Commandments, fear them not, God does not tell us to do something without giving us the power to do it. Do not go right nor left—move straight ahead. Walk in His way. Open doors bring adversaries. Both belong to God. Open door can only be spiritually discerned. (Joshua 1:6-7; Isaiah 30:19-21; Exodus 14:12-15)
Speaker(s): Pastor Steven Scibelli, Pastor Renaldo Brown
Sermon # 11675
6:30 PM on 5/5/2019
Before we introduce P. Renaldo who is an amazing man of God with an amazing wife and daughter. Wow. He’s been in Africa a lot longer than I have. Twenty years on the mission field in Africa, and he’s going to speak. Before that we have a one minute clip of the Malawi graduation. The Malawi graduation was Zimbabwe, Malawi and Zambia all graduating together. We had 170 graduates but 40 couldn’t make it because of crossing borders and different situations with visas. It’s really amazing that these men have done such a great work in Southern Africa.
Throughout Africa, we have 1,300 students in Bible college, worldwide 3,500 in Bible college in Greater Grace. Imagine that. Say that, 3500. Wow! That’s amazing! Watching Bible college classes and hearing the Word of God taught in their local country. Let’s watch this and then we’ll welcome P. Renaldo after this.
P. Chris picked that music, Superman. Turn to Ex. 14. If you know P. Chris Arman, that music was exactly his choice. Hi, Pastor Chris!
vs. 12-16. In Genesis 12:1-3, God gives Abram a promise. He promises to do something special in his life. He promises to do something very specific in his life. He promises to do something new in his life. God is ever trying to do something new in our lives. Lam. 3:23 the expression of his mercy every day is new towards us. With new problems, there is new mercy. God is always trying to do something new in our life.
He made a three-fold promise: I will give you a new land, I’ll make you a new nation and I’ll give you a new name.
In Ge. 17 He gave him a new name.
In Ge. 46:26, a family of 70 went into Egypt but in Exodus 2, 2 million came out. He made them a family. When God says he’s going to do a new thing, watch out. He takes families and makes nations. In Gal 4:4-5, He takes nations and makes them family. God can do that when he does a new thing.
Ex. 14, God is beginning a new thing for them for a new land. I’m going to give you new land. He’s leading them out.
When God is doing something new in your life, brace yourself. We used to always pray, God, do something new in my life. There is a song in Ghana, Do Something New in My Life. With the new, comes trouble. You pray for the new and every time God did something new, have you noticed trouble begins? Here comes the trouble? Ge. 2, Adam, you got a new wife. Ge 3, trouble. Not to say women are a problem! Acts 13:1-6, Barnabas and Saul, John Mark, new mission field, new call of God, new vision. Let’s go. vs. 8 Elymas the Sorcerer. Trouble! Every time God is doing something new, there is trouble.
1 Sam 16, David is chosen and anointed king and 23 years later that comes to fruition. Long time. 2 Sam 5:3-5, he is finally anointed king over the nation. There is a blessing. He is the king. Israel is united and then it says in vs. 17, the Philistines came up. Every time you try to get a fresh start with God, you make your mid-year resolution, you make your mid-crisis resolution I will never do that again. I’m going to be different. I’m going to be early for church. I’ll never be late again. I’m going to stop buying these diaries that say read the Bible in a year. I’m actually going to read the Bible. I’m going to start over. Every time, every time, every time I try to start something new, trouble comes. There is a good verse for that.
1 Cor. 16:9 Paul said there is a great and effectual door that is open unto us and there are many adversaries. Many things stand in opposition to our new thing. Many things lie at the door. Notice that with an open door there are always adversaries. If God is the one who is opening your door, there will be adversaries. If no adversaries, I question if God has opened the door. The adversaries are proof that God is the one that opened the door. The door and adversaries are both allowed by God. Notice again door and adversaries are both in the plan of God. Notice here again, the door and adversaries are the responsibilities of God. It’s not my job to open my door. It’s his job. It’s not my job to deal with the adversaries. God doesn’t show you the adversaries so that you take care of the adversaries. God shows you the adversaries because he wants to show you what he is going to do. There are many types, many different kinds of adversaries. With an open door from God, there are always adversaries. In the open door of marriage, there are adversaries. In the open door of business, there are adversaries. In the open door of missions, there are adversaries.
It’s great to see those graduates but behind that, there was a lot of adversaries. A lot of warfare didn’t make the video. P. Chris cut those out. He cut that part out. On the cutting room floor, there is a lot of warfare. You got (He’s making the sound of the Superman music), trust me, on the other side of that, there’s a lot of warfare. That’s why he played Superman because that’s what it takes.
With the open door, there’s adversaries. Everything God has called us in, everything God has called us to and everything God has called us through there are forces, enemies, opposition, resistance, things that stand in opposition to me trusting God for the open door. God opened the door for Israel. He led them out of Egypt and said there is an open door. Israel didn’t see an open door. Here’s why. The open door is spiritually discerned. Many times God has an open door but with natural eyesight, you don’t see it. It’s 1 Cor. 2:14, spiritually discerned. Israel didn’t see an open door with natural eyes; they saw a trapped door, not an open door. God’s doors are spiritually revealed.
In Jer. 17:5, they didn’t see the good when it came. In Rom 16:19 they did the opposite. They were wise to evil and simple to good.
Isaiah 42:20, they saw but didn’t observe spiritually.
Watch what happens here. Ex. 14:13 they saw the adversaries. They saw the problem. They saw the situation and in vs 11-12, they spoke fear to Moses and in vs. 13, Moses spoke faith to them and in vs. 15, God speaks a different word to them. He speak forward. Watch the spiritual progression: fear, faith, forward. That’s often how we grow in spiritual progression in our life with God. First there’s fear. Then there’s faith. Then there’s forward.
The Bible speaks so much about fear. We can be scared. We can have fear. We can live in fear. Most of the fear we have is future oriented, immediate or future oriented. It’s about things we can’t understand. It’s not we don’t believe in God but we are suspicious about what will happen. We foresee trouble and mistrust God. Mistrust produces fear. Fear can make you say and do crazy things. Israel was so scared, that torture room that was called Egypt they talked about like it was a vacation spot. Fear does that. Imagine that for a second. The things fear makes you say and do. They forgot the promise of God. They forgot the provision of God. They saw the adversaries of God and were scared.
I like what Moses said to them in vs. 13. Fear not. Put aside, cast down, throw away all doubt, all anxiety, all apprehension. Throw it away and fellowship with the loving God, the one who doesn’t change. Gal. 5:6 it’s the love of God that leads me from fear to faith. When I fellowship with love, it leads me from fear to faith. The greatest love produces the greatest trust. Moses encourages Israel in Ex. 14:13-15, trust the one who loves you. Here’s why. The one who loves you is the one who has opened the door. Not someone who is trying to trap you. God is not trying to trick you and say, there’s an open door. You didn’t see that adversary, did you? He’s not trying to catch you off guard. The one who loves you is the one who opened the door. With the open door there will be adversaries and challenges. Trust the one who loves you. The one who loves you in Jn. 16:33 has overcome the world. The one who loves you in Rom. 6:6 has overcome the flesh. The one who loves you has overcome the devil in 1 Jn. 3:8. The one who loves you has overcome sin in Jn 1:29. As you trust the one who loves you, faith will show you the open door.
I love God’s response, in closing. vs. 15. He says stop complaining. Stop your whining about the adversaries and trust the one who loves you. Go forward. Forward means two things:
1) To pull up or let go, to release. Whatever you are holding, drop it. Let go.
2) Begin the journey; take the step. Faith action. It speaks of positive, spiritual progress. Have confidence in the direction you are given.
Maybe God has been saying yes for a long time and you’ve been saying maybe. This is the great thing about God. When God says do it, he doesn’t say you do it; he says let’s do it. He’s saying let go and let’s go. Let go and let’s go.
There is a great and effectual door open to us. Yes, there are adversaries. That’s a promise from God. Why are you surprised when you have difficulty and warfare? God says stop crying and whining. Let go and let’s go. The one who loves you is the one who opens the door. Trust the one who loves you.
Josh 1:6-7, this is what I want us to think about, turn not from the right hand or the left that you may prosper anywhere you go. Don’t turn to the right or the left.
Is. 30, this morning, we spoke about grace words. Tonight it’s the grace way.
Is. 30:19-21, both Joshua and Isaiah through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit – bear with me. This won’t be long, not more than an hour. I’m only joking. In both of these portions, one is related to the word strength and courage derived from what God has said. Don’t be afraid of the word “commandment.” God will never tell you to do something he doesn’t give you the ability to do it. Who wrote the Bible? The Holy Spirit. 2 Pet. 1:19-21. Who lives in us? The Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit can obey the Bible he wrote. I can’t but the Holy Spirit can. Both of these when it comes to the word and God wants to be very gracious to you. I love this.
We are told to walk in a certain way. I call it the grace way. This morning, we spoke about grace words, the walk of grace. God says don’t turn to the right or the left. Just stay on this path of grace. Jer 6:16, that path will give you rest, eternal paths, the old paths wherein you will find rest. Sad to say, he said this to them in Jeremiah, and you would not. I don’t want you to go right or left from this grace path. When you are on the path of God, walking with God, it’s amazing what can happen. If you take that decision, do you know what could happen to your marriage or your kids or family? If you take that decision, let’s go to the right side, do you know what could take place? God has so many other plans for you that would be so much more successful than that. God is saying don’t go right and don’t go left. God has a straight path for us to walk in, the way of God’s grace.
I remember the book, was it Sit, Stand, Walk or did I get it backwards? I want it to be the way I want it to be! This is the way it should be. Sit is the finished work position of rest. Stand in grace and walk as you are led by the Spirit and walk by faith. The other one is good too but I like sit, stand and then walk. Isn’t that how it usually takes place? You don’t stand and then sit and walk. How can you walk if you are seated? Sit, stand, and walk. Walk means the whole activity of a person’s life. Not just I’m taking a walk around the neighborhood. When the word “walk” is used, it speaks of a way of life, an activity that my life is in, an activity led by God and used by God and glorifies God. This is the walk of the grace of God.
The grace walk. Don’t go right or left from that grace walk. There are so many temptations to lean with the ears right or left. God is saying go in this direction. Go is saying go in this direction for each and every one of us. As a ministry, isn’t this an amazing church? There are many amazing churches but isn’t this an amazing church?
I’m so thankful P. Stevens’ heritage and his life and the life of P. Schaller and how he has led the ministry. If it wasn’t for P. Schaller, I wouldn’t have thought about missions ever. I didn’t want anything to do with missions. I was dealing with alcoholics and drug addicts and criminals and happy to do it. Don’t ask me how. Maybe because I got delivered from those things. Don’t start second guessing! I enjoyed that and he came and preached the message on Heb. 11. I knew he was coming and that he represented missions. I got up in the balcony behind the pillar. I didn’t even want the word to hit me so I had a pillar in front of me. That’s how negative I was to missions. Guess what happened? The word went right around the pillar. God was direct at me. I began to think about missions and he did a lot of the development in my life when it comes to missions. And he’s still doing it and I love it. He’s a great man of God with a great wife and family.
Not go right or left. As Pastor Stevens didn’t go right or left and so many of our churches. P. Chris doesn’t go right or left. God has given him a path to go and he’s in that path.
The path has the word of God and grace of God in it. I’m not going right or left. “I think if you would just agree with me about the possibility of losing the Holy Spirit – this happened to me in 1986 – I’d like you to have this church of 550 people in community 8 in Ghana.” I’d rather have two people with truth than your 550 with a lie. I’m not going right or left. It’s not going to happen. This is what happened to me with a certain denomination. “If you were with us you know how much you’d get as a salary.” It was five or ten times what I was making. I went to P. Stevens and said I was overpaid! He said you’re only getting $100 a month. I said that’s way too much. $25 is enough! You don’t believe me, do you?
P. Schaller and I at one time shared one desk and one phone. That was one of the best times of my life.
There is such a tendency with seducing spirits in 1 Tim 4:1 and 2 Tim. 3:1 demonically dangerous times will come. It’s so easy. This is the way of grace, the way of the word. I want you to walk in it. I don’t want you to go right or left. It’s only a little slight turn. Just a little bit of a turn. “Can’t we say that maybe that portion of the Scriptures or book in the Bible wasn’t inspired by God?” “Why can’t we ordain people of an alternative lifestyle? There’s some big turns and some little turns and they come. They are initiated. I’ve heard it on evangelism and on the radio and certain communications that come. “You’re old fashioned.” No, we’re Bible fashioned. We’re not old fashioned. We’re Bible fashioned. I’m not going right or left.
What happens to a satellite or one of those when they miss their orbit? They blow up. They disintegrate. God’s not going to disintegrate me, but I don’t want to go right or left. He says this is the way walk in it.
This is the way Joshua said. This is what Moses said. This is what Caleb said, Samuel said, David said, Jonathan said and Ezekiel and Hosea and Micah. Everyone said the same thing. There is such a tendency in these days. You know P. Barry, you could at least let the people read the Koran in the Christian school.
Go to hell. That’s what someone said to me one time. I walked into a Christian school class, not here, and someone had a poster with Gandhi’s picture in the classroom. I went up and ripped that thing down. I wasn’t a pastor. What are you doing, exalting Gandhi? “He’s a good man.” Good for what? He’s not good for God. Watch out. I don’t want to go right or left.
“You people are a little crazy with your evangelism. Just pray for people and send them bulletins in the mail. You don’t have to be confrontational with evangelism. You don’t have to pray before every basketball game. You don’t have to talk about God in every meeting, in every rap session.” Come a little bit right and a little bit left. Not much. Before you know it, that decision to go right or left takes you quite far away. Are you listening?
There is so much out there that is even born again. There are born again people and churches and they got some strange views. I went to a place one time and you know what the guy said to me? I said you’re born again? He said absolutely. What are you teaching? He said, I don’t use the Bible. I’m a prophet of God. The Holy Spirit tells me what to say. I said the Holy Spirit is telling me what to say. You are brain dead. It starts with something small. Let me try one puff of this marijuana. Before you know it, you are shooting cocaine in your veins. What is wrong with social drinking? I’ll tell you what’s wrong with it, alcoholic. You say I don’t agree. Then be stupid your whole life. I’m against drinking of anything. These are my convictions and you have to get your own.
I don’t want to go right or left a little bit. This is the Bible, God’s word. A lot of people read a lot of books and they confuse them. I’m not going right or left from the Bible or the Holy Spirit. I’m not going right or left from missions, loving one another, Body life. Just a little. Before you know it, you see men marrying men and women marrying women. It starts with a little back rub from some woman rubbing some woman’s back and before you know it you can’t believe what can happen. You say I liked you this morning a lot better. We believe God supplies missions.
Prayer is the way people change. Prayer is the way finances come in. Prayer is the way to speak to God, not going right or left. This is what God said to Joshua. Do not go right or left. Stay in that path. There is such attacks today. Atmospheric attacks.
Sometimes I get criticized when working in the business world or prisons. You’re going too far with this salvation thing. Really? I can’t go far enough. Not going right or left. Please, we are going in to talk to the President of Liberia. Be careful what you say. Of course, I will. You know I’m going to be careful! Are you born again? I asked. It was on TV, too. We had the Prime Minister and Ambassador of Uganda at our graduation. You know I really turned it down and made sure I didn’t offend anyone! That would be horrible. I want to keep a good reputation with everybody! As long as God loves me and my wife loves me I’m not too concerned.
Let’s not go to the right or to the left. This is the way; walk ye in it. This is God’s word. This is God’s mission, God’s Holy Spirit. This is God. This is his plan, purpose. I’m not going to go right or left.
God, keep me in that path. Keep me in the grace way not just the grace words. Keep me in the way of grace. Don’t let me be seduced by good things. Some of the good things are pretty evil. Let’s be people that keep walking in the path of grace.
Please enjoy these sermon notes from the messages preached at Greater Grace Church in Baltimore. These notes are provided to aid in your study and understanding of the Word. Note that these notes do not represent complete, word-for-word transcriptions. Also, they may contain omissions as well as some errors in spelling and structure, etc., as we attempt to provide them as soon as possible. Our hope is that these notes serve as a way to help you search and connect with messages on related subjects and passages. Thank you for your interest in the ministry of Greater Grace.