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How Can I Relate to God? - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
The Truth Network Radio
March 7, 2022 2:00 am

How Can I Relate to God? - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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March 7, 2022 2:00 am

The truth of who God is and how perceptible He is to us will lift us up and humble us at the same time. In the message "How Can I Relate to God?" Skip continues to trace the journey you must take to relate to the God of the universe.

This teaching is from the series 20/20: Seeing Truth Clearly.




This week's DevoMail:

In Touch
Charles Stanley
Core Christianity
Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Daily Platform
Bob Jones University

All of the greatest spiritual experiences you may have had up to this point, all the great retreats you've been on, all the great worship conferences you have attended were never meant to satisfy you.

They were meant to create a deeper thirst to whet your appetite for the full and final encounter. Sometimes we wish we could just see God, but that's where faith comes in. Today on Connect with Skip Heizig, Skip talks about how God revealed himself to Moses and how he reveals himself to you even today. Before we begin, we want to let you know about an amazing opportunity you have to visit the sites where the prophets and kings in the Bible heard from God. This is Pastor Skip and I want to let you know that our 2022 trip to Israel is full speed ahead.

Israel is now open, the trip is safe and you can still register. We will be touring May 4th through the 15th and this is such a beautiful time of the year to be in Israel. You're going to enjoy the Sea of Galilee where Jesus spent so much of his time. We'll stop at Mount Carmel and Megiddo, then I look forward to walking with you through the gorgeous port of Caesarea. We'll baptize people in the Jordan River, we'll tour Masada and we'll even float in the Dead Sea. Then the High Line up to Jerusalem where there is so much to see and do. Finally, we will enjoy a powerful time of worship as we take communion in the Garden Tomb.

Those are just the highlights. There is so much more on this tour and Lenny and I hope that you will make plans now to see Israel with us on this trip. Here's more information. Tour agenda and registration details at slash Israel or call Inspiration Cruises and Tours 1-800-247-1899. Tour dates are May 4th through the 15th, 12 days over 40 iconic sites. Also a pre-tour excursion to Rome. There's still time to join Skip and Lenya Heitzig for an epic tour of Israel.

Registration is open now. slash Israel. Okay, let's dive into today's teaching. We'll be in Exodus chapter 32 as Skip Heitzig begins the study. So the Lord said to Moses, I will also do this thing that you have spoken for you have found grace in my sight and I know you by name. Now look at this last request, verse 18. And he said, please, this is Moses prayer, please show me your glory. Let me fill in a couple gaps because we read just select verses. Because of the rebellion that took place in chapter 32 with the golden calf, because the people rebelled, God essentially said, I'm not going to be going with this group of people in the same way that you've had me go with this people.

I'm going to instead send my angel on my behalf. Moses is disappointed with that. Goes to have a talk privately with God and basically goes, look, I don't want less of you. I want more of you.

We as a people need more of you, not less of you. And then his culminating prayer is please show me your glory. Now that word glory kavod in Hebrew means your weight or your heaviness.

Please show me how heavy you are. Meaning I want to, I want to, it refers to a person's weighty reputation or honored position. One translation says, please show me your own self. So here's Moses saying to God, I want to see the full disclosure of your glorious person.

Sound familiar? Does it sound like a New Testament character who said to Jesus, his name was Philip, show us the father. That's all we need. Show us the father and that will be sufficient. Now, God in verse 20 here in the Moses story in verse 20 says, no can do, Mo.

That's the NSV, the new Skip version. No can do, Mo. I can't show you my glory. If you see me, you'll die. No man can see me and live. You can't see my face.

You can't see the full expression of my glory. I guess it'd be like a bug zapper, right? You know, you plug that thing in and there's a little light outside and bugs kind of are attracted by it, but if they get too close, I'm sure seeing the glory of God would be much the same way. We in our mortal bodies getting too close to perfection.

Bug zapper. Question. Why did Moses ask this from God? Show me your glory. Now, I want you to think about that question.

Because I remember when I first read this and I thought, that's an odd request. I mean, if I'm Moses, I'm thinking I've seen enough already, right? I mean, if you think of what Moses saw and experienced with God up to this point, it's more than all of our experiences with God put together. Moses heard God's voice out of a bush. When did that happen to you?

Probably not, unless you're on drugs. A burning bush talked to him, gave him instruction. Plagues from heaven rained down upon his enemies.

A body of water called the Red Sea opened up, letting a couple million people through and closing to kill the enemies of God. Did that ever happen in your lifetime to you? Did you see that? No, Moses saw all of that and more, and yet he has the audacity to say, I want more. Show me your glory. I want to see everything.

Why? In a word, I'll call it this, God hunger. God hunger. He was hungry for God. All human beings that I have ever met have, in their core, a deep hunger for God.

No matter how brilliant they are, no matter what they believe in, no matter how erudite and spiritually knowledgeable and theologically advanced they might be, they all have a desire to see God. Here's an example. When you have a relationship with a person on earth that you really love, and you're distant from them, let's say you're family. So, I'm married, I have kids, I go away on a business trip, and I miss my family, but I carry something with me, their image, a picture of them. In the old days, there used to be things called photographs.

You put them in your wallet or purse. Nowadays, we have our smartphones, and we can show people pictures or videos of them, or we can even FaceTime them or Zoom, meeting with them, and we can hear their voice and we can see their picture. But do we ever, in seeing their picture and hearing their voice, say, well, that's all I need. I'll never need to get together with you ever again because I've just had this experience, so bye, forever.

No. In seeing their picture and hearing their voice, all that does is accentuate the loss all the more. You know, it doesn't really satisfy me completely.

It temporarily does, but it accentuates the loss. I am now longing for their tangible presence, or in the words of the text, their glory. I want to be with them. So, Moses, after all his experience, is still not satisfied, and you know what? You won't be either until you see him face to face. You see, all of the greatest spiritual experiences you may have had up to this point, all the great retreats you've been on, all the great worship conferences you have attended, were never meant to satisfy you. They were meant to create a deeper thirst to whet your appetite for the full and final encounter, and that is heaven. Because in heaven, that will be the culmination of all of our worship experiences, and then, and only then, will you be satisfied. Psalm 17, verse 15, as for me, I will see your face in righteousness. I shall be satisfied when I awaken your likeness. When you see God is when you'll be fully satisfied.

That's when you'll go, ah, this is what I've always wanted. Tim Stafford, who wrote a book that influenced me greatly, said, I believe this longing can only be fulfilled when our eyes are opened on the loving and glorious face of God. Such will someday be our joy, but not yet. The Bible does not hint that our intimacy with God can be satisfied through prayer or through ecstatic worship experiences or through the Bible.

If Moses could not get what he wanted, then we should not be too surprised at our own sense of incompleteness. Our longing is a mark of God's touch. We long to know Him completely because we have come to know Him in part.

It's so good. We long to know Him completely because we've come to know Him in part. So now we understand this request, show me your glory. Now back to the Sermon on the Mount because Jesus sort of gives the same stages in a relationship. You first come admitting you're poor in spirit.

I'm bankrupt. I'm a sinner. You then mourn over that condition called repentance. Then the third thing Jesus said is, blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, they will be filled. That's where the request comes in. That's where the growth comes in. That's where the sanctification comes in. So this is always the third step.

You come to know Him, but you want to grow in Him. Now let me give you a spoiler alert. Moses' prayer was finally answered years later in the New Testament. On the Mount of Transfiguration in the Gospel of Luke chapter 9, we are told that Jesus was transfigured before them and Moses and Elijah were with Him and it says Jesus appeared in His glory. Show me your glory. Okay, hold that thought, Mo. It's answered in the New Testament, seeing the glory of God and the person of Christ.

Okay, back to our story. Moses said, show me your glory. God said, no can do, Mo. You can't see my glory and live.

Bug zapper. So if Moses didn't get what he longed for, then what did he get? Well, I'm glad you asked. Look at verse 19, the very next verse in chapter 33. Then he said, God said to Moses, I will make all my goodness pass before you, now watch this, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before you.

Now go to chapter 34 verse 5, because that's where God did what He said He was going to do. The Lord descended in a cloud and stood within there and proclaimed the name of the Lord. And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed, that's the third time we hear the word proclaim. You know what proclaim means? It means to speak, to announce, to declare, to teach, to preach, that's the idea. And proclaimed the Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long suffering, abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and upon the children's children to the third and the fourth generation. Now I'm going to cover that next week, that little self-disclosure, that autobiography of God.

But this takes us to the next step, Revelation. So Moses says, show me your glory. Does God show him his glory?

No. He doesn't get an apparition. He doesn't see God directly. There's no grand vision.

There's no Jesus appearing in a tortilla. What does he get? Words. Words. God proclaimed something. God spoke something to him. You go, words? He asked for glory and he got words?

Yep. He got 51 glorious words, a nine-fold description, a list of attributes, a theology spoken by God himself. So Moses says, show me your glory. And he says, you know what?

I'm going to tell you who I am and I'm going to tell you what I'm like. I'm going to give you my autobiography and that's all you need for now. That's all you need for now.

Have you ever discovered this truth? Sometimes we think we need something, but God knows we need something else. Oh, we're convinced. I need this, God.

No, not really. You need that. You might think you need this and pray for this, but I'm going to give you that.

Show me your glory. I'm going to give you words. I want to see an apparition. Here's a Bible study.

Well, I want tingles. Here's a theology. This is what you need.

So here's an example of that. Paul wanted a miraculous healing. God knew he didn't need that.

God said, my grace is sufficient for you. It's all you need. You want that, but this is what you need. Mary and Martha wanted Jesus to prevent Lazarus' death. That's what they wanted. They didn't need that.

You know what they needed? A resurrection. So Jesus came and raised Lazarus from the dead. Moses wanted a vision of God's glory. God comes and says, let me tell you about myself.

So God reveals himself through his word and when he does that, it forces us to live by faith because we can't live by sight. We don't see it. We believe it. We hear it.

We respond. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. Now listen, that's going to have to be enough for you right now for a while. That's why this series, 2020, Seeing Truth Clearly, is so important because I'm hoping through this you're going to realize everything we actually need is found in the pages of this revelation, God's words. 2 Peter 1, everything that pertains to life and godliness comes through the knowledge of him who called us by glory and virtue. A lot of times people are searching for more, more in the Christian life, something others don't have, the next level, I want more power, I want more Holy Spirit, I want more blessings, I want more glory, more, more, more. Good, I understand that, but God gives you his word and my question to you is, are you as excited about God's word as you are about God's wonders? No, I want some tingles.

Well, let me tell you about myself. Now that leads us to the fifth and final stage, at least in this Bible study, of course there are more in our growth, but that is Moses' response. Look at his response in verse 8 of chapter 34. So, Moses crossed his arms and said, not good enough. No, it didn't say that. I misread that on purpose. So Moses made haste, that is he hurried up and he bowed his head toward the earth and he worshipped.

What? He didn't get what he wanted, but he paused, hurried up and he worshipped. He didn't get what he wanted, he got what he needed and he worshipped. Moses didn't say, excuse me God, time out, this is not what I came for, I came for some goosebumps, I came for tingles, I want to be lifted, I want to get really emotional, have a touch and a vision, I want to be moved, I want to quiver.

He didn't get that. He got a Bible study and he worshipped. Now listen, to worship when you don't get what you want is true worship. Job didn't get what he wanted. His kids got killed, he lost his health, he lost his goods and he bowed down and he worshipped God. He said, the Lord gives, the Lord takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord.

In all this, Job did not charge God or do wrong. He worshipped. To worship only when you feel blessed, only when you feel lifted up, only when you are having no anxiety, only when you have perfect health, so what?

Pagans do that. To worship God when you don't get what you expect or want or think you need, you say, God I don't get it, but that's okay. You're sovereign, you're God, I'm not. Praise you, you're good all the time.

So that's his response. Now let me quickly give you three takeaways to sum it all up. Number one, longing is a part of loving. Take this away from this Bible study. Longing is a part of loving. You long for more, you long to be close to God. That's good.

That's a mark of his touch, says Stafford. Longing is a part of loving. God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him, but you won't be fully rewarded till you leave this earth and enter heaven and you're able to see him. So when God says no, what God is saying to Moses isn't no forever. It's just no, not now.

I want to see your glory. No. Didn't mean no, not ever, but not now, not yet.

Right? So it's like when your kids want to drive and your 14 year old son says, I want to drive and you tell him, what do you tell him if your kid says, give me the keys I want to drive? You say, no. Now when you say no, you're not saying no forever.

No. When you're 30 you're never going to drive. You're saying not yet. Next year I'll teach you how to drive and the next year and when you're 16 you'll get a driver's license. I think that's way too young, should be 18, but that's another opinion.

Found in Second Opinions chapter three. Or December 23rd rolls around and your daughter says, can I open the presents? No. You don't mean no never. You mean not today.

Maybe tomorrow night on Christmas Eve or the day after on Christmas Day. Yes. So longing is a part of loving, number one. Number two, worshiping is better than wondering. Instead of wondering why God isn't more dramatic, wondering why God doesn't show up more, let his word be enough for now. Knowing that full satisfaction will come when you see him face to face and you will.

So longing is a part of loving. Worshipping is better than wondering. And number three, invisible does not mean unavailable. It's because you can't see God because there's no immediate evidence. Doesn't mean he's unavailable. In fact, the issue isn't I can't see God.

The issue is God can see you. That's what Job said. Job said, I'm looking for God. I went forward. I couldn't find him.

I went backward. I couldn't perceive him, but he knows the way that I take. I can't see him, but he can see me. Psalm 139, where can I go from your spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?

Answer, nowhere. God is everywhere. Like in that opening illustration, the mother surrounds us. We're in her. We live in him.

In him we live and move and have our being. Years ago on television, they televised circuses for People's Entertainment. They had a live audience and in one particular act in the live audience and televised was the Bengal Tiger Act. So a trainer would go into a cage and it was filled with tigers, Bengal tigers. The door locked behind him and the people, you know, the cameras move around, the people are plotting and the guy puts the tigers through all their paces, all their tricks. The crowd's, you know, excited.

It's pretty cool. And suddenly right in the middle of the act, the lights went out. Now, picture, you're the trainer. You've just walked into a cage filled with man eating tigers and woman eating tigers.

He's no respecter of persons. You're in that cage, door's locked behind you. All of a sudden, the lights go out and you look around. You can't see anything. You realize, I am in a cage filled with tigers and I can't see them.

But then you have a second thought. They can see me because they're felines. They can see in the dark.

It would be a little disconcerting. What I want you to know using that illustration is God sees in the dark. In your darkness, God sees to the darkness of COVID and job loss and rioting in the streets and you feeling anxious because of it because the world is so weird right now and so dark right now. God sees in the dark. He's not a Bengal tiger, but he is the lion of the tribe of Judah. And he can see it all and he has got you covered. So invisible does not mean unavailable. That concludes Skip Heitzig's message, How Can I Relate to God?

from the series 2020. Now, here's a resource that explains how Jesus' forgiveness of your past unlocks peace and purpose for your future. pilot famously asked that very question just before he handed over Jesus to be crucified. So what is truth?

Here's Skip Heitzig. You see, the Bible makes truth claims, and some of those claims are, well, pretty absolute. Here's one. Jesus said, I am the way, the truth, the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. But how can you know it's really true? We want to help you get started in answering that question with two truth-focused resources. The booklet Why Truth Matters and Bloodline, both by Pastor Skip.

It's our way to say thank you for your gift of $35 or more today to help connect more people to God's truth through Connect with Skip. Jesus is absolute truth. Pilot thought it couldn't be found, so he dismisses the case, and in effect, he dismisses Jesus from out of his life.

Get your copies of these two powerful resources when you give online securely at slash offer or call 800-922-1888. Tomorrow, Skip Heitzig explores God's autobiography in Scripture, helping you know him even more personally. The best way to learn about God is from God himself, to enter into a relationship with him and hear from him what he says about himself. Moses does that. Moses grew up an Israelite. He knew he was a Jewish person.

He learned about that as he was raised in Egypt. But in the last few chapters, he has had more intimate contact with God. Make a connection, make a connection at the foot of the cross and cast all burdens on his word. Make a connection, connection. Connect with Skip Heitzig is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never-changing truth in ever-changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-26 19:17:06 / 2023-05-26 19:26:35 / 9

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