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Knowing God Intimately

Love Worth Finding / Adrian Rogers
The Truth Network Radio
May 27, 2024 4:00 am

Knowing God Intimately

Love Worth Finding / Adrian Rogers

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May 27, 2024 4:00 am

It is not enough to casually know about God; we were created to know God intimately and to enjoy Him personally. Yet, many Believers will settle with feeling infatuated with His works, and never know Him face-to-face. In this message from Exodus 33, Adrian Rogers shares the unmatched beauty of knowing God intimately.

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Adrian Rogers was a motivator, an encourager, and a leader of the faith. He was also passionate about presenting scriptural application to everyday life circumstances, and you'll hear that in today's message. Now, let's join Adrian Rogers.

Well, when you found it, look up here and let me ask you this question. You know about Buddy Green because you just heard him. You saw him. You realize that he is a gifted and a versatile musician. But most of you, that's all you know. You may know that he a Dove Award winner. You may know that he is known among musicians as a great musician. But how many of you know him intimately? I would say that most here don't know him intimately. All you know is you know about him. You don't know him intimately.

But his wife Vicki knows him intimately. Now, I want to talk to you about not just simply knowing about God. I think all of us here know about God. But I would dare say that not everybody here, even those who claim to be saved, know God intimately. And frankly, folks, that's one of the great problems in today's church. We have many who know about God, few who know God intimately. And how sad it will be in the resurrection to meet a God face to face that we have not known, heart to heart. Now look, if you will, in verse 11. And the Lord spake unto Moses face to face as a man speaketh unto his friend. Now, how would you like that? How does that sound?

It sounds wonderful to me. And the Lord spake unto Moses face to face as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp. But his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle. And Moses said unto the Lord, See, thou sayest unto me, Bring up this people, and thou hast not let me know whom thou wilt sin with me. Yet thou hast said, I know thee by name, and thou hast also found grace in my sight. Now, therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, show me now thy way, that I may know thee, and that I may find grace in thy sight, and consider that this nation is thy people. And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest. And he said unto him, That is, Moses said to Jehovah, If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence. For wherein shall it be known here that I and thy people have found grace in thy sight? Is it not in that thou goest with us?

So shall we be separated, I and thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth. Now, that passage seems a little complicated to you. I want you to stay tuned because it is an incredible passage that deals with the necessity of knowing God personally. Now, the key is in verse 13, and in verse 13 is a prayer of Moses. I want you to look at it very carefully. Get your Bibles now, right now, and look in Exodus chapter 33 and verse 13 if you want to know God intimately. Here's the key. Moses prays this, Now therefore I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, or have you been saved by grace?

Then don't stop there. If I have found grace in thy sight, show me now thy way that I may know thee. Show me now thy way that I may know thee.

Underscore that. Show me now thy way that I may know thee. Have you got it? Show me now thy way, w-a-y, that I may know thee. In order to know God intimately, you have to know the ways of God.

Have you got that? In order to know God intimately, you have to know the ways of God. Now, there are two ways that you can know God, casually or intimately.

You can know about God, or you can know God. Now, to know about God is to know God's works. To know God intimately is to know God's way.

Have you got that? To know about God is to see God's works. To know God intimately is to know God's way. Most people know God on the first level. All they know is the works of God. They know what God does. But they don't know the ways of God.

They don't know who God is. Now, put in your margin Psalm 103 and verse 7. Now, Moses prayed, Lord, show me thy way. Was that prayer answered?

Absolutely. Psalm 103 verse 7 says this clearly. He made known his ways unto Moses and his acts, a-c-t-s. Another word for that would be his works. His works unto the children of Israel. He made known his ways to Moses. He made known his acts or his works to the children of Israel. Moses knew God in a way the rest of the people didn't know. The rest of the people saw the works of God, but Moses knew the ways of God.

And folks, that just divides everybody up. There are those people today who know what God does, but they don't know who God is. They don't know God intimately. They know about God.

They see the works of God, just like you heard the songs of Buddy Green. That's what he does. And you know about him by sitting here listening to him. But his wife knows him intimately.

She knows his ways. Now, what we need to do today is to look beyond the works of God and to see the ways of God. Some people know God in a different way than other people know God because they know the ways of God. They know God intimately. Now, that brings a question. Does God have favorites?

No, but he does have intimates. And even in the New Testament, you'll find there was that little trinity of disciples, Peter, James, and John, who were not necessarily the favorites of the Lord Jesus, but they were the intimates of the Lord Jesus. How would you like to be on intimate terms with God? How would you like for God to show you his ways? When you know the ways of God, that will bring peace to your troubled soul. It will bring stability to your life.

It will bring victory in your lifestyle. Now, the difference between knowing God's ways and God's works is the difference between intimacy and infatuation. Now, a lot of folks are simply infatuated with God, just like a boy gets infatuated with a girl. I mean, he sees a girl. He doesn't know anything about her ways, but boy, he looks at her and she's beautiful. I mean, he sees her style.

He looks at the way she's formed physically. He looks at her the way she just handles herself, and he thinks he falls in love with her, but he's not really in love with her. You can't be in love with someone until you know their ways, and many a man has made the mistake of falling in love with a dimple and marrying the whole girl. And the problem is it's infatuation. Have you ever noticed that some people seem to get divorced for trivial reasons? Do you know why folks get divorced for trivial reasons? They got married for trivial reasons. I mean, that was infatuation.

They really did not know one another. Joyce and I celebrated yesterday our wedding anniversary, and I can tell you after these years of living with Joyce, I know her ways, she knows my ways, and I love her all the more. And I thank God for the physical charm and all of those outward attributes, but oh, for that deeper love that God gives to a man and wife when they know each other intimately. Now, let's talk about knowing God intimately, and I want to say three things about knowing God intimately. And then I want to tell you how you can know God intimately. Now, to know God intimately will give you tranquility.

It will give you rest. Look in verse 14. And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest. Now, if you only know God casually, if you only infatuated with God, if you only see God outwardly, if you only see God's works, you will never have rest.

As a matter of fact, you will be constantly pushing the panic button. Now, God made known his ways to Moses. God made known his acts to the children of Israel. Now, you see, the children of Israel, they were constantly frenetic, constantly worried, constantly murmuring.

Why? Because all they saw were the works of God. They saw God do his miracles. They saw God open the Red Sea. They saw God give manna in the wilderness. They saw God give water out of the rock. You'd think that would satisfy them, wouldn't you? You'd think that they just have a heart full of rest, but they were constantly murmuring.

Why? They didn't know the ways of God. All they knew were the works of God. And here's a key verse, and put this verse down in your margin also. Hebrews chapter 3, listen to it, verses 10 and 11. It is a very key verse. Hebrews chapter 3, verses 10 and 11. Listen to it. God speaks of those Israelites who were constantly murmuring and yammering and carping and complaining and were filled with fear.

No rest. And here's what God said about them. Wherefore, I was grieved with that generation.

This is Hebrews 3, verse 10. Wherefore, I was grieved with that generation and said they do always err in their heart. Now notice this, and have not known my ways. They don't know my ways. So I swear in my wrath, they shall not enter into my rest. They don't know my ways, they'll not have my rest.

I'm grieved with them. They don't know the ways of God. Now remember Psalm 103, verse 7, God made known his ways unto Moses and his acts unto the children of Israel.

Hey folks, let me tell you something. If all you see is what God does and you don't know God intimately, you'll never have rest. You'll have the spiritual heebie-jeebies all of your life. Listen, God said my presence will go with thee and I will give thee rest, Exodus 33, verse 14. You see, the children of Israel were doing fine as long as the works of God pleased them.

I mean as long as God was opening the Red Sea, as long as God was giving them water out of the rock, as long as God was feeding them with manna from heaven, they were doing fine as long as the works of God pleased them. But then when God didn't do things just the way they thought that God ought to do, then they pushed the panic button. There's an oft-repeated illustration about the bookmark that some of us have in our older Bibles, beautifully embroidered. On one side of the bookmark is just a mass of tangled threads, but on the other side it says God is love. And when it's embroidered, in order to embroider it, on one side you just have all those threads, you know, but you turn it over and the message is on the other side.

Now some just look at it from the back side and they just see that tangled mass of threads. They don't understand the ways of God, but God is love. But you see, our ways and God's ways are so different and you'll never have that peace, that deep peace until you understand the ways of God.

Because, folks, God's ways are often confusing to human wisdom. Peter and James were both put in prison. They were servants of the Lord Jesus, apostles of Christ, arrested and put in prison for preaching the gospel. Old Herod put them both in prison. You know what happened to James?

His head was cut off. You know what happened to Peter? Peter was delivered miraculously out of the same prison. Folks, how are you going to explain that? Are you going to say don't worry about when you go to prison because an angel will get you out?

Or are you going to say when you go to prison get ready to have your head cut off? Are you going to say that God loved Peter more than he loved James? Peter preached on the day of Pentecost. He stood up for the Lord Jesus Christ and accused that crowd of crucifying Jesus. And three thousand souls came to Christ. Stephen preached. He didn't get three thousand souls. He got three thousand stones.

They stoned him to death. Folks, if all you see are the works of God you're going to be hopelessly confused. You're going to say does God have people's heads cut off or does God let people out of prison?

Does God give three thousand souls when you preach or do you get stoned when you get preached? I mean if all you see is what God does, if you don't have a deeper insight into the ways of God, you're going to be pushing the panic button all the time. You will never have rest until you know God intimately. You see, to know the ways of God is the way of tranquility. To know God intimately is the way of tranquility. God says in that verse, look at it again, verse 14, I will give you rest when my presence goes with you. There's nothing that will bring rest to your troubled soul like an intimate knowledge of God. If all you see is what God does in this world, folks, you are going to be one nervous Christian until you learn to know the ways of God. You got that one?

All right. To know the way of God is the way of tranquility. Now let me show you something else. Look, if you will, to know the way of God, the ways of God, to know God intimately is not only the way of tranquility, it is the way of stability. It's the way of stability. Now the difference between Moses and Israel, Israel who only saw what God did, they were so fickle. They were so fickle. You ever know any fickle Christians? These are the ones, they're just infatuated with God. That's fickleness.

That's infatuation. When God opened up that 48-lane super highway through the Red Sea, boy, they went through the Red Sea just like this, towering walls of water on either side. They got on the other side and then all that water tumbled in on the Egyptians.

You know what the Bible says? First song, Jim, in the Bible, recorded right there, Exodus 15. They just sang the song of Moses and the Lamb. They were leaping and dancing and praising God for what God had done. What a mighty God we serve, they wanted to sing.

And He is a mighty God. Three days later, just three days later, they got out there in the wilderness in no water and they're murmuring. They're complaining. They want to go back to Egypt, just like a girl gets married and three days in the honeymoon, she wants to go home to mama.

I mean, the honeymoon is over. They had been singing the song of Moses and the Lamb and now they're criticizing Moses. Moses has gone from hero to zero in three days. I mean, not a greater leader than Moses. He brought us through the Red Sea and then they said, what do you do, bring us out here in the wilderness to die?

There's no water out here. They were so fickle. To know God intimately is the way of tranquility. To know God intimately is the way of stability.

To stability. If you don't know God intimately, you'll not be a stable Christian. You'll be just like Israel was. You'll blow hot and blow cold, good Lord, good devil.

Sometimes I'm up, sometimes I'm down. Why? Because all you see is the works of God. You don't know the ways of God. You don't know the heart and mind of God. You don't know God intimately.

So you blow hot and blow cold. I've seen it happen in churches. Boy, a church, you know, it'll be sailing along and everything is up, the income is up, the Sunday school attendance is up, the program is up and everything is, the statistics are up and people join a church when the bloom is on it. It's good to be a part of a church when the bloom is on it. Bloom's on this church right now and I thank God for it.

That's wonderful. That's a lot of folks, you know, they join when the bloom is on the church. Then you let trouble come, let persecution come, let difficulty come, let adversity come and they leave.

Why? They don't know God intimately. All they see are the works of God and if the works of God please them, then fine, just count me on, I'm on, but then you let difficulty come and they say, you know, I think maybe we need a new pastor. Just like people said, you know, Moses, you're not the leader. We thought you were.

I mean, you brought us through the Red Sea, that was great, but now look, here we are out here in the wilderness and no water. Why? No stability.

And why no stability? All they see are the works of God. They don't know the ways of God. He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel.

We need in our lives stability. You know, there were those who followed the Lord Jesus when they saw his works. It's an interesting thing. It's worth turning to. Turn to John chapter 2. Just turn to this. Keep your bookmark there in Exodus 13 and turn with me to John chapter 2 and look with me in verse 23.

See if this doesn't remind you of a lot of folks that you know of right now. Now when he was in Jerusalem, this is speaking of Jesus, when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover and the feast day, many believed in his name, now notice this, when they saw the miracles that he did. You see that? What was the miracles they did? He just turned water into wine. They saw his works. Man, they said, I like that. Did you see what he did? He turned water into wine. Sign me up.

I want to be a part. But notice in verse 24, but Jesus did not commit himself unto them. Now the word commit in verse 24 and the word believe in verse 23 in the Greek language, the same word. They believed in Jesus, but Jesus didn't believe in them because he knew all men and he did not that any should testify of man for he knew what was in man. Jesus knew these were just miracle mongers. Jesus knew that they didn't know his ways. All they saw were his works. They saw the miracles that he did. That's all they saw. They didn't see the crucifixion.

They didn't see the coming cross. You go on a few chapters in John the fifth chapter and the sixth chapter where Jesus fed 5,000. Oh boy, the crowds were following him. But when he talked to them about the deeper spiritual verities, eating his flesh and drinking his blood and all of that, they left him. Jesus had to say to his disciples, will you also go away? Will you also go away? Fickleness.

No stability. If all you do is to see the works of God, when everything is fine, the sun is shining and all of that, boy, you'll be marching in the parade. But just let adversity come. Just let difficulty come. Let something come that you can't understand. You say, God, why did you do this? How did you allow this? I'm going home to mama. You know why?

Why you want to hot-foot it back to Egypt? You fickle. You don't know God intimately.

You can't stick. You see, listen, to know God intimately is the way of tranquility. To know God intimately is the way of stability. Now, here's the third thing I want you to notice, that to know God intimately is the way of necessity. It's not just simply that you're going to get tranquility and stability.

I mean, it is necessity. Look, if you will, in verses 1 and 2. Let's get the context to this whole story.

When you see a text in its context, then it begins to make sense. Now, what has happened is this. I mean, how does this prayer come about anyway, where Moses is praying this prayer? Well, Moses had gone up on Mount Sinai, and up on Mount Sinai, God was giving to Moses the Ten Commandments. And not only is God giving to Moses the Ten Commandments, He's giving to Moses the plan for the tabernacle. And now Moses comes down from Mount Sinai, and Moses' brother Aaron has collected golden earrings from all of the people, melted the gold, made a golden calf like they worshiped in Egypt.

And the people in a naked orgy in debauchery are dancing around an idol, a golden calf. God's wrath, God's anger is burning against them, and well it might. Moses is frightened for his people.

He knows that God has every right to eradicate them. And Moses begins to stand in the gap. Moses begins to intercede. And by the way, only the person who knows the ways of God knows how to intercede. Only a person who knows God intimately can be an intercessor. And Moses begins to intercede, and Moses says, oh God, don't do it, don't destroy this people.

Oh God, God have mercy. And then in answer to that prayer, look in Exodus 33 verses 1 and 2. And the Lord said unto Moses, Depart and go up hence, thou and the people which thou hast brought up out of the land of Egypt, unto the land which I swear unto Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, saying, unto thy seed will I give it. He says, all right, okay, then go on to Canaan, and I will send an angel before thee, and will drive out the Canaanite, the Amorite, the Hittite, the Perizzite, and the Hivite, and the Jebusite.

These are all Canons, the Canaanites. These were all demonically empowered people. And God says, I'm going to send an angel before you. This angel's going to clear out that bunch. And then he says in verse 3, I'm going to send you into a land flowing with milk and honey.

But now notice this, for I will not go up in the midst of thee, for thou art a stiff-necked people, lest I consume thee in the way. Now God says, all right, all right, you want the land? You want victory over the Canaanites? You want the promised land? You want somebody to provide for you and protect you?

I'm going to take my chief angel. Go with those folks. Take care of those Hivites and those Jebusites and Perizzites and termites. Take care of them. Drive them all out. Let those people go into that land. Let them have the milk. Let them have the honey. Let them have the corn, the wine, the oil, and the pomegranates.

Let them have it. But God says, I'm not going with you. I am not going with you. You will go, but you won't have my presence. Boy, when Moses heard that, a chill went over him. And look, if you will, in verse 15. Now here's what Moses prays. And he said unto him, if thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence.

That is, God, if you're not going, I'm not going. God, Lord, I don't want Canaan without you. I don't want the blessing without the blesser. I don't want the victory without the victor. I don't want the land without the Lord.

I don't want it. God, if you're not going, I am not going. You see, to know God intimately means tranquility. To know God intimately means stability. But to know God intimately is necessity. Now this is, so many of us don't understand this. This is what it's all about.

You see, learn this, folks, and learn it well. You can have provision and you can have protection and still not have God's presence. Now that ought to frighten you. You know, a lot of folks just settle for eternal security. They just say, well, I'm saved. I'm going to heaven.

That's all right. I don't want the intimate presence of God. As long as I'm saved, you're just like this bunch here.

I mean, there are a lot of people who would have taken that deal in a heartbeat. You say, you mean God, you're going to send an angel, I'm going to have victory all the way? You mean I'm going to have the land that flows with milk and honey?

I'm going to know victory? Thank you, Lord. And they would not have been bothered that God's presence was not with them. Now, folks, let me tell you one of the most frightening things I can tell you this morning. You can have provision and you can have protection without having the presence. That's what this teaches. It's possible. Don't just think that because you have the things you want that you know God intimately. The Bible says on another occasion concerning these Israelites that God gave them the desire of their heart and sent leanness into their souls. You know the problem with many of you?

Maybe many of us. Right now you're just doing fine. You live in a beautiful home. Your children are healthy.

They're making good grades. You've got a job. You're putting money in the bank. Your retirement looks good. And you're satisfied. May God have mercy upon you. You are satisfied. Moses said, I don't want Canaan, Lord, without you.

Many people would have taken that first deal. And you live in a prison of prosperity. And you think because you're there that everything is fine. You know what Dr. Vance Havner said? We miss Dr. Havner.

He's gone to heaven now. But Dr. Vance Havner said this, and I quote from him. He says, I'm often amused and amazed at the way we equate Christianity with success, popularity, and prosperity.

We may not admit it, but we use the same old gauge the world uses, except we employ religious language. It would appear that gain is godliness with us in spite of Paul's formula that godliness plus contentment equals prosperity. So often we say that money will not satisfy.

But listen to me, folks. That all depends on what we're trying to satisfy. The problem is not that money doesn't satisfy. Come up close and listen now. The problem is not that money doesn't satisfy.

The greater danger is that money does. I mean that you have it, and you're satisfied. H.H. Farmer wrote these words to Jesus, to Jesus. The terrible thing about having wrong values in life and pursuing wrong things is not that you're doomed to bitter disappointment, but that you are not.

Now think about it. You say, Pastor, I don't know what you're saying. I'm saying, folks, that if you can be satisfied with the things of this world, if you can have Canaan without the presence, victory, an angel clearing the way, that's a very dangerous thing. You see, to know God intimately, to know God intimately, that's tranquility. To know God intimately, that is stability.

To know God intimately, that is necessity. And don't you take prosperity. Don't you take victory.

Don't you take a land flowing with milk and honey. Don't take anything as a substitute for knowing God intimately. Last week I said something I want to repeat.

Maybe hearing it twice will drive it into your heart. St. Augustine, one of the early church fathers, asked this question. If God were to come to you and God were to say to you, I'll give you anything you want, every pleasure you desire, nothing will be withheld. You will live forever. Every desire of your heart will be met. Nothing will be a sin to you. You can have whatever you want. With this one exception, you will never see my face.

Would you take that proposition? St. Augustine said, if you would say no to that, then you have the pure love of God. He said, if a chill went over your soul when you heard that phrase, you will never see my face.

He said, thank God for that chill. That is the most precious thing about you because it means you have the pure love of God. That means more to you than this whole wide world. And that's what Moses said.

Moses said, hey, I don't want Canaan without you. I don't want an angel. I don't want victory.

I don't want milk and honey. I want you, oh God. And God is not satisfied with you and God is not finished with you until your chief desire is God and God alone, to know God intimately. Folks, it brings tranquility.

It brings stability. It is necessity to know God intimately. Well, how do you know God intimately?

Obviously our time is gone. But you're not going to know God intimately by human reason. Can a man by reason find out God?

The answer is obviously no. How do you know God intimately? You know God intimately by direct dealing with God. This is why God kept bringing them into situations. Why did God bring them to the Red Sea? Why did God bring them to a place where there was no water? Why was God bringing them into this situation and into that situation? Why was God bringing them to difficulty?

Why? So they'd have to deal with God. Now, if you're a counselor and people come to you with problems and you're a counselor, if you solve the problems for those people, you're a counselor. Do you know what good counseling does? It brings people to God. I mean, why do you have those difficulties?

Why do you have those problems? God is wanting you to come face to face with Him. You learn God by direct dealing with God. And God puts you in places where there's nowhere out but up when they came to the Red Sea. The only way that they could turn was to God. To God. To know to God intimately. Now, listen, folks. You cannot know God by hearing sermons about knowing God.

Sorry about that. You cannot know God by reading books about knowing God. You can't know anybody that you don't spend time with. You see, to know Him is to love Him. To love Him is to trust Him. To trust Him is to obey Him. To obey Him is to be blessed.

And to be blessed is to be a blessing. And it all begins with knowing Him. And you can't know anybody that you don't spend time with. How do I know Joyce, which has been married all these years? I've spent time with her.

She spent time with me. If all you see are the works of God, you're just infatuated with God. When the bad times come, like a scared rabbit, off you'll go. But when you know God, when you know the ways of God, when you know the heart and mind of God, when God speaks to you face to face as He spoke with Moses, folks, that's wonderful to know God intimately. Let's bow our heads in prayer. Heads are bowed.

Eyes are closed. And you know the first step in knowing God intimately? The first step in knowing God intimately is to receive Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior. To ask Him to come into your heart, forgive your sin, and save you. If you're not saved, I want to invite you to ask Him into your heart right now. Pray like this, Dear God, I need you. I want you.

My heart cries out for you, O God. I want my sin forgiven. But more than that, I want your presence in my life. I want to know that I will live forever with you. Lord Jesus, you died for me on that cross. Thank you for paying my sin debt with your blood.

Thank you that you were raised from the dead. You promised to save me if I would trust you, Lord Jesus. I do trust you right now. Would you tell Him that? I trust you right now, Lord Jesus.

Tell Him that. I trust you right now, Lord Jesus. Come into my heart. Forgive my sin. Save me, Lord Jesus.

Ask Him. Pray it and mean it. Save me, Lord Jesus. Father, I pray that many prayed that prayer today. In the holy name of Jesus. Amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-27 07:09:05 / 2024-05-27 07:23:14 / 14

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