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Getting To Know God Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
July 9, 2021 1:00 am

Getting To Know God Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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July 9, 2021 1:00 am

On the surface it sounds preposterous. If someone says, “I know God,” many people would simply laugh. It’s hard enough to meet an important official like the President, so how could we think we know God? But the truth about God is amazing! While we may never shake the President’s hand, we can know God and know Him intimately. That’s what Moses found out.

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One reason for us on the surface it sounds preposterous if someone says I know God. A lot of people would say sure you do and I know the president.

We may never shake the presidency but we can know God, and know him intimately that Moses found the Moody Church in Chicago this one looks or is clear. Teaching helps us make it across the finish line. Master leads are on the surface, it does sound a bit arrogant to say that we can know God does seem arrogant, but we think the words of Jesus Christ in John chapter 17 that they might know thee the only true God and Jesus Christ whom thou has sent so matter-of-fact you know we have blessings today that the people during the time of Moses, did not have, because Christ had not yet come.

They had fellowship with God and that of course was based on the fact that someday Jesus would come, but we are on this side of the cross. So the answer is yes, we can know God and the invitation is extended to everyone who comes to God through Jesus Christ. I've written a book entitled getting closer to God. Lessons from the life of Moses. Let me explain to you why it is so important that in the Bible so much is written about the life of Moses because God wants us to know he uses flawed people. Moses was not perfect and will certainly see that even as these sermons unfold. But if you would like to have a copy of this book for a gift of any amount. It can be yours. Here's what you do go to RTW offer.com that's RTW offer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337 ask for the book getting closer to God.

Lessons from the life of Moses and even as we open our Bibles now will understand much better God's interaction with Moses and in the process will better understand God's interaction with us recently. I was on a plane sitting next to a Jewish we were discussing Judaism. She was telling me about her religion and in order to get down to more important issues so far as where she was at. I turned to her and said I'd like to ask you something.

Could you say that you really know God suppose somebody asked you that question.

Do you really know God. JI Packer, in his excellent book entitled knowing God gives four characteristics of people who really know God. Let's use them as a checklist and see how you do. First of all, Packer says that people who know God have great energy for God.

They have great energy for God. Daniel chapter 11 verse 32.

The people who know their God shall be strong and shall do exploits when they see the name of God dishonored they are invigorated because they are jealous for the honor of God's name and they wait on God and receive strength to change the situation. Secondly, Packer says that they have great thoughts about God great thoughts about God, you read the book of Daniel and you discover that Daniel has some of the most beautiful passages in all the Bible regarding the awesome government of God throughout the whole universe. It is the most high rules in the kingdom of man then gives those kingdoms to whomever he wills. Great thoughts about God.

One of the greatest needs of the church today is to expand its conception of God at least partially in the direction of the wonderful revelation of God.

Nobody can comprehend God completely, but we all need to think greatly of him. Discouragement oftentimes means that we are not depending on God that we are clinging to a piece of driftwood as if God no longer exists. Third, Packer says that they show great boldness for God. Never Daniel was told that he should not pray toward Jerusalem or anywhere else, and there was a decree made in the kingdom that those who prayed it would be thrown into the lion's den with Daniel intimidated was he intimidated as some of us might be tempted to be someday when we need to compromise our religious convictions of ours. The state is concerned as our freedoms are being stripped away.

No Daniel continued to pray. The Bible says, as formerly. Many was thrown into the lion's den and the lions. Of course, their mouths were closed, but let's suppose that the lions had torn apart. Would it make any difference know because obedience is really what counts those who know God have great boldness for God and number four. They have great contentment with God. I told you before the George Mueller believe that the first duty of every single Christian is to be content with his God, contentment with God means that we can do without some things that we think we need to because we have an inner contentment with God. We can survive a ruptured relationship. We can live through some pretty tough situations because we know God and to God to give. Is this the inner sense of peace, the condemnation is gone and the presence of God by faith dwells within us.

We have contentment with God. This is the third in a series of messages on the life of Moses. I want you to be reminded as you turn in your Bibles to Exodus chapter 4 that Moses had spent some time in Egypt and then he spent some time in Midian and now the Lord God was taking them back to Egypt to become the leader of his people.

But before Moses could go to Pharaoh before he could do something mighty for God.

He had to know God better. What I'd like to do today is to give you three instances, three experiences that Moses had and each of those experiences drew him closer to God and he understood. One of the attributes of God, just a little better and how much he needed those experiences. First of all, God says I'm going to help you to understand my sovereignty the first attribute the sovereignty of God.

Notice in chapter 4 Moses goes back and tells his father-in-law that he has to leave for Egypt and it says in verse 20 that he took his wife and children. Verse 21 the Lord said to Moses, when you go back to Egypt, see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders which I have put in your power, but I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go then you shall say to Pharaoh thus says the Lord Israel is my son. My first what the Lord is saying here in this text is I am sovereign in history.

I am sovereign over individuals and as we shall see in a moment the Lord is sovereign even over nations.

God says Moses I want you to go back to Egypt.

And as for Pharaoh, I will harden his heart old the hardness of Pharaoh's heart has caused so many problems for people throughout the ages. Why would God hardened Pharaoh's heart will first of all let me point out that God probably did not do it directly but indirectly he may simply have withdrawn his grace in the life of Pharaoh and allow that hard hard to get even harder. Or maybe he used Satan to do it. God sometimes uses Satan for his own purposes. That is for God's own purposes because in the Old Testament God is oftentimes said to do things that he actually permits to be done and that makes sense when you come to think of it because he is God he could choose to not permit it.

Therefore, if he permits it, it is broken off as if he has done it, but you say will even so, Pastor Luther, why take a man's heart and harden that what I need to tell you it is so that God might display his power and that God wanted a Pharaoh whose heart heart was made even harder so that he would was banned.

The children of Israel and eventually God would overcome Pharaoh and crush him and use him as an example of the sovereignty of God in human history, even in the midst of leaders such as Pharaoh is able measure and you're not going beyond the Scripture.

No, I want you to turn today to the ninth chapter of the book of Romans where Paul refers to this explicitly, as an example of God's power Romans chapter 9 verse 17 it says the Scripture says to Pharaoh for this very purpose. I raised you up in order to demonstrate my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed throughout the whole earth. Paul says so then God has mercy on whom he desires and he hardens whom he desires troubled by that this past weekend I met someone who said that in their church. When a minister is expounding the book of Romans.

He begins with chapter 8 and begins with chapter 12 because there is an agreement that 910 and 11 will not be commented on, because they are too controversial. I'm sorry about that. I will tell you what denomination it is but it will why are we ashamed to say what God said, I know there's something within us that says that doesn't make sense. How then can he blame Pharaoh if he hardens his heart.

Isn't that exactly what you're thinking. If you're awake you should be. And Paul knows that that's what were going to be thinking so he says in verse 19. You will say then to me. Why does he still find fault through is resistant as well.

Paul says he says it more politely than I'm going to say it but he saying you please shut up, you have no right to question God, on the contrary, who are you old man who answers back to God. The thing molded will not say to the molder. Why did you make me like this will it does not the potter have power over the clay to make up the same lump one vessel for honorable use and for another of common use, cannot God take a man whose heart is hard and withdraw his presence and let it become harder if God wants to demonstrate something and the apostle Paul says yes he can know the freedom of the will has been a controversial point in the church history for 2000 years. Rasmussen was a man who wrote a book on the freedom of the will. Luther believed that if you believe in the freedom of the will.

You do not understand salvation. Therefore, Luther wrote his best book entitled the bondage of the will and what Luther said in that book is that your will is something like a beast and he says if God rides the beast. Why, then, indeed, the beast goes were God wills that it go and if Peyton arrived in the beast of the beast goes were Satan wheels that the beast go out today.

We are berserk with the question of who am I everybody's asking who am I that was never a question for Martin Luther. Martin Luther's question was not. Who am I but rather lose am I to whom do I belong. If I do not belong to God. I am not a free man that I think I am, but I end up doing what Satan wants me to do and that's why I plead with you this morning that if there is at least a spark of desire for you to do God's will cry out to God and ask him to help you to do it because you are not as free as you think you are, and the Bible would teach is said to be where a hardened heart that could be, harder. Now the Lord is saying to Moses that Moses I have control over Pharaoh, but also over nations. Verse 22. You shall say to Pharaoh.

Thus is my first Israel was God's firstborn.

The Lord says I have chosen you.

Remember, God chose Abraham when he was still an idol worshiper. It was not because there was some righteousness in Abraham.

God says I'm going to sovereignly choose you is mine and so he chose Abraham and he chose the Jewish race and what the Lord is saying to Moses upfront is Moses I saw over history. I want you to know that my control even extend this providentially, even to the human wheels and to human beings and donations that let me ask you a question. Why is it that Moses needed to know that before he was going back to Egypt.

He needed to know it because the Lord says Moses I want you to know that I am the God of obstacles you are going to run across someone who is going to be very stubborn, but I do not want you to think that that's governess was somehow beyond my control, or that his stubbornness was going to block my purposes all know know Moses you must understand that even if humans stubbornness can bring about and fulfill my intentions and my purposes because I'm God. Moses do not take the hardness of Pharaoh's heart as if it's something that is beyond my providential will. There is no obstacle that stands in the way of what God wants to do and Moses needed that and you and I needed because we encounter stubborn people.

If not every day at least twice a day and therefore what we need is to recognize that God works in and through all of these human dilemmas. So first of all, the Lord says Moses you need to understand my sovereignty. Secondly, the Lord said to Moses, you need to understand my holiness. Now here's a puzzle in verse 24 I say puzzled because many people have wondered what this text teaches. It says it came about at the lodging place on the way they're going back to Egypt, that the Lord met him and sought to put Moses to death then zipper it took affluent and cut off her sons foreskin and threw it at Moses feet and said, you are indeed a bridegroom of blood to me. So, God let him alone.

At that time. She said you are a bridegroom of blood because of the circumcision just a little vignette inserted as their going back to Egypt.

What does it mean you see Moses was now to go as a leader of the people, and God had told Abraham that all of your seed it should be circumcised because circumcision would be a sign of the covenant and Moses had been disobedient in his household and had not done and evidently he had not done it because his wife did not want to have a run because she said it is bloodied and it is detestable and so they're going along and that this incident happens what God is saying in the strongest possible language to Moses is Moses number one. I want you to get something straight. You are the head of your home, and if you think that you could go back to Egypt and be some kind of a leader there when your own act isn't cleaned up. When you have not displayed obedience in those things that pertain to your domestic matters, I want you to know that you needed to do that for us. Furthermore, you need to be reminded of the covenant because if you are not reminded of that you are going to collapse into despair. By the way, as we go through the life of Moses. I want you to watch every time. His wife is referred to, because I have a suspicion that he and his zipper out words of Torah depending on where you put the impasses I have the suspicion that they didn't really get along too well, but more than that. The lesson to be drawn is this, there are some men who are not spiritual leaders in their home because their life is resistant, she may say I don't want to go to church. I do want to do this. I don't want to do that and so he thinks to himself will to keep peace. I'll do nothing. Listen to me very carefully.

God will judge you and discipline you for your disobedience now oftentimes in homes.

It is the opposite way isn't that it is the wife who wants to be spiritual and she looks to her husband for that's virtual leadership and it isn't there and bless her heart she has to step in and be a spiritual leader to the children, but I want to say to all of the men that are here today the married men. The fathers, as I say to myself God says. First of all, you must understand that I want obedience. Even in your home leadership.

Furthermore, Moses could've argued with God in civil.I'm already going to Egypt I'm being obedient to the big thing God says I want you to know that being obedient to the big call does not let you off the hook for obedience in lesser matters. I am holy and I expect you to obey. So Moses has had a lesson in the sovereignty of God. He's had a lesson in the. The holiness of God and now he needs 1/3 lesson. Let me tell you why he needed this third lesson, it's because when he went to Egypt, he did get a chance to talk to Pharaoh and he said Farrell would you please let us go and worship God for three days.

He's making a request that is very reasonable is not saying were to leave permanently. But is saying, at least for three days, the king of Egypt says to himself, these Jews up to their asking these questions because they don't have enough to do a now notice what the text has to say in verse seven of chapter 5, you are no longer to give the people straw to make bricks as previously let them go and gather straw for themselves, but skip to verse 19 and the foreman of the sons of Israel saw that they were in trouble because they were told, you must not reduce your daily amount of bricks. Afterwards, what Pharaoh did was he responded negatively and said, look, in light of the fact that all that you're worrying about is taking three days off. I'm going to even give you more work. The children of Israel were slaves they were building cities. They were building with bricks and they were given straw to do it and he said I want this main quota of bricks, but you gather your own straw and those whips that were used for those Jewish slave's were brought down on the backs of God's people, and there was a reaction toward Moses.

Let's read a bit of says verse 20 when they left Pharaoh's presence. They met Moses and Aaron as they were waiting for them. And the Lord said to them, may the Lord look upon you and judge you for you have made us odious and thorough site and in the sight of his servants to put a sword in their hand to kill us. Then Moses returned to the Lord and said, old Lord, why has thou brought harm to this people. Why did Sal ever send me ever since I came to Pharaoh to speak in thy name he has done harm to this people and that has not delivered the people at all.

Here's Moses obedient trying to do God's will reluctantly dragged out of the desert brought back to Egypt and now is the time when he expects.

Finally, the people will accept him he already experienced the pain of rejection. 40 years ago and he comes any in obedience to God. It blows up in his face that people rebel and now his own people are angry with him. One of the hardest things for us to endure is when we do right and get blamed for it or get misunderstood for it. It is difficult to take my friend, this is Pastor Luther, do you now understand why I think that Moses has so much to teach us and in his life. We see ourselves story that you have just heard is one that perhaps you have experienced. I hold in my hands a book I've written, entitled getting closer to God. It's actually this series of messages but I need to tell you that in it. I have this story. I am a man 31 years old and divorced though. I thought the divorce bitterly.

I feel badly because I have no hope for the future. Often I go home from church and cried, but there is no one to hold me when I cry. No one cares what hurts most is that I beg God for the grace to be single for his glory and to fix my eyes on Jesus, but nothing changes. I continue to fail. I'm a basket case emotionally or on the verge of collapse. Something is very wrong. I'm so crippled and embittered that I can scarcely relate to others anymore. I feel I will have to sit out the rest of my life in the penalty box.

This book that I've written, entitled getting closer to God not only has the stories of Moses, but the stories of others who've been through her disappointment, anger issues, relational issues, and yet even in their lives. We see the faithfulness of God for the gift of any amount. This book can be yours. It's entitled getting closer to God.

Here's what you do go to RTW offer.com. Now of course that's all one word RTW offer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337 ask for the book getting closer to God. Lessons from the life of Moses. Of course we know that God is close to us all the time, but there is a sense in which we learn to live in his presence. And that's what this book is all about. Go to RTW offer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337 and let me thank you in advance for helping us here at running to win. Running to win. The ministry is in 20 different countries in three different languages all because the people just like you. You can write to us at running to win 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614 running to win is all about helping you find God's) for your race of life. One looks or with part one. Getting to know God, the third in a series of 12 messages about Moses, a man getting closer to God. Next time will watch as Moses finds God to be absolutely faithful for Dr. Erwin looks or this is Dave McAllister going to win is sponsored by the Moody Church


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