THE GOD FACTOR – BUT, GOD!

Genesis 37:22-44:5

INTRO: There are a number of powerful 2-word phrases found in the Word of God. Phrases such as: Healed all; gathered in; cast out; raised up; pulled down. Each of these phrases are used in context with the power of God. However, there is one phrase used 43 times in Scripture that should cause our souls to leap for joy. That phrase is: BUT, GOD!

This small two word phrase communicates a tremendous message to all who will hear. It is God’s response to Satan’s challenge. It is the bottom line. It is the last word. It is all over but the shouting. “But God”, when viewed in relation to the challenges of life, is what up is to down; life is to death; in is to out. “But God” stands diametrically opposed to the negative roar of the world. The world says no – “but God” says yes. The world says can’t – “but God” says can. The world says won’t -- but God” says will. The world says stop – “but God” says go. The world says don’t – “but God” says do. The world says defeat – “but God” says victory!

“But God” climbs the highest mountain; traverses the darkest valley; and sings songs of victory in the midnight hour. “But God” exclaims “I’m going to the enemy’s camp and I’ll take back what he stole from me!” “But God is courageous, confident and conclusive!”

I’m speaking to you from God’s perspective. I’m encouraging you to put on Spiritual glasses and see things as God sees them. I want you to know it’s not over until God has His say. Stay for the entire game – wait until the last seconds tick off the clock; until the “home team” has had its chance. Wait until the last out is made! If you quit too soon, you’ll leave before victory is seen. I want to tell you this that the jury may still be out in your situation – yet all the votes are not in – the horizontally musically gifted female (that’s the fat lady) has not sung – God hasn’t had His final say. I’m going to challenge you tonight and this coming year on the subject “But, God . . .”  In that book of miracles you hold in your hand, there are many instances where our adversary [Satan] is confounded and confused. There are stories of his elaborate schemes going awry, because he failed to realize that God would have the final say. Poor devil! He had worked so hard to get everything just right, yet just when he thinks he is victorious, he hears “But God!” Let’s look at a few of his defeats.

I. HE THOUGHT HE COULD STOP THE PLAN OF GOD . . . BUT GOD  Gen 38-44; Acts 7:9 And the patriarchs, moved with envy, sold Joseph into Egypt: BUT GOD was with him…
A. Pit  Gen 37:22-24 And Reuben said unto them, Shed no blood, but cast him into this pit that is in the wilderness, and lay no hand upon him; that he might rid him out of their hands, to deliver him to his father again. And it came to pass, when Joseph was come unto his brethren, that they stript Joseph out of his coat, his coat of many colours that was on him; And they took him, and cast him into a pit: and the pit was empty, there was no water in it.
B. Potifer  Gen 39:1-6
C. Prison  Gen 39:7-20  Echoes of his brothers: “. . .now let’s see what happens to your dreams.”
D. Palace  Gen 41:25-32  Notice Gen 39:21 But the LORD was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison. & Acts 7:29 “But God was with Joseph!”

II. HE THOUGHT HE COULD STOP THE PEOPLE OF GOD . . . BUT GOD  Eph 2:3-6 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
A. Perfect  Gen 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
B. Putrefied  Eph 2:3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. 
1. Created to be kings, they now find themselves as paupers.
2. Once were friends with God – now are enemies.
3. Mind once filled with thoughts of God, now has become breeding ground for lust and evil.
4. Once were rulers – now are slaves. History’s greatest tragedy.
C. Promoted 2:6  BUT GOD! And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

III. HE THOUGHT HE COULD STOP THE POWER OF GOD … BUT GOD  Acts 13:28-20 And though they found no cause of death in him, yet desired they Pilate that he should be slain. And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree, and laid him in a sepulchre. BUT GOD raised him from the dead:
A. Pierced Isa 53: 4  Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 5  But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
B. Planted John 19:38 And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus.            For something to bloom, it must first be planted!
C. Powerful Matt 28:18 – BUT GOD! And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

CONCLUSION: It has been said that the words "but God" form the most important phrase in the entire Bible.  This phrase is used throughout scripture as a turning point - a line of demarcation between peril and rescue, chaos and control, fall and redemption.  Thomas a Kempis wrote in his work The Imitation of Christ “Just men depend on the grace of God rather than on their own wisdom in keeping their resolutions.  In Him they confide every undertaking, for man, indeed, proposes but God disposes, and God's way is not man's."
     Part of the problem with Christianity today is that it is too cluttered with the teachings of man.  From America's Declaration of Independence, to France's Declaration of the Rights of Man, our concepts of human rights, justice, and equality, have advanced greatly in the last 300 years.  However, God is not governed by man's law, and He is not limited by our definitions.  So, when we try to interpret God's Word by trying to make it fit with our ideas of what is "right" and "fair", it results in the westernization of Christianity into something that is no longer based on scripture alone, but rather is a conglomeration of God's word and man's will.

Nothing Is Impossible for God
O that men would reckon with God when their situation is hopeless! You say, I am dead. No hope. No hope. You say, I am captive. No hope. No hope. You say I am hell-bent and doomed. No hope for me. No hope. Well, read on! BUT GOD! BUT GOD! Yes, dead. Yes, captive. Yes, doomed. BUT GOD!

Isn't one of the greatest truths of Christmas the word of the angel to Mary?
"Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son."
And Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I have no husband?"
And the angel said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you . . . For with God nothing will be impossible" (Luke 2:31, 34–35, 37).
"How can I have a baby? I have no husband. I'm a virgin." That's right Mary, you can't. But now learn the most important lesson in the universe: reckon with the reality of God! A virgin can't produce a baby. BUT GOD can!

Born in a stable, His mother a virgin, raised in a carpenter shop
His parents were poor His people were slaves, His friends were a lowly lot
His chances in life seemed so very slim, He’s expected to be a slave.
But people in darkness saw great light in Him And hope of freedom He gave.

All of the power of heaven and earth God had invested in Him.
He’s to die on the cross, descend into hell, Meet the devil, take the keys from Him.
He yielded Himself to the death on the cross, Cried it’s finished and slumped to die, in the regions of hell the devils celebrated, We’ve destroyed the king they cried!

In the midst of the celebration footsteps were heard Walking through the corridors of hell
Then the shouting stopped as a voice rang out A voice rang out, a voice that rang like a bell
Satan then trembled as he recognized Him Who had come to deliver His own.
"Shut and lock the gates", he cried "Don’t let Him ascend to His throne!" But God raised Him from the dead!

Don’t listen to the lies and disparaging words of our enemy. Realize that God has the final word! See things from the Father’s perspective. Incline your ear and hear “But God!”
Satan says defeat, but God says victory.
Satan says disease, but God says healing.
Satan says no hope But God says, Hope thou in God!