Summary: This is a short sermon preached at a HouseGroup launch/celebration, where the HGs will then go on to study the Lifebuilder ’Meeting God’ study by JI Packer
Meeting God. HouseGroup launch to accompany Lifebuilder studies by J.I.Packer on ‘meeting God’. WBC 21/09/04 Exodus 33:7-34:7
Illustr: absurdity of couple who go to marriage courses etc, have all the books- but never get together, meet, talk
- I know people who do this (in other areas)
- Theory = great, safe. But RELATIONSHIP is what it’s about
Same with us as Christians
- = possible to love knowledge of God above knowing God
o serving God above seeking God
o managing God’s stuff above meeting God
What’s the point of that, then?
- cf 1st commandment: love the Lord thy God..
- (will be looking at the other things we seek, idolise, before God in study 1)
Oh! We must have God, see Jesus above all things!
- ps 42:2 “ when can I go and meet with God?”
= v relevant to us in a series on gifts of the HS
- as Jesus is the person to seek first.
- God’s face, not His hand
This series is an opportunity and an encouragement to encounter God
- Meet with Him. Face to face stuff. Like we need
Illustr: HAM, HENEK, MET
While I was serving in Paraguay, a Maka Indian named Rafael came to sit on my porch. I was eating and went out to see what he wanted. He responded, "Ham, henek met." Again I asked what I could do for him, but the answer was the same. I understood what he was saying but not its significance: "I don’t want anything; I have just come near."
I later shared the incident with a local veteran missionary. He explained that it was Rafael’s way of honoring me. He really didn’t want anything; he just wanted to sit on my porch. He found satisfaction and pleasure just being near me.
"What brings you here, my child?" the Lord asks. "Ham, henek met." Doesn’t that reveal the heart of true worship?
Citation: Stuart Sacks, Villanova, Pennsylvania
Contributed by: SermonCentral PRO
Consider God’s journey. Doesn’t it show His desire to meet with us?
Revelation > incarnation > in-spiration
- God reveals Himself in creation, word… then becomes flesh… then dwells within us! (in-spiration)
o What a journey to meet us!
o Always drawing closer!
o (going to cover this in #4)
let’s make it our prayer that this will happen!
“TEACH ME YOUR WAYS SO I MAY KNOW YOU” (V13)
MOSES wanted to meet with God. Wanted His presence
- (will cover this in study 2)
- v3 “I won’t go with you”. Maybe an angel or messenger will
- > now He’s pleading for God’s presence
Note the balance
- both v 11 – “face to face” – the intimacy
- v13 – intellect – “teach me your ways SO I may know”
(but we make intellectual knowledge, rather than actual knowledge, our goal
- the university has become the training ground rather than the monastery or Christian community)
Only meeting God personally will do for Moses. Teach ME your ways
Look at God’s response: v14, “my presence will go with you and I will give you rest”
- we CAN encounter God! Dynamically. Study 6 will cover Is 6
- quote John White from ‘when the Spirit comes with power’ p 87
I pray we all, as individuals, have an encounter with God
But there’s more to meeting God than just us
- the people get an angelic escort “but I will not go with you” (v3)
- Moses then intercedes
- v14 seems like he’s broken through
o but it’s only for him!
o “I will go with YOU”. You = singular!
o “rest” = because God’s offering him the chance of retiring from leading this lot!
“GO WITH US” (V15)
NO! Moses says: “go with us”
- don’t send us up from here if you don’t go with US!
o (else how will the people’s know that you are God)
Illustr: Ichtus. Policy of praying for other churches not themselves . (in fact, bless them more!)
May WE meet with you… know you…have your presence
- = so key to understand this. Particularly in a series on gifts and the body
Let me tell you- God hears this kind of prayer!
- for THEM to meet wit you (even in hardship and discipline, study 11)
- for US to meet God
And the individual is seldom short- changed
- if the body is blessed: the hand is, too
- (but if only the hand is= poor deal)
“I WILL DO IT” (v17)
I will do the very thing you ask. Because I am pleased with YOU
- never underestimate the power of
- Illustr: Jeremy. What you up to? Who you praying for?> you!
We’ll intercede in a mo