The Quest for God

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Central truth:
The bible indicates that there is something about God that draws us to seek and know Him intimately.
Sermon Title:
The Quest for the Presence of God
Scripture Illustrations:
Moses said show me thy glory...
Exodus 33:7–23 (KJV 1900)
7 And Moses took the tabernacle, and pitched it without the camp, afar off from the camp, and called it the Tabernacle of the congregation. And it came to pass, that every one which sought the Lord went out unto the tabernacle of the congregation, which was without the camp. 8 And it came to pass, when Moses went out unto the tabernacle, that all the people rose up, and stood every man at his tent door, and looked after Moses, until he was gone into the tabernacle. 9 And it came to pass, as Moses entered into the tabernacle, the cloudy pillar descended, and stood at the door of the tabernacle, and the Lord talked with Moses. 10 And all the people saw the cloudy pillar stand at the tabernacle door: and all the people rose up and worshipped, every man in his tent door. 11 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. 12 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 send with me. Yet thou hast said, I know thee by name, and thou hast also found grace in my sight. 13 Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation is thy people. 14 And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest. 15 And he said unto him, If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence. 16 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. 17 And the Lord said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name. 18 And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory. 19 And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy. 20 And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live. 21 And the Lord said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock: 22 And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by: 23 And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.
The people said we will not go without you go with us.
Paul said that I might know Him... Phil. 3:10
John 11:40
Psalm 42,
Psalm 42:title–3 (KJV 1900)
Psalm 42:title–3 (KJV 1900)
1 As the hart panteth after the water brooks,
So panteth my soul after thee, O God.
2 My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God:
When shall I come and appear before God?
3 My tears have been my meat day and night,
While they continually say unto me, Where is thy God?
* In this passage of Scripture we look into the soul of God’s servant David, a man who the bible says was a man after God’s own heart.
* In this passage David is in great distress and agony of soul. David’s soul is crying out in desperation for God.
* David, like many of us in this room this morning was subject to times of spiritual depression. It as said of Charles Haddon Spurgeon, that even thought he was called the “prince of preachers,” a man like David who was greatly used of God- Spurgeon endured great battles with depression.
* On Sunday night, October 19, 1856, 12,000 people streamed into London’s Surrey Hall and an additional 10,000 overflowed into the surrounding gardens to hear Charles Spurgeon preach. The services started, but as Spurgeon rose to pray, someone shouted “Fire! Fire! The galleries are giving way!” There was no fire, but the crowd bolted in panic, and in the resulting stampede seven people were trampled to death. Twenty-eight more were hospitalized. The young preacher, reeling in shock, was literally carried from the pulpit to a friend’s house where he remained in seclusion for weeks.
* After this tragedy Spurgeon found his soul in a dry and parched place. Spurgeon found himself in such a place that he refused to leave his home or go to the church. His deacons had to come and physical carry him to the pulpit to preach.
* Here in our passage David is in one of these battles with spiritual depression.
1 As the hart panteth after the water brooks,
So panteth my soul after thee, O God.
* Like a old dog that is suffering from thirst and the great heat of the sun, David declares that his soul is in great anguish. David thirst for the refreshing of the Holy Spirit of God, like a panting dog would crave for the cool refreshing water of a brook.
* In another place, when David was hiding from kin Saul in the desert wilderness David says:
Psalm 63: 1 (KJV 1900)
1 O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee:
My soul thirsteth for thee,
My flesh longeth for thee
In a dry and thirsty land, where no water is;
* This morning the Holy Spirit of God to the thirsty soul of a man is like a refreshing rain on the dry parched ground in a time of drought!
* In these dry times of the soul in the life of a Christian, our souls like that of king David and Charles Haddon Spurgeon, long to see the face of God!
* As your pastor, I am telling you this morning that my greatest need, and your greatest need, in life has nothing to do with the things of this present world, but with matters of the soul!
* In our passage this in Psalms chapter 42 David is on a quest for God!
* Listen again to the words of David:
Psalm 42:title–3 (KJV 1900)
1 As the hart panteth after the water brooks,
So panteth my soul after thee, O God.
2 My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God:
When shall I come and appear before God?
3 My tears have been my meat day and night,
While they continually say unto me, Where is thy God?
* David in anguish of soul says “where is my God!” The people who observe David’s anguish of soul continually say to David; David “Where is thy God!”
* My friend the greatest quest that man could ever occupy himself with is the pursuit of the presence of God!
* The only thing that will make a difference in you today will be presence of God in your life!
* The only thing that will ever make a difference in this preacher is live in the presence of a Holy God!
* The only thing that will make Blue Springs Baptist Church a church pleasing to God is the desire to abide in the glorious presence of God!
* The only hope for sinful mankind this morning of this world is the quest to know God!
* In our text in verse 3 David says “When shall I come and appear before God!” David was in a quest to see the face of God!
* The greatest need that you and I have this morning is to seek the face of God!
2 Chronicles 7:14 (KJV 1900)
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
* What do we know about the quest for the presence of God this morning?
* In mythology and literature, a quest, a journey towards a goal.
* Quests appear in the folklore of every nation.
*To gain the object of a quest requires great exertion on the part of the hero. To abtain the quest for the presence of God this morning requires great effort on the part of a Christian.
* The gain the object of a quest requires the overcoming of many obstacles. To obtain the goal of the presence of God in the Christian life requires overcoming the many obstacles of the flesh and our own weaknesses.
* To gain the object of a quest typically includes much travel and leads the traveler on a journey to exotic locations and cultures. The Bible describes the Christian life as a journey in which we are pilgrims just passing through this world. God’s plans for our lives will lead us through many twists and turns as we seek to see the face of God.
* In the process of the quest the traveler is developed and his character is refined as he struggles to obtain that great and noble goal of the quest. Even so Christ changes us and conforms us into an image like unto Himself as we journey to realization of our goal- to see the face of God!
2 Corinthians 3:18 (KJV 1900)
18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
* My friends this is our greatest need- we need to realize that our lives after that we come to Christ are an eternal quest to see the face of God!
Psalms 17:15
Great Quests of Mankind:
The greatest quest of man is to know God.
Reference Materials:
Martyn Lloyd Jones on the Presence of God.
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