Summary: Building on our desire to cry out for the presence of the living God by drawing close to Him.
The City of the Living God
18 You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom and storm; 19 to a trumpet blast or to such a voice speaking words that those who heard it begged that no further word be spoken to them, 20 because they could not bear what was commanded: "If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned." 21 The sight was so terrifying that Moses said, "I am trembling with fear."
22 But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, 23 to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, 24 to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.
25 See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven? 26 At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, "Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens." 27 The words "once more" indicate the removing of what can be shaken — that is, created things — so that what cannot be shaken may remain.
28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, 29 for our "God is a consuming fire."
In keeping with our theme, “Cry out for the Living God,” I want to talk to you this morning about being the City of the Living God. You see the church is the City of the Living God. I believe that this “Crying out for the Living God,” means we have a passion for the presence of God. We have talking about being desperate for the presence of God. We have seen some amazing things in this church and yet God has promised us greater things to come. Yet we must be a people who seek after God for who He is, not for what He can do. In the Old Testament Book of Exodus we see the history of the children of Israel. How they were under great bondage and for hundreds of years weeping for God’s deliverance. God was faithful and provided for them Moses whom He had called to deliver the people of Israel.
When you read this story it is so amazing how the people time and time again turn on Moses when things don’t go just the way they desired. You see they were looking at God for what He could do for them. Yet over time God in His mercy delivers the people with many signs and wonders. They dance and praise God as they leave Egypt only to be down cast later when their backs are against the Red Sea. Again God delivers them as He opened the Sea and they walked across on dry land. They watched as the greatest army on the earth was destroyed by the walls of water and another praise service broke out as the children continued on their way. Again in three days they need water and they are crying about what has happened to them. Again God provides and they are on their way only to find a few days later they need food and bitterly complain. Church we must be careful that our motivation is not about our self-centeredness but about the glory of God. We must not be consumed with a love for our own desires, but let us be consumed by the fire of a living God. The children of Israel when God so desired to draw them close they chose to draw back instead of drawing near.
“For every Christian will become at last what his desires have made him. We are all the total sum of our hungers. The great saints have all had thirsting hearts. Their cry has been, “My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?” Their longing after God all but consumed them!"
A.W. Tozer, “The Root of the Righteous pg. 55”
I know, what I am suggesting this morning is heavy stuff. I am asking you to put away your agenda and self-centeredness to draw close to the living God. Church, I believe this is where God is taking us in 2005.