Walking with God # 3
Today were going to continue our teaching on “Walking With God.” Last week we talked about “Walking in the Glory.” Today I want to talk about “Walking in the Mercies of God.”
I) For thousands of years, religion has been trying to figure out God. They want to know what makes Him do what he does. For the most part, these theologians and philosophers have been wrong.
A) The reasons so many fail to discern the heart of God is because it is impossible to do so apart from understanding the mercies of God.
1) God’s mercy permeates and motivates everything He has ever done. If you’re trying to comprehend God with a preconceived idea that He is nothing but a harsh God of wrath and vengeance, you’ll never see an accurate picture.
2) In the Old Testament you’ll find a Hebrew word, I believe it’s pronounced “CHECED” (KEYSED). It’s usually translated “Mercy, Kindness, Lovingkindness, Favor, or Goodness.”
a) The Word “KEYSED” is used over 200 times in the Old Testament and usually refers to God’s feelings or actions towards man by displaying His mercy, kindness, favor and goodness.
3) In the New Testament there is a similar term in the Greek, and that is “AGAPE.”
a) Agape is used well over a hundred times and it usually translated “Love.” We see it in (JOHN 3:16), which says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave.”
b) Both “KEYSED” and “AGAPE” represent the God kind of love, the kind of love that gives sacrificially and unselfishly; in other words, MERCY.
(i) It was because of God’s love, mercy, goodness, and lovingkindness towards the inhabitants of the world that he gave his Son.
c) If you want understand God, His nature and His ways, you must gained an understanding of His mercies.
4) Going back about 40 or 50 years ago, Oral Roberts made a statement that stirred up a Hornet’s nest with the religious people of that day. His simple statement was: “God is a good God.”
a) The religious mind likes to make God out to be a mean and spiteful dictator, who is ready to thump you on the head the moment you get out of line.
(i) They also believe He likes to put sickness or tragedy in your life to test you or teach you a lesson.
b) But this is not the God of the Bible. If you make a careful study of the Word of God, it will reveal to you a different God than what the religious world would have you believe.
5) Let’s look at an example. Turn with me to Psalms 136:1-26 (all).
a) Are you starting to get the picture? God wants us to know this twofold truth: that He is good and His mercy endures forever!
B) God is motivated by love and mercy. It is a theme found from the book of Genesis to Revelation.
1) In fact, the Bible is really a love story, The story of God’s love and pursuit of fallen man.
II) Turn with me to 1 Chronicles 16:25-34.
A) Sound familiar? We need to start getting this truth through our heads: God is good and His mercy lasts forever!
1) But far too often believers are walking around in constant fear that God is going to “GET THEM.”
a) But think about it, if God was out there “TO GET YOU” just because you mess up every now and then, don’t you think he would have “GOTTEN” you a long time ago?
2) God is good. He radiates goodness. Do you remember the words God used with Moses on the mountain when ye ask God to remove the cloud and to reveal Himself?
a) When Moses said to Him, “Show me Your Glory!” God answered, “I will make all my goodness pass before thee.” (Exodus 33:19)
(i) According to the Word of God, when we are looking at Him, we’re looking at His goodness. God and His goodness are inseparable: they are one and the same.
B) Mercy is the cornerstone and centerpiece of everything God has ever done in the earth. When God’s people remind themselves of that mercy, it opens the door to all of heaven's power and resources.
III) That is just what we see happening in 2 Chronicles 20.
A) God’s people, led by King Jehoshaphat, were surrounded by powerful, hostile forces. They were greatly outnumbered and out armed. To the natural eye, they seen doomed.
1) In a time of fasting and prayer, God gave Jehoshaphat some instructions.
a) God said in (2 Chronicles 20:15-17), “The battle is not yours, but God’s. Tomorrow go ye down against them. Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the Lord with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not nor be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them: for the Lord will be with you.”
2) Once they heard this, Jehoshaphat and the Israelites began worshipping and praising God. The next morning Jehoshaphat consulted with the people then sent out praisers before the Army.
a) They faced the enemy in battle, being led not by their strongest troops but by the praise singers.
3) Let’s take a look at this story and turn with me to 2 Chronicles 20:21.
a) When you are faced with a life and death crisis, the most important thing you can remind yourself is that God’s mercy endures forever.
b) It will stir your faith. It will move you to tap into the power of praise. It will bring God onto the seen to show Himself strong on your behalf.
(i) That’s precisely what happened in the case of Jehoshaphat. Look at 2 Chronicles 20:22.
(ii) When you have the mercy of God directed at you, no power in hell can stand against you.
c) When those praisers started singing out the mercy of God, they were, in effect, declaring to the enemy: “We are God’s beloved, so you better leave us along if you know what’s good for you! Touch not the anointed of God!”
d) God’s mercy will put your enemies to flight!
(i) When the enemy of cancer seems to have surrounded you, God’s mercy will cause Him to say to you, “I am the Lord that healeth thee.” (Exodus 15:26)
(ii) When financial lack tries to keep you in poverty, God’s mercy speaks through Him, saying to you: “I will bless thee coming in, and I will bless thee going out. I will supply all your needs according to My riches in Glory!” (Deuteronomy 28:6; Philippians 4:19)
(iii) When rebellion tries to come against your children, the mercy of God says to you: “All thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children.” (Isaiah 54:13)
B) An awareness of God’s mercy is closely tried to His presence.
1) If you want to experience the benefits of God’s presents you need to understand the depths of His mercy.
a) Reminding yourself of God’s mercy and praising Him for it will bring His presence on the seen in a powerful way. This is exactly what we see happening with King Solomon and the people of God in 2 Chronicles 5.
(i) Solomon and the people were dedicating the new temple and celebrating the arrival of the Ark of the Covenant.
(ii) The Ark of a covenant symbolized God’s presence among His people. Look what happened when they began to sing of His goodness and mercy.
2) 2 Chronicles 5:13, 14
a) Do you see how God’s mercy is linked to His presence?
b) When Israel began to sing of God’s goodness and mercy, God’s presence became so strong in that place that the priest couldn’t stand up under it!
(i) Few things will bring God’s presence onto the scene faster in your life than to remind yourself of God’s mercy and to start wholeheartedly praising Him for it. You can stand on the mercy of God!
IV) Now that you know what brings God’s power and presence into your situation, you need to know what won’t bring it in and that is, all your hard work.
A) Religion has taught a lot of believers about doing good works for God. If they can only do enough good works or spend enough hours reading their Bible, somehow they will earn enough Brownie points with God to get Him to do something for them.
1) Even as a child of God, nothing you can do can make God love you anymore then He already does. His (KEYSED) for you is complete and everlasting. Remember what we said the meaning of (KEYSED) is? It means God’s kindness, mercy, lovingkindness, goodness, goodliness, good, and favor.
a) In fact, it’s an insult to God’s mercy for you to think that any religious work you could possibly do would be enough to pay for what He has freely given you.
2) Good works are great. Fasting is beneficial. Reading the Word of God is essential to spiritual growth.
a) But when you fall into the trap of thinking those things will earn you more favor with God, you have moved out of faith and into cold, dead religion.
b) God loves you. It’s that simple. It’s His Mercy that brings Him into your toughest situations to save you from the consequences.
(i) Hard work doesn’t bring in the presence of God. His presence comes as a result of His mercy.
B) If you have not yet figured out that mercy plays a big role in everything God does, then turn with me to Psalms 145:8-9.
1) God’s mercy is over all his works. Everything He does is based on mercy. When He heals you, it’s because of His mercy. When He gives you the finances to pay a bill, it’s because of mercy. Even your salvation, the act of being born-again, is based on mercy.
a) The Apostle Paul said it this way in (Ephesians 2:8-9) “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
2) Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that just because you messed up and sinned you are disqualified from God’s favor and mercy.
a) God’s mercy is over all His works; and, as His child, you are one of His is works.
b) God’s mercy will out last your sin. If you fall, God’s mercy will still be there. His love will be there. His kindness will be there.
3) Is that a license for you to sin? Absolutely not!
a) Once you get a revelation of the mercy of God and of the truth that is in God and in His Word, you will not want to sin.
(i) You will start hating the presence of sin in your life as much as God does.
4) Turn with me to Proverbs 16:6.
a) What I wanted you to see is the 1st part of that verse which says; “By mercy and truth iniquity is purged.”
(i) Mercy does not invite the presence of sin into your life; it drives it out.
V) Many believers are under the impression that trouble is following them. They’re talking about it all the time. They say things like, “It just seems that everything I do turns out bad,” or they’ll say, “Trouble just seems to follow me wherever I go.”
A) That kind of thinking is a lie of the Devil.
1) The truth is, if you’re a child of God, it’s His mercy-not trouble-that is following you.
2) Look at Psalms 23:6
a) The Word “FOLLOW” in this verse is the Hebrew word “RAW-DAF” which literally means, “follow after, hunt, pursue, chase, and run after.”
b) As a believer, God’s goodness and mercy are in hot pursuit of you wherever you go. You can’t out run it. You can’t give it the slip. You can’t move out of its range.
c) Another definition to the Word “FOLLOW” is “HARASS.”
(i) When someone is harassing you they just don’t leave you alone. God’s goodness and God’s mercy are not going to leave you alone. They’re going to follow you wherever you go.
3) It’s God’s goodness and mercy that brings God’s presence in our lives and in our every situation.
a) God’s goodness and mercy is surrounding you. Once you begin to understand that, you too can begin to walk in God’s presence.
VI) Next week we’re going to continue on the mercies of God.
WOLCC Sunday, January 11, 1998 From Creflo Dollar’s book “Answers Awaiting in the Presence of God” Chapter 4