25. The Sticking Point

Reading Plan

If you’re looking to dive deeper into what the Bible says about this topic, here’s a suggested Reading Plan, one passage per day for a whole week, based on the sermon:

  1. MONDAY: Exodus 3
  2. TUESDAY: Exodus 4
  3. WEDNESDAY: Exodus 14
  4. THURSDAY: 1 Kings 18
  5. FRIDAY: 1 Kings 19
  6. SATURDAY: Acts 2
  7. SUNDAY: Psalm 46

eGroup Discussion Questions – Great for personal reflection/journaling, too!

Sermon Notes: “The Sticking Point” ⤵️

Preacher: Steve Furtick
Passage: Exodus 14:10-11
Title: The Sticking Point
Date: October 27, 2019


Exodus 14:10-18, NIV

10 As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried out to the Lord. 11 They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? 12 Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!”

13 Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. 14 The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

15 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. 16 Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground. 17 I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them. And I will gain glory through Pharaoh and all his army, through his chariots and his horsemen. 18 The Egyptians will know that I am the Lord when I gain glory through Pharaoh, his chariots and his horsemen.”


Introduction

  • I don’t like to talk about preaching while I preach… It’s kind of meta. It’s a lot of frustration in the Spirit.
  • But… the process of creating something you love involves something you hate.
    • The man found treasure in a field so he bought the whole field. (Matthew 13:44) You gotta buy into the whole process of what you love.
    • Sometimes the process hits the “sticking point,” the part of the process when you don’t want to quit but you don’t know how to continue.
    • Like trying to preach to “perfect people,” people who look back at you while you preach as if they have it all together: Real ministry gets beyond the mask.
  • When you are STUCK your are close to success.

1. Stuck in the Sticking Point

10 As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried out to the Lord. 11 They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt?”
Exodus 14:10-11, NIV

  • When you get stuck, you get stupid.
    • You start talking crazy when you feel stuck.
    • The stupidest decisions you make are trying to get unstuck.
      • You date dumb people.
      • You buy more Bitcoin than you can afford.
  • God planned to take the Israelites to this point: What they saw as a death trap was actually their deliverance. (Exodus 14:10-11)
    • “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” (Exodus 13:14)
    • Be still and know that he is God. (Psalm 46:10)
    • Don’t sleep with Hagar! (Genesis 16:1-2)
  • Stuck–It’s not always bad. It’s just not what you thought it was supposed to be.
    • “Stuck in Chicago”–Pastor Steven shares a story about how him and his wife had to stay an extra night while connecting in Chicago on their way home from Seattle, with no luggage because they had checked their bags. They love visiting Chicago, but they felt stuck because they weren’t suppose to be in Chicago.
  • For the Israelites… Stuck = If we go that way, we’ll die by the Egyptians; if we go that way, we’ll drown.
    • Sometimes we trust God to get us here but not to get us there.
    • Moses trusted God to deliver his people but he did not trust God to get them into the Promise Land, and Moses died in the desert.
  • Like being stuck art the gym–You need a spotter. “I just need you to get me past this point.” God gets us passed where we get stuck.
  • Depend on God in this season.

2. For Every Sticking Point, There is a Stick

1 Moses answered, “What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you’?” 2 Then the Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?” “A staff,” he replied. 3 The Lord said, “Throw it on the ground.” Moses threw it on the ground and it became a snake, and he ran from it. 4 Then the Lord said to him, “Reach out your hand and take it by the tail.” So Moses reached out and took hold of the snake and it turned back into a staff in his hand. 5 “This,” said the Lord, “is so 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.”
Exodus 4:1-5, NIV

  • The staff that God used to call me will be the staff that God uses to deliver me. (Exodus 3 to Exodus 14)
  • Sometimes we get stuck in ourselves.
    • Moses at the burning bush: no faith that God could use him for something great. (Exodus 3:11 and following)
    • You will shrink your faith in God down to the size you see yourself. [Nick: I understand what Pastor Steven is trying to say here, though I think the way he phrases it can be misleading: We need to have faith that God is so big and mighty and powerful that he can use us regardless of our past or mistakes or weaknesses. Don’t let how you see yourself diminish your faith in God’s ability to use you. Remember, Jesus says it’s not the size of the faith that matters, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed,… nothing will be possible for you.” (Matthew 17:20) What matters in who you put your faith in.]
    • Is it how big God sees Moses or how big Moses sees God?
      • He’s rejecting himself before anyone has a chance to reject him.
      • He’s “prejecting” by projecting his doubts.
  • We get stuck in…
    • Our doubts. (Exodus 4:1)
    • Our stories. (Exodus 4:10)
    • Stories about ourselves. (Exodus 4:13)
  • You can do what God has called you to do, not what everyone else wants you to do.
    • This story isn’t about you, it’s about God using you to do something greater than you.
  • “What’s in your hand?” (Exodus 4:2)
    • In order for it to become what God intends it to become, you need to let go of it. (Exodus 4:3)
    • You need to grab what you are afraid of in order to use it for this next season. (Exodus 4:4)
  • Faith changes things…
    • Crosses into resurrection (Acts 2:23-24)
    • Graves into gardens (John 19:41, 20:15)
    • Seas into eight-lane highways (Exodus 14:21-22)
  • “Lift up your stick.” (Exodus 14:16)
    • In negotiations, you can tell if something is valuable if they don’t want to let it go. The Egyptians didn’t want to let the Israelites go. The devil doesn’t want to let you go.
  • Sometimes, the biggest thing you can do, is the smallest thing:
    • Admit you’re stuck.
    • Admit you’re wrong. (1 John 1:8-10)
    • Release it.
  • Where God guides, he provides.
    • But also: Where God guides, Pharaoh/fear follows.
    • God took care of Elijah when he fled from Jezebel and later met him on the mountain of God (1 Kings 19:3-8)
  • S.T.I.C.K. (An acronym because I want it to “stick.”)
    • Do something Small.
    • Trust that God has equipped you.
    • Imagine yourself on the other side.
    • Commit to moving forward in faith.
    • Go by what you Know, not by what you feel.

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