In this message, we learn that God invites us to ministry so He can free us from insecurities.
Hey, everybody. Good morning. Hey, next weekend is our baptism celebration weekend, so I really want to encourage you. Make sure you’re here as we get to celebrate a whole bunch of people with transformed lives. It reminds us how God is moving and what He is doing. We get to worship and glorify Him. And if you’re here and you’re a follower of Jesus and you haven’t yet been baptized, that is your next step. So let me encourage you, sign up, take the class, we can get you all sorted out this week. But man, I’ve never regretted anybody or I’ve met any – I’ve never regretted anybody [Laughs] – I’ve never met anybody who had regretted walking through the waters of baptism to follow Jesus. And so if that’s your next step, there’s a bunch of other people that are doing it next week. Do it with them and watch what God will do, okay?
All right. We’re in a series called Insecurity. For the past few weeks, we’ve been talking about finding security in an insecure world. And the thread or the theme that we’ve been talking about is this, is that we don’t want to live with insecurity. We want to live in security. That we don’t want to live with insecurities in our lives that we want to live in security and security is found in Jesus. And so we said the first week that salvation is the foundation of our security. That when we build our lives on Jesus, the cornerstone, the rock, He makes us whole. And then last week, we said that only God has the authority to define your identity, to give you your name.
And when God tells you who you are, you don’t want to be anybody else. That our security comes from who He tells us that we are and I want to kind of wrap the series up together today. So if you’ve got your Bibles, turn with me to Exodus 3 and Luke 9. Exodus 3 and Luke 9. Here, in Exodus Chapter 3, it’s the story of God calling Moses. You’re probably familiar with the story. He shows up and He calls Moses and He says, “Moses, I want you to go and set my people free.” After 400 years of Egyptian’s slavery, God wants to free the Israelites and so He shows up to Moses, reveals Himself to Moses in the burning bush. Probably remember that story and what I love about this is that God chooses Moses. Moses doesn’t choose God.
God chooses Moses, Moses doesn’t choose God and when you read the Bible, you get this incredible theme that God chooses the most unlikely people. Like He chooses Moses, a murderer. Rahab, the prostitute. Noah, the drunkard. Matthew, the tax collector. He chooses the most unlikely people. You know what that means? That means you’re perfectly positioned to be chosen by God. Isn’t that good news? You’re perfectly positioned to be chosen, to be used by God because he picks the most unlikely people. John 15:16, Jesus says, “You didn’t choose Me but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last.”
And so God says to Moses, He says, “Moses, I’ve seen the misery of my people and I’ve heard their cry. So I will raise up a deliverer, that’s you, Moses, and you’re going to confront Pharaoh and set them free. Because I’ve seen their misery and I have heard their cry.” You know what I love about our God? He is the God that sees and hears. And He sees your misery and He hears your cry. And some of you today, you need to hear that. That God sees your misery, He hears your cry and He will raise up a deliverer for you and His name is Jesus Christ. And He has come to set you free, because He has compassion on His people. He is the God that forgives your sins and heals your diseases.
He is the great “I am” which means He will be for you what you need Him to be for you. He is the God who sees your misery and hears your cry, okay? Somebody needs to hear that today that Jesus is your deliverer and God has raised Him up for you. So pick it up with me in Verse 9, God talking to Moses, He says, “And now, the cry of the Israelites has reached me and I’ve seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them so now go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people: the Israelites out of Egypt.” But Moses, said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”
God shows up, He gives Moses this big assignment and the moment Moses gets the assignment all of his insecurities are revealed. Like who am I, God? I can’t do this, send somebody else. His insecurities are revealed in the assignment. And what happens over the next two chapters is because his insecurities are revealed; Moses starts to make all these excuses why he can’t be the one to go. And the first thing – you can read it on your own later but basically here’s the excuse. The first thing Moses says is, he says, “God, what if they don’t listen to me?” Like, what if they don’t believe what I actually have to say? In other words, Moses says, “I don’t have the credibility for this.”
Do you ever feel like you don’t have the credibility? Like you don’t have the education, or the experience, or the background, or the training? Because I don’t have the credibility. And God says, “All right, Moses, what’s in your hand?” He says, “A staff.” He says, “Just throw it on the ground.” He throws it on the ground and a wooden staff turns into a snake. He says now, “Now, pick it up by the tail.” And Moses kind of reaches out and picks the snake up by the tail and it turns back into a staff. He says, “Now, take your hand and put it inside your cloak.” He puts it inside, pulls it back out, it’s as white as snow, full of leprosy. He says, “Now, put it back inside.” He puts it back in, pulls it back out. It’s clean and healed and restored.
In other words, God looks at Moses and He says, “Moses, you may not have the credibility but I have the power, and I will send you with my power.” And Moses says, “Oh okay, God but I’ve never been good at speaking like I’m slow in speech, I’m not eloquent. I don’t know how to get up and talk in front of people. So God, I’m just not a good speaker.” In other words, Moses says, “God, I don’t have the ability.” Do you ever feel like you don’t have the ability? Like you don’t have the talent, or the gift, or the knowledge like in some way, shape or form, you don’t have the ability. God looks at Moses, He says, “Okay, Moses.” He says, “Who gave man his mouth? Who gave him his tongue? Who teaches a man how to speak?” He says, “Moses, I will put my words in your mouth.”
In other words, He says, “You may not think that you have the ability but I am more than able, okay?” Moses, one more time, “Okay, God but one more, God, like would you send someone else to do it? Like just not me. Send someone else to do it.” In other words, Moses says, “I don’t have what it takes.” Do you ever feel like you just don’t have what it takes? God says, “Okay, Moses. I will send Aaron with you and Aaron will speak for you.” In other words, “Moses, you may not have what it takes but I will provide everything that you need.
And so with every one of his insecurities, every one of his excuses, God comes back around and brings it back to himself. You see, you and I, we tend to not think of Moses as an insecure guy but Moses is an insecure shepherd running from his past hiding in the desert. And the moment he gets this assignment, all of his insecurities are exposed. In fact, I don’t even think Moses thought of himself as an insecure guy. Like if you and me showed up before Exodus Chapter 3 to talk to Moses and we just started engaging with him. Moses didn’t believe he was an insecure guy. He would have told us about how amazing his sheep are.
He would have showed us his award for the best shepherd in the Midian Valley, five years running, right? On his mantle – he would have taken us to his house to make sure we could see them. And then he would show us his baby lambskin sandals, you know, finest in fashion, top of the line from his lambs that he grew. Like he was good at hiding his insecurities and the things of this world. We’re good at hiding our insecurities and the things in this world. So you know what God will do? God will place you in a perfect position that perfectly exposes your insecurities so that He can make you secure. That’s what He’ll do.
He will put you in a position that perfectly exposes your insecurities so that He can make you secure. At like – to think about your own life, right now, like in your job. I would bet the job that God has placed you and in some way shape or form, it’s exposing insecurities. Maybe it’s your boss you don’t like or that co-worker or the assignment or you don’t feel like you can do it. It’s exposing insecurities in your life. Or maybe you’re a new stay-at-home mom or a mom dealing with parenting in the teen years and you don’t know what your place is and you don’t think you have what it takes to raise a teenager. It’s exposing insecurities.
Or maybe the situation or the circumstances or your friends, or how about this change, you understand, change is a tool God uses to expose insecurities in our lives. In fact, God loves to bring change in His church. Why? This is the one we don’t like. We don’t like this one. God loves to bring change in His church because he wants to expose insecurities, misplaced trust to make sure we’re not trusting in a program but in a person and His name is Jesus. So He will put you in a position that perfectly exposes your insecurities because He wants you to be secure. John 8:32, Jesus says, “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” He’s got to show you the truth so you can be free.
He loves you too much to let you stay in the bondage that you’re in. So just stop for a second and think about your own life right now. What insecurities are being exposed in the situations or circumstances in your life? That’s God’s goodness trying to set you free. And what He will do is He will give you an assignment bigger than yourself to expose your insecurities and force you to depend on Him. That’s what He’s doing with Moses. Assignment bigger than himself, exposes his insecurities, forces Moses to depend upon God. Like have you ever been around church people and heard a church person say something like this, “God won’t give you more than you can handle.” Did you ever hear that?
Okay, that’s a lie. That’s a lie, don’t say it and don’t believe it. It’s a lie. God always gives you more than you can handle, right? Do you really think Moses can handle this assignment? Go confront Pharaoh, the most powerful man on the face of the Earth, free two million Israelites, bring them across the Red Sea and into the promise land? Like, I think not. There’s no way he can handle that. And there’s no way you can handle the assignments God gives you. And He gives them to you to expose your insecurities, to force you to depend upon Him.
Now, look in the Verse 11 and on. But Moses says to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” And God said, “I will be with you and this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you. When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.” Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them that God of your fathers has sent me to you and they ask me, what is his name. Then what shall I tell them?” God said to Moses, “I am, who I am. This is what you are to say the Israelites, I am, has sent me to you.”
God gives him his assignment and Moses looks right back at God, he says, “But who am I, God? Who am I that I should go?” And God responds by saying, “I will be with you.” If I’m Moses, I’m looking back at God and saying, “That’s not the question I asked you.” I’m asking you, “Who am I?” “I will be with you.” See, we think God doesn’t really answer his question but maybe He does. Maybe what He is saying to Moses is, “Moses, you are the one I am with and your security comes from my presence in your life.” You want to know who you are? You are the one that I am with. That’s where your security comes from.
You see, Moses is trying to find security in of himself. He’s looking at everything that’s wrong with him instead of everything that’s right with God. And so God responds back to Moses, you are the one that I am with. What qualifies you is that I am with you. I am the great I am. I will be for you what you need me to be in any moment, in any situation. Insecurity comes when we focus on our problems instead of his presence. And you find this all over the Bible. I mean, I love it. Literally every major Bible story that you can think of in the Bible, almost everyone, when God shows up and gives somebody an assignment bigger than themselves, they all do the insecure, not me, someone else, I can’t do this and God almost always responds with, “But I will be with you.”
I mean, think of Gideon for a second. God shows up to Gideon, you know where Gideon is? He’s hiding in a wine press. You know you’re an insecure dude if you’re hiding in a wine press, okay? And God shows up and He says, “Mighty warrior, mighty warrior here in a wine press. Yeah, there’s a paradox, right there. Mighty warrior, you are going to go set the Israelites free from the hand of the Midianites. And Gideon looks right back and God and he says, “Whoa, I’m from the least of the tribes and I am the least in my family like you got the wrong guy.” God looks right back at him, he says, “Yeah, but I will be with you.”
How about Jeremiah, we looked at it last week. God shows up and says, “Jeremiah, you’re going to be a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah says, “I’m only a child, God, I don’t know how to do this. I can’t speak.” And God looks right back at Jeremiah, “Yeah, but I will be with you.” Or how about the disciples in Matthew 28, When Jesus, the resurrected Jesus is leaving, He says, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit and I will be with you always.” The disciples are thinking, we’re just fishermen and tax collectors. We don’t know what to do. Yeah, but I will be with you. In other words, in every situation, God is always saying, “You are the one I am with.”
And when you get that, security comes in your heart and all of a sudden, Gideon gets out of the wine press and with 300 people sets the entire Israelites free and defeats the Midianites. Jeremiah, for the rest of his life has just starting as a young man prophesized to a stubborn and rebellious people and tells them what God wants to say because God is with them. The disciples literally go and make disciples of all nations and turn the world upside down because God was with them. They understood that they were the one that He is with and it set them free.
You see, I would propose to you that ministry, assignments that God gives us is less about helping other people and it’s more about God helping you. I think in church, we bought into this lie that the world is just lucky to have us and without us what would they do and we’re just so loving and we’re going to help everyone. Listen, I think ministry, at the end of the day is about God helping you. Not us helping other people. Because who is really helped in those situations? Gideon and Jeremiah and the disciples why? Because they were set free from their insecurities that held them back. Insecurities they didn’t even know they had. You see, you and I, we want to sit there and we want to talk about us. God wants to talk about Him. We want to tell God who are not – He wants to tell us who we are. And if you come to God and you say, “Who am I?” He’s never going to respond with how great you are, He’s going to respond with how great He is.
And he will say, “Am I not with you? I am sending you then who can stop you?” Listen to me, your life, right now, what’s that thing that you just say, “I just can’t do it?” Like, right now, the thing that you can’t do. Like, I can’t raise this child. I can’t stay in this marriage. I can’t forgive this person. I can’t leave this thing. I can’t handle this change. What is the thing that you’re saying, “I can’t”? That’s right, where God looks back at you and says, “Yeah, but you are the one I am with.” You see, He will never send you to do anything on your own, which is amazing. Joshua 1:9, He says, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified. Do not be discouraged for the Lord, your God, will be with you wherever you go.” Do not be terrified or be discouraged for I will be with you. In other words, His presence drives out fear and discouragement. In other words, His presence removes insecurities from our lives.
It’s His presence that makes us secure. And what I love about what God will do is He will invite you into ministry. To expose insecurities in your heart to set you free. And when I say ministry, I’m not talking about being on a church staff, I’m just talking about living out your purpose that the Bible calls you to. Ministry, it reminds us that our security isn’t in me, it’s in him. It brings me to the end of myself, the beginning of God. It makes me let go of my weaknesses and grab a hold of His strengths. In fact, I would say it to you like this, “Ministry doesn’t need us, we need ministry.” Ministry doesn’t need us, we need ministry and what I mean by that is, ministry doesn’t need us because listen – I hate to break this to you. God doesn’t need you, you need God.
And at the end of the day, He’s going to accomplish His purposes on this Earth with or without you like He’s sovereign. He’s all consuming. He’s all powerful. He’s all loving. God is going to accomplish His purposes on this Earth with or without us. Ministry doesn’t need us and yet He chooses us. And He wants us and He loves us and He’s decided He’s going to advance His kingdom through us, why? Because He knows we need ministry. He knows that we need to have an assignment from Him so that when we step into – and all of a sudden I’m going to pray for this person or prophecy here or try to pray healing for this person or make a disciple or serve or love or lead. In those moments, all of a sudden you realize you got nothing.
Do you ever step into that space and realize I got nothing. Like God if you don’t show up, I got nothing. Acts 1:8, all of a sudden comes into my – like I’ve been – you will receive power and the Holy Spirit comes on. You got a – I need a little bit of that power which means I need your presence right now. And when you step into that space and realize you got nothing, all of a sudden you start to look to Him and take your eyes off yourselves. And quickly you start to learn you are the one He is with. You need ministry. It doesn’t need you. It’s funny to me sometimes; people say really dumb things to Colleen and I. I was telling Josh some of them before and we’re sitting in the back room and just kind of laughing about it. I won’t tell you because maybe you’re one of the ones that said one of the dumb things to us.
I don’t know why, but for some reason we just think that there’s this thing, “Oh you’re in vocational ministry.” It means you’re so different and all that stuff. So people say dumb things to me like, “Oh, it’s so easy for you to get up and do this,” like to preach. Okay, hang out with me for a week, nothing easy about this at all. Every week it’s the same cycle, “Lord, what am I going to say? I got nothing. If you don’t show up – I mean, listen, I hate to break it to you but your pastor – this is more than I can handle.” That this is more than I can handle every single week and so you know what it does? It forces me to look to Him and ministry sets me free of myself every week. And I got to get to this point where I realize, “Okay, you are the one that I am with,” because I don’t have it, but You say that You have the power and You have the ability and You will provide all that I need.
See, every one of us has this thing in our heart like, “I’m not enough. I don’t have what it takes. I’ve never done it before. I don’t know” – yeah but He does and He is with you. He says you are the one He is with. And you don’t know that until you step into the space. And what’s amazing is, is when you invite God into your insecurities, miracles take place. When you invite God into your insecurities, miracles take place. Moses invites God into his insecurity, steps into the assignment that God gives him and some of the greatest miracles on the face of the Earth that have ever happened in history came through Moses’ insecurities.
He goes and confronts Pharaoh, the ten plagues come, two million people get set free. You got parts of the Red Sea, they cross on dry ground, the Egyptians chase them in, get washed away which represents their past and their bondage. Some people getting baptized next week, that’s what it’s symbolism of it is. Then the pillar clouded by day, pillar fired by night, man are from heaven, every single day, water from a rock. Some of the greatest miracles on the face of the Earth came through Moses’ insecurities.
How about the Apostle Paul? Listen to this for a second, 1 Corinthians too, When I came to you brothers, I did not come with elegance or superior wisdom as I proclaim to you the testimony about God. For I resolve to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear and with much trembling with a lot of insecurity. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom but on God’s power. See Apostle Paul, he writes most of the New Testament. We look at Paul, we think he’s got it all together.
Paul says to the Corinthians, he says, “I showed up and I was about as insecure as unsecure gets.” I was weak and afraid and trembling, so I made a decision. I was going to resolve to know nothing but Jesus Christ and Him crucified. In other words, I was going to take my eyes off myself and look to Him and acknowledge that He is with me. That I am the one He is with and because He is with me there was a demonstration of the Spirit’s power which means a whole lot of miracles were released in the Corinthian church, because Paul invited God into his insecurity.
In fact, 2 Corinthians 12:9, God says, “My grace is sufficient for you. My power is made perfect in your weakness.” So Paul says, “So therefore I will boast all them more about my weaknesses because when I am weak then I am strong.” In other words, I think God is just waiting for you and I to say, “God, here’s my insecurity. Will you show up and will you move in the midst of – and God says, “Yeah, yeah.” But instead of us reaching out to lay hands on that person to pray healing, we step back and say, “Whoa, whoa, whoa, not me, not me. Hey, you, come on, right here. You come, pray for them.” God says, “No, I do the miracle through you.”
See, we all want the miraculous. We just don’t want to step into the space that requires us to have our insecurities exposed and forces us to depend upon God. But you got to remember the miraculous takes place in the midst of brokenness. It doesn’t take place in the midst of perfection; it’s in brokenness that God does His miraculous. So what kind of miracles are we missing out on because we’re not inviting God into our insecurities? In fact, the more I do this, the more I’ve started to really believe that life happens in the spaces where we say, “God, I can’t do this without you.” We think life happens when it’s all perfect and I’m in control and I’m self-made and independent.
That’s where death occurs. Life takes place in the spaces where you’re forced to say, “God, I can’t do this without you,” and then He smiles and says, “Great, because you are the one I am with.” Are you with me so far? Sort of?
We’re not sure, okay. What’s really interesting about Exodus 3 and 4 is the entire conversation is a conversation of pride. The dialogue between Moses and God, that’s all pride based, and it’s the same conversation that you and I have with God. And you might say, pride, how’s that? Well, try to stay with me on this. Insecurity is the root of pride, okay? Insecurity is the root of pride. If I’m insecure, it means it’s all about me. And this is why insecurity is a really big deal, why this is an important series for our hearts. Because when I’m insecure it’s all about me. I need to fill myself, cover myself, protect myself, get validation when you are praised, your approval. I need to defend myself in every way, shape and form.
And so because it’s all about me, that’s pride and it plays out in one of two ways. One way is I’ll spend my life telling you how great I am. And I’ll tell you how great I look and what I’ve done and where I’ve been and my trophies and my awards and all these different kinds of things. In fact, we talked a little bit about it last week but go on Facebook for five minutes and just see how much pride is all over those pages, okay? Don’t judge and don’t comment on anything. That’s wisdom, but if you can do it with like a pure motive, just read it for a second and see how much insecurity is there. That’s playing itself out and me telling the world how great I am.
And usually it’s those that have it all together, that are actually the most insecure. We feel like if we talk about ourselves, we’ll feel better about ourselves in some way, shape or form, okay? So, so it plays out in this I’ll tell you how great I am or it’ll plays out and I’ll tell you how lame I am. And I walk around and tell you how awful I am, “Oh, I’m no good,” and I’m not this and I don’t have that. I can’t do this. It’s called worm theology. It’s like the Spirit of Eeyore, know what I’m talking about? Spirit of Eeyore? Yeah, I’m not going to do it today, but you know the Spirit of Eeyore. It’s a good thing I’m still secure of myself, the fear of man. Doesn’t motivate my heart. Spirit of Eeyore, right? I’m no good, I’m nothing.
And you say, “Well how is that pride?” You know why it’s pride because it’s all about you. You are the focus. You are the center. It revolves around you. If all you’re doing is telling everybody how lame you are and how you have nothing and you’re a worm and God just been barely – got you as a sinner out – all this kind of stuff. It’s all about you. You’re more focused on your weaknesses than His strengths. This is Moses. His insecurity is playing out in pride by telling God how lame he is. “Hey God, they won’t believe me. I don’t know how to speak. Send someone else to do it. Okay, are you with me on that?” Prideful people have insecure hearts. And insecure people will always be prideful, okay?
So insecurity is the root of pride which means security is the root of humility. Security is the root of humility. In fact, you can’t be humble if you’re first not secure. Why? Because when I’m secure, I don’t need your validation. I don’t need your praise or your approval. I don’t need to be the center. I don’t need to be exalted. In fact, humility is just having a healthy view of you and a high view of God. It’s humility. Humility is not putting yourself down, it’s lifting God up. In fact, listen to this, why in the church world do we believe it glorifies God to put ourselves down? Why do we believe that it glorifies God to in some way, shape or form put ourselves down? Can I tell you something? It does not glorify God to put yourself down, it glorifies God to lift Him up.
It doesn’t glorify God to put you down; it glorifies God to glorify God, to have a healthy view of you and high view of Him. Listen, the Bible says, “You are his workmanship, His children and He has chosen you.” Why on Earth would you believe it would glorify Him to put down His work, His children or His choices?
If I said to you, I’m going to put down your work, your children and your choice, would you be honored in any way, shape or form? You’d be offended and you’d be hurt. And yet, for some reason, we think, “Oh, man I glorify God by putting myself down and talking about how lame I am.” It doesn’t glorify God. You’re His work, you’re His children, He chose you. It doesn’t honor the God of all creation to say His choice was lame.
False humility is just mass pride. And you’ll find it like it’s just so sad that as a church we should be the last people to live this way. Have you ever been in church and somebody like sings a song and it’d like a special and you come up after him, you’re like, “Man, that was such a great song. It really just ministered to my heart, you did amazing.” They’re like, “Oh well, it wasn’t me. I’m no good and I don’t know how to sing, it was all Jesus.” You want to look at him and you’re going to be like, “You are that good.” I’m just saying if Jesus sang that song, He would hit the last note, you know, like – so, don’t get, you know. What is that? That’s pride. It’s about me again. It’s really not about Jesus. It’s about how lame I think I am.
You know what humility is? It’s when that person says that to you says, “Thanks so much for the encouragement. I’m so grateful for who God has made me to be and that I get to be a part of His kingdom advancing on this Earth.” Yeah, that’s security, that’s humility. That’s healthy. We spend so much time looking at our weaknesses, we forget His victories. We’ve given Adam’s failure more authority than Jesus’ victory. We got to change that around. He died so you can live, yes, without Jesus, you have nothing. Don’t ever forget it. But in Him, you have everything, everything.
See, I can see it in your faces, like this is like kind of when you start talking about grace and getting new revelation of it. Like you kind of sip, you’re like, “Whoa, I’ve never heard this before. This has got to be wrong in church. Like, we’ve been told our whole lives, we got to put ourselves down. That’s humility, I’m a worm.” Okay, here, maybe this will help you. If you really believe that humility is putting yourself down then Jesus wasn’t humble. If humility is putting yourself down, Jesus wasn’t humble because Jesus never walked around and put Himself down. He walked around and lifted the Father up.
Humility is not putting you down, it’s lifting Him up. And what I love about Moses is he goes from this insecure, prideful place to – and Numbers Chapter 12, Verse 3 it says, “Moses was the most humble man the face of the Earth.” Do you know who wrote Numbers Chapter 12, Verse 3? Moses. Moses. If Moses were in church we’d pull him aside and rebuke him for pride. We’d say, “Moses, you can’t say that. You’re not – that proves you’re not humble.” Really, does it? Or maybe all of a sudden, he got secure because he realized he was the one whom God was with. That God invited him into an assignment bigger than himself, exposed his insecurities. The presence of God shows up into his life, he becomes secure which makes him humble. And if you read Moses from then on out, he never talks about what he’s not, he talks about who God is.
And I would bet to you that that probably made Moses a whole lot better dad, husband, leader, friend, why? Because when I’m secure I don’t need anything from you, I can love with no expectations of anything in return. In fact, Moses got it so much that he says to God in Exodus 33, If your presence doesn’t go with us, don’t send us to the promise land, because we can have everything in this world but if I don’t have you, I’ll go right back to being that insecure person who feels like has no credibility, no ability and doesn’t have what it takes. So God, we stay with you, whatever it takes. Are you with me?
Now, real quick, flip to Luke 9. Just real quick and let me just show you this once from the disciples life so you have a New Testament picture of it. Luke Chapter 9, are you catching the flip of what I’m talking about of the humility piece?
Can you see a different perspective of that? That’s security. Lifting Him up in your life, Luke 9, Verse 1, When Jesus had called the twelve together, He gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and cured diseases. And He sent them out to preach the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick. He told them, “Take nothing for the journey – no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra tunic. Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that town. If people do not welcome you – reject you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave their town as a testimony against them.” So they set out and went from village to village, preaching the gospel and healing people everywhere. Okay, I love it.
Jesus pulls the twelve together and he says, “Okay, guys it’s time.” He says, “Go with my power and my authority and I want you to go preach the kingdom, heal the sick, confront demons, you know, raise the dead, all this good stuff. And it’s time for you to go. And in my mind, the Bible comes alive, man. See the humanity in it. I can see the 12 disciples sitting here and I picture Peter – and as Jesus is saying it, I can picture Peter just trying to get eye contact with one of the other 12 Disciples. And finally he makes eye contact with John, he’s like, “John, it’s like this dude’s crazy. I didn’t sign up for confronting no demons, did you?
I mean, this doesn’t make any sense. This guy doesn’t know what he’s talking about. I mean, Bartholomew, what do you think about this? Course you got nothing to say, hey Thomas. Thomas you believe? Do you believe that we can go confront demons? Course you don’t believe that Thomas, you don’t believe nothing he says, I don’t believe it either this time. I mean this dude is crazy.” And Jesus looks right back at him, he says, “Go, go.”
You have to understand how insecure they would to still be. They just started following Jesus in Luke 5, this is four chapters. This isn’t like four years, 14 years, this is four chapters. They’re incredibly insecure. And Jesus says, “Go.” And – oh by the way, don’t take money, a bag, a bread, a tunic. “What?” ,“Yeah,” He says, “ I don’t want you to take anything because if you’ll take it, you’ll depend on it and I want you to learn to depend on me. So I’m giving you an assignment that’s bigger than yourself to expose your insecurities so you’ll learn to depend on me.” What is he doing? He’s setting them free from chronic self-consciousness. Which is what we said insecurity was in week one.
Chronic self-consciousness, he says, “Guys, this isn’t about you anymore. This is now about me. And oh, by the way, you’re going to get rejected and when you get rejected, it’s a good thing. Because they’re rejecting you, it really means they’re rejecting me. And when they reject you, you’ll quickly figure out your security isn’t found in this world. Your security is found in me. And so they go and in Luke 10:17, they come back and they say the Disciples rejoiced with joy and said, “Jesus, even the demons submitted to us in your name.” And I can just picture Jesus being like, “So? Isn’t that what I told you to go do?” “No, no. Jesus, you didn’t get it like the demons submitted to us in your name.” And I can – just Jesus being like, “Yeah, like, when I tell you things they come to pass 100% of the time.” You know? You can pretty much bank on that. Anything I tell you, and what happens in that moment?
They’re set free of themselves because they don’t come back and say, Peter failed, Matthew got scared, James didn’t even show up. The demons submitted to us in Your name. We didn’t have it, but You had the power, You had the ability and You provided everything that we needed. So they were set free of themselves. See, your security is found in the one you represent. And His presence sets you free from fear of man and condemnation of self. And what you need to catch is this, we’re responsible for obedience, God is responsible for power. Success is obedience, not results. And you need to catch this in ministry because if you really believe that success is about results, then Moses was a failure, because he confronted Pharaoh ten times before the people left.
If success is results, Paul’s a failure because he got kicked out of almost every town that he went to, to preach the gospel. If success is results, Jesus was a failure because they hung him on a cross. Success isn’t results. It’s obedience.
You see, your purpose on this Earth, like it or not, your purpose is to be fruitful and multiply. Make Disciples, be an ambassador of the kingdom, a minister of reconciliation, destroy the works of the devil, release the Kingdom of God. And like Moses, he’s given you an assignment that’s so much bigger than yourself. And until you step into that assignment, you’ll never be secure. It’s impossible to find freedom outside of your purpose. And so what we do is we hide our insecurities by consuming ourselves with the things of this world. We consume ourselves with our job and our activities and our school and all this stuff. We hide our insecurities by saying, no to the assignment. Imagine if Moses would have said to God, “No, can’t do it.” He would have stayed insecure hiding in the desert. But because he said, yes, and went to minister, he found freedom.
He realized that God did have the power and the ability and would provide. In freeing other people, he found freedom for himself and that’s what you and I need. We need to step into a space of ministry and assignment God has given to us that exposes our insecurities. And in freeing other people, we find freedom for ourselves because you will never know that God is with you until you step into the unknown. If you say no to ministry, you’ll never ask Him the question, “Who am I?” And You’ll never hear him say, “You are the one I am with.”
And so my question for you is this, is – are you doing any type of ministry like at all? Have you stepped into any assignment that God has for you? Any level of ministry and it can be big or small – I mean it could be making disciples, having a small group, serving as an usher or a greeter, investing in the next generation, having a missional community in your neighborhood, sharing your faith, preaching the gospel, inviting somebody to church. Actually being a kingdom carrier in your marketplace, not just I’m a Christian that sits in this cubicle but one who actually gets up and prays for this lady who has cancer.
Even though I’m afraid and I don’t know how to pray over her, are you doing any ministry at all, at all?
See, God isn’t looking for perfect people. He’s looking for people who are willing and available that want to be set free from their insecurities. And what we say – here’s what we say, “I don’t have time.” Do you understand saying, you don’t have time for ministry, is like saying I don’t have time to become secure. It’s like saying, “I don’t have time for my purpose.” I mean, imagine if Moses were to say, “Hey, God. Sounds really great and all to go set those people free, but I’m really busy. Do you know how much work it takes to do all of these sheep?
I mean, one gets away and I got to go find it. I mean it takes a lot of work. And the Midian Valley is a busy place, me and my family. We got activities going on about every single night of the week and I travel all the time. So I really don’t have time to go and do this.” You with me still?
We don’t like that one because that’s part of the stronghold in the metroplex. That we think our significants and our security comes from how busy we can make ourselves. You understand most of us make ourselves busy because we feel so insecure in our heart. It’s the best way we can numb the pain. And if Moses would have told God, no, we would have stayed insecure. God would’ve found someone else to set his people free because God’s purpose won’t be forwarded. And you and I say, “But who am I?” He says, “You are the one I am with.” “See, but I don’t have what it takes,” he says, “Great, because I have the power, the ability and I will provide everything that you need.”
I am convinced that God doesn’t need us for ministry, He invites us into ministry because He loves us so much; He wants to set us free. And we’ve bought into this lie that the church tries to convince us to serve and volunteer and do ministry and make disciples and lead a small group because we’re trying to get you to do something? No, God’s inviting you to it, so he can set you free. And the moment you flip ministry and stop seeing it as a burden I have to do, and start seeing it as a way that the deliverer says I will be set free, the game changes.
Because ministry is not about you doing something for somebody else, it’s about God doing something for you. And something happens when we step into that space and we minister. The ten times Moses went to Pharaoh, I think he walked away every single time and thought a little bit more, you know what? “I’m not a murderer. I’m the one He is with.” I think every time Peter preached the gospel and struggled through it and was learning how, I think every time he walked away and thought, “I’m not a washed up fisherman. I am the one He is with.” Are you stepping into any space that will allow you to say in here, “I am the one He is with.”
So you close your eyes with me. And there are really just two questions I want to ask you. First one is just this, what’s the Holy Spirit saying to you? Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom, what the Bible says. And the Holy Spirit is here and He’s whispering and He’s moving and He’s trying to speak something to you. What’s He saying? He loves you so much. He wants to set you free from every insecurity in your life including the ones you don’t even know you have. What’s He saying to you? And the second question I want to ask you is just, what’s your next step? What’s He inviting you to right now? See, the problem with a message like today is this is not a message you can just hear and walk out and say, “Oh, I was encouraged to church today.”
No, this is a message that forces you to make a decision. Forces you to say, “Do I really want to be set free from insecurities or not, and if I do Jesus, I will take a next step and follow you.” What is that step? Some of you – maybe He’s been talking to you about starting a group, for months or years and you’ve just refused to do it. Some of you, He’s been inviting you to serve on a ministry team and you’ve just not done it. Some of you, He’s had conversations in your car on your way to church, “Oh, we should get more involved.” Those are from the Lord. Some of you – I really just, just see this picture. Some of you sitting at a cubicle and the lady down the row or whatever, she has something broken in her life and God’s been inviting you to just pray for her and you’ve refused to do it because of insecurity.
What’s that step He’s asking you to take? You see, what’s amazing about our God is He sees your misery and He hears your cry. And a lot of times on the outside, we look like we got it all together, the right car, the right house, the right look, the right kids, the right spouse, the right everything. But inside, deep in our soul is misery and we’re crying out and nobody knows about it but you. And God says, “I see your misery and I hear your cry. And I’ve raised up for you a deliverer and His name is Jesus. Let Him set you free.” Maybe today is your day to put your faith and your trust in Jesus to say, “Jesus, I will follow and you are Lord. Bring me to the end of myself and the beginning of you.”
And so here’s what I want to do, I want to just prophecy over this church today. I want to prophecy and declare, oh Lord, that you would give every one of us an assignment bigger than us, to expose our insecurities and force us to depend upon you. I believe the Lord has an assignment for you, an incredible assignment in this world and in your life. Some of you already know what it is, some of you, God’s going to reveal it to you in the days to come, but Lord I speak forth an assignment over all of us that’s bigger than us that exposes our insecurities and drive us to you to ask the question, “Who are we?” So that we might hear that we are the one you’re with and be free from the shackles and the chains that bind us.
The insecurities of our hearts that we may live in the freedom that Jesus died for to set us free. Holy Spirit, would you come and would you do that? Church, He’s a good God and He loves you and He wants you to be free. Will you follow Him into that freedom?