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Experiencing God 2

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EXPERIENCING GOD 2

 

August 28, 2005

 

 

Last week we began our look at how you can learn to hear when God is speaking to you, know where He is working, join Him in His work, and experience God doing through you what only He can do.

We saw that there are seven realities of experiencing God –

1. God is always at work around you.

2. God pursues a continuing love relationship with you that is real and personal.

3. God invites you to become involved with Him in His work.

4. God speaks by the Holy Spirit through the Bible, prayer, circumstances, and the church to reveal Himself, His purposes, and His ways.

5. God's invitation for you to work with Him always leads you to a crisis of belief that requires faith and action.

6. You must make major adjustments in your life to join God in what He is doing.

7. You come to know God by experience as you obey Him and He accomplishes His work through you.

Last week we covered the first four of these realities; this week we will go through the final three.

 

 

Reality 5 - God's invitation for you to work with Him always leads you a crisis of belief that requires faith and action.

God is wanting to reveal Himself to a watching world. He does not call you to get involved just so people can see what you can do. He calls you to an assignment that you cannot do without Him. The assignment will have God-sized dimensions. It will be beyond your abilities.

When God asks you to do something that you cannot do, you will face a crisis of belief. You will have to decide what you really believe about God. Can He and will He do what He has said He wants to do through you? What you do in response to His invitation reveals what you believe about God regardless of what you say. In other words, do you believe God can use you? If God calls you to reach souls in Millet, can He use you to do it?

This major turning point is where many people miss out on experiencing God's mighty power working through them. If they cannot see exactly how everything can be done, they will not proceed. They want to walk with God by sight. To follow God, you will have to walk by faith, and faith always requires action.

God's invitation for Moses to work with Him led to a crisis of belief that required faith and action. Moses expressed this crisis of belief when he made the following statements to God: Please turn to Exodus chapter 3:11

"But who am I to appear before Pharaoh?" Moses asked God. "How can you expect me to lead the Israelites out of Egypt?"

and in verse 15

God also said, "Tell them, 'The Lord, the God of your ancestors — the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob — has sent me to you.' This will be my name forever; it has always been my name, and it will be used throughout all generations.

In chapter 4:1

But Moses protested again, "Look, they won't believe me! They won't do what I tell them. They'll just say, 'The Lord never appeared to you.' "

And verse 10

But Moses pleaded with the Lord, "0 Lord, I'm just not a good speaker. I never have been, and I'm not now, even after you have spoken to me. I'm clumsy with words."

And verse 13

But Moses again pleaded, "Lord, please! Send someone else."

Moses offered many objections. He questioned whether God could do it through him (Exodus 3:11), whether the Israelites would believe God had appeared to him (Exodus 4:1), and whether he was capable of speaking eloquently enough to get the job done (Exodus 4:10)

In each case Moses was really doubting God more than himself. He faced the crisis of belief - is God really able to do what He says? God finally convinced Moses that he was to be involved in God's deliverance of Israel. Moses' faith is described in Hebrews, however, as a model of self-sacrifice and trust in an Almighty God. Once God let Moses know what He was about to do, that revelation became Moses invitation to join Him. Hebrews 11:24-29 describes Moses faith and action: " It was by faith that Moses, when he grew up, refused to be treated as the son of Pharaoh's daughter. [25] He chose to share the oppression of God's people instead of enjoying the fleeting pleasures of sin. [26] He thought it was better to suffer for the sake of the Messiah than to own the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking ahead to the great reward that God would give him. [27] It was by faith that Moses left the land of Egypt. He was not afraid of the king. Moses kept right on going because he kept his eyes on the one who is invisible. [28] It was by faith that Moses commanded the people of Israel to keep the Passover and to sprinkle blood on the doorposts so that the angel of death would not kill their firstborn sons.[29] It was by faith that the people of Israel went right through the Red Sea as though they were on dry ground. But when the Egyptians followed, they were all drowned.

Are you like Moses at the burning bush pleading with God to find someone else because of your inadequacies? Be assured – you are not adequate; God is. God will even give you the faith you need to get through your crisis of belief.

 

Reality 6 - You must make major adjustments in your life to join God in what He is doing.

 

This is a second major turning point at which many miss out on experiencing God. To get from where you are to where God is will require major adjustments. These adjustments may relate to your thinking, circumstances, relationships, commitments, actions, and/or beliefs. Some people think that these adjustments are not major. However, anytime you go from where you are to where God is you will have to make major adjustments. To move from your, way of thinking or acting to God's way of thinking or acting will require a change in you. You cannot stay where you are and go with God at the same time.

Moses had to make major adjustments in his life to join God in what He was doing. Moses couldn't stay in the desert and stand before Pharaoh at the same time. God said in Exodus 4:19-20 "Go back to Egypt, for all the men who wanted to kill you are dead."  So Moses took his wife and sons, put them on a donkey and started back to\ Egypt. And he took the staff of God in his hand.” In verse 10, Moses was still ladling out excuses. By verse 20 he was on the road to Egypt – lock, stock, and barrel. What happened in those 10 verses?

 

Moses made the necessary adjustments to orient his life to God. Moses had come to the place where he believed God could do everything He said He would do. Then he had to leave his job and in-laws and move to Egypt. After making these adjustments, he was in a position where he could obey God. That did not mean he was going to do something all by himself for God. It meant he was going to be where God was working so God could do what He had purposed to do in the first place. Moses was a servant who was moldable, and he remained at God's disposal to be used as God chose. God accomplished His purposes through Moses.

Are you moldable? Are you at God’s disposal? God is not looking for able people; He is looking for available people.

Reality 7 - You come to know God by experience as you obey Him and He accomplishes His work through you.

 

Once you have put away all your excuses and determined to follow God by faith and you have made the required adjustments to God, you must obey Him. When you do what He tells you, no matter how insensible it may seem, God accomplishes what He purposed through you. Not only do you experience God's power and presence, but so do those who observe what you are doing. Even then it won’t be easy, as you won’t see the end product, and their may be 2 steps backward for every 3 forward (as Chuck Swindoll’s book implies. I know, I’ve been there, done that)

Moses came to know God by experience as he obeyed God and God accomplished His work through Moses or through Aaron as his mouthpiece. Many texts throughout Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy illustrate how God revealed Himself to Moses. As Moses obeyed God, God accomplished through Moses what Moses could not do on his own Here is one example where Moses and the people came to know God as their Deliverer. The people were on their way out of Egypt when they came to the Red Sea. They couldn't go forward, and the Egyptian army was coming from behind them. The people could see no way out, but then God spoke.

Please turn to Exodus chapter 14. In verse 15 God said: to Moses, "Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on.”

And in verses 21–23, “ Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided, and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left.  The Egyptians pursued them, and all Pharaoh's horses and chariots and horsemen followed them into the sea”.

And in verses 26–27, “Then the Lord said to Moses, "Stretch out your hand over the sea so that the waters may flow back over the Egyptians and their chariots and horsemen. " Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at daybreak the sea went back to its place. The Egyptians were fleeing toward it, and the Lord swept them into the sea.”

And in verses 29-31, “But the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left. That day the Lord saved Israel from the hands of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians lying dead on the shore.  And when the Israelites saw the great power the Lord displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord and put their trust in him and in Moses his servant. "

Moses must have felt humble and unworthy to be used in such a significant way. It wasn’t easy. There was resistance, but Moses obeyed and did everything God told him to do. Then God accomplished through Moses all He intended. Every step of obedience brought Moses (and Israel) to a greater knowledge of God (see. Exodus 6:1-8 for the rest of the story – as Paul Harvey says)

Summary

God is at work reconciling a lost world to Himself. Because He loves you, He wants to involve you in His work. He begins by pursuing a love relationship that is both real and personal. He then invites you to be involved with Him. He reveals Himself, His purposes, and His ways. If you want to experience God's mighty power at work in and through you, you must walk by faith, make major adjustments, and obey whatever God tells you to do. Easy? No! Possible? Yes!

And don't get discouraged when progress seems slow or non-existent. This transformation will take place over the rest of your life. 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 says: “Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until that day when our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. God, who calls you, is faithful; he will do this.”  Make no mistake, you have been called by God. As 1 Corinthians 2:9 says, “That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him."  Do you want to be an obedient & faithful servant or one who seeks their own way? God’s way or your own way – that is the choice each of you must make.

Let's pray

God, thank You for revealing Your ways to me. Help me understand each one of these realities. Show me how each of the realities relates to my life right now. Do I need to focus on one of these realities? Show me how. I want You to work through me. I am ready to make the major adjustments in my life that You require. I am ready to believe You and everything You ask me to do. I am ready to obey You and see You accomplish Your work through me. Thank You that I may experience Your presence and Your power. Work through me today, 0 Lord.

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