Draw Near

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I love the story of the road to Emmaus. These men are so downcast, disappointed, dejected. Jesus appears. Unfolds the Scriptures “the things concerning himself.” So they “drew near” to a village and urged this man to stay with them, and as he broke bread their eyes were opened and they “recogonized him.” Jesus immediately vanishes and they say to one another, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked and walked with us on the road?”
When was the last time your heart burned within you? Have you walked and talked with Jesus and left that moment kindled with fire for Christ?
Let me pray for us, “God touch us with Your flame, and set us on fire again. May we taste of the fullness of life found in Your presence, and may it ignite an insatiable hunger and thirst for You, and You alone from this day forward.”
This morning I have the joy of discussing with you the greatest passion of my life… Nearness with God. Even when I say a phrase like that I immediately think of people of the faith like:
Moses— Who begged God’s presence not to depart from him declaring that God’s presence is better than any possible promised land or destination we could attain.
Joshua— Sitting on the edge of his seat as Moses enters the Tabernacle to commune with the presence of God. Speaking with him face to face as a man speaks to a friend. And as all Israel reveals disinterest and goes back into their tents, Joshua sits at the edge of his. Hungry. Curious. Desrious of God.
Or David--- who as King had to have been filled with a plethora of desires but emphatically prays, “One thing I have desired of the Lord, that one thing I seek. To dwell in the presence of God forever.” And God whispering to him, “Seek my face” and David responding, “Your face Lord do I seek.”
Or Paul--- “I count all things as loss for the surpassing worth of knowing Him.”
We all have longings. That isn’t for debate. But let me ask you a question? Do you long for God? Does your soul pant for him like a deer pants for water? Are you seeking God’s face? His character? His nature? His presence? Or are you simply seeking His hands?
“We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”— C.S. Lewis
Lewis said that although there is a feast for you… we are too quickly pleased like the ignorate child… We fool about.
Drink, sex, ambition… true then and true today. Our actions scream this reality… that we desire more. That we have to have this longing fulfilled.
Another rung on the corporate ladder, and then I’ll be full.
If I were only married, then I’d be full.
If my wife were more receptive to sex, then I’d be satisfied.
If I just look at pornography, then I’d be satisfied.
If I just had a newer truck, then I’d be satisfied.
If people saw how hard I worked, then I’d be satisfied.
If my kids were just more respectful and better behaved, then I’d be satisfied.
If my dad would just call, and tell me I’m loved and significant then I’d be satisfied.
If only more… more… more… We long for it.
Men, I want to let you in on a little secret… James 1:14 reads, “each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.” Every sin is a result of finding our longings fulfilled apart from God.
We don’t stop sinning by will power, doing better, more accountability, reading better books, going to church more, etc. We stop sinning when we find our longings fulfilled in God alone.
This is what I want to teach on today. Namely… drawing near to God.
Let’s read Hebrews 10:19-22

The Purpose

Let’s do a little exercise real quick. On your own, perhaps in your journal, or just in your own mind answer the following two questions?
As you think about the Gospel. The good news of salvation in Christ. What are we saved from?
What are we saved for?
Simon Sinek’s the Golden Circle--- We hang out on the outer rings, but calling you deeper.
What- Saved from the penalty of sin.
How- Through the atoning work of Christ.
Why— What is God’s Why???
Let me quickly show you…
Genesis 1 & 2: You were created in God’s image, so that you might live in intimate fellowship with Him. He made man in his likness and then established a garden in Eden where he placed man and womand and where he walked with them.
Genesis 3:8— What was the first consequence of sin… Adam and Eve hid from him. Since then we have all sought to live lives at a distance from God, instead of with Him. So instead of having our deepest core longing met in God, we have tried to meet it in other things.
Genesis 11- Instead of living with God we built a tower that would make a name for ourselves. Ambition.
But His why never changes. He redeems His people.
Exodus 19:4, “I bore you on eagles wings and brought you out of Egypt to myself. Not to the promised land, but to Himself!
Exodus 19:9-11, “He tells Moses to consecreate the people so that he can draw near to them and speak with them.
Exodus 20, the cloud decsends. His presence draws near. Moses enters. Exodus 20:21, “the people stood at a distance.”
Created to live, abide, and draw near to God but instead we withdraw, hide, distance ourselves. But the longing remains. And when not met in God we will inevitably meet it in other ways.
1 Peter 3:18, “For Christ also suffered[a] once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God,”
Ephesians 2:18, “For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.”
John 14:6, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life and no one comes to the Father except through me.”
Hebrews 10, “the veil has been torn. We can enter His presence with confidence.”
This is why we were created. It was the greatest effect of sin. And it is ultimately the reason for God sending his own son to pay for the penalty of sin. To draw us to himself. To have our longings met via access to the Father’s presence.
But instead… we fool about. Or we just believe that this life. A life of communion with God, abiding in His presence is unattainable on this side of heaven so
When we meet, we talk to each other about our Christian work and Christian interests, our Christian acquaintances, the state of the churches, and the problems of theology - but rarely of our daily experience of God.
But let us draw near… Draw near.

The Pleasure

The Path

His Provision, Not Yours

With Principle, Not Pretending

In Private, and Public

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