Move On!

Series: Who Moved My Cheese?

August Series: Lesson 2 for August 4-10, 2021

AIM:  After studying this series, it is hoped that students will know how to ANTICIPATE change; ADAPT to change quickly; ENJOY change and be READY to change quickly, again and again!

INTRODUCTION:

Who Move My Cheese? is a simple parable that reveals profound truths.  It is an amusing and enlightening story of four characters who live in a maze and look for cheese to nourish them and make them happy.  Cheese is a metaphor for what we want in life.

And the maze is where you spend time looking for what you want – the organization you work in, the family you are connected to, the community you live in or the church you attend!

All of us have an idea of what our cheese is, and we pursue it because we believe that it will make us happy. If we get it, we often become attached to it, and if we lose it then we can become traumatized because of the loss.

 

Luke 15:4 (GNT)

“Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them—what do you do? You leave the other ninety-nine sheep in the pasture and go looking for the one that got lost until you find it.

  1. The sheep was lost!  It didn’t matter to him how it came to be lost – IT WAS LOST!
  2. He diligently searches for the sheep until he FOUND IT!

BACKGROUND:

If we could ask the children of Israel, they would tell us that their “cheese” is freedom!  No doubt they had dreamed of owning their own land, having a house and livestock.  They had been in slavery over 400 years and now God had heard their cries and delivered them out of Egypt and Pharoah’s control. They were on their way to a new Cheese Station!  But now standing at the Red Sea, the Israelites want to change – not a good change but a bad change – and go back to Egypt!  Why??? Unbelievable! Their “cheese” was “freedom,” but the first sight of the Red Sea made them think twice about whether they wanted to leave Egypt!  In fact, they wanted to go back to Egypt!   At this point they are more like “Hem”!  They did not have to sniff out the new cheese, but God simply led them to it.  They did not run through the maze to find it – God did it all!  And now they stand at the Red Sea fearful to cross it into a better life!

In the story of the Red Sea, the Israelites followed the pillar of cloud and pillar of fire as carefully as possible, thrilled with their new freedom, full of excitement about the future.  They were in a maze but God was leading them!  So, what is there to be uneasy about?

Yet as they followed Him, God deliberately led them into a cul-de-sac between hostile hills, to the edge of a sea too deep to wade in and too wide to cross. The way through the Maze

  • may be. . .
  • Unacceptable
  • Unexplainable
  • Uncontrollable
  • Unsafe

Point to Ponder: When things change, are we willing to change? When will you move on?

Point to Ponder: Are you willing to cross your “Red Sea?”    

Exodus 14:10a (NIV)

As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them.

  1. Their CONDITION
  2. Helpless
  3. Hopeless
  4. Impossible

Remember: God will always provide a way leading to the next step in His plan.

Remember: Your CONDITION is not your CONCLUSION!

1)   You may have a “Red Sea” blocking your way. . .your condition is not your conclusion!

 

Joshua 3:13b(NKJV) And it shall come to pass, as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests who bear the ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of the Jordan, that the waters of the Jordan shall be cut off, the waters that come down from upstream, and they shall stand as a heap.”

 

  • You may be the smallest. . .your condition is not your conclusion!

Micah 5:2 (GNT) The Lord says, “Bethlehem Ephrathah, you are one of the smallest towns in Judah, but out of you I will bring a ruler for Israel, whose family line goes back to ancient times.”

 

  • If necessary, God will move everyone and everybody to bring you through your maze! Because. . .your condition is not your conclusion!

Luke 2:1-5 (KJV) 1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. 2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) 3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) 5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with

 

4)   You may be ill or have been ill for a long time. . .your condition is NOT your conclusion!

 

John 5:5-9 (GNT)

5 A man was there who had been sick for thirty-eight years. 6 Jesus saw him lying there, and he knew that the man had been sick for such a long time; so he asked him, “Do you want to get well?” 7 The sick man answered, “Sir, I don’t have anyone here to put me in the pool when the water is stirred up; while I am trying to get in, somebody else gets there first.” 8 Jesus said to him, “Get up, pick up your mat, and walk.” 9 Immediately the man got well; he picked up his mat and started walking.

Luke 8:43-44 (GNT)

43 Among them was a woman who had suffered from severe bleeding for twelve years; she had spent all she had on doctors, but no one had been able to cure her. 44 She came up in the crowd behind Jesus and touched the edge of his cloak, and her bleeding stopped at once.

As He did with the children of Israel, The LORD occasionally does the same with us! Why?  He is. . .

  • Testing our faith
  • Teaching us wisdom
  • Showing us His ways
  1. When you are in a difficult place, realize that the LORD either placed you there or allowed you to be there, for reasons perhaps known for now only to Him.
  2. The same God who led you in will lead you out! 
  3. When you find yourself in a difficult situation remember you may be in an impossible spot, but you are there with a God who does impossible feats.

Have you any rivers that you think are uncrossable?

Have you any mountains that you can’t tunnel through?

God specializes in things thought impossible

And He can do what no other power can do.

Point to Ponder:  When your “cheese” starts to wither, perhaps God is getting you ready for something new that He wants you to learn, know and do!

  • remember: that He will never put us where His presence will not sustain us! 
  • Remember: We have the blessed assurance that He will keep us through impossible times and preserve us despite impossible odds.

Point to Ponder: If God has allowed your cheese to run out – move on!  He has another cheese mount for you!  Do you believe this?

When the cheese gets moved, it is. . .

  1. By God’s Appointment
  2. In His Keeping
  3. Under His Provision
  4. For His Time

Exodus 14:10b-12 (NIV)

10 They were terrified and cried out to the Lord. 11 They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? 12 Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!”

When the cheese ran out at Cheese Station C, Sniff and Scurry were not caught by surprised.  However, Hem and Haw’s reaction was completely different. Their response was to cry out in disbelief and anger.  The children of Israel did not expect to find their way blocked to the Promised Land by the Red Sea.  They expected to reach the Promised Land without any problem.  Hem and Haw complained about the injustice of not having cheese and wanted to return to their old way of life.  We see the same thing with the children of Israel.    

  1. Their RESPONSE
  2. Cried out
  3. They cried out to The LORD but looked at Moses.

Point to Ponder:  When your “cheese” moves who do you look to?

  • Complained about Moses.
  • They looked at Moses and complained about him.
  • Many of us don’t like changes but all we do is complain
  • Clung to old way of life.
  • The “old way of life” was not a good life to them, but now at the Red Sea they want to go back.
  • Back to what? Slavery?

Point to Ponder: Many times, we wish to do the same thing – go back!

Luke 9:62 (ESV) Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”

Genesis 19:26 (NLT) But Lot’s wife looked back as she was following behind him, and she turned into a pillar of salt.

 

Because Cheese was important to them, the two little people spent a long time trying to decide what to do.  All they could think of was to keep looking around Cheeseless Station C to see if the Cheese was really gone!  While Sniff and Scurry had quickly moved on, Hem and Haw continued to hem and haw!

They ranted and raved at the injustice of it all.  Haw started to get depressed.  What would happen if the Cheese wasn’t there tomorrow?  He had made future plans based on this cheese.  The Little people couldn’t believe it.  How could this have happened?  No one had warned them!  It wasn’t right!  It wasn’t fair!

Point to Ponder: What changes have come into your life and make you want to turn and go back?

The children of Israel perhaps felt the same way.  Just a few days ago they had been slaves, then Pharoah set them free and NOW here they are – a mountain on both sides, Pharoah and his army behind them and the Red Sea in front of them! 

Exodus 14:13-15 (NIV)

13 Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. 14The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” 15 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on.

  1. The COMMAND
  2. Move on
  3. When you do move you can find new cheese.

Philippians 3:13-14 (NLT) 13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.

Point to Ponder: If you want to go back ask yourself this question – back to what?  If God wants you to move – then MOVE!  

Change is Inevitable. . .and You Can Quote Me on That!

“If you can’t change the people around you,

 then change the people around you.”  Local DJ

“There is nothing wrong with change

 if it’s in the right direction.”   Winston Churchill

“When you blame others,

you give up your power to change.”  Dr. Robert Anthony

“Change is the law of life.  And those who look only to the past are certain to miss the future.”  John F. Kennedy

“Consider how hard it is to change yourself and you’ll understand what little chance you have in trying to change others.”  Jacob M. Braude

PRAYER PRINCIPLE:                        Remain in constant prayer when you sense a season of change is in the air; only then will you make the right decision about which direction to take or where to take cover.

SOCIAL JUSTICE PRINCIPLE:           Be ready to assist others going through a change; cover them with prayer first and foremost.

EVANGELISM PRINCIPLE:                Share with those who don’t know and remind those that need to know how Christ has changed your life.

STEWARDSHIP PRINCIPLE:               Changes in income can create hardship; giving helps you keep the right perspective.

DISCIPLESHIP PRINCIPLE:                    When in doubt about the need to make a change, always keep your focus on God.

NEXT WEEK’S LESSON: The Gathered Church – The Scattered Church

NEXT WEEK’S SERIES: Who Moved My Cheese

NEXT WEEK’S READING: Acts 8

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