Summary: It's tough sometimes. Serving God doesn't mean that automatically everything in life will go smoothly.
IMPACT SERIES #2
Serving a God of IMPACT
It's Not Always Easy
It's a tough pill to swallow. We expect that because we have determined to follow and serve God that it's going to mean that life will be easier. It's a lesson that has left us broken, discouraged, and perhaps even driven some from their faith. However, the lessons of the Scripture tell us of the difficulties in following God, and ultimately of the sufficiency of God in the midst of the difficulties. If we really are committed to be men and women who will have an IMPACT on the world, we must cling to the God who is the God of IMPACT even when it get's tough. This week's message will reveal for us the Might and IMPACT of God, even when life…stinks.
Ò God Almighty - El Shaddai
Genesis 17:1 (HCSB)
1 When Abram was 99 years old, the Lord appeared to him, saying, "I am God Almighty. (EL SHADDAI) Live in My presence and be devout.
INTRO: Churchy Slogans To Live By…or Maybe Not?
We hear slogans and phrases all the time. And some of them even sound spiritual.
Money is the root of all evil. Actually, 1 Timothy 6:10 says that the "…Love of money is a root of all kinds of evil…"
God wants you to be happy. I hear this one a lot. It's often used for justification to get out of something that is right or to start doing something that is wrong. God never says he wants us to be "happy." His heart is for us to be "holy" as stated in 1 Peter 1:15: "But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do."
God helps those who help themselves. This one is quoted a lot and is sometimes even attributed to the Bible. It's not only extra-biblical, it's also unbiblical. In fact, Jeremiah 17:5 says, "Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the LORD" and Proverbs 28:26 states: "He who trusts in himself is a fool…"
As we look to see a God of IMPACT we will see God as El Shaddai at the moment we realize that we are not happy and when we admit we are helpless. Let me suggest a phrase to focus on-a slogan that works if you will:
WHEN WE ARE EMPTY, GOD IS ENOUGH!
This is similar to what John Piper often says, "God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him."
The different names of God are like a multifaceted diamond. Each one reveals more about His beautiful character and tremendous worth. As we unpack these names we can't help but revere Him more devotedly and rejoice in Him more deeply.
Ò Elohim Creator
Ò Adonai Lord
Ò Jehovah Shalom God our Peace
Ò Jehovah Jireh God our Provider
Ò Yahweh God the Covenant Keeper
THE DEFINITION OF EL SHADDAI
The first part of this compound name El is the word for God and means "mighty and powerful." We see this in Psalm 68:35: "You are awesome, O God [El], in your sanctuary; the God [El] of Israel gives power and strength to his people." While there is some difference of opinion regarding the primary meaning of Shaddai, and it is often translated as Almighty because it can also stand for a mighty mountain. The word actually has a more tender definition. The root shad is connected to the nurturing relationship a mother has with her infant child and signifies one who "nourishes and satisfies."
When the two words are put together, El Shaddai means the "One mighty to nourish and satisfy." God pours out His provision because He is all-powerful. The ancient rabbis referred to Him as the "all-sufficient One."
The early church made sure this name was right out front in the Apostle's Creed: "I believe in God, the Father Almighty…"
When we admit our insufficiency, the Almighty is sufficient to meet all our needs.
When we are empty, God is enough!
THE DEMONSTRATION OF EL SHADDAI
We're going to look at how three individuals came face-to-face with El Shaddai when they were at the end of their ropes. All three were empty in some way before they discovered that God alone is enough.
Abraham was burdened (Genesis 17:1).
This name for God is used 48 times in the Old Testament. The first instance of El Shaddai is found in Genesis 17:1: "When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, 'I am God Almighty [El Shaddai]; walk before me and be blameless.'"
God had made several promises to him - of land, descendants, and blessings - and yet, he waited a long time before they came to pass. When it appeared that God wasn't going to come through, Abraham even tried to take things into his own hands. Thirteen years later, God speaks to him again, and this time reveals himself as El Shaddai.