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Brave Faith

Pastor Seth Waters teaches on the life of faith and how God leads us.


[Applause] Wow well good morning Westside Church how you doing hey come on how many you excited to be here today you excited okay thank you for that hey open your Bibles to the book of Exodus chapter 13 calm down everybody down how many write for the word of God today you ready for it Exodus chapter 13 is where we're gonna be my name is Seth and it is such a privilege to be with our family here at Westside Church I said last time I was here you know we have so many memories my wife and I of things that happen in this room I grew up in this church in a lot of ways and I remember being 14 years old sitting over in this section right here and raising my hand to follow Jesus with the rest of my life I'm right there that happened right over here I gave my life to the Lord and I remember oh yeah we can celebrate God's doing that you know it's good stuff I remember you know I went to Bible College and came back and interned with pastor Ken Johnson loved pastor Ken one of my father's in the faith and he was brave enough to give me the Pope and let me start preaching some of you guys were there it was about six minutes long at one point today we got three points we're going for it alright but that was back then such I remember this stage I remember sitting right over here and meeting my wife for the first time I hope you guys are married are you married because this is the love see right here that's where this stuff happens it you know get the young adults we'll get them in here later on and and get them that's a love seat but that's where it happened I also remember getting married on this stage it had purple carpet back then but somebody remember the purple carpet you guys remember the purple but I remember we got married right here so many so many great times here at West Science our family hey today I'm going to share a message with you that comes out of my life that comes out of my experiences today I want to talk with you about trusting God in uncertain times how many of you have ever been in an uncertain time in your life yeah here's the deal if you haven't you will be and that's not a curse that's just a reality how many of you know what I'm saying that's a truth as followers of Jesus as human beings on planet Earth we walk through uncertain times you know uncertain times there that there are those times where you don't know what's gonna happen tomorrow you might not even know what's gonna happen in the next hour maybe next week you're you're not sure and here's what uncertain times can do to us how many know they can cause fear they can cause come on I didn't hear it in the house out there you know like they can stir up anxiety they can stir up worry uncertain times aren't always bad times but they are uncertain and it's the decisions that we make in uncertain times in our lives that will determine how we spend the rest of our lives uncertain times uncertain my wife and I had been married for almost 16 years Maria she'll be here later on with us but we've been married for almost 16 years ago or at 16 years now I remember a few years ago we were living in Colorado serving a church in Durango Colorado and we were we were on staff there I had a little girl at that time she was about three years old she was just a little girl and and we found out we were pregnant congratulate don't you love me that's fun stuff right there that's a that's a good thing and so we're like hey we're good we're gonna we're gonna get through we're gonna more excited was kind of a surprise anybody ever surprise baby you nod your head you'll have to raise your you know I'm talking about like the surprise it was one of those were like oh at first you're like oh okay this could be good you know and and we got to the OLT remember it was in the first trimester we got to the ultrasound and the lady had the thing in the with the weird jelly and the thing and she's going like this and she's like oh it might work my wife and our holding hands gazing longingly into each other's eyes as you do it the older sound and we're sitting there and and the lady goes like this sheet sheet she goes oh there's the heartbeat and we're like oh I love we squeeze the hand you know and we're looking each other and then she goes up and there's the other one and I remember sitting there and going the other what and she goes the other heartbeat and I'm and I'm like I don't that it doesn't work that how it works like how does that you know and she goes you're having yeah yeah you're having doubles and I'm like what is a double I don't know what a double is and she said no you're having twins and I remember in that moment anybody in here have doubles yeah congratulate probably know what I know and it's like you're in that moment and you're thinking I've got a four seat car and I thought I was going to be good and and and all of a sudden these emotions and now again it's not always bad right uncertainty isn't always a negative thing it's those times where questions come up these are times where you're like you know I start to get a little stress out I'm gonna have to get it you know you start thinking about life and how those things affect you and it is the decision we make in uncertain times in our life that will determine how we live the rest of our lives we now have a beautiful family here's a picture of my family if you haven't met them Maria and the kiddos and yeah there's the boys there's a surprise twins we had fun with them they made it everything was good uncertain times today we're gonna pick up the Word of God in Exodus chapter 13 and we're coming to grow up on a group of people who were in uncertain times in their lives this is a group of people called the Israelites everybody say Israelites yeah you're ready for his last service we had to say twice because they weren't as ready as you but you're ready for this I can tell the Israelites how many of you know who the Israel you're heard of the Israelites before these were a group of people that God looked at and each said I've chosen you and I've set you apart for myself they were God's people and because of a series of decisions how many you know we make decisions in life yeah because of a series of decisions the Israelites were in this time in history living in a land called Egypt every say Egypt yeah Egypt and this was a place where they were actually serving as slaves in the land of Egypt they had made a series of decisions ended up in bondage and were serving as slaves in land of Egypt they had been there for 400 years how many know it doesn't always get better right after it gets worse I don't mean to probably burst your bubble I'm gonna saying 400 years and the Bible says that they started to call out to God to rescue them and so God raised up some of you know the story God raised up a guy named remember Moses yeah and he told Moses go into Egypt going me with the ruler of the land the Pharaoh and I want you to tell him to set my people free so they can go to a land I promised them called the promised land so so so Moses he rallies it up and and he goes in he meets with Pharaoh he and God does miracles you should go back and read the story if you don't know it but as miracles and finally Pharaoh sets the Israelites free and where we pay our gonna pick it up today they are walking on their way out of Egypt and to the land that God has promised them check out in Exodus chapter 13 we're gonna be in verse 17 it says when Pharaoh everybody say Pharaoh when Pharaoh let the people go God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country though that was shorter for God said if they everybody say they who are we talking about the Israelites we're talking about the Israel the children of God if they face war they might change their minds and return to Egypt now you got to get this picture they're coming out of a place of bondage and God looks at them and he says you know what boy I'm not gonna take him the quicker way around I'm gonna take them the long way around how many of you ever been in the long way around yeah you know what I'm talking about the long long way around and he said it's because because they if they face adversity on the way out of the season they're in they're gonna want to go back to the place of bondage it's not interesting how we do that is it interesting how we well I won't go there yet but they he said they're gonna want to go back to their places of bondage and so it says in verse 18 God led the people around by the desert road towards the Red Sea and the Israelites went up out of Egypt ready for battle now I want to give you some context before we talk about this thing I want to give you some context of what this looks like check out this this map this is a pretty little picture here ramasees in the top left corner is where we start our journey as the Israelites are coming out of Egypt it's on the the northern tip of of the land of Egypt on the coast and and and the Word of God says they came out of Rameses and they started to go towards the land that God was promising them which we know now is the land of Midian are you guys with me that's on the right hand side now the quickest way to get from Rama sees if you if you're really scientific and you use your finger and you do the Deline thing what is the quickest way to get there straight across and here's what we know now because we have satellites that's only about 225 miles but do you see that little drop-off where they start to turn right for some reason that's the point where God turned them around from the quick way of getting there and he led them all the way around some of us have been in around seasons in our life those are seasons right you know you don't go the quickest way to get where God has promised you your you're going I don't know about you but I feel like I live in a world sometimes that's all about getting there the quickest way possible it's very destination driven like well one day I'm gonna I'm gonna arrive at this place and it's gonna be so wonderful and it's gonna be great life is gonna be happy and here's usually our prayers going into those seasons God would you just get me there in the shortest amount of time and and with the least amount of pain with the most amount of finances that I you can do can't we be real about it right can you just get me there the quickest way and how many of you realize God has a very unique and consistent way of taking us the long way around which conflicts with our understanding of what we're hoping God will do why does he do that when it comes to the Israelites why did God take them the long way around let me tell you because God knew them and he knew them better than they knew themselves see God knew their insecurities God knew their their fears he knew their worries he knew how they might respond if they faced adversity on the journey and so he led them the long way around through the wilderness in a place where he could overcome and teach them to trust him in a process how many of you realized God is more interested in a process than he is a product God is more interested in a journey than he is a destination have you figured that out in life he's more interested in who on be than in me arriving and one of the things we must do as followers of Jesus when it comes to trusting God and in certain times we must learn to appreciate the journey we have to learn to appreciate not just the journey but the power of the journey how many of you are on a journey in life ok let me tell you you're on a journey in life all of us are on the journey where some of us are further along than others some of us are aren't less along than others some of us we're all in different seasons of our journey but God has you in a process and we must learn to slow down and ask the question God what are you wanting to show me and teach me today and the question will always be from him will you be obedient again back in 2009 my wife and I had a vision from the Lord to go to San Francisco and start a church we chose the easiest city in America to start a church in which was one you know a lot of fun and God you know what we were there for not almost nine years and God did some incredible how many you know incredible things happen along the journey when you follow after where the Lord is leading you we had some good things happen but we had some really bad things happen as well they weren't necessarily bad but you know what I'm talking about they fell bad looking back on it it was all part of the process I didn't see it then I didn't understand that the suffering was actually equipping me that the hard things I walked through actually were giving me what I needed for the next season of following the Lord and they gave me a greater understanding of how to serve others as they are following the Lord I didn't have that perspective then but looking back God did some incredible incredible things and after about eight years of being there we had a really great church man we were comfortable yeah that's the c-word we work we were comfortable we we were in a place where our church had grown to a great size in the city we were in a building of our own the finances were just wonderful we were we were surviving and not only where we survived when we were thriving we were kinda like man we could just sit back and do this for the next 20 years but then God showed up how many know God has a way of showing up in comfortable situations in that place where we're no longer being challenged with our faith where it becomes easy he has a way of showing up and asking us will you be obedient again and he showed up in our situation he said I'm calling you to a new season I want you to transition the church to a new pastor and I want you to enter into a new season and and he says I'm calling you out of the ministry in the in the church for this next season and into ministry in the marketplace and for it for my wife and I well I won't go into the whole story but it's a long story but we saw God show up and we transitioned the church to a new pasture and the Lord said when we asked the Lord where are we going the Lord said I'm calling you to move to Bend and the story is we ended up back here and now we're in the marketplace and it's been amazing coming with our family back to Central Oregon but what I know is God will continue to show up in comfortable places and ask you just like he asked me are you willing to trust me again see it's easy just to get to that point and want to value that moment but when we look back we must learn to appreciate every step of the journey to get in where God has taken us let me ask you how are you appreciating the journey you're on do you have a mentality it says I just want to arrive I want to get to where I'm going or where are you slowing down each day each step of the journey to ask the question Lord what are you trying to teach me here what are you wanting to show me in this situation because here's what I found out in life if I'm not willing to do that I'll end up going through the same thing over and over and over until I finally learn what God is trying to teach me that was a good place for amen can anybody relate to that yeah how are you slowing down to ask God to reveal to you the purpose of the season you are in how are you enjoying and appreciating and finding joy in the process without being so focused on the destination if we're going to be people who who thrive in uncertain times we must learn to appreciate the journey so God takes the Israelites the long way around he takes them down south and and they take the long way around through the through the Sinai Peninsula and it's a it's a pretty powerful powerful journey if you were to read the next section of Scripture we'll read of some in just a minute here but but but God began to show up in supernatural miraculous ways as they followed him he he showed up and did miracles each step of the way and and you see in a couple verses God was leading them it with a pillar of fire by night and a cloud by day aren't you thankful that God doesn't just abandon you but he leads you and you have to be paying attention but God will show you the right way so y'all I love that I love what we got at God who is present with us and the Israelites experienced the faithfulness of God but then something crazy happens remember Pharaoh the guy who let everybody go he had searched has this change of heart and he's thinking himself you know it was a lot easier when I didn't have to cook my own breakfast it was a lot easier when I had somebody serving me and so he gets this idea like why did I let the Israelites go why did we do this and the Bible says he stirred up all these chariots and his horses and he begins to pursue them through the wilderness and the Israelites as they're walking along their journey they start to hear this Rumble in the background and they look over their shoulder and they start to see the dust coming over the hills and guess who it is it's the enemy they left behind in the last season they came out of pursuing them into the next how many of you realize that happens in our life sometimes and we come out of a season we think we're set free we realized that we thought we were we were letting go of that thing but the truth is sometimes the thing I was facing before will chase me into the next season and I have to make a decision about how I'm gonna respond let's pick it up in chapter 14 verse 10 we're going to be picking it up the Israelites are being pursued by the Egyptians and it says as Pharaoh approached the Israelites they looked up and and they saw the enemy pursuing them there were the Egyptians marching after them and they were so filled with faith in that moment they remembered everything God had done over the last season and the miracles of what he provided and they trusted in him because he does is that what it says no what's it saying they were terrified they freaked out and they cried out to the Lord and they said to Moses was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us out here to die in the wilderness just a quick note how many of you realize that along the journey if we're not careful we will allow our circumstances they determine what we think God is doing let's keep going did you bring us out here to die didn't ye have you done this by bringing us out of Egypt didn't we say just leave us alone and let us serve look at verse 12 let us serve the Egyptians it would have been better for us to serve Him there than to die out here in the desert how many know it's just getting worse and worse quick but but I love this look at what Moses says it says Moses answered the people do not be what afraid stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today the Egyptians that you see today you will never see again for the Lord will fight for you you need only to be still how many of you ever felt like the enemy from the last season is chasing you into the next how many of you ever been on a journey and you you see something happens and it feels there's a fear that comes up again something about the freaking out it's so interesting that the Israelites had seen God's faithfulness they had experienced if you were to read in their miracle they mean God is leading them with a pillar of fire I would like that and when opposition comes in the next season what are they do they freak out but Moses says these words stand firm do not be afraid the Lord will fight for you see as followers of Jesus when it comes to two facing uncertain times we must live by the truth in impossible situations we've got to learn to live by the truth in impossible situation see as a follower of Jesus you're not called to be one or meant to be one who responds with by the fear of what's in front of you you are to live by faith in the middle of that journey the faith that God will do what he's done before the God that the God that showed up before will show up again and God will consistently put us in places that are impossible to watch how we respond to let us grow into trusting him in greater ways but he's close to us and he's with us in those seasons we're called to respond with faith I remember I was I was 17 years old and I was I had been I worked in my I was in high school working McDonald's come on somebody shout out for McDonald's I was working McDonald's and I was 17 years old the Lord I had just had an encounter with the Holy Spirit and for the first time my life I was hearing his voice that is a powerful thing to hear God's voice right where you're like man I don't know who that is and and the Lord began speaking words to me and and it was only the second or third week of me hearing his voice and I was III and had he had spoken to me that I was called he was calling me to go into Bible College I I had I was a senior in high school had just graduated was figuring out what was next in life and he said I want you to go to Bible College and so I had applied at Bible College and I had been accepted but I had to play an application for you how many no application fees this time if you're a parent you know application fees if you got kids and yeah back then it was only $295 today's like 3000 bucks you know for the whole thing whatever it is but I remember it was $295 that I oh I'm going somewhere with this it was $295 that I owed the college and I I remember I was working at McDonald's and I got paid my check was three hundred dollars and I remember I did what every seventeen-year-old does I went to the bank and cash that stinker come on I need some cash in the wallet you know and I was planning to send that on the next day to the to the Bible College to pay my registration fee and I came to a Wednesday night service here at Westside I was sitting right in the same this is where all the good stuff happens guys right over here there's the same thing and it was a worship night and I remember Steve Anderson made me remember Steve Anderson I love vaster Steve and Steve Anderson was up here leading worship as a worship night and I'm down here had only been hearing God's voice for two or three weeks I was still young into this thing and I'm sitting here and as I'm worshiping the Lord said I want you to give me what's in your pocket and I'm like what's in my pocket and Lord goes that $300 you just got paid and I and I remember I said so I said no you're a bitter one of the hos really like Laura what'd you say I was seven you know I'm sitting here in the Lord said and I said that I started rebuking the devil I was like doing everything I thought it matter I couldn't Bend God at the Pat to Bible College and said do you trust me he said when the offering plate comes by I want you to put everything that's in your pocket in the offering plate and I and I and I did something so spiritual and I thought well lord I I do trust you and it was this was all new to me I thought I do trust you but I need a sign you ever done that one like okay yeah I do trust you but will you give me a sign and and I and I'm sitting and I go Lord will you give me a sign and I kid you not the worst Steve Anderson is up here leading worship this happened he's leading worship and he stopped he does one of these hold on everybody just stop stop playing right after I say this he stops her he goes hold on hold on it comes up to Mike he goes you know tonight we're gonna be giving and we're gonna be to having communion to be giving an offer in a couple minutes but I just feel like I feel like God is speaking right now to somebody and he's asking you to give him everything and you said you need a sign and God wants you to know that he's calling you to surrender everything into him and give it to him I kid you not how many you know God is alive he does these this is today I mean this is what God does right and I'm just like oh no you know what I'm doing this whole thing and then he and then they pass offering but I still hadn't done it right this this was God speaking me here's the process he calls us into a place of uncomfortability he he puts us in a place where your your fears start to you know all of the 1s start going and lord I thought you called me to go to Bible go now you want me to put three it's only three hundred bucks but you don't want me to put it in the thing and and then I get a word of confirmation and that's a process and so I'm sitting here and here comes the offering plate I and the music's going and here comes the offering plate and I'm watching it and the Lord says what are you gonna do he says I'm teaching you to trust me and as the offering plate came by I took the money out of my wallet and I put it in the plate very hesitantly and there went now did Westside need my $300 for ministry what it really wasn't about that what was it about it was me learning the journey it was me in the process learning to trust the father and I would say there I can tell you so we could all tell stories of those kinds of things I I could tell you stories other things that have happened that have shaped me and how I trust God but that was the beginning of God moving in powerful powerful ways of calling me to risk again and trust him again and do impossible things again and we just have to say yes to God now two days later of course I get a surprise graduation gift in the mail from an uncle that I really didn't care about I probably shouldn't say that let's rewind that just a little bit let's go back on that there was a family member I didn't wasn't very close to you and I got a check in the mail and and the letter said hey SEF just wanted to send you a late graduation gift I know it's a weird amount but I felt like God said to send it over here it is and it was a check for $295 see that's what God does that's that's his economy he shows up and he'll he'll ask us to risk everything and to go in to impossible situations and he'll say are you willing to trust me again and in those places we will either respond by freaking out like the Israelites and screaming and going God forgot about us and he's abandoned us and my life is over or we will choose to stand as Moses did and declare the truth of who God is over the impossibility in front of me and choose to be obedient again in the midst of impossibility how did Moses do that how was it that he was able to declare truth now by the way did you know God had not told Moses what he was going to do in that situation God hadn't told Moses that he would rescue him yet when he declared that God is gonna rescue us God did not tell him yet he was going to rescue him but Moses got up in the face of impossibility in the group of people who were freaking out and declared truth how did he do that he know who his God was he knew who his God was he knew what he was like.he he knew how his God functioned and operated he knew who his God was he knew that his God was the deliverer now realize he didn't have a Bible yet he didn't have all these stories that you and I have but what he knew was that he already showed up and done miracle after miracle to get him where he was how many of you realize in your life there have been Jesus stories there have been miracles of where God showed up those Jesus moments where you shouldn't where it shouldn't have happened but it did and so it was okay things happen and it doesn't always turn out great things things sometimes one way or the other but the reality is God has shown up in your life and in my life and we must learn to steward those miracles to build the trust in us for what God will do again another way that we build our trust and and be able to declare truth over impossibilities is because we have the Word of God we have the Word of God that is that is filled with the truths of who he is and when we get these off of the pages and into us beyond just our reading but into our knowing they begin to shape how we see God how does that happen can we just sleep on the Word of God and get to than us we MOS this doesn't happen right that doesn't happen you can't just sleep on the Bible I used to know a guy who would tear pages out of I won't eat them it's kind of a weirdo I know yeah it's kind of that one of those maybe not weirdo but you know what I'm saying like you can't just eat the Bible you've got it you've got to open the pages and how many of you know you've got to read what it says and I'm just like you I've got a full-time job I got a family I know how hard it is to make time for this to happen but here's what I know you will either be shaped by the world or you will be shaped by the word and you must make a decision that's truth we must make decisions about what will shape our reality we've got to get the Word of God in us we've got to declare the truth of what he has done over the impossibilities around us now if you were to go on and read the rest of the story you know the end it's so good you should go home and read it if you haven't maybe I shouldn't tell you what happens yeah get into Exodus 14 check out what happens God shows up in powerful ways because of one's men one man's declaration of truth over a nation your words have power and authority God shows up in powerful days let me let me ask you a question how are you standing in the in face of impossible situations what words are you declaring over the challenging things in your life are you speaking the truth of who God is and what he has over those things or are you living as a result of what you see with your eyes may we be a church family here at Westside that learns to appreciate and chooses to value the process may we be people who choose to say Lord I I know it might not be easy it might not always feel good it might not be going as quick as I wanted to I'd lead you're leading me kind of around but may we choose to endure those moments and to learn what he's teaches and value the journey in our life and may we be a people who stand in the face of impossibility declaring the truth of who God is in Jesus name Amen amen thank you that's pray lord thank you for your word God thank you that now we've heard it we are responsible for it oh boy lord help us as a people to be those who stand in faith come on somebody pray with me lord help us to stand in faith help us to be those who don't just live as a result of our circumstances but may we live by what is truth I pray over each person I know there might be people here today who you have brought just for this word who have come in the door and you wanted them to hear you say it is not impossible I am bigger than that thing in front of you and I will show up if you will trust me declare the truth over that impossible thing right now we trust in Jesus we trust that you are faithful put your hand on your heart right now and say Jesus I trust in you in the middle of my circumstances in the middle of my situation I choose to believe I choose to trust that the God who shakes the mountains who created this earth who has called me by name knows me and is with me and he will be faithful we choose to believe help us to value the journey and to be a people who don't miss how you're moving today because we're so focused on where we're going we choose to trust you this week as we go out into our families as we go out into with our neighborhoods and to our friends and this week Lord as we go out into our workplaces we choose to put on a perspective watches for how God is moving and then partners with him declaring truth and the life of Jesus over that in Jesus name we pray amen amen hey god bless you guys it's been so good being with you today you know what hey if you're here if you're here today and maybe you're going through an impossible situation don't walk away alone this morning if we have a prayer team of warriors who would love to stand with you sometimes we need somebody to stand with us I don't know about you I'm not strong enough alone maybe you're here and you need someone to declare truth over your impossibility today come and meet with them as as you would and and get some prayer over on that side of the wall but anyway god bless you have a fantastic week may the Lord be with you in Jesus name Amen

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