Summary: Sermon one in a fourteen sermon series based on the popular Bible study by Henry Blackaby.
"Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” - John 17:3
Jesus defined eternal life in terms of knowing Him. "Eternal" not only describes life in terms of quantity, but in terms of quality; not just in terms of length, but in terms of depth. Contained is the idea of the abundant life that Jesus spoke of in John 10:10. "Eternal life" is a life characterized by experience with God.
One experiences God at the point of salvation, but if that is the sum total of one’s experience with God» he is missing out on the abundant aspect of eternal life. God has wonderful things in mind for each of His children.
" ’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ’plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.’ " - Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
But how do can we experience God in the fullest sense of what he desires for us? We look to Jesus.
"Let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily hinders our progress. And let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus." - Hebrews 12:1-2 (NLT)
As we look to Jesus in seeking to know how we can experience God in our daily lives, there are two points for us to keep in mind:
1. Jesus is our Way.
"’I am the way, the truth, and the life!’ Jesus answered. ’Without me, no one can go to the Father.’ " - John 14:6 (CEV)
There is a big difference between receiving directions and traveling with the director. The Lord doesn’t just give us directions for how to live and then leave us alone to figure out how to follow them, He is with us for the journey to guide us along the way!
Many of us, in thinking of walking with God, say "Lord, what would you have me do? When? With whom? How? Where? And please tell me the outcome in advance."
What we should say instead is, "Lord, tell me what to do one step at a time and I will do it as I follow you."
"The Lord had said to Abram, ’Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I mil show you. I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you} I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.’ So Abram left, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Haran. He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Haran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there."- Genesis 12:1-5 (NIV)
Note that when Abram started, he did not know his final destination (v. 1), but God got him there anyway (v. 5). How? Abram simply focused on walking with God and the Lord led him one step at a time.
Often in seeking to walk with God, we want to know the end from the beginning. But God will bring to pass what we need to know, when we need to know it.
Notice the "I wills" of God in verses 1-3. God basically told Abram, "I will bring to pass what needs to happen in your life at the time it needs to happen and in the way it needs to happen. All you need to do is focus on following me."
Warren Wiersbe, in his commentary on the life of Abraham, points out that at different times in the Genesis narrative, Abraham’ tent and altar are mentioned. Wiersbe suggests that when Abraham’s tent is mentioned, that speaks of his attitude toward the world - that he’s just passing through, because this world is not his home. The mention of Abraham’s altar speaks of his attitude toward God - that the focus of his life is his relationship and walk with God.
Any time in the narrative where Abraham steps outside of God’s will, his tent and altar are not mentioned. Why? Because every time he steps outside of God’s will he has done so because his primary concern is no longer on walking with God, but on things related to this world!
The same will always be true of us, too. Every time we get outside of God’s will for our lives it is because our primary concern is no longer on walking with God, but on things related to this world.