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December 14, 2020 2:00 am
The subject of God is the loftiest of all themes and the pinnacle of all pursuits. But for some, the idea of God is absurd because He's not readily perceived by the senses. In the message "How Can I Relate to God?" Skip examines the relationship you can have with God.
This teaching is from the series 20/20: Seeing Truth Clearly.Links:
This week's DevoMail: https://connnectwithskip.com/devomail
The basic problem is how can a mortal relate to somebody who is immortal and transcendent and invisible, but it shows the desired that all people have somehow related to one who is immortal, transcendent and invisible. The subject of God is the loftiest of all global pursuits but did you know that you can know him personally today on connect with skiff height Scriptures how you can relate to and grow even closer to the Lord hears a resource that will help take your prayer life to a new level. Recent research has found that Google searches for the word prayer surged worldwide alongside the spread of the novel coronavirus trends data shows that the search intensity for prayer doubles for every 8000 2/19 cases, but is there a right way or a more effective way to pray just best-selling author Kay Arthur where the battle is raging were to be on the frontlines on the front lines on her knees on the front line standing in the full armor of God Chi's book Lord, teach me to pray in 28 days offers simple but powerful instruction on how and what to pray and what to expect when you do, and it's our way to say when you give a gift of $25 or more today to help keep this ministry on the air.
Give online securely connect with skiff.com/offer call 800-922-1880. Let's dive into today's exit. Chapter 32, to begin with an illustration about two babies in their mother's womb.
Having a philosophical conversation. One asked the other.
Do you believe in life after delivery.
The other replied. Why, of course, there has to be something after delivery.
Maybe we are here to prepare ourselves for what will be later nonsense of the first, there is no life after delivery. What kind of life would that be the second said I don't know but there will be more light than in here. Maybe we will walk with our legs and feet from our mouths may be we will have other senses that we can't understand now the first replied that's absurd. Walking is impossible and eating with our mouths ridiculous.
The umbilical cord supplies nutrition and everything we need, but the umbilical cord is so short life after delivery is to be logically excluded. The second insisted why think there is something and maybe it's different than it is here. Maybe we won't need this physical cord anymore. The first replied nonsense, and moreover, if there is life, then why has no one ever come back from there. Delivery is the end of life and in the after delivery. There is nothing but darkness and silence and oblivion. It takes is nowhere well I don't know. So the second but certainly we will meet mother and she will take care of us. The first replied mother you actually believe in mother that's laughable. If mother exists and where is she now. Second, said she's all around us. We are surrounded by her. We are of her. It is in her that we live without her. This world would not and could not exist.
Said the first will I don't see her so it's only logical she doesn't exist too much. The second replied sometimes when you're in silence and you focus and really listen, you can perceive her presence. And you can hear her loving voice calling down from above about here you have two babies in this little story that have had very little life experience.
Obviously, and from their perspective, especially for one, the very thought of there being more was difficult to fathom. Likewise, for many people the idea of God, let alone relating to God is hard to imagine where emissaries recall 2020 seeing truth clearly, and we begin with the doctrine of God.
The first study we talked about truth. Last week we talked about God is our father and this week we camp in Exodus chapter 3233 and 34 next time we're together, we can look at a particular passage in the chapter 34 but it is a seminal passage on relating to God on knowing God because these chapters show the basic problem we have and the basic desire we have the basic problem is how can a mortal relate to somebody who is immortal and transcendent and invisible, but it shows the desire that all people have. To somehow relate to one who is immortal, transcendent and invisible. In the proof of that is the number of religions that exist today and I asked a few people this week how many religions do you think are out there and I want set on a couple hundred. My assistance at Amicus 500 religions 4200 religions last count that shorter shows you that people everywhere around the world at different seasons are longing to somehow relate to God. Now what I want to show you in these three chapters and select versus I'm presupposing that you know the story generally be filling in some of the historical gaps, but I want to show you five distinct stages in a relationship with God know these are stages in a relationship with God not this isn't true of all relationships but any relationship with God is going to be unique because God is unique.
Make sense. So God is omniscient. He is omnipotent he is omnipresent and he is perfect, who can relate to that. So you you see the difficult, so we begin stage number one is rebellion now on fall fall you'll follow me as I explained it to look at one verse in Exodus 32 the beginning verse now, when the people saw that Moses delayed coming down from the mountain he's at Mount Sinai with them.
The people gathered together to Aaron and said to him, make us gods that shall go before us is for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt.
We do not know what has become of him. I call this chapter the old chapter as everything is good up to this point and then all of a sudden all the they reached a low point. They turn into this crazy pagan party bunch that goes absolutely wild. And here's the reason Moses has been up on Mount Sinai for 40 days hearing from God, bringing the law of God and he takes longer than they expected. And so the people get nervous and they say to Aaron, make us an idol and a golden calf is produced know why a calf why a calf. Here's my answer conditioned response. They had been in Egypt for generations and in Egypt. One of the principal gods that was worshiped was a calf, a bull by the name of Apus, a PIS piece the ball. It was a symbol of power. He was called the renewal of life not listen to the Lodge and the belief was that a flash of light descended from heaven on a cow and produce a principal so there at Mount Sinai. They look up were Moses was at and it says in the 19th chapter of Exodus that flashes of lightning were striking them out light from heaven, so that immediately made them think of this Egyptian symbol of power and virility Apus the ball but in casting.
This golden calf. They immediately broke the second commandment right second commandment you will make no grave, graven or carved images of anything in heaven above or on earth below, so they did and they broke the second commandment. And as we look at it, we wonder why did they do this. What's the big deal for them making something that they can see this is where the problem comes in and relating to God.
People have always had problems with an invisible God, you tell people about God. The goal I've never seen God is ever spoken to me. I can't touch God like a little opening illustration. You see, it's hard to have a personal relationship that's the language we use right you have a personal relationship with God's heart have a personal relationship with the person you never see or ever hear or can ever touch.
How can you relate to that kind of a being a sort of like the famous story Hg Wells wrote the invisible man how a guy came up with the way through science to become invisible. Hood sounds really fine and coolant novel. At first, but as the story goes on.
Nobody trusts somebody they can't see, so he gets into trouble because of a member, even as a little boy when my parents would tell me about God I look up at the clouds and just wish he'd poke his head through every now and then so I could see him be disco high still here. Maybe you can relate to Isaiah chapter 45 which says truly you are a God who hides himself, and this is why there is a longing for the return of Christ. As Paul wrote to Titus in chapter 2 of that book looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. So they make something they can see something visible, something tangible. I said they broke the second commandment I want to pose a question because I want to leave this alone.
Why is this so bad, why is it so bad to God that on God's top 10 list of things not to do number two is don't you dare make a carved image of anything in heaven above or on earth beneath the make any graven image to represent. Why is God not wanting to be represented by an image here's the answer. There is in an image that can represent God is a God is unlimited and as soon as you make some kind of an image. You have limited God, you portrayed him in a certain limited way that ball might represent power that calf might represent power, but it does not represent a God who is loving and wanting to forgive and compassionate and patient and kind and just and so Isaiah the prophet in Isaiah 4018 said, to whom then will you liken God or what likeness will you compare to him. There is none.
There is no suitable image that can represent number two when you make an image of God. Essentially, you're making God into your image you're saying here is an attribute of God.
I choose to focus on neglecting all of the other attributes that he reveals about himself and that limiting of God, you are crafting a God that you can relate to you make him in your image. There other reasons, we don't have enough time to get into but go down with me all the way down to verse 25. In this rebellion, like a bat against when Moses saw that the people were unrestrained. What a word for Aaron had not restrained them to their shame among their enemies there unrestrained. There's no outward control of law there is no inward control of conscience so they just do whatever they want when they want to make it up as I go along that you might be wondering, skip, why are you saying rebellion is the first step in relating to God while it's because it's the starting point.
We all know it's our default mode. The Bible says all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.
That is the condition of all humanity.
So maybe I would be better off if I said rather than rebellion.
At least realizing your rebellion is the first step in a relationship with God. You realize this is who I am and I need help remembering the sermon on the Mount, Jesus begins with a list of beatitudes first beatitude first step in relating the goddess of Blessed are the poor in spirit. They will see God, blessed are the poor in spirit. What is that mean means you recognize your condition. I'm poverty-stricken before God. I have nothing to offer.
I'm in this sinful condition irreparable condition.
I am bankrupt before Almighty God. I realize that that's the first step followed by a second step in that is a step of repentance. I take you back to our text in Exodus 32 go down to verse 31 versus Moses return to the Lord and said all of these people have committed a great sin I made for themselves a God of gold. Yet now, if you will forgive their sin.
That's his request, but if not, I pray, blot me out of your book which you have written. Now go to chapter 33 verse four when the people heard this bad news. They mourned notice that were mourned and no one put on his ornaments that is jewelry. They didn't bedeck themselves with jewels for the Lord said to Moses, say to the children of Israel your stiffnecked people. I could come up in your midst. In one moment and consume you. Now, therefore, take off your ornaments that I may know what to do to you.
So the children of Israel stripped themselves of their ornaments by Mount Horeb. What you have here is a public display display of remorse. A public display of contrition or penitence.
Moses comes down from the mountain and sort of acts as their conscience and and sees what they're doing in building this And partying and being unrestrained and basically says what are you doing what on earth were you thinking, and they realize how bad this looks and eventually they come to a place with a mourn over like it says here and they strip off their jewelry. That's an outward expression of an inward impression. It's what later on is seen as donning sackcloth and ashes.
Now back to that sermon on the mount, but I just mentioned. Jesus said blessed are the poor in spirit. That step one. I realize my sinful condition. Then he said, blessed are those who mourn, that's the second step. I realize my poverty of spirit and because of that poverty of spirit. I'm more, I grieve over and those are two parts of repentance to parts of repentance that gripping chapter 7 godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation. You see, there is a sorrow that is good if it moves you to pivot in your condition of sinfulness and say hi mourn over that and I need you I need help.
My wife lamia when she came to Christ she she was not raised in a religious home at all.
She was raised as an atheist can believe God existed. She did believe that God was around and she had France on or about Jesus and her father came to know Jesus and so he told her that she needed to. So anyway, she's listening and thinking and talking to friends. One friend gives her a tract called the four spiritual laws a great track. She read it, misunderstood it because she saw the pictures. No one picture shows you sitting on the throne of your life and things are working out everything is bad in life and then you put Jesus at the center of the throne of your life and everything to shortfalls in the place works out. So she goes okay I get it. I asked Jesus to come into my life and everything I want all get everything will fall into place and be perfect. I get what I want, so she prayed to asked Jesus to come in and sit on the throne of her life. She was going to church and week after week. She just didn't feel right. She just didn't feel right like some was wrong I missing something where my not getting here and so she walked forward after service. Talk to one of the pastors at this church.
I know this guy's name is Malcolm he's from England English faster still in the ministry and up. She told him her story and I got this practice what I did and so Malcolm said can I should question.
Have you repented of your sins course.
He was from England's with of you repented of your sins and she said, have I will read what I even know what that word means repent so he described the biblical definition of meta Noya repentance what it means to turn from in turn choose not just turn to return from a life of sin and turn to Christ. She said I have never done so civil today is going to be the day you do and she after explaining that led her in the prayer of faith, repentance from dead works from sin and faith in Jesus Christ. So the first step is rebellion followed by a second one which is repentance. No repentance happens to be.
If you know your New Testament.
One of the key themes in that part of the Bible. Although it's odd is that it's just not very popular in many pulpits today as it is in the New Testament. It's a very confronting message to tell people repent, but the first words out of John the Baptist mouth were repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand among the first words of the Lord Jesus Christ work repent and believe the gospel so it might be unpopular in pulpits, but it is not unpopular in the New Testament, it is foundational and it's essential. Jesus told a story about two men going to the temple to pray this in Luke chapter 18. He said two men went to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee, religious dude raised in religion new scripture and a tax collector. Bad guy scum of the earth, and he said the Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself Lord I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like that tax collector I fast twice a week. I give tithes of all that I possess. That was his prayer and he sounds pretty good on the surface sounds very spiritual comes with a negative lesson a positive and I don't do this. I don't do that.
I don't do the other thing but I do these things and then Jesus continued said, but the tax collector scum of the earth guy.
He wouldn't even raise his head toward heaven, but he beat on his breasts and he said, Lord, be merciful to me a sinner.
Jesus said that man went home justified when, why not that God that guy is God doing all the good things staying away from all the bad things this guy won't even look up said on a bad guy. Be merciful Jesus and he went home justified because he admitted his need and decided to turn from. So the second stage is repentance.
He was poor in spirit. This man was not poor in spirit. Therefore, he did not mourn. Therefore, he was not justified brings us to the third stage in a relationship with God and that his request.
Request we show you what I mean in Exodus 33 verse 13 Moses now talking to God. Now therefore I pray if I found grace in your site. Please show me your way but I may know you, that I may find grace in your site. Beautiful prayer, and consider that this nation is your people want to grow with you. I want to learn your ways.
I want to do what's right and I'm praying for them as well and he God said my presence will go with you languages all go with you individually. I will give you rest. And he said to him, if your presence does not go with us.
Do not bring us up from here is because of your presence is in with us and we can be like every other nation in the world. So I go any further for how then will it be known that your people and I have found grace in your site except you go with us so we shall be separate your people and I from all the people who are on the face of the earth, so the Lord said to Moses, I will also do this thing that you have spoken you a found grace in my sight.
I know you by name Ellicott this last request was 18 and he said please this is Moses prayer please show me your glory basket height message from the series 2020. You Skip to tell you about how you can keep encouraging messages like this coming your way to help connect others to God has revealed who he is in his word, the Bible. That's like studying your Bible is so and is why we share these teachings that you have come to love to connect you and others with our heavenly father, but there are costs to keeping these messages coming to you which is why your generous support is so critical. Here's how you can give a gift today. You can give firstname.lastname@example.org/donate.
That's connectwithskip.com/donate or call 800-922-1888, 800-922-1888. Thank you tomorrow Skip talks about how God revealed himself to Moses and how he reveals himself to you today to see all of the greatest spiritual experiences you may have had up to this point all the great retreats within the great worship conferences you have attended were never meant to satisfy they were meant to create a deeper appetite for the fall final Skip presentation of connection communications changing truth