GOING WITH THE PRESENCE OF GOD
A. Politicians promise so many things: safer country, more jobs, better education. But we know they rarely deliver. Besides, I would make different promises if I were to run. “I promise…”
1. Tortillas and chips still have the same calories, but if consumed with queso or salsa – all calories are eliminated.
2. Teachers and veterans would be paid more than professional athletes.
3. If you order a Big Mac, with extra cheese and large fries – you will not be allowed to order a Diet Coke.
4. Cancer, Depression, Heart disease can be cured by: Blue Bell Ice Cream.
B. Obviously there are some promises too good to be true… There has to be some clause, some fine print somewhere. Time Share promotions
C. Do you know a time when God offered a deal to Moses that was too good to be true, but had a small clause that complicated a response from Moses?
* What if God offered us the same deal?
I. GOD GIVES MOSES AN UNSETTLING OFFER
* Exodus 33:1-3 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Leave this place, you and the people you brought up out of Egypt, and go up to the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, saying, ‘I will give it to your descendants.’
2 I will send an angel before you and drive out the Canaanites, Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites.
3 Go up to the land flowing with milk and honey. * But I will not go with you, because you are a stiff-necked people and I might destroy you on the way.”
A. This happens right after a huge crisis moment – Moses had been up on mountain getting the Ten Commandments and the people had created two gold calves to worship. Drink gold, Exodus 32:20 – “I feel like a million dollars”
B. God tells Moses, “Go to the Promised land. I will send My angel to lead you. My angel will defeat your enemies. It will be a land of vast resources.”
1. STOP – Listen to that – everything a person can want: God’s provision, blessings, anointed leadership, a great future. But what is missing?
2. 7 words. V3 But I will not go with you. In other words, you can go through life being under The LORD’s leadership, travel on the right path, proceed with His blessings and yet, you still miss out on God’s presence.
3. It is possible for a person to have enough God to have eternal life, but at the same time to be going through life without His presence… II Tim 3:4-5 …lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power…
C. Ask yourself, “If God let me have a happy life and things would work out well for me, would that be enough?” (Not talking “Church answer” but…)
II. MOSES ANSWERS WITH A PLEA
* Exodus 33:12-15 Then Moses said to the LORD, “See, You say to me, ‘Bring up this people!’ But You Yourself have not let me know whom You will send with me. Moreover, You have said, ‘I have known you by name, and you have also found favor in My sight.’
13 Now therefore, I pray You, if I have found favor in Your sight, let me know Your ways that I may know You, so that I may find favor in Your sight. Consider too, that this nation is Your people.”
14 And the LORD said, “My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest.” 15 Then Moses said to Him, “If Your presence does not go with us, do not lead us up from here.”
A. Moses understands there is MORE than just getting to the Promised Land.
1. Moses is still struggling with being the leader. He struggled at the burning bush, he struggled during the plagues, and he is struggling now.
* Moses complains he’s trying to lead with incomplete information.
2. Show me YOUR ways – not looking for information. I want MORE – …to know You! Moses seems to be telling The LORD, “I need more than Hell Insurance. More! I need Your Presence not just Your Provision.” * Your WAYS so we may know YOU.
3. “If Your presence does not go with us, do not lead us up from here.” Moses crushes it. One of the most electrifying, consuming phrases in all the Bible. “God, if YOU are not going, WE are not going”
a. We don’t want to just be BUSY. Just doing “Church stuff” will never be enough. I need the Living Water splashing around me.
b. “If You don’t lead us, there is no purpose to move from here
c. BUT! Implication is crystal clear – “If and when You do lead us, we will follow.” Without the PRESENCE of the Lord, then it is all superficial fluff. It is drivel. It is pointless. It is Marshmallow Crème. We absolutely, positively MUST have Your presence
d. Matthew 6:33
B. A. W. Tozer wrote: "The world is perishing for lack of the knowledge of God, and the church is famishing for want of His presence. The instant cure of most of our religious ills would be to enter His Presence in spiritual experience, to become suddenly aware that we are in God and that God is in us. This would lift us out of our pitiful narrowness and cause our hearts to be enlarged. This would burn away the impurities from our lives as the bugs and weeds were burned away by the fire that dwelt in the bush." …for want of His presence!
1. Ps 16:11 You will make known to me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; in Your right hand there are pleasures forever.
2. Ps 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me away from Your presence and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
3. Ps 140:13 Surely the righteous will praise Your name, and the upright will live in Your presence.
4. Ps 97:5 The mountains melted like wax at the presence of the…
III. HOW YOU CAN LEAVE THIS SERVICE TODAY
A. You can leave with a “superstitious” faith – like some believe in a statue. Christianity to you is mostly for Sundays. You want the blessing of God but not the Presence of God. Or you can leave seeking the presence of God. Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please God, for he that cometh to…
B. Football coach, “Official places ball on ground means?” “Time to line up” Some guess, “Time to get in stance.” Others guess, “Time to hear play call.” But the Coach says, “When they spot the ball It is time to go to war!”
C. When Jesus hung on the Cross it didn’t mean: It is time to go to church. It is time to be religious. It is time to sing a hymn. When Jesus hung on the Cross it was – Time To Go To War!
D. Jeremiah 17:5-8 Thus says the Lord, “Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind and makes flesh his strength, and whose heart turns away from the LORD.
6 “For he will be like a bush in the desert and will not see when prosperity comes, but will live in stony wastes in the wilderness, a land of salt without inhabitant.
7 “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD and whose trust is the LORD.
8 “For he will be like a tree planted by the water, that extends its roots by a stream and will not fear when the heat comes; but its leaves will be green, and it will not be anxious in a year of drought nor cease to yield fruit.
E. Society is hurting so it tries to offer up a bunch of remedies – none of which have any lasting value. Fact is – you don’t just need a teacher, philosophy, life adjustments, you need JESUS CHRIST. He alone can save you and become the one and only, supreme, LORD of all your life. There is no Plan B, there is no other option, there is no other hope. You need His presence.
A. If God gave you everything you wanted except His presence, would you take the deal? Nothing in this world matters except deciding to be in relationship with the LORD Jesus Christ. “Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His…”
B. If you want to experience the presence of Jesus in your life? Luke 9:23 And He said to them all, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.