' I'm confident that God will take care of me.” - David Platt, Radical

“God beckons storm clouds and they come. He tells the wind to blow and the rain to fall, and they obey immediately. He speaks to the mountains, 'You go there,' and He says to the seas, 'You stop here, and they do it. Everything in all creation responds in obedience to the Creator...until we get to you and me. We have the audacity to look God in the face and say, 'No.”

You know, the story of Peter walking on water has always been a personal favorite of mine. Think about how much faith Peter exercised, here! If he had been overcome by the fear of “what if” he would have missed out on possibly the coolest experience a human has ever had. He’s the only person - other than Jesus - to defy the laws of physics and walk on water! He’s the one Jesus entrusted SO MUCH MORE TO! I mean, I don’t find it too ironic that Peter walks on water in and then just two chapters later, Jesus tells him he’s going to use him to build the church!
Here’s the point:

NOT living in obedient faith costs me seeing God move in miraculous ways in my life.

What does that mean? Well, let’s look back at Esther. So, she’s been prepared - God has spent YEARS preparing her for what he had prepared for her. She has prepared and proceeded in faith - decision to obey, fasting & prayer.
Esther 5:1–2 ESV
On the third day Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the king’s palace, in front of the king’s quarters, while the king was sitting on his royal throne inside the throne room opposite the entrance to the palace. And when the king saw Queen Esther standing in the court, she won favor in his sight, and he held out to Esther the golden scepter that was in his hand. Then Esther approached and touched the tip of the scepter.
Esther 5:1-
Esther 5:1–7 ESV
On the third day Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the king’s palace, in front of the king’s quarters, while the king was sitting on his royal throne inside the throne room opposite the entrance to the palace. And when the king saw Queen Esther standing in the court, she won favor in his sight, and he held out to Esther the golden scepter that was in his hand. Then Esther approached and touched the tip of the scepter. And the king said to her, “What is it, Queen Esther? What is your request? It shall be given you, even to the half of my kingdom.” And Esther said, “If it please the king, let the king and Haman come today to a feast that I have prepared for the king.” Then the king said, “Bring Haman quickly, so that we may do as Esther has asked.” So the king and Haman came to the feast that Esther had prepared. And as they were drinking wine after the feast, the king said to Esther, “What is your wish? It shall be granted you. And what is your request? Even to the half of my kingdom, it shall be fulfilled.” Then Esther answered, “My wish and my request is:
Esther 5:3–4 ESV
And the king said to her, “What is it, Queen Esther? What is your request? It shall be given you, even to the half of my kingdom.” And Esther said, “If it please the king, let the king and Haman come today to a feast that I have prepared for the king.”
Esther 5:5–6 ESV
Then the king said, “Bring Haman quickly, so that we may do as Esther has asked.” So the king and Haman came to the feast that Esther had prepared. And as they were drinking wine after the feast, the king said to Esther, “What is your wish? It shall be granted you. And what is your request? Even to the half of my kingdom, it shall be fulfilled.”
Esther 5:7 ESV
Then Esther answered, “My wish and my request is:
Esther 5:5-6
Esther 5:7–8 ESV
Then Esther answered, “My wish and my request is: If I have found favor in the sight of the king, and if it please the king to grant my wish and fulfill my request, let the king and Haman come to the feast that I will prepare for them, and tomorrow I will do as the king has said.”
3 Promises I want you to see:

I will see God open doors.

Xerxes allows Esther to come in. This is a miracle that only God could accomplish. When you and I choose to obey and step into a life of faithful obedience, we will see God open doors that we thought were impossible. NOTHING will stop God from accomplishing His purposes.
Isaiah 45:1 ESV
Thus says the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have grasped, to subdue nations before him and to loose the belts of kings, to open doors before him that gates may not be closed:
Listen to me, now: You WILL see God open doors…when you are faithful to share Jesus/witness to someone, God will open those doors. When you are faithfully obedient in other areas, God will give you opportunities, he will open doors for His glory that will blow your mind!
The question isn’t “Will God open the door?” The question is “Will I walk through it in obedience when he does?”
Someone just this week - Thursday - saw a Facebook post by the church challenging us to witness to someone. They did. God opened a door for them while they were getting the oil changed on their car and they led a lady to the Lord!
Revelation 3:8 ESV
“ ‘I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut. I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.
Fill in the 5:9-14 gap - Haman gets full of himself, brags about how much Esther likes him, plans to hang Mordecai.
Esther 6:1–2 ESV
On that night the king could not sleep. And he gave orders to bring the book of memorable deeds, the chronicles, and they were read before the king. And it was found written how Mordecai had told about Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king’s eunuchs, who guarded the threshold, and who had sought to lay hands on King Ahasuerus.
Esther 6:3–4 ESV
And the king said, “What honor or distinction has been bestowed on Mordecai for this?” The king’s young men who attended him said, “Nothing has been done for him.” And the king said, “Who is in the court?” Now Haman had just entered the outer court of the king’s palace to speak to the king about having Mordecai hanged on the gallows that he had prepared for him.
Esther 6:1–11 ESV
On that night the king could not sleep. And he gave orders to bring the book of memorable deeds, the chronicles, and they were read before the king. And it was found written how Mordecai had told about Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king’s eunuchs, who guarded the threshold, and who had sought to lay hands on King Ahasuerus. And the king said, “What honor or distinction has been bestowed on Mordecai for this?” The king’s young men who attended him said, “Nothing has been done for him.” And the king said, “Who is in the court?” Now Haman had just entered the outer court of the king’s palace to speak to the king about having Mordecai hanged on the gallows that he had prepared for him. And the king’s young men told him, “Haman is there, standing in the court.” And the king said, “Let him come in.” So Haman came in, and the king said to him, “What should be done to the man whom the king delights to honor?” And Haman said to himself, “Whom would the king delight to honor more than me?” And Haman said to the king, “For the man whom the king delights to honor, let royal robes be brought, which the king has worn, and the horse that the king has ridden, and on whose head a royal crown is set. And let the robes and the horse be handed over to one of the king’s most noble officials. Let them dress the man whom the king delights to honor, and let them lead him on the horse through the square of the city, proclaiming before him: ‘Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delights to honor.’ ” Then the king said to Haman, “Hurry; take the robes and the horse, as you have said, and do so to Mordecai the Jew, who sits at the king’s gate. Leave out nothing that you have mentioned.” So Haman took the robes and the horse, and he dressed Mordecai and led him through the square of the city, proclaiming before him, “Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delights to honor.”
Esther 6:5–6 ESV
And the king’s young men told him, “Haman is there, standing in the court.” And the king said, “Let him come in.” So Haman came in, and the king said to him, “What should be done to the man whom the king delights to honor?” And Haman said to himself, “Whom would the king delight to honor more than me?”
Esther 6:7–8 ESV
And Haman said to the king, “For the man whom the king delights to honor, let royal robes be brought, which the king has worn, and the horse that the king has ridden, and on whose head a royal crown is set.
Esther 6:9–11 ESV
And let the robes and the horse be handed over to one of the king’s most noble officials. Let them dress the man whom the king delights to honor, and let them lead him on the horse through the square of the city, proclaiming before him: ‘Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delights to honor.’ ” Then the king said to Haman, “Hurry; take the robes and the horse, as you have said, and do so to Mordecai the Jew, who sits at the king’s gate. Leave out nothing that you have mentioned.” So Haman took the robes and the horse, and he dressed Mordecai and led him through the square of the city, proclaiming before him, “Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delights to honor.”
Two truths I want you to see from this passage…Not only will I see God open doors...

I will see God remove barriers.

Xerxes - sleep/insomnia...He will remove obstacles. He moves mountains. I can’t tell you how many times in my own life!
Joshua & Jericho…David & Goliath -
1 Samuel 17:45–48 ESV
Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head. And I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hand.” When the Philistine arose and came and drew near to meet David, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine.
Isaiah 45:2 ESV
“I will go before you and level the exalted places, I will break in pieces the doors of bronze and cut through the bars of iron,

I will see God’s hand in my past become visible in the present.

Xerxes & the book of records…ONLY GOD! THIS IS UNBELIEVABLE, ISN’T IT?!?! I mean, think about this, the guy Haman HATES and is preparing to execute is now being exalted by the king and Xerxes asks Haman to throw the parade!
Xerxes & the book of records…ONLY GOD! THIS IS UNBELIEVABLE, ISN’T IT?!?! I mean, think about this, the guy Haman HATES and is preparing to execute is now being exalted by the king and Xerxes asks Haman to throw the parade!
Man! Only God! Only God! Only God!
You will see how God’s hand has prepared you and brought you to this place.
The greatest blessing of obedient living is the TESTIMONY I have to tell of God’s FAITHFUL PROVISION.
1 Thessalonians 5:24 ESV
He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.
Ending: Maybe you’re at the crossroads of faith. Maybe God is leading you to something greater. That’s our theme this year, isn’t it? It’s Greater Things. In our church…and if we want to experience Greater Things in our church, it only happens when we experience Greater Things in our individual lives. Maybe God is calling you to surrender.
1) Maybe you’re holding onto something that is keeping you from Greater Things. Maybe it’s an addiction. Maybe it’s a relationship. Maybe it’s control in your life.
2) Maybe you’re holding onto something that is keeping you from Greater Things. Maybe it’s an addiction. Maybe it’s a relationship. Maybe it’s control in your life.
2) Maybe it’s deeper obedience. Maybe he’s calling you to serve and be a leader in our church and you’re coming up with every excuse and argument as to why you can’t and don’t have time. I don’t know what that is but you do. You know exactly what God is calling you to and it’s scaring you to death. Your disobedience is costly.
4This is a promise based solely on the proven faithfulness of God in his word and in life - if you step out in obedience YOU WILL SEE HIM WORK IN MIRACULOUS WAYS IN YOUR LIFE. I PROMISE YOU THAT AND I WOULD BET MY LIFE ON IT.
3) Witnessing/Sharing the gospel.
4) Maybe it is to surrender your life to Him and be saved. Maybe there is someone here who is playing a game. You’re going through the motions. You’re good at coming to church and playing the charade but you’ve never repented, turned from your sin, and made Jesus the King of your life and been saved. Maybe you’re at that crossroads today.
Let me promise you something. I rarely do this but I can do it here because this isn’t some empty preacher promise. This is a promise based solely on the proven faithfulness of God in his word and in life - if you step out in obedience YOU WILL SEE HIM WORK IN MIRACULOUS WAYS IN YOUR LIFE. I PROMISE YOU THAT AND I WOULD BET MY LIFE ON IT.
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