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How to Enjoy the Presence of God | Part 2

Love Worth Finding / Adrian Rogers
The Truth Network Radio
March 22, 2021 8:00 am

How to Enjoy the Presence of God | Part 2

Love Worth Finding / Adrian Rogers

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March 22, 2021 8:00 am

Our purpose is to know God intimately and to enjoy Him personally; we need nothing more and should settle for nothing else. In this message, Adrian Rogers teaches us how to enjoy the presence of God, and even more importantly, how to stay in it.

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Has it been a while since God has felt real to me? Do you want God to be real to you?

Don't be stiff-necked. If God promises His protection and provision, but He will not be with them. In part one of today's message, Adrian Rogers began revealing four causes as to why God withdrew His presence from His people so that we can know how to enjoy the presence of God, and even more importantly, how to stay in it. If you have your Bible, turn to Exodus chapter 33.

Once again, here's Adrian Rogers. The sons of Abraham are out there in the wilderness. God has given them a covenant, and God has given them a promise, and they're headed toward the promised land, and in the middle of that journey, they sin terribly against God. God says, all right, I have promised that I'm going to give you the land, a land that flows with milk and honey. I will give you an angel escort into the land. And when you get there, the land will flow with milk and honey. But God says, I am not a covenant.

I am not going with you. Now, that's frightening, to have success, to have possessions, to have protection, but not to have the presence of the Lord. I wonder, are there some of you who once knew the glory of God, and now that glory has departed, and that glory has faded, and the glory of God is gone, and your life is dry.

God has caused God to withdraw his manifested presence from his people. I want to mention four things. Those four things are the same four things that will rob you, denude you of the manifested presence of God in your life, and will be the archenemy of worship. Worship is enjoying the presence of God.

Now, what were these four things? Well, first of all, they disobeyed God in Exodus 32, where God said, well, I'll not destroy them. I'll send an angel, but I will not be in their midst. Number one, they disobeyed God. Look, if you will, in Exodus 32, verses 7 and 8 again. Go back to it, Exodus 32, and the Lord God said unto Moses, go get thee down, for thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves. Notice God calls them Moses, your people now. And notice verse 8, they have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them.

I met many people who doubt their salvation that I believe were truly saved, but they're living in direct disobedience to God, and as a result of that, they do not have the manifested presence of God. Now, put this verse in your Bible, John 14, verse 21. It's one of the key verses in enjoying the presence of God.

Now, listen to it. Jesus said, he that hath my commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me. Now, folks, when people truly love God, you don't see it just when they stand in the congregation and sing, oh, how I love Jesus. But they obey him. He that hath my commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me, and he that loveth me shall be loved in my Father, and watch this, and I will love him and will what?

Manifest myself to him. Aren't we talking about the manifest presence of God? Do you see how the Bible links the manifest presence of God with keeping the commandments of God? Because when we disobey God, we grieve the Holy Spirit, we quench the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit of God is in us to make God real to us, and when we do that, we might have eternal security. We might go to heaven. God might send an angel escort to bring us to heaven when we die.

But would you settle for that rather than the manifest presence of God? Many Christians are. A man came and talked to his pastor and he said, Pastor, I don't have any joy. The presence of God is not real in my heart, in my life like it used to be. This wise pastor asked him a direct question. He said, is there any known sin in your life?

Any unconfessed and repetitive sin in your life? That man in a moment of honesty said, well, Pastor, let me tell you something. He said, I used to bring a tithe of my income to God.

I believe the Word of God when the Bible teaches that we're to bring all the tithe into the storehouse. But he said some time ago, I got the idea that perhaps God didn't need that as much as I needed it. And he said, yes, Pastor, I have ceased to be honest with God. And you know what this pastor told him?

The pastor said, do you know what you've done? You've begun to steal from God. He said, sir, you wouldn't put your hand in the offering plate, would you, when the offering is passed? Put your hand in the offering plate and take some money out that other people had given to God.

Would you steal from the offering plate? The other guy says, when a man is not faithful in stewardship, he's robbing God. Now, he said, what do you think God does when his child does that? When God sees his child willingly disobeying him, will God say this?

My child has chosen to disobey me. Number one, he's stealing from me. Number two, he cannot trust me to take care of his needs. He cannot trust me with his resources.

Number three, he will not obey me. Now, this week, I think I will bless him with even more financial resources, and I will make my presence very real to him. Do you think God would do that? And God says, I'm going to display myself.

I'm going to give him a deeper sense of my presence and my approval. No. No, why? Because here was a man in willing disobedience to Almighty God. Now, I want to say something else. Do you know who it was that encouraged these people to disobey God and lose the manifest presence of God? It was Aaron. Do you know who Aaron was? Aaron was a priest, a religious leader.

Now, I'm going to tell you something else. There will always be plenty of people who will give you a reason and excuse to disobey God. And it may even be a religious leader. They'll lead you into an unscriptural marriage, some immorality, some transgression of the commandments of God, and they'll say, well, that's all right.

Times have changed, and things are different. But I remind you one more time that Jesus says, he that hath my commandments and keepeth him, he it is that loves me, and he that loves me shall be loved to my Father, and I will love him and will manifest myself to him. Now, if you want an angel escort, and if you want to go to heaven without having the presence of God in your life, that's your business, but I don't. I want the manifested presence of God in my life. I need nothing more.

I will settle for nothing less. So ask yourself this question if God is not real to you. Ask this question in your heart. Have I rejected a direct command of God? Am I right now living in disobedience to a known command of God?

If you are, there's no reason that I can think of in all of the Bible where you ought to have a sense of the manifest presence of God. God loves you too much to manifest himself to you in glory and joy and yet have you to live in disobedience because I cannot think of a worse lesson that he would teach you. So question number one, can I discern any direct disobedience to God?

Let me ask you the next question if God is not real to you. Can I discover any divided devotion to God? Not only direct disobedience but divided devotion. Look again in chapter 32 in verse 4. And he received them at their hand and fashioned it, that is the golden calf, with a graving tool. After that he had made it a molten calf and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel.

Now what had these people done? They had divided devotion. They claimed to be Israel.

The word Israel means the people of God. And yet they made a golden calf. They made for themselves a God that was no bigger than their own imagination.

And then rather than trusting Almighty God, they began to trust the work of the hands. This was idolatry. As I've told you before that the Bible says when people make an idol they become like the idol. First the man molds the idol and then the idol molds the man. What is an idol? An idol is just a magnified sinner. A man just takes his own ideas and puts them into the work of his hands and then he begins to worship it. And what he is really worshiping ultimately therefore is himself. You say, Well, Adrian, I'm not guilty of idolatry.

Well, let's check up and find out whether you are or not. Maybe there might be a golden calf in your life. What is an idol? Anything that you love more than God is an idol. What is an idol? Anything that you fear more than God is an idol. What is an idol? Anything that you serve more than God is an idol. Anything that you trust more than God is an idol.

Is there any direct disobedience? Is there any divided devotion? Is there something that you love more, fear more, serve more, or trust more than Almighty God? If there is, no wonder God's presence is not real in your heart and in your life.

Divided devotion. If the glory of God is gone in your life, if God is not real to you, ask this question. Is there anyone or anything that takes precedence over God in your life? You say, Well, I give God a place in my life. God doesn't want a place in your life. You say, Well, I give God prominence in my life. God despises prominence in your life. God demands preeminence in your life. He will take nothing less.

God's throne is not a duplex. Is there anything that is a greater controlling factor of your behavior? Is there a relationship that means more to you? Is there treasure that means more to you?

Is there anything that gets more of your attention than Almighty God? Then, friend, it should not come as a surprise to you that because of that golden calf in your life, God says, I'm not going with you. I'll not be in the midst of you.

I just won't do it. Any direct disobedience, any divided devotion. My wife knows that I love her with all of my heart, but she knows she's second place, not first place in my life. And she doesn't mind being second place because she knows that when God is first place, I will love her with a love that I could never love her with if she were first place. Now, friend, there are certain relationships in your life that are wonderful relationships, but none can take the place of an undivided relationship to Almighty God. Idolatry is the mother sin, the father sin, the sin of all other sins.

Now, here's a third question that you might ask yourself. If God is not real in your life, if you do not have that manifested presence of God in worship, is enjoying the presence of God, do you, thirdly, detect any displaced dependence? Direct disobedience, divided devotion, displaced dependence. Look, if you will, again in verses 7 and 8. The Lord said unto Moses, Go get thee down, for thy people which thou broughtest up out of the land of Egypt have corrupted themselves, may have turned aside quickly out of the way which I have commanded them. They made them a molten calf. All right, there you have direct disobedience and divided devotion.

Now watch this. And have worshiped it and sacrificed them to, and said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. Now they began to put their dependence in the work of their hands. Their ugly God that they've made with their own hands. Now no longer is there dependence upon Almighty God that brought them through the Red Sea.

Do you know what happens when you do that? When God gives you a victory and you give the glory to something else or someone else and then depend upon that rather than the God who gave you the victory, you're going to lose the presence of God. You see, they took those earrings off their own ears.

They took those bracelets off their own hands. And with a graving tool, they made a god. And then they said, That's our God, and that is what is delivering us.

And God says, All right, I'm not going with you anymore. Not long ago, when George Bush was the president of the United States, our nation came up against what we thought was an implacable foe, Saddam Hussein. And you know, they basically say in any kind of a war, you cannot defend your life against the man who's not afraid to lose his. And these fanatical Republican troops were marshaling for desert war. I can remember staying up at night and watching on CNN and watching those missiles fly in the air and those Patriot missiles. I can remember this church after that happened. I can tell you, my dear friend, that Sunday morning, our attendance, it seems to me, was up 25 percent. And people across the land, they filled the churches of the land. And they cried out to God. And there were prayer meetings, fasting and prayer, saying, Oh God, we don't want to get bogged down in the Middle East in some desert war. And God, you know what, it could be germ warfare. It could be atomic warfare. It could break up in the Middle East where they're shooting those missiles over the Scud missiles into Israel.

Everyone may retaliate with atomic bombs and who knows but what it's all about to blow up right in our face. Do you remember those times or have you forgotten? And our boys were going off and we were praying, Oh God, help us. Oh God, deliver us.

And I want to tell you something, friend. God answered prayer. Do you know what happened as soon as Desert Storm was over? Rather than giving God the glory, do you know what we did? We began to say, Boy, Schwarzkopf, what a general. Colin Powell, what a strategist.

What about those Patriot missiles? Ha ha ha ha. Boy, we showed him, didn't we? We kicked some you-know-what.

I heard all that kind of talk. Isn't that true? I want to tell you, we failed to give God the glory. We failed to have national revival. We failed to continue to follow God and love God and serve God and since that time, our nation has gone down into a cesspool of rottenness and filth. Never, since I've been preaching, have I seen a nation take a nosedive like this nation has taken since Desert Storm.

Never did we have a more glorious victory, I don't believe. Never did God protect the people and in mercy move into us and let us get out of a mess like we got out of with such blessings. But then we made a golden calf and we said, Look what brought us out of Desert Storm. Just like they made a golden calf and they said, These are gods that brought us out, brought us through the Red Sea and they failed to give God the glory.

I'm going to tell you something precious, sweet friend. You listen to me. God has said, I will not share my glory with another. And when God gives you a blessing and when God is good to you and God brings you through the storm and then you have that displaced dependence, you begin to give credit where credit does not do and fail to give God the glory, is it any wonder that His presence is not real in your life? Is there any direct disobedience? Is there any divided devotion?

Is there any displaced dependence? One last question quickly. Is there any determined defiance? Look, if you will, in Exodus 32 and verse 9. And the Lord said unto Moses, I have seen this people and behold, it is a stiff-necked people. What does that mean? A stiff-necked is the opposite of being meek and pliable. God was wanting to lead them. But they're like a horse with a stiff neck.

Who rares up? Who will I yield? You want God to be real to you?

Don't be stiff-necked. If God gives you a specific revelation, God speaks to you about what He wants you to do, then obey Him. Has God told you there's somebody He wants you to witness to? Has He put somebody on your heart and you're not witnessing to that person?

No wonder God's not real to you. Has God been putting some impulse in your heart to serve in church? Perhaps to work in the preschool, the nursery? Perhaps to be a youth worker? Perhaps to serve in the kitchen?

But you say, I don't want to do that. Has God been laying on your heart something He wants you to give? Some sacrificial gift, not even to a need, but for the glory of God? Has God been laying on your heart somebody that you need to go to and apologize to and reconcile with and make things right? Has God been telling you there's a relationship that you're in that you need to break off, young lady, and get out of it, or young man, that it is a wrong relationship? Has God been speaking to your heart and calling you into missions or full-time Christian service? Has God been telling you to do something, go somewhere, be something, give something, and you have said, no, you've had a stiff neck? And then you say, I wonder why God is not real to me. I wonder why God says, all right, I'm going to take you on to heaven. I'm going to give you an angel escort all of the way. But I'm not going in the midst of you. Thank God Moses had enough sense to say, no deal. He said, God, if you don't go with me, I ain't going.

I am not going without the manifest presence of God in my life. What is worship? Singing songs? No. Saying prayers? No. Coming to church? No.

Giving money? No. Worship is enjoying the presence of God. Is God real to you? He wants to be real. Again, Jesus said, He that has my commandments and keeps them, he it is that loves me, and he that loves me will be loved to my Father, and I will love him and will manifest myself to him.

Lord Jesus, be real to us. Amen? As you've listened, have you discovered any direct disobedience? Have you discerned any divided devotion?

Have you detected any displaced dependence? Have you displayed any determined defiance? Well, these people found grace long ago, and so may you. As a child of God right now, why don't you say, Lord Jesus, I want you to manifest yourself to me. And if I have disobeyed you, willingly forgive me. Lord, if I love anything more than you from now on, you will be number one in my life.

Lord, if I'm trusting the work of my own hands and my own ingenuity, I quit it right now. And Lord, if there's anything you want me to do, I'm available. Here I am. And now, Lord, as I go, go with me, Lord. Go with me. Father, I pray in the name of Jesus that you'll seal this to our hearts.

Amen. If you've repented of going your own way and you have decided now to follow Jesus, we want to celebrate with you and invite you to our Discover Jesus page on the website. You'll find answers there you may need about your newfound faith.

There's a response section. We'd love to hear your testimony, how this message has affected you, or whatever you'd like to share. Just go to lwf.org slash radio and click the tab that says Discover Jesus. Welcome to God's Forever Family.

We can't wait to hear from you today. Now, if you'd like to order a copy of today's message in its entirety, call us 1-877-LOVEGOD is the number. Mention the title How to Enjoy the Presence of God when you order. This message is also part of the powerful and convicting series Exalting Your Savior. For that complete collection, all seven powerful messages, call 1-877-LOVEGOD or go to lwf.org slash radio.

Or you can write us to order at Love Worth Finding, Box 38600, Memphis, Tennessee 38183. Is God real to you? Examine your heart today. Is there any disobedience, divided devotion, displaced dependence, or defiance in your spirit?

Repent of your own ways and return to the presence of God. And thanks for studying His Word with us today. Tune in next time for another insightful message from Adrienne Rogers right here on Love Worth Finding. A listener from New York wrote recently with an inspiring message.

She said, I tune in almost every day to hear the uncompromised teaching of the Word of God. Pastor Rogers has been a father in the faith to me over the years, and I'm so very grateful for Love Worth Finding Ministries. But we are so honored to hear about how these timeless messages have helped you mature in your walk with Christ. We're grateful for the prayers and the donations that have made it possible to help us continue sharing them. To thank you for your gift this month, we want to send you the book, The Passion of Christ and the Purpose of Life. In his clear, personal tone, renowned pastor and Bible teacher Adrienne Rogers leads us to Jesus' death on the cross, the turning point of all history in the center of the Christian faith. Request your copy of The Passion of Christ and the Purpose of Life when you call with a gift at 1-877-LOVEGOD. Again, thanks for your generous support of Love Worth Finding.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-12 14:29:50 / 2023-12-12 14:39:12 / 9

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