Walking with God # 6
We’re going to continue our teaching on “Walking with God.” The title I've put on today’s message is “The Road Map to God’s Presence.” Last week I preached a message about “Walking in the Presence Of God.” Much of that message was to reveal to you that all of God’s promises are found in His presence. So often we talk about the keys or steps to faith or the keys to prosperity or the keys to healing and all those points and keys are good and necessary but there is a master key and that is walking in the presence of God. Now it’s great to realize that we need to walk in the presence of God, but that will do was absolutely no good unless we know how to get there.
I) First, we should be asking ourselves, What Does the Word say on the Subject of God’s Presence?
A) 1st of all let’s turn to Psalms 95:2.
1) This verse contains 2 essential elements that bring us into the presence of God.
2) The 1st is “THANKSGIVING.”
a) Thanksgiving ushers us into the presence of God like nothing else.
b) The 1st thing that we need to do in our prayer time is to spend a few moments thanking Him for all He has done and for all that He is doing.
(i) This will put you in the place to enter into His presence.
(ii) It also gets our attention on the goodness of God and the faithfulness of God rather than your own problems.
(iii) Instead of coming to God complaining, if you spend some time thanking God for all He has done in your life you’ll find yourself in the right frame of mind to enter into God’s presence.
3) The second element to successfully entering into the presence of God is “PRAISE.”
a) We can see that from (Psalms 95:2) which said “Make a joyful noise unto Him with Psalms.”
B) That is praise and praise is similar to Thanksgiving but it’s not the same.
1) Thanksgiving honors God for what He has done, for what He is doing, even for what He will do. But praise honors God for WHO HE IS.
2) To bring God on the seen and to enter into His presence all you have to do is start praising Him.
a) (Psalms 22:3) says, “God inhabits the praises of Israel,” or as we usually put it, “God inhabits the praises of his people.”
C) We see both of these elements, “THANKSGIVING and PRAISE,” in Psalms 100. This Psalm begins to draw us the road map to the throne of God.
1) Turn with me to Psalms 100:1-2.
a) Here we see one of the two elements we already mentioned.
b) The “JOYFUL NOISE” we are to make represents PRAISE, just as it did in (Psalms 95:2).
(i) We are to come before His presence with singing.
(ii) You may not be able to carry a tune, but you should be singing a song of praise to the Lord from your heart.
(iii) He will honor that by filling your heart and your room with his very presence.
D) During Bible times, if you were entering the temple in Jerusalem, you would come 1st to the gates. After passing through those gates, you would enter the courts. Then and only then would you be prepared to enter the Holy Place where the presence of the Lord dwelt.
1) With that in mind look at Psalm 100:4.
2) Here we see these 2 vital elements together, Thanksgiving and praise.
a) We are told that Thanksgiving will get you through the gates and praise will take you from the gates to the courts.
b) But what is it that takes us from the courts into God’s presence, you could say what takes us into the Holy of Holies?
c) Psalms 100:5 says, “For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.”
(i) It’s only because of God’s mercy and God’s goodness that we can enter in to the very presence of God, but it goes deeper than that.
3) Turn with me to Hebrews 9.
a) To get the full jest of what Paul is saying you would have to go back to Hebrews chapter 8 and read all the way through chapter 10.
b) But to summarize it for you, basically what Paul is saying is that the high priest would enter into the most Holy Place, the Holy of Holies once a year with the blood of an animal sacrifice. Hebrews 9:6-7.
(i) This blood was offered for his sins (the high priest) and for the sins of the people.
(ii) This restricted access to the presence of God demonstrated that the way to God’s presence had not yet been revealed or made possible for all.
(iii) In (Hebrews 9:9) it says that these offerings and sacrifices could not make us perfect, therefore we could not enter into the Holy of Holies.
c) Starting in verse 11 we see Jesus appearing on the seen. Look at Hebrews 9:12,14,24.
(i) Now we see that are sins have been purged, we have been forgiven of our sins and we are cleansed.
(ii) But now what is it that opens the door for us to enter in to the presence of God?
d) Look at Hebrews 10:19.
4) It’s because of the blood of Jesus that we now have access to the very presence of God, to God’s throne, and to the Holy of Holies.
II) From that we see that we can enter into His presence and that we are allowed to come before His throne, but we need to know how to enter in. We need to know the path to His presence.
A) Well, let me give you some very practical ways that you will be able to enter in to His presence, and that you will be able to have the presence of the Lord in your life.
1) Any one of these ways will get you into the presence of God, but you need to know them all so that you can walk in all the degrees of His presence and His glory.
2) The 1st one, which I mentioned before, is a very important truth, but sometimes we don’t realize that that is one way to enter into his presence.
a) You can enter into God’s presence by getting into God’s Word. God is His word.
b) Turn with me to the book of JOHN 1:1.
c) God and his Word are inseparable.
(i) When you open the Bible with your heart focused to see and hear from God, you won’t be disappointed.
3) When you experience God’s Word you’re experiencing the presence of God and you can’t experience His presence without being changed.
a) God’s Word will affect you. It will change your thought patterns and your habits. It will change your desires, your attitudes, and the way you look at things.
(i) Why? Because when we get into His Word you get into His presence.
B) No one can force you to enter into the presence of God. You have to make that choice for yourself.
1) To reap the benefits by being in His presence, you have to make a quality decision to spend quality time in God’s Word on a regular basis.
a) If you want to walk in victory and have power in your life you’re going to have to walk in God’s presence and one important way to do that is to spend time with Him in His Word because He is His Word.
b) And part of that is coming to church and sitting under the Word of God.
(i) You’re going to lack a big portion of your victory, the power of God in your life, the presence of God, the joy and peace of God in your life if you don’t come to church and sit under the Word.
(ii) As a matter of fact, you’ll even regress without sitting under a pastor who is preaching the true Word of God.
c) Let me meddle a little bit right here; tradition, ritual, and religion is not going to get you into the presence of God. It has a form of godliness but it actually stops the power of God from moving in your life.
(i) You need to be sitting in a church where the uncompromising Word of God is being preached.
(ii) Let me meddle even a little further. Bible studies can be good but unless there under the covering of a pastor they’re always flaky. Many times wrong things are being taught, personal prophecies are being given that are not from the Spirit of God but are of another spirit.
(iii) Sometimes people will even say, “Well, I went to Bible study this week I don’t need to go to church.” God has ordained churches and he has called man or women to pastor those churches. If you’re going to Bible studies and not going to church on a regular basis you are missing out on what God has for you and you’re limiting the move and power of God in your life.
(iv) We need to get into the presence of God and one way of doing that is by reading and meditating on God’s Word and coming to church and sitting under anointed Pastors that preach the uncompromising Word of God.
d) This is a powerful way to experience His presence.
C) Another way to experience the presence of God is through PRAYER.
1) Prayer is simply communication with God, it’s where you talk to Him and he talks to you, it’s fellowship.
2) There are many types of prayer and all of them will usher in the presence of God but there is one type of prayer that will usher in the presence of God like none other and that is PRAISE.
a) Praise is a highest form of prayer it will usher you into the presence of God like nothing else and it will cause you to walk in his presence during your day.
b) It is essential for you to spend time in prayer and especially praise everyday so that you can walk and live in the presence of God.
D) And the 3rd way to enter into God’s presence is something that we’ve already mentioned in this message and that he is “GIVING THANKS.”
1) Psalms 100:4 says that we enter into his gates with THANKSGIVING.
2) Thanksgiving is your first step to enter into his presence.
a) Let’s close with this last scripture in 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18.
b) Paul knew that thanksgiving would usher us into the presence of God and it’s only through his presence that we’ll find the master key to all of God’s promises.
W. O. L. C. C. Sunday, Feb. 8, 1998