Walking with God # 1
Today were going to be starting a new series what I’ve entitled “WALKING WITH GOD.” This first teaching in this series “WALKING WITH GOD” is called “GOING BACK TO THE BEGINNING.” This whole series is about “Finding the Answers to Your Needs IN THE PRESENCE GOD.”
I) When we talk about something that we are to do, our first thought is why, what are the benefits?
A) Many times after being offered a job, people will respond, “What are the benefits?” We want to know what’s in it for us.
1) Most people don’t seem to realize they are missing a greater source of benefits then they could possibly imagine and that is the benefits that come from living and abiding in the presence of Almighty God.
a) Everything you could ever want or need can be found in the presence of the Lord.
(i) You need healing? You’ll find it in His Presence.
(ii) You need provision? You’ll find it in His Presence.
b) Every good thing anyone could possibly desire is waiting for that person in the presence of a loving, holy God. It’s that simple. Yet there are so many believers that miss this powerful truth.
(i) It is truly amazing when you stop to think about it, that the God of the universe, that awesome Being who spoke the worlds into existence and could even destroy mankind with a single Word, has given us the opportunity to walk into His thrown room and fellowship with Him.
(ii) Even more “UNBELIEVABLE” is that most Christians never exercise this wonderful privilege.
(iii) Think about it. Each day believers say no to God’s offer of fellowship, instead to spend their time filling their minds with garbage on TV.
c) Many believers have searched high and low for answers to their problems, never thinking to seek them at the feet of God.
(i) They have consulted Pastors, counselors, psychologists, self-help books, and even gurus and psychic.
(ii) They have been to seminars, workshops, retreats and advances. All the time the answer has been waiting for them: waiting in the presence of the Lord.
2) God’s Word offers some very practical keys to abiding in the presence of the Lord. And that’s what the series is all about; gaining an understanding of how we can move into the presence of God and stay there.
a) When we learn to do that, then and only then will we find answers and solutions you’re looking for. And it’s only when you found your place in His presence that you’ll begin to enjoy the benefits of God’s presence.
(i) There is so much to be gained from learning to walk in God’s presence, and there is so much we miss when we neglect it.
(ii) Well, the good news is the Bible has much to say about how to live in the presence of God.
b) Before we dive right into the scriptures let me began by defining the term, “PRESENCE OF GOD.”
(i) 1st of all, “TO BE PRESENT” obviously means, “ TO BE IN or AT A CERTAIN LOCATION.”
(ii) During your school days, when you heard the teacher call your name during roll call he would answer by saying, “Present.”
c) But what doesn’t mean to be in the PRESENCE of GOD? Does it mean that we’re going to see Him with our natural eyes or hear Him speak to us with an audible voice? PROBABLY NOT.
(i) But we can experience the presence of God on several different levels.
(ii) No one is ever going to be able to talk me out of believing in God and the reality of the spiritual realm because of some supernatural things that happen to me. One these days I’ll get into that, but the things that happened go beyond anything that could possibly happened in the natural, in other words, there was no possible natural explanation.
3) One of the most basic and most powerful ways to experience the presence of God is through His Word.
a) You might be thinking, “How can I experience God by reading a book?”
(i) Let me show you how and turn with me to JOHN 1:1.
(ii) God and His Word are inseparable. When you are in the presence of the Word, you are in the presence of God.
(iii) There is something so powerful that happens when you opened that Book and spend quality time in it. Something happens in your heart.
(iv) Reading the Word feeds your spirit, and that Word continues to work in you and change you even after you have closed the Book and walked away.
b) Of course, spending time in the Word isn’t the only way to experience God’s wonderful presence. Another obvious way is by spending time in prayer, particularly when you pray God’s Word.
(i) There is a big difference between praying God’s powerful Word and praying some dry, lifeless, traditional prayer.
(ii) Prayers that are filled with so much doubt, unbelief and religious garbage are prayed by Christians who simply don’t know a better. They pray something like this:
(iii) Dear God, we Your lowly, humble and undeserving servants, beseech you to grant our request. We know we are just worms in your sight, and we are wicked sinners, unworthy to receive from you, so we ask for just the crumbs off Your table.
(iv) That kind of prayer is a stench in God’s nostrils. It may sound humble to the religious mind, but it is 100 percent contrary to the Word of God.
c) The Bible says if you are born-again, you have been made the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. (2nd Corinthians 5:21) and in (Romans 8:17) says, that you have been made a joint heir with Jesus Christ.
(i) The false humility that characterizes so many religious prayers could not be more unbiblical. If you want to pray prayers will usher you into the presence of God, don’t pray religion: pray according to the Word.
4) For you to understand what it’s like to truly experience God’s presence, you have to go back to the beginning.
B) Let me ask you this, how much of God’s presence does He wants us to experience, there is only one way to accurately answer that question.
1) We must go to the one place in the Bible where things on earth were exactly as God intended them to be, and that is the Garden of Eden.
a) So let’s go back to the beginning and discover God’s intent for man and how he intended man to fellowship with his Maker. Genesis 1:26
b) Something significant happened in this verse, the 1st thing God gave man was dominion, or authority. In other words, God wanted man to rule on earth.
(i) When God made man He was duplicating Himself in the sense that Adam became god of the earth, just as our Father was God of the universe.
(ii) I realized that statement is controversial to some people, but are really don’t know why. The scriptures are very clear on the subject. Still, some religious people get offended when we suggest that man was meant to be anything other than a lowly worm.
(iii) Even the translators of the King James Version fell into this trap.
c) When they were translating a verse in Psalms 8, they chicken out of making a literal translation.
C) Look at Psalms 8:4-5
1) The word translated “ANGELS” in verse 5 is the Hebrew word “ELOHIM.” Almost always the word ELOHIM is translated God.
a) But the translators of the King James Version chose to render it “angels.” Why? Because their minds could not grasp what God was really saying.
b) But the translators of the New American Standard Bible got it right. That version says, “What is man, that Thou dost take thought of him? And a son of man, that Thou dost care for him? Yet Thou hast made him a little lower then God, and dost crown him with glory and majesty!”
(i) I know the book of Hebrews chapter 2 verse 7 also refers to us as being created in go lower than the angels and in that verse the Word “ANGELS” literally does mean angels.
c) We are limited right now in our natural human bodies. Angels can do much more than we can. As a matter of fact, many times, they are the vessels that bring forth the promises of God.
d) But according to God, we are created just lower than Him. In the NATURAL we are lower than the angles, but positionally (spiritually), we are higher than the angels are.
2) The Bible even tells us in (Hebrews 1:14), “Are they [the angels] not all ministering spears, stand forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?”
a) Angels are to render service to God’s people.
3) God created man just a notch below Himself and, according to the passage we just read from the New American Standard Bible, God intended man to be crown with “GLORY AND MAJESTY.”
D) Let’s go on reading here in Psalms 8:6-9
1) The word “DOMINION” in verse 6 literally means from the Strong’s concordance “TO RULE, REIGN, DOMINION, RULE OVER, and (I like this last one) POWER.”
a) God has placed us on this earth “TO RULE, REIGN, EXERCISE DOMINION AND HAVE THE POWER OVER all that God has created.”
2) When you begin to get a clear picture of the authority and dominion God intended man to walk in, you can see how much our thinking has been corrupted by religion.
a) But authority was not the only thing God gave man in the Garden.
II) Let’s go back to Genesis 2:7.
A) God breathed into Adam the breath of life, but this breath of life was more than just to make Adam alive in the natural, it was to make him alive spiritually.
1) How do I know that? There are a few reasons; 1st of all Adam had fellowship with God.
a) If he was not spiritually alive and still in darkness he could not have fellowship with God. (1 JOHN 1:6) says, “If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and the truth is not in us.”
b) If we’re not spiritually alive unto God, we cannot have fellowship with him.
2) The 2nd reason why I know that Adam was spiritually alive unto God is found in (Genesis 2:16-17).
B) So let’s read it Genesis 2:16-17.
1) The literal Hebrew says, “In the day that you eat thereof in dying thou shalt die.”
a) Notice that dying is mentioned twice. In other words, When you eat of this fruit, in dying spiritually you will die physically. He was spiritually alive unto God until he ate of that fruit.
2) In the New Testament when God came to bring life, it refers to eternal life, the life Jesus has, the abundant life, and the fullness of life.
a) It’s the Greek word “ZOE.” It means, “the God kind of life.” (JOHN 10:10) says, “Jesus came to give us life (ZOE) and life more abundantly.”
3) What I want you to see is that “Adam had the presence of God inside him in the form of God’s ZOE life.”
a) That presence gave him supernatural ability in every area of existence; he was gifted physically, intellectually and spiritually.
(i) God’s nature and ability was present inside Adam in the form of God’s ZOE life.
4) But that was not the only level at which Adam enjoyed the presence of God.
a) Man experienced God’s presence in a much more literal way.
III) Look at Genesis 3:8
A) In the 1st part of verse 8 we find God walking in the garden in the cool of the day looking for Adam and Eve.
1) Obviously it was God’s practice to spend time with them on a regular basis, in much the same way. If they didn’t spend time with Him how would they have known that it was God walking in the Garden.
a) Adam and Eve had the privilege of walking, talking, laughing and fellowship with God face-to-face. They experienced the presence of God in the fullest way you can possibly imagine.
b) The reason we find it so hard to comprehend is that, even though we’re born-again children God, we still carry around that old sin consciousness.
(i) Even though the Word says we are righteous, justified, and sanctified by the blood of Jesus, we are still more sin conscious then righteous conscious.
(ii) Before Adam and Eve ever fell into sin, do you think they greeted God’s presence in the Garden with fear, shame or a sense of unworthiness? No! They greeted Him with joy and a total sense of belonging.
(iii) It was only after sin has stripped their innocence that they felt unworthy to enjoy God’s presence.
2) If you want to know what you can expect from dwelling in the presence of God, take a look at what Adam experienced. Above all else, he experienced an abundant provision for every need that he could possibly have.
B) Look at Genesis 2:9
1) Here we see God providing him with abundance of food.
C) Look at Genesis 2:11-12a
1) In these two Vs. here we see God providing them with wealth.
2) And then in verse 18 we see God providing companionship, let’s read it Genesis 2:18.
D) Are you beginning to get the picture? When you live in the presence of God, no need will go unmet. Abundance, sufficiency, and increase are all you will ever see.
1) Walking in the presence of the Lord is a wonderful thing. Not only do you, as a child God, get to experience fellowship and communion with God Himself; you get all your needs met as a side benefit.
a) That’s why Jesus said in (Matthew 6:33), “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
(i) When you find the kingdom of God, you have found God’s presence. When you found God’s presence, you can know that every need will be met in the abundance.
IV) An awareness of sin will cause you shrink back from the presence of God. That is precisely what happened to Adam Eve after Satan deceived them and they rebelled against God.
A) Look at Genesis 3:8-10
1) Adam and Eve’s disobedience stripped them of their covering of Glory. It also stripped them of their ability to stand in God’s presence with no sense of shame.
2) That’s one of the most devastating things about sin. It robs you of your confidence toward God.
B) Turn with me to 1 JOHN 3:20-21
1) That word “CONFIDENCE” is very similar in meaning to “FAITH.”
a) This word “CONFIDENCE” means “CONFIDENCE OR ASSURANCE.”
b) It’s only through this kind of CONFIDENCE, ASSURANCE, AND FAITH that we can receive the promises of God.
C) Want a tragic thing it was for Adam and Eve to lose that privilege of walking and fellowshipping with God.
1) Well, the good news is that Jesus, the last Adam, came to restore that privilege to you and me.
2) Now you and I can come before the throne of God and fellowship with him, and when we do we’re going to see the provision of God began to unfold in our lives.
Word of Life Sunday, December 14, 1997 Introduction and chapter 1 of “Answers awaiting in the presence of God ” by Creflo Dollar