Experiencing God Wk 4

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Know God

How do we get to know God? And, is there a difference between knowing God, and knowing about God?
Too often, we may be as guilty as the Israelites described by Moses in Exodus 3:13
Exodus 3:13 ESV
13 Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?”
Who would have thought that God’s chosen people would need reminded of who their God is? Was their relationship that far apart that they forgot? Was it that they learned about Him, but never really knew Him or His power? Was it that Moses was confused over who it was that was actually sending him? Curious about why Moses asked God that question, personally…but God answered with:
Exodus 3:14 ESV
14 God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I am has sent me to you.’ ”
hāyâ ash-er’ hāyâ - I AM WHO I AM. “I AM” is the English translation of the first-person singular Hebrew verb meaning “to be.” It could also be rendered, “I WILL BE WHAT I WILL BE”. By describing himself this way, God was affirming his self-existence and self-sufficiency. He depends on nothing and no one.
He needed no introduction, He needed no explanation, He needed no help from Moses, He would reveal Himself to His people through their experience with Him.
God was developing Abraham’s character, God was developing the nation of Israel’s character, and God is in the process of developing our character today.
In looking at the seven realities on the inside back cover, How does Abraham’s experience of God follow that sequence?
Look closely at #5 - Crisis of Belief… What IS a crisis of belief? Have you ever personally had a crisis of belief? What was the root of this crisis? How do we overcome this crisis?

Worship God

Psalm 8:1 ESV
1 O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens.
Maybe I’m going to get a little too personal, but I’m going to ask this question anyways.
When was the last time you truly, deeply, intimately had a time of praise and worship with God?
Do we take time to praise His name? Because praise to His name, is praise to Him!
Names for God: Abba - Father, Alpha and Omega - The beginning and end, Christos - the Anointed one, El Elyon - the God most high, El Shaddai - God Almighty, Elohim - the Creator, Jehova Jireh - the Lord our provider, Jehovah Nissi - the Lord our banner, Jehovah Rapha - The Lord our healer, Jehovah Bore - The Lord creator
Names for Jesus: Savior, Redeemer, Creator, Only Begotten Son, Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Creator
While these are not exhaustive lists, by any means, it goes to show the many ways God is described in scripture. How do WE describe Him in our life today?

Love God

John 14:21 ESV
21 Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.”
What do we have to do to show our love to Jesus?
John 14:15 ESV
15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
What are the two promises given to those who keeps His commandments?
be loved, and manifest Himself to us
Now, how did Jesus show love to the Father?
John 14:31 ESV
31 but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us go from here.
So, how do we demonstrate our love for God? Obedience.
If you have an obedience problem, you have a love problem.
What happens when one of our children disobey? Discipline / Punishment. We do not punish, discipline, or chastise our children for fun. We do it to show them the way they are supposed to grow and live. Obedience is crucial in times of chaos, controversy, danger, etc.
Hebrews 12:6 ESV
6 For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.”
But we also see other examples in scripture that tells us how God demonstrates His love for us:
John 3:16 ESV
16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
1 John 3:16 ESV
16 By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.
1 John 4:16 ESV
16 So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.
So, with true love comes discipline.
The relationship we have with God should determine everything we do, and we should not look at anything going on in our lives without seeing it through the eyes of Christ and against the backdrop of the cross.
Do we truly believe God’s will for our lives is always best?
Have you ever asked God for something, only to not get the answer we want? Then we ask Him for options or alternatives? God is omniscient - all knowing - he knows all past, present, and future. When He gives directions, there doesn’t need to be an alternative.
Now, here is a tougher question.
Do we ever argue with God?
Especially when we don’t get the answer He gives us?
We should never forget God is always right, His will is always best, and in the end He expects obedience. We don’t have to question His guidance and path for us. Yet, we should always balance what we think is God’s path for us with scripture and make sure WE aren’t influencing the decision.

God’s Commands

When we hear words like commands, judgments, statutes, and laws, what is our first impression? Positive or negative?
God’s commands ARE expressions of His love.
Deuteronomy 10:12–13 ESV
12 “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 and to keep the commandments and statutes of the Lord, which I am commanding you today for your good?
Who are our children’s bible teachers?
Deuteronomy 32:46–47 ESV
46 he said to them, “Take to heart all the words by which I am warning you today, that you may command them to your children, that they may be careful to do all the words of this law. 47 For it is no empty word for you, but your very life, and by this word you shall live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to possess.”
WHO SHOULD our children’s first bible teacher be?
Not only are WE to follow His commands, but we are to TEACH those commands to our children. If for no other reason, for our LIFE.
God loves us enough that He gives us guidelines for life. But, it is up to us to learn and apply them. Why? So we can have life, and have life more abundantly.
John 10:10 (ESV)
10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
Let me ask another question. If you were going on a trip to a foreign country, and had to walk or drive wherever you went, would you feel comfortable heading out with no knowledge, no phone, or no map? What would be one of the first things we might do? Get a map? Now, what if we went down to the desk clerk and got a map, and the clerk (who is a native and familiar with the area) gives routes and specific instructions would we listen and follow them??? We may even draw them on the map as a reference correct? Do we trust the map? Do we trust the directions given to us?
So, why is it difficult to sometimes submit to God’s will and follow His direction EVEN when He has given us a life map with instructions?
Deuteronomy 6:20–25 ESV
20 “When your son asks you in time to come, ‘What is the meaning of the testimonies and the statutes and the rules that the Lord our God has commanded you?’ 21 then you shall say to your son, ‘We were Pharaoh’s slaves in Egypt. And the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand. 22 And the Lord showed signs and wonders, great and grievous, against Egypt and against Pharaoh and all his household, before our eyes. 23 And he brought us out from there, that he might bring us in and give us the land that he swore to give to our fathers. 24 And the Lord commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as we are this day. 25 And it will be righteousness for us, if we are careful to do all this commandment before the Lord our God, as he has commanded us.’
God does not restrict us with His commands, but simply wants us to follow them so we can prosper and live life to the fullest! They are guidelines for the best life. But, it is up to US to follow them.
So, have we ever missed out on God’s direction for our lives? What have we missed? Now, do you think our church has ever missed out on following God’s direction? And, what have WE missed as a result of disobedience?

Knowing Where God is at Work

Where is God working today? How do we know that?
John 14:15–17 ESV
15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.
So, the Holy Spirit can only reside in someone who???
Loves, Obeys, and Believes in Christ.
When we accept Christ as our Savior, it is the first step in our love relationship with Christ. Now, remember He has loves us from the beginning, but WE have to choose to love Him after being drawn to Him.
John 6:44 ESV
44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.
But, once saved the Holy Spirit takes up residence in us, and guides, directs, teaches, convicts, etc...
It is this guidance of the Holy Spirit which also guides us to the will and the WORK of God. Now, if you remember on Sunday we talked about there being a calling to God’s work…we know scripture says we all have received spiritual gifts. To say you do not know where God is calling you to work, is like taking that road map we talked about earlier and sticking it in our pocket, and not following it. Sometimes it is convenient to say you don’t feel drawn or led to work in the church…but God will direct, lead, and guide a Christian to do His work. How do we determine this? Through prayer, study of scripture, and obedience when God calls.
God Will Work In Your Life and Expects You To Work Also!!!
So, what is God inviting YOU to do for him?
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