Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Whose hands are you holding up? | Colin D'Cruz

This message was preached by  Colin D Cruz at Word of Grace Church  Pune, on the 5th of October 2014. You can listen/download the  audio by clicking here

We have begun a 24/7 prayer at Word of Grace. It’s heartening to know that people are praying for us 24 hours of the day! 

We see that we all have trouble. If you are living on earth you’re going to have trouble. John 15:16  Jesus says that in this world you will have trouble, but take heart, I have overcome the world. 

2 Corinthians 4:15- Paul writes our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. Paul was extremely persecuted but says that they are light and momentary. Peter says in 1Peter 1:6- in this you greatly rejoice, though you have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. You rejoice in the hope of Jesus. But for a little while, there is grief. Trials come in different shapes and sizes. Some sicknesses, finance, relationships, our own selves… there can be lot of things in our daily life. If you don’t have trouble, you are probably dead. But in Jesus there is victory. Not the victory that delivers us from bad circumstances, but will deliver us through bad circumstances. 

The Bible talks about three enemies we have as followers of Jesus face- the devil, the world system and the flesh. Jesus has overcome all three- the devil was defeated on the cross, the world is passing away and our sinful nature being destroyed, we can live by the Spirit and not by the sinfulness of the flesh.

In Romans 8:28- And we know that in all things, God works everything out for the good of those who love him. Now why did he say all things? The good things are anyway good for us, but even the bad things are being worked out for our good. He is sovereign and everything happens according to His will.

Romans 15:4- for everything that was written in the past was written …
The old testatment was written to teach us- so that by the endurance of the scriptures, we might have hope.

Exodus 17:8-16
This is a familiar story. It begins with Israelites who’ve been for 400 years as slaves. Moses delivers them mightily and then they go to the promise land. God fought for their salvation. They only had to smear some blood on

First challenge- Red Sea before them and Egyptians behind them. They are scared but God, as Moses lifts up the staff, parts the Red sea and delivers them.
In the desert, god provides for them miraculously. God sends them manna to feed them. They are thirsty and they have water from the rock. But as they go through the desert, the challenge is this- Amalakites are attacking them.

Who are these Amalakite- the descendants of Esau. Jocab was a crook and cheated Esau, so they were enemies to the Israelites. Amalakites attacked the ones that were lagging behind. Just as the Israleites have enemies, we have an enemy who is like roaring lion waiting to devour us. One lesson to learn is- don’t be a straggler. Those are the ones that the enemy will go for.

So what’s the strategy? As Joshua chooses men and goes to fight the Amalakites, Moses will go up the mountain with the staff. Now the staff is a shepherd’s stick, but it was the same staff Moses used to set Israelites free. Using that staff, God’s power was embodied into it. Many miracles were performed by the staff. It represents depending on God- interceding and prayer.

As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning. But as soon as Moses lowered his hands, the Amalakites were wining. Really, victory was in Moses’ hands. It was the partnership, but the battle was being fought on 2 planes. When Moses’ hands grew tired. They needed to be persevering. So Joshua overcame the Amalakite army. See the amazing power and methods of God. Victory lay in lifting up hands to God.

1.    We will have trouble because we have enemies. Sometimes big and sometimes small.
2.    There is a we need to learn to face anything and the strategy is to do two things:
a.     We have to do what we can do.
b.    We need to also be dependent on God. Do as if it depends on you but pray like it depends on God.
3.      Moses told Joshua what God told Moses to write it down for Joshua.
4.    When we engage in prayer, it’s tiring- so we have to do it with one another.
We will all have troubles- but from the scripture we see that God takes us through these troubles to build us up. God can change our situations in an instant, but he is also interested in changing us. We have to persevere in prayer. There is power in partnering in prayer.

In Exodus 17:15 at the end of their victory, Joshua did not get the glory, Moses did not get the glory, but God got the glory! We don’t seek glory- we want him to be glorified through the healing, the provision.
 

Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again),  Spirit filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking church in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that have people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the Great Commission into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service. To know more about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.