Harmony Christian Church
Harmony Christian Church
Water Fight Week 3 - Fighting God
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Today we look at an old story of arrogance and pride.  Our hope is that we will all be challenged by the end, to refocus our hearts on God, and what he’s doing as we investigate living differently.  GIVE TODAY, text any amount to (859) 459-0316  to get started (or give online @ my.harmonychurch.cc/give .

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OPENING ILLUSTRATION:

Years ago, shortly after I had come to Christ I was riding in the car with my pastor and mentor Dan Mitchell.  I had gone all-in on Jesus.  We had been in the car for quite a while when Dan broke the silence and said, “Kent, do you know what humility is?”  I was honest with him and said, “no” to which he replied, “well, you don’t have any…”

Ha, man, sometimes you need a truth-teller in your life – someone who is not afraid to tell you how it is.  

That conversation literally changed the entire course of my life.  

Today, because I had no humility, I want to look at 

A story of what happens when a lack of humility is out of control.

We are jumping into ancient history…

Story of Israel…

Centuries before Jesus would come on the scene – the Israelites had originally gone to Egypt during a famine for help.  They eventually became disdained by the Egyptians and put into slavery for 430 years – 430 years they’ve been crying out for God’s rescue.  When along comes a man named Moses – his first 40 years he is the adopted son of the Pharaoh’s daughter.  He kills a man who is mistreating a Jewish man and he is exiled into the desert for 40 more years.  When God calls him.  Moses goes back to Egypt as a well-seasoned older man.  When he gets there he goes before Pharaoh and tells him what God tells him to say

“Let my people go”

ILLUSTRATION:

Have you ever known someone whose power of their position went to their head?  This is Pharaoh.

This guy has only known power and control – his word is final…

… and finally, there is a competing word to his…  

God has spoken and said “Let my people go”

There is something really interesting in this whole exchange that goes on for chapters in the book of Exodus…

God will send plagues upon the Egyptians

for a while, the scripture tells us that Pharaoh hardened his heart against God, but eventually it changes and starts to say, “God hardened his heart.

Look at this list…

God sends 10 plagues against Pharaoh…

  1. Blood: Pharaoh’s heart “became hard” (7:22)
  2. Frogs: Pharaoh “hardened his own heart” (8:15)
  3. Gnats: Pharaoh’s heart “was hard” (8:19)
  4. Flies: “Pharaoh hardened his own heart” (8:32)
  5. Livestock die: Pharaoh’s heart “was hard” (9:7)
  6. Boils: “The Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart” (9:12)
  7. Hail: Pharaoh “hardened his own heart” (9:34)
  8. Locusts: God announces that he has “hardened Pharaoh’s heart” (10:1,10:20)
  9. Darkness: God “hardened Pharaoh’s heart” (10:27)
  10. Death of the firstborn: God “hardened Pharaoh’s heart” (11:10)

Ten times God has sent plagues and instead of humbling himself – Pharaoh doubles down…

ILLUSTRATION:

When I was young, I was a terrible poker player because I believed I was better than I was.  If I was down – I ALWAYS believed I could pull out, so I would always double down and put more money on the table, even behind a terrible hand…

Pharaoh’s hand is being shown to be nothing in the presence of God almighty, and still, He holds out…

Until the death of the firstborn. 

On that night, the firstborn of Egypt all die – there’s weeping and wailing.  The Israelites are passed over as God’s angel of death sees the blood over their doorposts.  The Egyptians send them out into the desert, even giving them stuff – they need them gone – this has been too much…

The Israelites go out in the desert and God intentionally leads them around in a way that makes them look like they don’t know what they are doing.  He says 3 times in Exodus 14 that he is going to harden Pharaoh’s heart so that he might get glory in Egypt…

The scene is incredible…

And this is where the water fight will take place.  God will destroy the pride of Egypt in one fell swoop…

Picture it, it’s night.  The people are terrified, Moses tells them to be still, the Lord will fight for them and God says, “get a move one.”  he puts a cloud between Israel and Egypt.  It’s darkness on one side and light on the other.  The air begins to be heavy as the barometric pressure goes out of whack.  The wind starts to blow, intense wind, loud wind.  Waters part as Moses holds his stick over the water.  He calls for the people to move…  They start walking through the sand of the sea.  

Exodus 14:23-25

23 The Egyptians pursued them, and all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots and horsemen followed them into the sea. 24 During the last watch of the night the Lord looked down from the pillar of fire and cloud at the Egyptian army and threw it into confusion. 25 He jammed[b] the wheels of their chariots so that they had difficulty driving. And the Egyptians said, “Let’s get away from the Israelites! The Lord is fighting for them against Egypt.”

God will tell Moses to put down his hands and the water will crush Egypt.

In one fell swoop, God sets free the Israelites from slavery and completely humbles the nation that had held them captive

All, using their own pride and arrogance against them…

I am reminded of a passage 

James 4:6

6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:

“God opposes the proud     but shows favor to the humble.”[c]

God opposes the proud, but shows favor to the humble…

The biblical idea of pride is a self-sufficiency that is devoid of need and acknowledgment of God.

Pharaoh was the epitome of this kind of pride – he felt as though he could stand against God almighty…

So, can I ask you a question?  

Do you know what humility is?  Are you a person who walks in full submission to God almighty, or do you tend to go your own way and fight against Him?

I know – most of us “believe” in God

but do you NEED God?

Do you live in a  way that says every single thing I have is His and because of Him?

or do you live believing you are the master of your own destiny?

It’s interesting to me that Moses, who had given up on ever being someone of influence became the one who echoed the words of God and brought about complete rescue while the one who thought he was a God, was brought to his own untimely end…

CLOSING ILLUSTRATION:

The other day I was walking through the hallways of the church praying and to be honest, worrying.  Sometimes the burden of a church can be overwhelming.  I was praying to God and asking Him to move and as I was praying that, God overwhelmed me with the thought that all these things that seem SO big to me are nothing to him, literally a blip on his radar.  He was the God who in a night turned slaves into free people.  In a moment he wiped the arrogance and pride of the Pharaoh off the face of the earth.  He, that God that existed then.  The God who existed when all of history was void of sound and form.  That God is the God who walks with me in that hallway and sits with you in that chair.  

See, you and I are not exempt from that kind of pride and arrogance that the pharaoh exhibited – most of us are just not in a position where we could execute our full will and desires with no consequence to us – but it hides inside.  

Be assured of this – either we humble ourselves or God may just humble you…

Humility doesn’t come because you “want to be humble” humility is a result of changing your focus.  

My life is about fulfilling His purpose, not mine…

Jesus said it this way… 

Seek first the Kingdom of God and all these things will be added to you

The God who parted the seas is the God who is knocking on your heart, waiting for you and me to put down our arrogance and pride – he’s waiting to bring His favor…

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