by Roby Ellis
[Scripture Reading: Exodus 23:20-31]
A. When God led Israel out of Egypt, He promised to drive their enemies out of Canaan, but not all at once (Exodus 23:20-31).
B. When we undertake a great task, we like to see immediate results, but often those results have to come in small installments.
C. The most valuable things we possess are not acquired overnight, but take much effort and patience: so it is with spiritual growth.
I. Israel did not become a mighty nation overnight.
A. God would not drive out the Canaanites in one year (Exodus 23:29), because He knew that Israel could not handle this.
B. There were struggles throughout Israel’s efforts to drive out their enemies (Judges 1:17-19; 2:1-6).
C. God kept His promise, and, in Solomon’s reign, Israel finally controlled all of the Promised Land (1 Kings 4:21).
II. We do not reach spiritual maturity overnight.
A. Growth is essential (2 Peter 3:18; Hebrews 5:12-6:1).
B. Growth requires study and prayer (1 Peter 2:2).
C. Growth requires time (Isaiah 28:9-12).
III. A church also needs time to grow.
A. The church here has come a long way in 69 years.
B. Think of how difficult things would have been if this congregation had grown to such size in only its first few months!
C. The church needs your help to grow.
Never become discouraged when fruits don’t come immediately, because the best fruits take a little time to grow to maturity (Galatians 6:9)