Summary: How does one properly enter into the presence of almighty God?
This is the transcript of the ACTUAL radio conversation of a US naval
ship with Canadian authorities off the coast of Newfoundland.
Canadians: Please divert your course 15 degrees the South to avoid
Americans: Recommend you divert your course 15 degrees the North to avoid a collision.
Canadians: Negative. You will have to divert your course 15 degrees to the South to avoid a collision.
Americans: This is the Captain of a US Navy ship. I say again,
divert YOUR course.
Canadians: No. I say again, you divert YOUR course.
Americans: THIS IS THE AIRCRAFT CARRIER USS LINCOLN, THE SECOND LARGEST SHIP IN THE UNITED STATES’ ATLANTIC FLEET. WE ARE ACCOMPANIED BY THREE DESTROYERS, THREE CRUISERS AND NUMEROUS SUPPORT VESSELS. I DEMAND THAT YOU CHANGE YOUR COURSE 15 DEGREES NORTH, I SAY AGAIN, THAT’S ONE FIVE DEGREES NORTH, OR COUNTER-MEASURES WILL BE UNDERTAKEN TO ENSURE THE SAFETY OF THIS SHIP.
Canadians: This is a lighthouse. Your call. (Pause)
Sometimes we aren’t as big or important as we think we are. This story illustrates that if we pay attention and follow the rules, we can avoid catastrophic hazards and save ourselves much embarrassment.
This brings us to our sermon topic today “Entering In.”
How does one properly enter into the presence of almighty God?
Perhaps we should ask - Is there a proper way to enter into the presence of almighty God?
Some people think that we can just wily nilly dance into the presence of God any time we please, and that God is happy to accommodate us.
The answer to the question, “Is there a proper way to enter into the presence of almighty God?” is, “Yes there is a proper way to enter into His Majesty’s presence.”
Too often we take for granted our privileges of priesthood. Too often we try to enter the holy of holies through prayer without having first prepared ourselves to meet with God, the King of the universe.
Isn’t God greater than our political dignitaries? (Yes)
We have to go through a whole series of steps in order to get an audience with a political dignitary like a governor or the President and his cabinet, yet we think nothing of rushing into God’s thrown room of grace and plunking down our demands without any prior preparation.
Fortunately, our God is a gracious God and He is patient with His people, even when they don’t adhere to protocol. God will hear you and answer your prayers even when you aren’t properly prepared, but I must tell you that your prayers will be much more effective If you follow a few simple protocols when approaching God in prayer.
Our instruction in this matter is Psalms 24 (Last Monday’s reading) and the Lord’s Prayer.
Psalm 24: A psalm of David
“The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it,
the world, and all who live in it;
for he founded it upon the seas
and established it upon the waters.”
When Jesus taught us to pray the Lord’s Prayer, what was the first sentence?
(Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.)
The New Testament Greek word for “hallowed” is hagiazo (hag-ee-ad’-zo) which means to make holy through ceremonial purification. To be consecrated, set apart as holy unto God.
When we say “hallowed by thy name” we are recognizing the absolute holiness of God Almighty!
When God revealed his name to Moses through the burning bush He identified Himself as “I am.” In Hebrew the word for the name “I am” is “Yahweh” It’s God’s Holy Name meaning “I am the existing one.” It means “I exist and I’m the real deal!”
The name “Yahweh” was considered so holy by the Jews of Jesus’ time that they wouldn’t even say the name. Instead they would pronounce the Hebrew vowel pointings under the letters which gives us the name “Adoni.” The name “Jehovah” is the English language derivative of the Hebrew name “Yahweh.” Most modern translators translate the name “Yahweh” as “The Lord”
So, whether you say, “Yahweh,” “Jehovah,” “Adoni,” or “Lord” all four names mean the same thing, God is the great “I am” the existing one.
Listen, because I want you to get this, Jesus refers to himself as the “I am” many times in the New Testament.
Think about that for a minute. Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me.”
So, when we pray, “hallowed by thy name” we should stop there and think about who God is. How awesome is his holiness. How great his works are. How magnificent His creation that bows before Him. How majestic, how marvelous, how wonderful He is!
He created the heavens and the earth. The heavens means the universe which is a vast expanse of space that contains all of the matter and energy in existence. The Universe contains all of the galaxies, stars, and planets. The exact size of the Universe is unknown. The largest formations of visible matter in space are galaxies. According to NASA there are billions of galaxies in space. A galaxy is made up of stars (like our sun), gasses and dust which are all held together by a mysterious force known as gravity. Most galaxies have over a billion stars (like our sun in them). The smallest galaxies are a thousand light years across and the largest are a million light years across. To give you an idea of how large a galaxy is, a light year is the distance light travels in one year. 9.5 trillion miles which is 11 zeros for you math types. Our planet is a tiny pin dot in the milky way galaxy, which, by the way, is a spiral galaxy. Our universe is huge – Yet our God spoke it into existence! “Hallowed by thy name!”