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The Lordship of Christ - Life of Moses Part 12

So What? / Lon Solomon
The Truth Network Radio
May 27, 2024 7:00 am

The Lordship of Christ - Life of Moses Part 12

So What? / Lon Solomon

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You know, in his classic book, The Knowledge of the Holy, A. W. Tozer says the following, and I quote. He said, What comes to our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.

It is impossible, Tozer says, to keep our moral practices sound and our inner attitudes right, while our idea of God is erroneous or inadequate. He continues, There is scarcely an error in doctrine or a failure in applying Christian ethics to life that cannot be traced to imperfect thoughts about God. And he concludes, If we would bring back spiritual power to our lives, we must begin to think of God more nearly as he really is, end of quote. Now, what A. W. Tozer is trying to say, and I totally agree with him, is that a strong, a healthy, a stable, and a balanced Christian life is one that flows out of a deep knowledge of God, one that flows out of a thorough acquaintance with the character and the nature of God. As a matter of fact, God said this in Jeremiah Chapter 9. He said, Thus says the Lord, Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, nor the strong man boast in his strength, nor the rich man boast in his wealth, but let him who boasts boast about this, that he knows and understands Me. For in this I delight, says the Lord. Friends, no person's spiritual walk can ever rise above their conception of God.

No church's spiritual life can ever rise above their concept of God, and that's why the heaviest duty that I have as your pastor week after week is to try to elevate your concept of who God really is until that concept reaches a level that is worthy of God, until that concept reaches a level that causes you and me to revere God and obey God as we should. Now, the reason I bring this up is because today in our ongoing study of the life of Moses, this is what we're going to talk about. We're going to talk about who God is.

Now, of course, we're not going to cover the whole gamut, the whole spectrum today, but we are going to cover one of the most important attributes about God, one that God pointed out to Moses from the burning bush, and one that has enormous ramifications for our lives as followers of Jesus today. So if you brought a Bible, I'd like you to open with me to Exodus chapter 3. And if you did not bring a Bible today, reach right under the armrest there on the chair next to you, and you'll find a copy of the Bible. We're going to be on page 41, page 41 in our copy of the Bible, Exodus chapter 3. And while you're turning, let me give you a tiny bit of background. Remember at age 40, Moses left the palace of Egypt and became an exile on the backside of the desert where he spent the next 40 years.

We'll show you a map. Moses lived from age 40 to age 80 in the red circle that you see at the base of the Sinai Peninsula. But at age 80 one day, Moses was walking along tending his father-in-law's sheep, when all of a sudden he saw a bush that was on fire, but it was not burning up. And so going over to check it out, suddenly God spoke to Moses from the bush. Let's pick up verse 6. And God said to Moses, I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob. Verse 7.

And I have seen the misery of My people in Egypt. I have come down to bring them out of Egypt into a good and a spacious land. Verse 10.

So now go. I am sending you, Moses, to Pharaoh to bring My people Israel out of Egypt. Verse 13. But then Moses said to God, Well, God, suppose I go to the Israelites and I say to them that the God of your fathers has sent me to you. And they ask me, What is His name?

Well, what shall I tell them? Now, folks, in the ancient Hebrew culture, names were more than just place hangers. Names were meant to reveal something about a person's character, something about a person's nature. And so when Moses asks here at the burning bush, God, what is your name? What he's really asking is, God, who are you really? What is your true nature? What is the true character of your being? And in verse 14, God answers him.

It's a short answer, but it is an incredible answer. Verse 14. And God said to Moses, I am who I am. This is what you're to say to the Israelites.

Tell them I am has sent me to you. Now, in calling himself I am here at the burning bush, what exactly is God saying about himself to Moses? Well, the Hebrew verb literally means to have existence. And so what God is saying to Moses is, Moses, you want to really know who I am? Well, Moses, I am the one being in the universe who has existence in and of himself. I am the one being in the universe who exists in and of myself. I am the one being in the universe who is self-existent, the only self-existent being in this cosmos. And, friends, by calling himself I am, God is claiming that he is eternal, that he is without origin, he is without source, he is without beginning, he is without ending, that he is accountable to no one for his existence.

You know, everything else in our universe has a beginning somewhere. Everything else in our universe has a source from which it sprang somewhere, but God himself sprang from nothing. God simply is, and he always has been, and he always will be. He is independently, eternally self-existent. And this is the consistent position of the Bible. John chapter 1, verse 4, in him is life, the Bible says. John chapter 5, verse 26, Jesus said the Father has life in himself.

And so to summarize, when God calls himself I am, God is claiming to be the self-existent one, the one and only being in the universe who has life intrinsically in himself. Now, that's as far as we want to go in the passage right now, because we've come to the point where it's time to ask our most important question. And you had last week off, but we're back, and so are you ready? Are you ready? All right, here we go, nice and loud.

One, two, three. So what? Yeah, you say, Lon, so what? Say, this is wonderful, you know, good theology and all that, blah, blah, blah. But what difference does any of that make to me? When I walk out of my house on a Monday morning to go to work, to go to school, whatever, what difference does this make to me?

Well, let's talk about that for a moment, shall we? Friends, you know, as human beings here today, we are all alive. But the life that we're enjoying as we sit here this morning, it's important for us to understand that life is not inherently ours. It's a gift given to us by the one whose life is inherently his. The Bible says, 1 Timothy 3, verse 13, that God is the one who gives life to all things.

I love what the book of Genesis says, Genesis 2, verse 7. It says that the Lord breathed into man's nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul. The point is, as human beings, we need to understand that we are dependent for the life that we're living. We are dependent for God, on God, for every moment of our existence. Every breath we take is at the pleasure of Almighty God.

Every ounce of life we live is at the pleasure of Almighty God. In other words, there is an utter dependency here of us on God, not of God on us. There is an utter dependency of us on God that we must grasp if we are going to relate properly to the great I Am of the universe. And what's more, it is our failure, listen carefully, it is our failure to grasp this dependency that lies at the heart of all the sin and the heartache in our world today.

It is our failure to grasp this dependency that lies at the heart of all of the sin and heartache in every one of our individual lives today. Lucifer made that mistake. We know him better as Satan.

But at one point, he was an angel called Lucifer. And in Isaiah chapter 14, he said this, he made a decision. He said, I will ascend into heaven.

I will exalt my throne. I will make myself like God. And the result, God said to him, you sinned. Adam had the same problem in the Garden of Eden. You remember Adam decided that he was going to act independently of God, that he was going to be the captain of his own faith, that he was going to be the designer of his own destiny. And the result of that was that he disobeyed God and cursed the entire human race. Now friends, Lucifer and Adam both made the same fatal mistake. They decided that they were going to act like independent beings instead of dependent beings.

Let me repeat that. The mistake they made is deciding that they were going to act like independent beings instead of dependent beings. You see, instead of being planets content to revolve around the sun, these two people decided they wanted to be the sun and have everybody revolve around them.

Well, I'm here to tell you something. The problem is that there's no room in this universe for two IMs. There's only room in this universe for one IM and the one IM in this universe is not you and it's not me. It's the being who spoke to Moses from the burning bush. He is the sun.

We are the planets. He belongs on the throne. We belong at his feet because the life we're living is merely a gift from him anyway. And it's only when we begin acting like dependent beings, like the dependent beings we really are, only then will harmony and holiness and happiness characterize our lives. Only then. Now may I stop for a moment and say that if you're here today and you've never trusted Jesus in a real and personal way, this is why all the good religious works you do and all the religious activity you're involved in can never earn you the smile of God and your way into heaven.

And let me tell you why. Friends, the first step any person takes towards God is not when they try to do good works for God or when they try to do nice things for God. It's when they suddenly realize that they are a usurper, that they are sitting on the throne of their life and they've stolen that throne from Almighty God.

It belongs to him. We all remember Ayatollah Khomeini and how he ran the Shah of Iran out of the country. Let's just think for a moment. Let's say a year later, Ayatollah Khomeini felt really bad about what he had done. And so he sent all these expensive gifts and presents to the Shah to say, please, I'm so sorry.

I hope you'll forgive me for what I've done. Would that have worked? No, of course not. The Shah didn't want gifts. The Shah didn't want presents. He wanted his throne back.

The one that Ayatollah Khomeini had stolen from him, that is the only thing that would have resolved the problem. And folks, that is exactly the issue between you and me and God. God doesn't want our gifts. God doesn't want our presents. God wants his throne back.

The one you've taken from him in your heart. And so if you're here today and you've never trusted Jesus in a real and personal way, coming to Christ, one of the things that it's about is about trading in your theme song for life. You see, the theme song for the human race is I Did It My Way. But when we come to Christ, the first step in reconciling ourselves to God is when we're willing to trade that song in for the song we sang earlier, All to Jesus I Surrender. And if you're here today and you've never given your life to Jesus Christ, I hope you're willing to come to grips with this fact that you've stolen something from God that he wants back. And that's the first step to reconciling with him and coming to Christ. But you know this idea of Jesus Christ sitting on the throne of our life, this is not just for people who aren't yet Christians, who aren't yet followers of Christ. Friends, as followers of Christ today, the lordship of Jesus Christ is an issue for us as well. Paul said, Romans chapter 12, verse 1, he said, I urge you as followers of Christ to present your bodies to God as living sacrifices, which is your reasonable service.

Hey, in light of who God is and in light of who you and I are, it is entirely reasonable that God be the Lord of our life. That's what Paul is saying. And what does it mean to be living sacrifices? Well, friends, in asking us to become a sacrifice, God is not asking us to literally kill ourselves.

He wants us living. But what he is asking for us to do is to be as dead as sacrifices are when it comes to exercising our own independent authority over our lives. This is how the Lord Jesus lived when he lived here on earth.

He lived as a dependent being under the authority of God the Father. Jesus said, John chapter 4, my food is to do the will of him who sent me. Jesus said, John 8, I do nothing on my own initiative, but I speak only those things which the Father tells me to. Jesus said, John chapter 6, I have come down from heaven not to do my own will, but to do the will of him who sent me. And in the Garden of Gethsemane, Luke chapter 22, three times Jesus said the same thing, not my will be done.

Lord, but yours. Jesus left us an example of how we live as human beings. We live as dependent beings under the lordship of Jesus Christ. He is on the throne. We're at his feet.

And I love what Tozer went on to say. He went on to say, and I quote, Man is willing to share himself, sometimes even willing to sacrifice himself for a desired end, but never to dethrone himself, end of quote. And you see, my friends, this is what sets apart a true disciple of Jesus from every other person around them.

Let me repeat that. This is what sets apart a true disciple of Jesus from every other person around them. A true disciple of Jesus has dethroned himself, has dethroned herself. Voluntarily, intentionally, and they have restored the throne of their life back to its rightful owner, the living risen Lord Jesus Christ. Submission to God is more than a buzzword for a true disciple of Christ. Obedience to God is more than a buzzword for a true disciple of Christ.

These words, submission and obedience, form the warp and the woof of how a true disciple seeks to live every moment of every day of their life. And the result is that God crowns these people's lives with the peace and the stability and the strength and the resilience and the hope and the joy that the Lord Jesus Christ himself had. You know, as many of you know, I just got back from a trip to Israel. Everything went well. Thanks so much for your prayers.

We had a great time. And while we were there in Israel one night, I couldn't sleep. And so I got up and I began praying and I began asking God, what is the problem here, God? Because usually I sleep pretty good. And so I started saying, God, what is the problem?

Why can't I sleep? And he said to me, you know, he said, Lon, there's a situation I need you to go back and fix. Now, I don't have time to give you all the details. But suffice to say, it was a situation with a man where there had been some confusion over the details of a small business deal. And God said to me, I want you to go back and I want you to apologize to that man.

And then I want you to offer to make restitution financially to that man. And I said, no, Lord, I don't want to do that. Now, talk about an oxymoron.

No, Lord, no, Lord. I mean, you know what an oxymoron is. An oxymoron is a combination of two things that just don't go together like nice cobra. Snake, you know what I'm saying.

Military intelligence. How about this one, entry level Ferrari. I got one you'll love, non-controlling Jewish mother. These are oxymorons. They don't go together. And saying no, Lord, is an oxymoron.

It doesn't go together. And we argued a good bit of the night about this particular issue, me and God. And finally, as we were getting to the end of our argument, I really sensed the Lord saying to me very, I think he was getting irritated with me. And I really sensed him saying to me straight up, hey, Lon, who's on the throne here, you or me? Well, that's really what we were fighting about.

That was the real fight. Who's on the throne here, you or me? Because, Lon, if I'm on the throne, you do what I tell you to do.

It's just that simple. Now, if you want to be on the throne, you can do that, but I wouldn't advise it if I were you. Well, you'll be happy to know when I got back. First thing I did is went right to this man, did what the Lord told me to do. The man forgave me. Actually, he was very gracious and turned down my offer of financial restitution.

Everything worked out just fine. And the point is, Hudson Taylor said it, Jesus is either Lord of all or he is not Lord at all. Jesus is either Lord of all or he is not Lord at all.

It's pretty simple. And so what I want to do as we close today is I want to ask you the very same question that God asked me that night in Israel. Who's on the throne, Lon, of your life?

Is it you or is it me? Now, what a lot of us do is we give God the throne in 85 percent of our life and we think we've made him happy and we keep the last 10 or 15 percent for us. Now, frankly, the 10 or 15 percent we keep is the 10 or 15 percent we care about the most anyway. We give him the stuff we don't care about. We think we've made him happy. We think we've pulled the wool over his eyes. We think we've fooled him. What are you kidding?

We're kidding. We give him the stuff that we're not really all that concerned about. And we keep the 10 percent that we really want to keep. Well, folks, I'm sorry. Remember what Hudson Taylor said. He's either Lord of all 100 percent or forget calling him Lord at all.

You might as well keep the 85 percent as well. So I want to challenge you here today with that question. Who's really Lord of your life? The life you're living isn't even yours.

It's borrowed. God gave it to you. He's the only one that has life in himself. You're living on his life. And he wants that throne because he's entitled to it.

Paul said it is our reasonable service to give it to him in light of who he is and in light of who we are. So, folks, when it comes to your sex life and the movies you watch and the magazines you read and the places you go on the Internet, who's sitting on the throne of your life, huh? When it comes to how you love your wife and how you respect your husband, when it comes to how you treat your children or how you honor your parents, who's on the throne of your life, friends? When it comes to how you serve your boss, how you speak about your fellow man, how you forgive those who've hurt you, who's on the throne of your life, when it comes to how you handle your money or how you keep your word, how you preserve your integrity, how you tell the truth, how you fill out your 1040s, who's on the throne of your life? You or the Lord Jesus Christ? It's a good question to ask.

And, you know, sometimes the answer is ugly. Well, I've got great news for you. We've got a forgiving God. We've got a merciful God. And every time we come back to Him and ask for forgiveness and mercy and say, Lord, I'm so sorry, I did it again. I threw you off the throne in this area of my life and I took it back for myself.

I've got great news for you. God will forgive you, God will show you mercy, and God will happily take His place back on the throne if you'll just give it to Him. And so my challenge to all of us today is if you have usurped the throne of your life in some area and you have proclaimed yourself as the I Am of that area of your life, then, friends, God wants that area back. And what's more, your life and my life will never enjoy the full blessing of God until we give Him that area back.

And I'm here to challenge you today to do that. I urge you, brothers, Paul said, to present yourselves as living sacrifices. Sacrifices don't sit on the throne of anything.

They're dead. To present yourself as living sacrifices to God, which is your reasonable service. God's not asking for anything He doesn't deserve, but He wants it. The wise follower of Christ gives it to Him, and I hope you will. Let's pray together. With our heads bowed and our eyes closed, I'd like to give you just a moment to do business with God if you need to. If there's an area of your life that you have dethroned God, or maybe you never put Him on the throne in the first place, I want to challenge you right here and now to talk to God about that. I want to challenge you to abdicate right here and now and give God His rightful place over every area of your life. Remember, He's either Lord of all or He's not Lord at all. You take a moment and do business with God. Lord Jesus, you know that every one of us has a part of us, we call it the sin nature, that's just like Adam, just like Lucifer, an area of our lives where we want to be the Son, we want to be on the throne, we want to be king, we want independent authority.

Every one of us are wired that way. Lord Jesus, my prayer is that you would make us into true disciples of Jesus. True disciples have taken that area of their life and by the power of the Holy Spirit they have subjugated it, they have squashed it and they have brought it under obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ.

They have sacrificed it to Him. And Lord, even though we try to do that, we all slip from time to time, we're just human. And so forgive us, Lord, and I pray for the many people today, myself included, who have spoken to you about areas of our life where you need to be back on the throne or on the throne for the first time. Lord, accept our abdication this morning and become king over all of our life. Make us real disciples, characterized by Jesus being Lord of all. And change the way our life is lived because we were here today and we decided to take the role of the planets and let You be the sun. And we pray these things in Jesus' name. And God's people said, Amen. Amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-27 08:09:28 / 2024-05-27 08:19:35 / 10

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