Seven Realities of Experiencing God
January 21, 2007
Part 3 in Experiencing God Series
Exodus 2 and 3.
Moses’ call and obedience.
We all desire to be faithful to God and open to His will and His leading – but why is so hard?
—Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1963), 72-73
Are you worried because you find it so hard to believe? No one should be surprised at the difficulty of faith, if there is some part of his life where he is consciously resisting or disobeying the commandments of Jesus. Is there some part of your life which you are refusing to surrender at his behest? Some sinful passion, maybe, or some animosity, some hope, perhaps your ambition or your reason? If so, you must not be surprised that you have not received the Holy Spirit, that prayer is difficult, or that your request for faith remains unanswered. Go, rather, and be reconciled with your brother, renounce the sin which holds you fast - and then you will recover your faith! If you dismiss the word of God's command, you will not receive his word of grace. How can you hope to enter into communion with him when at some point in your life you are running away from him? The man who disobeys cannot believe, for only he who obeys can believe.
Three Goals to Experience God
- I will know when God is speaking.
- I will know what God is saying.
- I will know how I should respond.
The Seven Realities
1. God is always at work around you.
But the Israelites still groaned beneath their burden of slavery. They cried out for help, and their pleas for deliverance rose up to God. 24 God heard their cries and remembered his covenant promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 25 He looked down on the Israelites and felt deep concern for their welfare.
2. God pursues a continuing love relationship with you that is real and personal.
4 When the Lord saw that he had caught Moses’ attention, God called to him from the bush, “Moses! Moses!”
“Here I am!” Moses replied.
3. God invites you to become involved with Him and His work.
8 So I have come to rescue them from the Egyptians and lead them out of Egypt into their own good and spacious land.
When God gives a vision by his Spirit through his Word of what he wants, and your mind and soul thrill to it, if you do not walk in the light of that vision, you will sink into servitude to a point of view which our Lord never had. Disobedience in mind to the heavenly vision will make you a slave to points of view that are alien to Jesus Christ. Do not look at someone else and say: Well, if he can have these views and prosper, why can't I? You have to walk in the light of the vision that has been given you and not compare yourself with others or judge them; that is between them and God.
4. God speaks by the Holy Spirit through the Bible, prayer, circumstances, and the church to reveal Himself, His purposes, and His ways.
2 Suddenly, the angel of the Lord appeared to him as a blazing fire in a bush. Moses was amazed because the bush was engulfed in flames, but it didn’t burn up.
5. God’s invitation for you to work with Him always leads you to a crisis of belief that requires faith and action.
11 “But who am I to appear before Pharaoh?” Moses asked God. “How can you expect me to lead the Israelites out of Egypt?”
6. You must make major adjustments in your life to join God in what He is doing.
19 Before Moses left Midian, the Lord said to him, “Do not be afraid to return to Egypt, for all those who wanted to kill you are dead.”
20 So Moses took his wife and sons, put them on a donkey, and headed back to the land of Egypt. In his hand he carried the staff of God.
—Jim Cymbala, Fresh Faith (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1993), 45.
When I was growing up, I thought the greatest Christian must be the person who walks around with shoulders thrown back because of tremendous inner strength and power, quoting Scripture and letting everyone know he has arrived. I have since learned that the most mature believer is the one who is bent over, leaning most heavily on the Lord, and admitting his total inability to do anything without Christ. The greatest Christian is not the one who has achieved the most but rather the one who has received the most. God's grace, love and mercy flow through him abundantly because he walks in total dependence.
7. You come to know God by experience as you obey Him and He accomplishes His work through you.
21 Then Moses raised his hand over the sea, and the Lord opened up a path through the water with a strong east wind. The wind blew all that night, turning the seabed into dry land. 22 So the people of Israel walked through the sea on dry ground, with walls of water on each side!