Summary: “Are you satisfied with merely knowing the acts of God or do you also want to know His ways?” Henry and Richard Blackaby
1. I begin this morning by challenging you with your knowledge of TV commercials and I begin with this one: Wider Is Better!
2. What’s the product? Pontiac automobiles. What’s the point of the commercial? A wider stance means a safer car.
3. Now, speaking of wider is better I want to have you help me determine which is more stable, ready?
4. Unicycle or bicycle? Bicycle or motorcycle? Motorcycle or car? Car or pickup truck? Pickup truck or Hummer? Hummer or tank as in the M-1 Abrams kind of tank?
5. I will readily confess that I am not an engineer. But, I will venture a guess as to what makes one vehicle more stable than another one. The width of the vehicle and where it’s center of gravity is located. The lower the center of gravity the more stable a vehicle is, correct?
6. There is an important spiritual application in this illustration that is rooted in this question: Where is your spiritual center of gravity located?
7. An important part of a well-lived Christian faith is stability. Now stability is defined as being firmly established, durable, constant, and steady.
8. Now stability can be a liability. We can get bogged down or side-tracked on an issue or decision or goal or belief and all of the sudden we have the feelings of frustration, disbelief, disappointment, or conflict that come with being bogged down. So the challenge is to have stability and progress balancing one another as we walk with God because being mature in the faith requires stability and progress.
9. Now what is our source of stability as we live out the Christian faith? It’s God. Now not only is it God, but it is a very, very important part of God – it is the ways of God.
10. One mode of transportation that I did not mention earlier in my quiz is a train. Now train cars are large. Locomotives are big. But, they have a higher center of gravity and, as we were reminded of in Spring 2001, they tip over easily when something goes wrong.
11. But, the track which the train runs on provides us with a visual illustration of what I am saying this morning as I have us consider the stability which comes from both the acts of God and the ways of God. (Overhead 1)
12. Our text for today is Psalm 103:7. In the translation read today we heard ways and deeds. In the version that I commonly preach from we read this verse as follows: He revealed His character to Moses and His deeds to the people of Israel.
13. This verse of scripture provides us with a window into a story we need to review this morning because it illustrates the need to have both an experience of his ways (character) and his deeds as a part of our Christian faith commitment.
14. In their devotional guide, Experiencing God Day-By-Day, Henry and Richard Blackaby ask the question, “Are you satisfied with merely knowing the acts of God or do you also want to know His ways? This is a question that requires an answer and the answer that we give determines the depth and stability of our relationship with God.
15. The Blackabys make this statement about the Israelites, “The Israelites witnessed the miracles God performed; they walked across the dry Red Sea just as Moses did. They ate the manna and quail from heaven just as Moses did. They were content to receive God’s provision without ever knowing God himself.” Is this true? Does this accurately describe the Israelites? Let’s look at a few examples:
16. In Exodus 14:10-16 we read: As Pharaoh and his army approached, the people of Israel could see them in the distance, marching toward them. The people began to panic, and they cried out to the LORD for help. Then they turned against Moses and complained, “Why did you bring us out here to die in the wilderness? Weren’t there enough graves for us in Egypt? Why did you make us leave? 12Didn’t we tell you to leave us alone while we were still in Egypt? Our Egyptian slavery was far better than dying out here in the wilderness! ”But Moses told the people, “Don’t be afraid. Just stand where you are and watch the LORD rescue you. The Egyptians that you see today will never be seen again. 14The LORD himself will fight for you. You won’t have to lift a finger in your defense!”15 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the people to get moving! 16 Use your shepherd’s staff—hold it out over the water, and a path will open up before you through the sea. Then all the people of Israel will walk through on dry ground. And they did!