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Divine Encounters, Part 2

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD
The Truth Network Radio
October 28, 2020 8:00 am

Divine Encounters, Part 2

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD

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October 28, 2020 8:00 am

People often say theyd believe in God if they could see him face to face. In this lesson, Dr. Tony Evans will tell us the story of one man who had a personal encounter with the Lord and what lessons we can learn from his experience.

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Many people want His provision who don't want His person. But Dr. Tony Evans says it doesn't work that way because there's no substitute for a personal encounter with the Lord. I invite you to pursue the mountain of God, to get in His presence. This is The Alternative with Dr. Tony Evans, author, speaker, senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Texas, and president of the Urban Alternative. People often say they'd believe in God if they could see Him face-to-face. Well today, Dr. Evans will take us to Exodus chapter 3 for the story of one man who had a personal encounter with the Lord and what we can learn from his experience.

Let's join him. There are many references in Scripture to men and women who encountered God. And I thought we would look at just a few of them and gain some principles and hopefully some motivation to pursue a divine encounter. One of the most famous encounters in Scripture is the encounter with God by Moses at a burning bush.

Some backstory will help us to appreciate qualifying for an encounter. Moses is pastoring a flock of his father-in-law's sheep in a wilderness. This is the same Moses who grew up with a silver spoon in his mouth.

He was picked up out of the Nile River by Pharaoh's daughter, brought into Pharaoh's house, raised as Pharaoh's son, and was an heir to Pharaoh's throne. But at forty years old, he had a misstep. At forty years old, even though he had made a commitment to God, he blew it. He decided to go independently of God, to take matters into his own hands, and to depend on his own expertise and self-sufficiency to accomplish the program of God of delivering his people. And out of that miscalculation, he committed murder, a sin that you really can't recover from because the person that the sin is against is gone.

His murderous act was discovered, reported on, and he had to run for his life. When we find Moses in chapter 3, he's eighty years old. There is a forty-year gap between his misstep and his encounter. There's forty years between his failure and him running smack dab into God.

During these forty years, he's in a wilderness leading sheep. He's no longer in the spotlight. He's no longer the man. He's no longer this macho leader. He's an outcast, keeping as far away from Egypt and Pharaoh as possible because his act had a high price tag on it.

Let's look at this encounter. First of all, notice where Moses is. According to verse 1, he's on the west side of the wilderness, and he came to Horeb, the mountain of God. Now, the mountain of God, or Horeb, is Mount Sinai. Mount Sinai is the mountain where the Ten Commandments were given, where God's presence would be manifested in a miraculous way a few chapters from now. But it's called the mountain of God. So, before he ever experiences an encounter, he's in God's vicinity. He's in the mountain of God. See, a lot of people want an experience with God who don't want to hang out with where he's located. God identifies himself. Moses, I am the God of your fathers. I have seen the affliction, verse 7, of my people. I have come down to deliver them. Now, wait a minute.

What's going on here? Well, remember, this whole thing started 80 years ago. Moses knew he was supposed to be used of God to deliver the people. He knew God had a hand on his life. He just didn't do it God's way. There may be those of us who knew way back somewhere God was going to do something with my life, but nothing has happened.

Not happening yet. We've been wandering in the wilderness. God says, I did not forget what I planned for you. I did not forget what I planned for my people.

But the problem back then is that you wanted to do it your way. So, I had to bring you down to earth. You had too much Egypt in you, and often we have too much world in us.

So, God can't do what he wants to do at the time we think it ought to be done because we are too Egyptianized. He says, I remember. I know what's going on. I'm aware of what's happening with them. I'm aware of what's happening with you.

I don't know how long you've been struggling, but God hasn't forgotten where you are. He knows where you are. He knows how you got there. He knows how long you have been there. And so, I want you to now go down after 40 years of waiting, and I want you to set the people free.

Got a big job for you, Mo. Now, he doesn't tell him the program until Moses has an encounter with the person. See, a lot of folks want to know the program who don't want the person.

He doesn't get the information about the program or the plan. See, a lot of folks want to know, God, show me your plan for my life. And God is saying, come to the bush. If you need this year to be different than last year and the year before that and the year before that and the year before that, you got to be willing to face the bush and to take off the shoes.

No more asbestos Christianity. It gives them a big job. I want you to go to Pharaoh, and I want you to tell this monster man to let my people go.

That's a big job. Let me tell you a secret when you have an encounter with God. If there's nothing in your life that only God can do, you'll forever be tending sheep.

He didn't know, but God was using this humbling of sheep to prepare him for the leading of people. So Moses has a question. You want me to go to Pharaoh, where they already have threatened my life and I've been hiding for 40 years. You want me to go back home where I was raised, and you want me to tell him to let the Israelites go. Do I have that right, God? Is that what you're telling me? Because I'm scared.

I've been running from these people. Not only do I have a Pharaoh problem, I got an Israel problem, because they're the ones who toll on me. In fact, the Bible says when he killed the Egyptian who was beating up the Israelites, he looked in every direction to make sure nobody was seeing him. It gets reported to Pharaoh that one of his soldiers has been killed by his adopted son Moses. How did Pharaoh get this information if there was nobody to be seen?

There's only two options. One, if somebody looking at Moses didn't see, that's one option. But let's say Moses was accurate, that nobody saw him, that means his own brother toll on him. So I got a problem even with my peeps, because I'm going to go back and tell them, looking like a fool, God told me to tell y'all that I'm supposed to lead y'all out of here. You actually want me to go tell them that?

I've been in absentia for 40 years, and you want me to go back and tell you, do I have this correct, God? Well, they're going to ask a question. And the question they're going to ask is, what's his name? They're going to want to know what's his name. But Moses said to God, verse 11, who am I that I should go to Pharaoh?

I'm nobody. Boy, that's a change over 40 years, because he was somebody 40 years ago. He was the man that I should bring the people out. He said, I'm going to be with you. Moses said, behold, I'm going to the sons of Israel. I will say to them, verse 13, the God of your fathers have sent me to you. Now they may say to me, what is his name? When you reach and meet God in his presence, the mountain, and you get your contradictory, your peculiar thing that doesn't make sense, that's God inviting you to something deeper.

No matter how long you've been in this wilderness, it is God saying, there's something else deeper going on here. I'm going to see what you do, not what you say. And then I am going to use you for something bigger than you could ever do on your own. And when the question comes up, who died and made you boss?

When the question comes up, under whose authority are you talking about leading us out of Egypt? Here's what I want you to tell them. You tell them, I am who I am. Then you will say, verse 14, to the sons of Israel, I am have sent you. What kind of name is that? He says, who shall I tell them sent me? You tell them my name.

And my name is I am that I am. Dr. Evans will tell us more about the significance of that curious choice of names when he continues his message in just a moment. First though, I want to tell you about a brand new book he's released that digs deeper into the stories we'll be hearing over the next couple of weeks. It's called Kingdom Encounters, and it reveals how you can have the same kind of one-on-one experiences with God that you read about in the lives of people like Moses, Daniel, Abraham, and others. We want to help you learn how to set your faith on fire and keep it burning. So we'd like to send you a copy of Kingdom Encounters as our thank-you gift when you make a contribution to help us keep Tony's teaching coming your way on this station. Along with it, we'll include CDs and instant digital downloads of all eight full-length lessons in his current teaching series, Divine Encounters. Get the details and make the arrangements before time runs out by visiting or call our 24-hour resource center at 1-800-800-3222, where team members are standing by to help you.

That's 1-800-800-3222. We'll get back to our teaching time right after this. Democrats, Republicans, Independents, they all claim God is on their side, but Dr. Tony Evans says we all need to line up on God's side. The Word of God must trump your political alliances if you call yourself a Christian. That's why the Tony Evans Training Center just introduced an exciting new course, How Should Christians Vote?, an in-depth look at what every believer needs to know before stepping into the voting booth. I don't want to know where God stands, so I know where I'm supposed to stand as a child of God. Believers depend on the Bible to guide our lives. This course will equip you to stop changing books when it comes to politics, whether it's immigration, taxation, abortion. Since it's a nation under God, what does the God over us think about what the nation wants to do? The How Should Christians Vote course will teach you to sort through the spin, hype, and double-talk this election year and make a truly godly decision at the polls, all with the help of in-depth content from Tony, probing discussion questions, access to full-length messages, and an online discussion forum where you can ask specific questions and get detailed answers.

Visit today and connect with the Tony Evans Training Center. The theological word for I am is the tetragrammaton. The tetragrammaton means the four letters.

The four letters. The I am, the tetragrammaton, is four letters with no vowels, making it unpronounceable. The Jews would not try to pronounce it because it was the holy name of God that God gave to Himself.

I am. So what they did was they borrowed some vowels from another name of God, Adonai. They took the vowels of Adonai, inserted it into the tetragrammaton, the four letters, giving them the name Yahweh. So they would say Yahweh because they can now pronounce it because it now had vowels in it. When Yahweh gets translated into English, it's Jehovah. So you and I know the name Jehovah, which is taken from the Hebrew Yahweh, which is taken from the four letters with vowels inserted into it.

When he gave him these four letters, what was he saying? It's translated I am. It's said again that I am. I is a personal pronoun. So God identifies Himself as a person.

I. In creation, God is identified as Elohim, or Genesis chapter 1. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

God said, Let there be light. All those names for God are the word Elohim. Elohim speaks of God's power. So He does all these powerful things in Genesis 1. Beginning in Genesis 2, verse 4 and following, God adds a name. And you will see, beginning in verse 4 and following, the Lord God, the Lord God, the Lord God. That speaks of God's relationship, because He's now creating man with whom He has a relationship.

Now, I know Star Wars sold a billion dollars worth of movies, and I know folk talk about, May the Force be with you. But what you need to know when God gives you this name, I am, is that you cannot have His power if you do not want His person. He is the personal, self-revealing God.

So He's personal. Yahweh lets us know God wants to be related to personally. He just doesn't want to be this force up there, this impersonal object, like the culture has made Him and even religion has made Him. In the sphere in which God lives, everything is now, because He doesn't have a yesterday or tomorrow.

Now, that's a struggle for us in this time and space. You have to wait till you go to heaven to feel a little bit of that. But for right now, you have to understand, God is telling Moses, I know it's 80 years to you, but it's now to me. So I don't care how long you've been dealing with time. God wants you to know that because He deals outside of time. Therefore, He rules time and is unlimited by time.

You have time. Not only am I, I am, I am that I am. I define myself by me. He's not saying I am what you want me to be. I am the God who defines Himself by Himself, which means I depend on me.

Let me explain something. I don't care who you are, how much you have, where you live, where you drive, what you wear, you are not independent. You are a dependent person.

From the time you came out of your mother's womb, somebody had to feed you, somebody had to dress you, and if God ever shut down oxygen, you ain't here no more. So that's why there's no room for pride. See, what pride says is, I'm independent. There's only one independent person in the universe and that is God because He exists because He exists. And He does not need anything outside of Himself to be Himself because He's not dependent upon anything outside of Himself.

You are all I am. We are all dependent on Him. Well, why does He want Moses to know this name? Because of this encounter. He wants him to know that name because when he runs into this next problem that he's getting ready to run into named Pharaoh, see, encounter with God doesn't mean you're not running into no new problems. He's running into a, he's running into another problem from an old foe. And he said, when you run into this problem, Pharaoh is the big man on campus.

He's the man. He's gonna threaten you. He's gonna, he's gonna challenge you. He's gonna scare you. But I want you to know I am that I am.

And the reason you need to know this is when you face Pharaoh, big and bad Pharaoh, you're gonna have to know somebody who is so self-sufficient that he can be whatever you need when you run up against Pharaoh. So I am gonna be your power. I am gonna be your deliverer. I am gonna be your sustainer.

I am gonna be your victory. I am that I am so I won't need help to be me for you, which goes back to a theme that we've gone over and over again. And that is you only have one source.

You only have one source. I am that I am. So you ain't, but he is, because I am that I am.

I am the sufficient one, but I am personal, therefore relational. Dr. Evans will come back to wrap up today's message in just a moment. First though, don't forget to take advantage of that special offer I told you about earlier. You'll get all eight full-length messages in Tony's series, Divine Encounters, along with his brand-new book, Kingdom Encounters.

They're both yours with our thanks when you make a contribution to help us continue presenting this program every day. Again, this special offer runs out soon, so be sure to visit right away for details. You can also get some in-person help from a member of our resource team by calling 1-800-800-3222 any time of the day or night.

That's 1-800-800-3222. We expect God to be the one who gets us out of trouble, not the one who gets us into it. But tomorrow, Dr. Evans will take a look at why sometimes that's exactly what happens. Right now though, he's back to wrap up our time together with these final comments. Many people want his provision who don't want his person. They want Elohim, his power, but not Yahweh, his I am-ness. But if you desire an encounter with God this year, I invite you to pursue the mountain of God, to get in his presence. I encourage you to not ignore the contradictory things that He allowed you to see or experience and to move closer to Him when they occur. I invite you to listen to the sound of His voice, calling your name, and then the assignment that He attaches to the call. The Alternative with Dr. Tony Evans is brought to you by The Urban Alternative and is made possible by the generous contributions of listeners like you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-01 04:23:02 / 2024-02-01 04:30:49 / 8

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