Ex 14:10-12 “And when Pharaoh drew nigh, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and, behold, the Egyptians marched after them; and they were sore afraid: and the children of Israel cried out unto the Lord. 11 And they said unto Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt? 12 Is not this the word that we did tell thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness.”
480 years Israel knew only bondage. They had a home, but they were captive. They were clothed but confined. They were in anguish but beaten. They had sustenance but were filled with sorrow. They had provisions but no privilege.
The choice now was to stay in Egypt in bondage or attempt Exodus. To the Hebrew, the wilderness was an unknown. Are there any guarantees?
We don’t like surprises, but we do like guarantees. God doesn’t work that way. There is uncertainty in this life, but Scripture is filled with certainty.
This life is a journey into the unknown, uncharted waters.
A seminary boasted that they were seven miles away from any known sin. Of course, it’s not the known sins that usually catch people, it’s the unknown ones.
The astronauts that flew on the space shuttle Challenger had no idea of the disaster about to happen. No one had any idea about the trade towers about to fall.
We are afraid of the future because of potential tragedy.
Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
We are slaves, savagely abused by sadistic taskmasters, but we’re still more afraid of running away into the unknown.
You may want to take a chance at the new birth and the unknown, but yet you still cling to the familiar, however awful it may be. ‘Change is not coming, but I’m happy.’
It’s like the two caterpillars on the branch who see a butterfly flying above. One says to the other, ‘You’ll never catch me in an outfit like that!’
God has a way out, but the choice is on you.
Ex 16:10 “And it came to pass, as Aaron spake unto the whole congregation of the children of Israel, that they looked toward the wilderness, and, behold, the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud.”
Exodus or Egypt? Bondage or Deliverance? Misery or Miraculous? Promised Land or Pain?
We all want the same thing, but the process and the way to get there is tough.
Phil 3:13-14 “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
There is a pressing that you have to do toward the mark. You’ve got to be a nutcase in order to take the leap of faith.
The tabernacle was ugly on the outside. It was seven feet tall, but the average man couldn’t see inside. All fell short of the glory. Inside, there was the smell of death because of the sacrifices happening. Yet, on the inside, you see the glory of God.
People say we are in bondage, yet we are free.
The Israelites were desperate, that’s one thing going for them. Before transformation can happen there must be desperation. Be a student of the Word for yourself. Confirm it for yourself.
‘God helps those who help themselves,’ is not in the Bible. That was Benjamin Franklin.
God helps those who need help. He is looking for someone desperate enough to ask Him for help. He will show Himself strong if you will ask Him.
You’ve got to be desperate for change if you want to finally change.
Following Jesus is not a spectator sport. If you want to change, participate.
John wrote in his gospel, trying to show that Jesus was God, not a priest, not a man. He showed that this wasn’t a religion starting, but something much, much more. The stories were all about that.
John 5:1-9 “After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 2 Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. 3 In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. 4 For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had. 5 And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? 7 The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me. 8 Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. 9 And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath.”
Verse 4 is not in some of the modern translations. The people were waiting for God to come down to stir the water so they could get their healing. People hung out there waiting for the opportunity for a miracle. The healthy, cool people didn’t hang out there. The stinky, the messed up were there.
Jesus went there to the back row to a guy who had been there for 38 years. That man had a mentality that he had been this way for a long time and thought he would be the same for a long time to come. Jesus asked, ‘Wilt thou be made whole?’
Those of you that want a breakthrough usually don’t think about the changes you need internally, like being less selfish. Most people want a change in a situation, more money, better circumstances, other people change.
The infirm man didn’t answer Jesus’ question. He instead explained the situation for why he was the way he was.
Is this the quality life that you want for yourself?
Jesus gave him another chance. Excuses stink more than you do. Even though the water is too far, the water came to him. ‘Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.’ Go to your exodus.
John 4 tells the story of a woman from Samaria. She probably had a husband who died or divorced. She had five husbands and was then living with man number 6. Jesus was the 7th man come to change everything.
John 4:10 “Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.”
If we are going to be the true church, there ought to be transformation in the midst of our services. If I’m going to have an exodus, I’ve got to have a desperate mindset and I’ve got to understand it’s not about the rules of the religious practice that will get me there. It’s not about where or what mountain. It’s not about religion.
Breakthroughs aren’t about the circumstances, instead, they are about the change that needs to happen IN you.
Your boat may not make it, but you will. God will get you there. Paul warned them. God sometimes sends storms to bring you to bare bones. Paul said, ‘I believe God.’ Sometimes, God will change you and not the storm around you.
More Questions for Personal or Group Study:
- What is your ‘Egypt’? What are you afraid of?
- What changes does the Lord need to do in you rather than changing your situation?
- Read Romans 12:1-2. What does it mean to not be conformed to this world, but be transformed? What changes do you need to make in your thinking, actions, life? Are there things you need to let go of and are there things you need to grab hold of? Will you do that?
Excerpted from a sermon preached by Pastor Anthony LoCascio.
For the full YouTube audio/video, click here.
If you are looking for an Apostolic Pentecostal church and are in the Chicagoland area, come check out The Life Church located at 3030 Central Road in Glenview, IL. Services are Sundays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 7pm. We would love to see you there!