Faithlife Sermons

No Excuses! God is Enough!

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I can't do this! The Great I Am responds to Moses' excuses for not obeying God's mission. Because it's His Call and His Mission, His grace and strength will be enough to fulfill His plan for His glory!

REFLECTION: 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
SERMON: Exodus 3:10-4:17
BENEDICTION: 1 Corinthians 15:58
Last week we ended with that very direct call. God’s solution to Israel’s problem was going to be worked out, here on earth, through a human being.
In fact, God’s purposes, in relation to our world, are generally accomplished by the agency of man.
This is God’s plan of raising humanity—wise—loving
In todays’ text we see this back and forth between Moses and God. Although C. S. Lewis described himself as a ‘most reluctant’ convert; the fact is, there may have been no more reluctant convert in the recorded pages of history than Moses.
God has announced his plan to deal with the oppression of His people…it involves sending Moses.
Last week we quoted one writer who said it well:
It appears most remarkable that God did not personally execute what He had personally conceived. The thinking was His, so was the love; all the spiritual side of the case belonged exclusively to God; yet He calls a shepherd, a lonely and unfriended man, to work out—with much pain, and through a long series of disappointments—this great deliverance…Even though it seems that He Himself might have accomplished with a word.
This is the same God that created the earth in 6 days and on the 7th day set the tone for sabbath rest.
The is the same God that with the span of his hand placed the stars, the planets, the systems that we have yet to reach, all in space.
This is the same God that breathed into clay that was fashioned in His own image…and life came forth.
This is the that CAN do ANYTHING, but CHOOSES to do MOST THINGS through the PEOPLE HE CREATED!
---It’s His Call…His Pleasure…we who are the Church - those of us who have come to God in his terms - by grace which brought about repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His shed blood - we exist for HIS glory…it’s in HIM that we LIVE, AND MOVE, AND HAVE OUR BEING!
Wouldn’t it be great if we were God’s YES MEN & WOMEN…his YES BOYS & GIRLS all the time?
I’ll say yes, Lord, yes to your will and to your way
I’ll say yes, Lord, yes I will trust you and obey
When your Spirit speaks to me, with my whole heart I’ll agree
And my answer will be yes, Lord, yes
Let’s take a look at some of the reasons that Moses was hesitant, even argumentative, to just say yes!
The Lord says in verse 10 of Chapter 3...
Exodus 3:10 ESV
10 Come, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.”
And Moses says…”BUT”

I can’t…I’m a nobody! (Credentials)

Exodus 3:11-12
It looks like humility…I would still contend that this is birthed in humility…but when humility weighs so much that it keeps us from moving forward in obedience, it has been weaponized by the enemy.
It is entirely possible that Moses is imagining the need of a social position to get an audience with Pharaoh.
Pharaoh won’t meet with someone like me..
Yet the Biblical narrative…all the way up today in history is replete with God using people that society and the cultural elite would bypass.
Moses had neither the ability or the reputation on his own to do what needed to be done - to go and speak to the most powerful man that seems to hold the power to this great nation’s freedom.
THINK ABOUT IT - They’ve already exchanged names, now Moses says, “I’m a nobody”...
Doesn’t this seem a bit counter intuitive though? Normally we lead off our self-introductions with an acknowledgment of who/what we are...
Hi, I’m Chad. I’m a husband of more than 20 years, Father to 5 children, Pastor & Elder at Grace Covenant Church…I am ___.
You’ll know that I am with you by the fact that my will is accomplished!
This sounds strange—it looks as though God is saying, The proof I’ll redeem my people is that I’ll redeem my people! But perhaps God is saying, The sign that I am God is that I will save my people.

I can’t…I don’t know what to say! (Content)

Exodus 3:13-22
Moses says, If I go…and say you sent me…and they ask a question about your identity, what shall I say about that?
GOD’S RESPONSE: I’ve already taken of that!
Exodus 3:14 ESV
14 God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I am has sent me to you.’ ”
Again, we say, “I am…something”. God says I AM! I will not be qualified by anything but myself.
He is a personal God.
He is independent.
Superior to all the gods of the Egyptians
Notice what else God tells Moses
Go get the elders of Israel
Say to them, the LORD - the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob has sent you
Tell them I’ve seen them, I know what’s been done to them in Egypt
Tell them I will deliver them…from Egypt TO a land flowing with milk and honey!
They’ll listen
Then go to Pharaoh with the elders and tell him that I have met with you all
TELL him to let you go on 3-days journey into the wilderness to sacrifice to the LORD OUR GOD there.
But know this…he won’t let you go unless I compel him with my mighty hand
(v20) So I will stretch out my hand and strike Egypt with wonders. After that, he’ll let you go.
You’ll actually leave Egypt with the finest silver, gold, and clothing from the Egyptians!
Moses said, what exactly am I going to say, the LORD responds with the motive, the mission, the method, the means, and the moment of completion.
Years ago, when I was working for a para church ministry, one of our projects was the development of a resource for teens at tweens.
We had an opportunity to send someone on our Video Production team to a secular youth marketing conference where the president of Viacom was speaking (Viacom owned MTV & Nickelodeon at the time.)
You say, what business would you have sending a Christian to an event like that.
Well besides the obvious trade-specific benefit, the enemy was literally going to spread his plans out for us to view…why would we miss that
Kevin came back and summed it up this way, “We want to hook them with Nickelodeon so we can own them with MTV”. “hook” “own”
No real shock…just taken aback that it was so blatant without trying to disguise it. This was a little more than 10 years ago. The iPhone had just come out (if you can imagine a time without it, young people) and was being tested in organizations by a handful of people.
Did you know that one of the major reasons that people say they don’t share their faith, is because they don’t know WHAT to say…we’ll come back to that in a bit.

I can’t…no one will listen! (No Converts)

Exodus 4:1–9 ESV
1 Then Moses answered, “But behold, they will not believe me or listen to my voice, for they will say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you.’ ” 2 The Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?” He said, “A staff.” 3 And he said, “Throw it on the ground.” So he threw it on the ground, and it became a serpent, and Moses ran from it. 4 But the Lord said to Moses, “Put out your hand and catch it by the tail”—so he put out his hand and caught it, and it became a staff in his hand— 5 “that they may believe that the Lord, the God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has appeared to you.” 6 Again, the Lord said to him, “Put your hand inside your cloak.” And he put his hand inside his cloak, and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous like snow. 7 Then God said, “Put your hand back inside your cloak.” So he put his hand back inside his cloak, and when he took it out, behold, it was restored like the rest of his flesh. 8 “If they will not believe you,” God said, “or listen to the first sign, they may believe the latter sign. 9 If they will not believe even these two signs or listen to your voice, you shall take some water from the Nile and pour it on the dry ground, and the water that you shall take from the Nile will become blood on the dry ground.”
GOD’S RESPONSE: What’s that in your hand?
- throws his staff on the ground - it becomes a snake…picks it up again
- put your hand over year heart - it became leprous, then was healed
- then he mentions turning the water to blood (remember how special the Nile was to the Egyptians)
These signs are not mere tricks that Moses can perform at will to grab a crowd. They are God’s salvation and judgment in miniature.
Remember, though, the real sign will be the exodus itself, plagues included. This will be the sign for future generations of the identity of God, and this will be the event that shapes the identity of his people
What’s your thing? Whatever it is, God can use it for His glory!
You might be like the little boy who has the barley loaves and fish…enough for you for a bit on its own. But in the hands of Jesus, multiplied to bless others and draw them to himself.
God is said to Moses, “I will display signs and wonders so that they might believe that I sent you.”
God says to us, “Your salvation is the sign and wonder for people to see today.
SONG “What a wonderful change has come over me!”

I can’t…I don’t know how to say it…I won’t say it well! (Communication Skills/Clarity)

Exodus 4:10–12 ESV
10 But Moses said to the Lord, “Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue.” 11 Then the Lord said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? 12 Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak.”
God says: I give words. I give hearing. I give insight.
It’s true that Moses can’t speak well and it’s true that the people don’t listen well. But God gives words and God gives hearing. God opens blind eyes to see the truth.
1 Corinthians 2:1–5 ESV
1 And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. 2 For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3 And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, 4 and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
You may recall Paul’s pray request in Colossian 4. Lord, open a door…Lord, open their heart…Lord, open my mouth…to declare the message of the LORD JESUS CHRIST!
It’s a prayer the LORD always answers in the affirmative…you might stumble, bumble, and fumble…but God can still use YOU.
God gives words, he still gives hearing to those He’s drawing, and He will give insight to all who seek Him while He may be found.

I can’t…send someone else! (Commitment)

Exodus 4:13–17 ESV
13 But he said, “Oh, my Lord, please send someone else.” 14 Then the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses and he said, “Is there not Aaron, your brother, the Levite? I know that he can speak well. Behold, he is coming out to meet you, and when he sees you, he will be glad in his heart. 15 You shall speak to him and put the words in his mouth, and I will be with your mouth and with his mouth and will teach you both what to do. 16 He shall speak for you to the people, and he shall be your mouth, and you shall be as God to him. 17 And take in your hand this staff, with which you shall do the signs.”
Moses makes one more attempt to avoid the task; this time, he provokes God’s anger (v 14), by asking God to send someone else (v 13).
(Even though I’ve already said that I will be with you…it is not good for you to go alone.)
No, says God. You must go. But God graciously allows Moses to take his brother as his spokesperson (v 14–17)
Aaron can go with you. I have someone near you that can make up for your weaknesses.
BROTHER OR SISTER IN CHRIST - be encouraged this morning. You don’t have to reach the world for Jesus by yourself. Look around - we’re in this together.
One modern-day songwriter wrote it this way:
I need you You need me We’re all a part of God’s body
Stand with me Agree with me We’re all a part of God’s body
It is His will that every need be supplied
You are important to me I need you to survive
Interesting but not extraordinary that Moses would argue with God. WE know what God wants from us, but we constantly put up excuses.
But you know what is extraordinary?…God’s patience.
2 Peter 3:9 ESV
9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.


It’s not just a reluctant conversion story here. That’s fascinating, but may not resonate with too many in the room…though a majority of us likely didn’t wholly surrender and put our faith and trust in the LORD Jesus Christ the VERY FIRST TIME WE WERE CONFRONTED WITH THE GOSPEL.
There are many of us who are likely reluctant in our work to fulfill God’s mission for our lives through our witness, our worship, our investment and commitment in and through the local church.
The lessons we see in this exchange can be applied to so many of areas of our reluctance as New Testament disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ…can I focus on the one that will be no surprise to you?
It seems like we have our reasons…for not sharing the gospel.

1. That’s not my calling…who am I?

but the LORD says, you are not alone. I have saved you…I am with you. I will never leave nor forsake you.

2. I’m not sure I know what to say! It’s God’s message - not ours! I’ve got just the book for you!

Get in the Word so the Word can get into you.
Get in a group, we have them here for all ages. We’re studying God’s Word using a tool called (of all things) The Gospel Project! Imagine that.
You can communicate clearly the good news…but not accidentally.
Recently a famous Christian artist was asked in an interview to explain his understanding of the gospel.
And this was his answer: What a great question. I guess probably . . . my instinct is to say that it’s Jesus coming, living, dying, and being resurrected and his inaugurating the already and not yet of all things being restored to himself . . . and that happening by way of himself . . . the being made right of all things . . . that process both beginning and being a reality in the lives and hearts of believers, and yet a day coming when it will be more fully realized. But the good news, the gospel, the speaking of the good news, I would say is the news, I would say is the news of his kingdom coming, the inaugurating of his kingdom coming . . . that’s my instinct.
The writer noted that this artist seems genuine. Obviously loved the LORD, knew about many theological truths, and longed to be sincere in his expression of the faith…but it was unclear.
To be effective witnesses we must work at gospel clarity! We must work at being able to take what we know in our heads and hearts and clearly express it out of our mouths.
Some things to help you intentionally with clarity:
Memorize a few Scriptures that sum up the key components of the gospel (Romans 3:23–24; 5:8–9 or Ephesians 2:8–9 or 1 Corinthians 15:1–5). But don’t just memorize these verses; spend time meditating on them noting how they communicate each element of the gospel (God as creator, man’s sin, God’s judgment, Jesus’s sacrifice and resurrection, repentance and faith).
Learn a gospel presentation! You may have avoided them because they sound canned and you want to be more organic and spontaneous than that. The problem is your instinct won’t lead to clarity.
Benefits: they’ll help you wrestle with the logic of the gospel
they’ll help you remember key verses better…conversationally.
they’ll put different tools in your resources so that you can be “always ready to give an answer for the reason for the hope that you have...”
(PICK UP ANY OF THE LITTLE PRESENTATION BOOKLETS IN THE BACK ON THE WAY OUT) I RECOMMEND “WHAT IS THE GOSPEL?” to help give you the “why” and think through explaining this to an unchurched person

3. No one will listen to me!

It’s the LORD’s job to save…it’s our job to through out the lifeline! That’s not up to you…it’s up to Him!
John 6:44 ESV
44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.

4. What if I don’t do it perfectly? Your less-than-perfect evangelism is better than your no-evangelism.

1 Corinthians 4:2 ESV
2 Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful.

5. I just can’t…send someone else. I’ll send someone with you!

You know 2 words that don’t go together? “No” and “LORD”
Saying yes to Jesus means leaning in to all the demands of the Gospel. It also means being welcomed in to the family of God - the local church. There is no example in Scripture of a thriving, obedient disciple-making-disciple of our LORD that is not a vibrant part of a local church!
Lack of credentials? No, you’ve been personally commissioned by the LORD Himself!
Lack of content? Get into the Word…it will get into you!
Lack of converts? That’s the LORD’s job!
Lack of communication skills? You weren’t wooed by a complex presentation of Christianese…make the effort, discipline yourself, practice CLARITY
Lack of commitment? Well that’s a problem, friend. God’s has provided everything you need...
His Power - He is with you!
2 Peter 1:3 ESV
3 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence,
His Church - You are not alone!
Hebrews 10:24–25 ESV
24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
Who is near you but far from Jesus?
Don’t come to the conclusion - well Moses got away with it! Come to the realization, God’s will is perfect, give way to Him! Don’t resist Him, trust Him, delight in Him and His way.
Proverbs 18:10 ESV
10 The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe.
Whatever troubles you face, whatever is standing in your way of obeying the LORD, don’t make excuses…say YES to the I AM! Find refuge in the LORD JESUS CHRIST TODAY...
Say Yes, to His will and to His way. Trust Him and Obey.
As His Spirit speaks to you this morning, agree with your whole heart!
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