“God designed the spiritual ecstasy and pleasure of His presence to provide us with the most intense pleasure that is possible for the human mind/brain to experience. He wants us to be more strongly bonded to Him than we are to any other person or thing in life. Experiencing the ultimate pleasure of HIS presence gives “us” a benchmark for comparing this enduring pleasure (Knowing God) with the transient pleasure of this world (Heb11:25) Until we have experienced the pleasure of His presence, …we are at the mercy of Satan’s counterfeits”.~ Richard Dobbins Ph.D
“Who will be the salt and light of biblical guidance to a culture gone wild? The church must provide a clear and robust biblical ethic of sexuality.” The Church should hold up the new alternative lifestyle…Men married to women for life in a sexually pure COVENANT relationship and live it out “~ Ed Stetzer,Ph.D
I read these quotes from an article in “Enrichment” Magazine (Summer 2011) But I think only possible when the “church” actually intimately knows God and not possible if the church exchanges Truth to be “accepted as more relevant”. …when ALL of God’s word is relevant Truth.
I read those quotes and remembered this message I gave in 2011….And share below with you to think on ….so you can and WILL gain the secret of the seeker!
Text: ( Exodus 24:1-3,&9,-18, Exodus 33:7-11, & 17-18 &21, Exodus Chap 34:5-8, &10 )
Many people in today’s churches would be happy to have just heard the voice of God, as Moses did, But God wants more than just our hearing His words; He wants us to come…and be in Him, dwell in Him, He in Us…and us focused on ONLY Him.
1) The earlier chapters of Exodus God spoke to Moses from the Mountain and told him and the people what the Ten Commandments would be, and gave them laws and ordinances….How to live for God.
2) God spoke to Moses about the sacrifices and peace offerings on alters for God; And teaches them about Sabbath in Chap 23. All this was so people may live and be acceptable to “freely” come…and worship a Holy God.
But in Chap24…I see God called Moses the leader of His People to come up for more.
If we as leaders want more of God in our Churches…more life in our churches….and if “we” the church ant more of God…we must come up for more…we must desire the very “presence” of God.
If “we” …as leaders in the “Church” don’t come to God first…then what, or Whom shall the people follow?
Here in Chap 24 of Exodus we see Moses was called by God to “Come”…
1) ( Chap 24:1-3 )…Said come up on the Mountain along with Aaron , Nadab, and Abihu and 70 others including Joshua. And in (VS 10) they all get to see God! Standing with His feet on Pavement of Sapphire as clear as the sky it’s self…For us and many Christians that would be enough…but not enough for God. They all see Moses go up mountain and Glory of God come down like a consuming fire and Moses actually enters the cloud in (Exodus24:18) and stayed there for forty days and nights.
Reminds me of…. When Jesus would go alone to be with God, He too heard the voice of God telling Him what to say and showing Him what to do. ( John8: 28 ) and ( John 5:18 )
A)First this IS our example as leaders, Shepherds and teachers of others the “church” so the church can lead the lost to Jesus!… Moses had been a shepherd too.
But I see that after only moments of standing in The “presence” of God at the burning bush…Moses led 2.5 million people out of bondage and deception. I also see Jesus made it priority to be alone with God too! And now leads all Christians past, present, and future…working through “us” in the “body” (the church)… to do so…called like Moses to come near to God! But what does God want from us? …To know Him intimately…So we need to do like Moses did…
Point number 1#…We must Come into …His very presence.
Why? For hearing all our directions, and receiving the download of revelation knowledge for leading His people…and First and foremost to know God’s heart, and for God to know us intimately.
But also to “enable us” for revealing Him more to the people! As we will now see:
b) In ( Exodus 33:7-11) We see AFTER his (first) 40day experience Moses has separated a tent from the others, and it is now the tent of meeting. And now Moses would go out to the tent and worship and talk to God with all the people watching…and God would…. Now come down in a Pillar cloud and it says in (33Vs11) “Talk to Moses face to face just as a man speaks to his friend…God was revealing himself directing Moses right “in front of” all the people who it says worshiped and “watched” from their tents.. “They could see God”, And they could see Moses was with God, and they could “see” Moses had a special relationship “with” God!
But there is more ….God also wants our desire to be …to know Him intimately in worship.
That brings me to second point We can have that special relationship with God through Christ!…But …Like Moses we need to Come and spend time in the presence of our God to worship Him personally…to lead His people and be able to reveal Him to Them…And that is…
- Point number #2 We must come into His presence and willingly “give our self” in worship to Him “with desire”.
a)With a desire to meet Him in a place set apart from the hustle of Life, like Moses did…
What place? A place where we can meet with a Holy God and let Him speak to us about anything just like a friend and spouse! “nothing hidden”, whatever needs discussing coming to God with a desire for complete openness . God desires that with us, and from us to know more of the mysteries of God. By the way mysteries mean in Greek …Things not hidden! Not hidden to us who are His! ( Col 1:26-27, Eph 1:9 )
But now “we will see” Moses was soon to have a 2nd Mountain top experience!
Many of us would brag forever of the first one we received but Moses goes for seconds! In Exodus 33 Moses has discussions with God and makes some requests which God agrees too!…Then in (Exodus 33:17 )
Look at verse! God says this to Moses …”For you have found favor in my sight and I have known you by name” …I see here you gain favor and intimacy with God when you spend time in His presence. …But now…Moses goes to another level!
Moses shows an incredible boldness…for a man spoken of in Numbers12:3 as the meekest man to ever live on earth, some would think wow… to show this audacity, or even think this let alone say it to God is either wrong or amazing…But I think it displays the very “reaction” that man is created with that should be produced from being in the presence and experiencing the ecstasy of the Lord God….an insatiable thirst for more!…As Moses says THIS to God In (Exodus 33:18)….
“Show me your Glory!” Here is Moses a man who has already had 40 days and nights in the presence of God Almighty …and lived to tell!…But NOW….God says an amazing thing in response to Moses boldness. In ( Exodus Chapter 33:21)
God reveals a secret to Moses …Exodus 33:21 “Behold there is a place by me, and YOU shall stand THERE on the rock. “
Oh my Brothers and sisters “we” are no different than Moses.
We must NOT just come into God’s presence casually…for us to just obtain something, to get our download, our directions, our answers, our things! And “we” must Not only come into His presence just to give Him some worship…BUT
- Point number #3) “We” MUST also come into His presence with a thirst for more of God’s presence, for God to reveal more of Himself, His Glory to us… To know Him more intimately… to KNOW more of OUR God in that secret place as Moses did… Not just to know more about Him.
We see God now “says AND also does” something for Moses in (Exodus 34:5-8) God did all, that God promised Moses, and placed Him in that Secret place beside Him,…and in (verse 8) We see Moses almost cannot take the ecstasy of the experience given him by God…it says he made haste to bow toward the earth and worship. It was so wonderful Moses could not stand in it!
In this revelation God “allowed” Moses to receive and experience, Moses could do nothing but react immediately in humility …and almost fall down into worship.
He church! Remember Jesus now sits beside the Father…He is at right hand of Father according to (Mark 16:19) And in (1John 4:17) it says that…”as He is so are we in this world…” So our ability to enter that place IS granted us. By Christ blood! According to (Heb 10:19) We have confidence to enter to that Holy Place by the blood!… We say we know these words… But my fellow shepherds, Pastors teachers,…ALL servants…children of God!
If “we” who are leaders know these things…then We MUST exhibit this Thirst like Moses, so the Church will desire it !…. Like David said in (Psalms 42:1)”As a deer pants after the water brooks so my soul pants for YOU …Oh God”
“We” need an insatiable thirst for the infinite God of the universe, To reveal something new every day to “US” …That requires intimacy with God. Just Me and Him closely in His presence…
My mentor by example Pastor Ed Russo taught me a saying, I will never forget…”Proof of desire…is in the pursuit.”
If we as leaders do not pursue more of His presence… How shall we ever bring a people from bondage and deception in this world…to a place they can worship in Spirit and Truth! And know God, and be truly known by Him! Unless “we” have the reality of His presence with “us”.
(John4:23-24nasb)- But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
God wants “us” His “gifts” to the church…To lead His people to His Holy Hill, into His presence where there is fullness of joy…into…True Worship…to know Him…the living God….Intimately know Him in the secret place. So they can see and the church WILL desire to truly know Him! And become one with In Him! Jesus prayed for that! (John 17:22-23)
But sheep cannot go …where their shepherd does not lead them, they only follow the voice and the example of their shepherd. The shepherd always steps into the pasture first. Always goes to the water first.
We shepherds must be seekers FIRST of…Him…And Him alone…Not what He can give…But Him. So the sheep will follow and we can help them receive their reward!
God wants “us” to be like Moses in this example….
And Obtain the reward of the SEEKER!…“The Secret to being a seeker!”
Because Moses sought out the secret place with God…God now says this to Moses…
Exodus 34:10 – “Then God said, “Behold, I am going to make a covenant. Before all your people I will perform miracles which have not been produced in all the earth nor among any of the nations; and all the people among whom you live will see the working of the LORD, for it is a fearful thing that I am going to perform with you.” …. God said that to Moses…. Oh my oh my what a reward to the leader, to anyone! … that pursues more OF God! To ANYONE who truly seeks! Read that verse again Slowly!
“We” should desire God say that to us! And He would! He is no respector of persons! ……But that only comes… when YOU,
1) Come into… His presence.
2) Come into His presence… and truly worship Him. AND
3) Come into His presence with…. a Thirst for more of Him.
God says in last half of (Heb11:6Amplified)- and that He is the rewarder of those who earnestly and diligently seek Him [out].
Conclusion: : We can do all the studying , we can write all the papers, we can speak of all we know to be true, and pray all the “special” prayers we think we know. But if “we” do not seek to KNOW Him… it is for nothing. In John 15:5 Jesus said apart from me you can do no thing. Uummm. But if we seek Him really seek Him, we gain the seekers reward and can also receive as Moses he ability do all miracles never produced before! As disclosed to Moses in Exodus34:10 And perform them through us who truly KNOW Him!
Jesus said in ( Matthew 7:22-23 )-Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23And then will I profess unto them,
I never “knew” you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity”…. That word “knew” …Jesus is saying means… never knew you intimately.
It is a Greek verb meaning: to have knowledge of… “by experience”…
it is also the Jewish idom for… intercourse between man and woman.
When I read that a thought occurred to me… When Moses said show me your Glory…. I could only think of one comparison…it is like a man and woman on their honey moon who are already great friends for years, and now finally that night after the wedding ceremony, the man says to his bride oh baby come and show me your Glory. Take me to your secret place…. We should hunger for God like that every day…And help the world to see the “ counterfeits” they seek after are nothing compared to the reality of our Gods presence!
We come here to bible school, or church, and we say “we” desire life in “our” ministries, more life in “our” churches, abundant life in “our” relationships!
“But like in a marriage there is no life EVER created or produced without real intimacy.”~ Ravi Zacarias
We MUST come up to God alone for more of Him…To be True seekers.
I leave you with this thought by….Francis Frangipane who said this:
“We long to be sent by the Almighty for the sake of some great task—a miracle that turns a city to repentance or some significant act of service. However, the greatest task awaiting the church is not to be sent by God…
but to actually come to Him.” …Moses had a servant that went with him on the mountain and it is stated in (Exodus 33:11) that when Moses left the tent of meeting after speaking to God face to face his servant… the servant, “Joshua remained”…The only one called to lead the people after Moses was Joshua…who was lead by Moses to learn the secret of remaining in the presence of God…Be Blessed…Stay in His presence the glory of His light! Then you can!…Clearly follow the Narrow road, and stay in The light!
Ast.Pastor Ernie Harpster
Some of the inspiration for this message came from the book “Worship The Gateway to God”
By Jim Bergdorf… http://www.worshipers.net/cart/ ,
Used as our text book from LCU class : “True Worship”
Francis Frangipane http://frangipane.org From message “In preparation For God”.
Original Message given by Ernie Harpster.
Life Christian University Homiletics final class assignment; Prof. Dr. Brooks.