Day 1 we looked at God’s plan for your family.
Day 2 we looked at His plan for fathers’ and mothers’ roles with their children.
Day 3 (today) we will look at: What is the biggest detriment to that plan that we don’t even realize until it is too late?
Tomorrow we will see: How to Break Free from the Enemy’s Grips to Get back to God’s Plan for our Homes and Families
Take the time to read through the BOLD OUTLINE and WORDS at least so you know what is destroying our families from the inside out. This is a culmination of a 10+ year Bible study on this and I know you will love it!
I. God desires to gather your childrentogether and you (the parents) refused. As a result, your house is forsaken (abandoned, left to you destitute of God’s help)
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, murdering the prophets and stoning those who are sent to you! How often would I have gathered your children together as a mother fowl gathers her brood under her wings, and you refused! Behold, your house is forsaken and desolate (abandoned and left destitute of God’s help).”
(Matthew 23:37–38 AMP)
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who continue to kill the prophets and to stone those who are sent to you! How often I have desired andyearned to gather your children together [around Me], as a hen [gathers] her young under her wings, but you would not! Behold, your house is forsaken (abandoned, left to you destitute of God’s help)!”
(Luke 13:34–35 AMP)
II. Your obligation as parents is to train your child in faith. (Romans 10.17 – so then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God)
A. “And whoever welcomes a child like this in my name welcomes me. “These little ones believe in me. It would be best for the person who causes one of them to lose faith to be drowned in the sea with a large stone hung around his neck. How horrible it will be for the world because it causes people to lose their faith. Situations that cause people to lose their faith will arise. How horrible it will be for the person who causes someone to lose his faith!”
(Matthew 18:5–7 GWORD)
B. This is best done by loving Him and putting Him first; then teaching the Word, talking the Word, training in the Word, talking the Word. (This is all put forth in Day 1 of this study and some reminders below.)
[Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. And ye shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thine house, and upon thy gates: That your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children, in the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers to give them, as the days of heaven upon the earth. Deut 11.18-21]
By you loving Him with all your heart, soul and might. That His words be in our heart, And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.
That when the Lord brings you into the land of promise and you have houses full of all good things He provides, Thenbeware lest thou forget the LORD, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name. Ye shall not go after other gods, of the gods of the people which are round about you; (For the LORD thy God is a jealous God among you) lest the anger of the LORD thy God be kindled against thee, and destroy thee from off the face of the earth.
[And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates. And it shall be, when the LORD thy God shall have brought thee into the land which he sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give thee great and goodly cities, which thou buildedst not, And houses full of all good things, which thou filledst not, and wells digged, which thou diggedst not, vineyards and olive trees, which thou plantedst not; when thou shalt have eaten and be full; Then beware lest thou forget the LORD, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name. Ye shall not go after other gods, of the gods of the people which are round about you; (For the LORD thy God is a jealous God among you) lest the anger of the LORD thy God be kindled against thee, and destroy thee from off the face of the earth. (Deuteronomy 6:5–15 KJV)]
That you teach and command your children to keep the ways of the Lord so He can bring you what He promised you. His plan isn’t just to give YOU a great life but it is specifically for YOUR CHILDREN!!!
Ex. 13:8 You shall explain to your sonon that day, This is done because of what the Lord did for me when I came out of Egypt.
[For I have known (chosen, acknowledged) him [as My own], so that he may teach and command his children and the sons of his house after him to keep the way of the Lord and to do what is just and righteous, so that the Lord may bring Abraham what He has promised him. (Genesis 18:19 AMP)]
“You will be able to tell your children and grandchildren exactly how I treated the Egyptians and what miraculous signs I did among them. This is how you will all know that I am the LORD.”” (Exodus 10:2 GWORD)
III. Satan’s plan is to have you so busy building “treasure cities” for Pharaoh and otherwise that your home is left desolate and there is no one left to train the children in the way they should go.
“I will make Jerusalem heaps [of ruins], a dwelling place of jackals; and I will make the cities of Judah a desolation, without inhabitant. Who is the wise man who may understand this? To whom has the mouth of the Lord spoken, that he may declare it? Why is the land ruined and laid waste like a wilderness, so that no one passes through it? And the Lord says, Because they have forsaken My law, which I set before them, and have not listened to and obeyed My voice or walked in accordance with it But have walked stubbornly after their own hearts and after the Baals, as their fathers taught them, Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I will feed them, even this people, with wormwood and give them bitter andpoisonous water to drink. I will scatter them also among nations that neither they nor their fathers have known, and I will send the sword among them andafter them until I have consumed them.”
(Jeremiah 9:11–16 AMP)
IV. God takes obedience seriously, and expects you to train your children to do the same.
“Thus says the Lord: For three transgressions of Judah and for four [for multiplied delinquencies], I will not reverse the punishment of it or revoke My word concerning it, because they have despised and rejected the law of the Lord and have not kept His commandments, but their lies, after which their fathers have walked, caused them to err and go astray.”
(Amos 2:4 AMP)
“On that day I am going to do to Eli and his family everything I said from beginning to end. I told him that I would hand down a permanent judgment against his household because he knew about his sons’ sin—that they were cursing God—but he didn’t try to stop them. That is why I have taken an oath concerning Eli’s family line: No offering or sacrifice will ever ˻be able to˼ make peace for the sins that Eli’s family committed.””
(1 Samuel 3:12–14 GWORD)
We can worship a God of our own making – but He wants us to worship Him in SPIRIT and TRUTH. That means we need to know Him as He IS – and how we do that is by reading HIS Word, spending time with Him, STUDYING, and knowing Who He says He is! There is a movement out now that is deviating so much from the Word of God that they are indoctrinating their followers to dismiss the veracity of the Word of God and have the “courage” to rely only on what God speaks to their hearts without lining it up with His Word. How people are going along with this is beyond me! They worship a God they cannot know and are opening themselves up to gross error, being seduced and deceived like Matthew 22.29 says, …not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.
“For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God. When children shall be born to you, and children’s children, and you have grown old in the land, if you corrupt yourselves by making a graven image in the form of anything, and do evil in the sight of the Lord your God, provoking Him to anger, I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day that you shall soon utterly perish from the land which you are going over the Jordan to possess. You will not live long upon it but will be utterly destroyed. And the Lord will scatter you among the peoples, and you will be left few in number among the nations to which the Lord will drive you. There you will serve gods, the work of men’s hands, wood and stone, which neither see nor hear nor eat nor smell. But if from there you will seek (inquire for and require as necessity) the Lord your God, you will find Him if you [truly] seek Him with all your heart [and mind] and soul and life.”
(Deuteronomy 4:24–29 AMP)
V. To “have more things” we have left our homes empty.
“Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work and driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for – in order to get to the job you need to pay for the clothes and the car, and the house you leave vacant all day so you can afford to live in it.”
― Ellen Goodman
Materialism: a system that eats us from the inside out.
But an impressive body of psychological research seems to support these feelings. It suggests that materialism, a trait that can afflict both rich and poor, and which the researchers define as “a value system that is preoccupied with possessions and the social image they project“, is both socially destructive and self-destructive. It smashes the happiness and peace of mind of those who succumb to it. It’s associated with anxiety, depression and broken relationships.
There has long been a correlation observed between materialism, a lack of empathy and engagement with others, and unhappiness. But research conducted over the past few years seems to show causation. For example, a series of studiespublished in the journal Motivation and Emotion in July showed that as people become more materialistic, their wellbeing (good relationships, autonomy, sense of purpose and the rest) diminishes. As they become less materialistic, it rises.
In another study, the psychologists followed Icelanders weathering their country’s economic collapse. Some people became more focused on materialism, in the hope of regaining lost ground. Others responded by becoming less interested in money and turning their attention to family and community life. The first group reported lower levels of wellbeing, the second group higher levels.
Materialism forces us into comparison with the possessions of others, a race both cruelly illustrated and crudely propelled by that toxic website. There is no end to it. If you have four Rolexes while another has five, you are a Rolex short of contentment. The material pursuit of self-esteem reduces your self-esteem.
I should emphasize that this is not about differences between rich and poor: the poor can be as susceptible to materialism as the rich. It is a general social affliction, visited upon us by government policy, corporate strategy, the collapse of communities and civic life, and our acquiescence in a system that is eating us from the inside out.
This is the dreadful mistake we are making: allowing ourselves to believe that having more money and more stuff enhances our wellbeing, a belief possessed not only by those poor deluded people in the pictures, but by almost every member of almost every government. Worldly ambition, material aspiration, perpetual growth: these are a formula for mass unhappiness.
desolate = make (a place) bleakly and depressingly empty or bare; in a state of bleak and dismal emptiness, barren or laid waste, deserted, uninhabited
Biblical facts about desolate lands and houses:
· It is dead; without seed to plant (Gen 47.19)
· It needs to be sownand something occupying its space or the wild beasts would take over (Ex 23.29)
· You will be robbed of your children, your goods destroyed and so few in number that your roads will be deserted (Lev 26.22)
· Cities will lay waste;your sanctuaries will be desolate and God will not accept your sacrifices; you will be scattered; land shall be desolate because you didn’t rest in your Sabbaths when you dwelt upon it and then need to accept the punishment of iniquity because they despised God’s judgments and their souls abhorred God’s statutes by not honoring the Sabbath (Lev 26.31-35; 25.43)
· Trespasses against the Lord God gives you up to desolation (2 Chron 30.7)
· The land lay desolate in order to keep the missed Sabbaths, to fulfill 70 years (2 Chron 36.21)
· None that trust in the Lord shall be desolate (Psalm 34.22)
· Many houses shall be desolate, even great and beautiful ones shall be without inhabitant (Isaiah 5.9)
· The cities will lie in ruins with no one living in them, the houses have no people, and the land is completely desolate (Isaiah 6.11).
· Evil shall come upon those like Babylon who have trusted in their wickedness thinking no one sees them; whose wisdom and knowledge led them astray and they say in their heart and mind that it is all about them and there I no one besides them. Evil shall come upon them and they will not know the beginning of it or how to get rid of it: a disaster and evil that will not be able to be atoned for, and sudden desolation which they will not know how to avert (Isaiah 47.10-11)
· Those whose thoughts are for iniquity: wasting and destruction are in their paths; the know not the way of peace; there is no judgment in their goings; they’ve made crooked paths so that whosoever goes therein shall not know peace; judgment is far, they wait for light but behold obscurity, for brightness but walk in darkness, they grope for the wall like the blind as if they have no eyes, they stumble at noonday as in the night; they are in desolate places as dead men… (Isaiah 59.7-10)
God’s desire for His children:
· God desires to raise His children up and have them establish the land (from its present state of ruin) and cause them to inherit the desolate [moral wastes of heathenism, their heritages,…] (Isaiah 49.8)
· God desires us to possess the desolate cities (Isaiah 54.3)
· The spirit of the Lord is upon me… to raise up former desolations, and repair waste cities, the desolations of many generations (Isaiah 61.1, 4)
· Promise from God: You shall no more be termed Forsaken, nor shall your land be termed desolate (waste)… (Isaiah 62.4)
abomination – something morally disgusting; idolatry
Jer. 44:22 So that the LORD could no longer bear, because of the evil of your doings, and because of the abominationswhich ye have committed; therefore is your land a desolation, and an astonishment, and a curse, without an inhabitant, as at this day.
Ezek. 33:29 Then shall they know that I amthe LORD, when I have laid the land most desolate because of all their abominationswhich they have committed.
Dan. 9:27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominationshe shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
Dan. 11:31 And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate.
Dan. 12:11 And from the time thatthe daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.
Matt. 24:15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)
Mark 13:14 But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him that readeth understand,) then let them that be in Judaea flee to the mountains:…
VI. A deeper look: The “abomination that causes desolation” has begun in the Church.
I believe the “abomination that causes desolation” has begun in the Church. It began by the “daily sacrifice” being taken away because of “transgression” [national, moral, religious sin]. What is the “daily sacrifice”? The daily sacrifice was the means by which we are constantly reminded that sin has to be dealt with and burnt on the altar of sacrifice before we can stand in the presence of a Holy God.
This is clearly seen though the pattern of the tabernacle, which presents a clear word picture that Christ came to fulfill. Through the tabernacle God revealed to His people a pattern of worship consistent with His holy presence and that made it possible for sinful man to have an intimate relationship with Him. It was the pattern of tabernacle worship that God used to reveal what the blood sacrifice, atonement, the veil of separation, the mercy seat and access into it, the Holy of Holies and priesthood means.
1. Even approaching the tabernacle began with the awareness of sin in a person’s life. When the Israelites recognized that they had sinned and that the sin separated him from God, if he wanted forgiveness he made his way to God’s appointed place: the tabernacle.
2. The Outer Court (where we begin – the praise that is part of our worship – in close proximity to the marketplace and the hustle and bustle of the streets with the passions and affairs of the world). Note that the although you have come nearer to the Holy of Holies by entering in at the “gate,” there are things that must be satisfied before you can bring the “outer court” experience to the “Holy of Holies” experience. Any common Israelite could enter the courts, but only the priests into the tabernacle, and only the high priest could enter the Holy of Holies (and that only once a year, on the Day of Atonement).
3. The altar of sacrifice (bronze altar) was within the court, facing the entrance. Suffice it to say that the entire sacrificial system was placed at the very center and heart of national life. Studying the Old Testament sacrifices, what they meant to them and the pattern and what they mean to us, is amazing. The unceasing sacrifice of animals and the never-ending fire at the altar of sacrifice shows that God was burning into the hearts of His people the awareness of their sin and how it separated them from Him. Also burns into our awareness that the sacrifice was paid by Christ and the only way to come to the Father is through the blood of Christ.
4. The Tabernacle itself was divided by a veil into two chambers: Only priests were allowed into these chambers. The first chamber was the Holy Place. It contained the Table, Lampstand and Altar of Incense.
5. The second chamber was the Holy of Holies. It contained the Ark of the Covenant and the mercy seat. Blood was sprinkled between the angels who were looking down to testify that by the blood the wrath of God against sin was satisfied. A clear word picture that by His mercy and through the sacrifice Jesus paid for our sins, God’s justice and judgment toward sin was satisfied. It is referred to almost 200 times in the Old Testament. The high priest could enter the Holy of Holies on the Day of Atonement. It is a small room (15’ x 15’), housing only the Ark and the Mercy Seat. No created nor artificial light, but God’s own “shekinah” glory lit up the holiest place. No human voice is to be heard here; only the voice of God.
In Daniel 8.11, when the daily sacrifice is done away with, the place of His sanctuary was cast down, and by reason of transgression it cast down the truth to the ground.
I believe that Christians are substituting the Outer Court experience for entry into the Holy of Holies, which Jesus died to give us. The veil of the temple has been rent, we are a royal priesthood (1 Peter 2.9), His desire is to put His laws into our hearts and write them in our minds (Heb 10.16).
Hebrews 10:19-20: Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;…
Matt 5.13 – WE are the sanctuary (the temple of His Holy Spirit) and the “place of His sanctuary” is cast down….
(Where is His sanctuary – the place of which is “cast down”? The Holy of Holies, where only God’s voice is heard and man is silent before Him, where sin has been dealt with on the altar of sacrifice, and the veil rent that separated God and man is open by which we have intimate access to God through Christ and stand in His righteousness.) When we excuse sin, when we substitute vain repetitious emotional praise that focuses on US as the subject, when our praise and our worship is all focused on our needs and our position and does not lead us to focus on God’s work in the world to others, we have substituted the outer court experience for true intimacy with God.
If we want a true intimate experience of Who God is we need to live out the intimacy of being in the Holy of Holies by being His chosen race, a royal priesthood, a dedicated nation, [God’s] own purchased, special people, that you may set forth the wonderful deeds and display the virtues and perfections of Him Who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. (1 Peter 2.9) How? Hebrews 12:10 …if you will indeed obey My Voice and keep My Covenant…you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. Exodus 19:5,6 True holiness is true obedience of His Word, His Voice. I think as He thinks, love as He loves, I do as He does, live as He lives.
Amos 8:11-12: Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.
We need to recognize God disciplines us, even as our earthly fathers thought best, but God disciplines us for our good (why?) so thatwe may share (partake) in or be partakers of his holiness.
If we are not receiving correction from the Lord by His Word (His vehicle to do so), that brings doctrine, reproof (knowing what is “missing the mark”) – for correction (making it RIGHT again!), for instruction in righteousness SO THAT the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works (2 Tim 3.16)… you are “illegitimate” — and not sons at all!
How do we establish whether we are allowing the “outer court” experience to substitute for entry into the Holy of Holies???
Jesus said in John 4.23-24: But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship himin spirit and in truth.
What is truth? Just prior Jesus defined it: John 3:21: But he that doeth truth [true; not conceling] cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God. Jesus is truth (John 14.6), the truth that sanctifies [consecrates, purifies] is the Word of God (John 17.17).
The Father is seeking those to worship Him in spirit and truth. If He is seeking, it is obvious it is something difficult to find… He is looking for that worship that goes beyond praise. Praise is giving thanks and glory to God, acknowledging who He is or what He has done. Worship is entering into the Holy of Holies where God’s presence dwells.
*In the Outer Court, the subject of our Praise is many times ourselves; in Worship God is the subject, not for what He has done, but for Who He is.
*In the Outer Court experiences, we can dance and shout and sing; in the Holy of Holies only God’s voice is heard, and we are silent before Him. There’s not hysterical laughing, rolling around on the floors, and making animal sounds. Silent before Him.
*Praise leads to worship, but many times you can praise the Lord and never enter into true worship. Any one can praise in the outer court, but only the priesthood can worship in the Holy of Holies.
*Worship leads to brokenness and service: Every true worshipper needs to know that if he desires to draw near to God in worship then your knee will bow. You can praise in many ways: declaring thanks (Heb. 13:15); clapping your hands and shouting (Psalms 47:1); playing musical instruments and dancing (Psalm 150:4); singing praise songs (Psalms 9:11); psalms, hymns, & spiritual songs (Eph. 5:19-20); making a joyful noise (Psalms 98:4); lifting our hands (Psalms 134:2); by being still (Psalms 4:3-5, 46:10); or by being loud (Psalms 33:3, 95:1-6). Worship is another word though, which is #7812. shaw-khaw´; a primitive root; to depress, i.e. prostrate (especially reflexive, in homage to royalty or God):—bow (self) down, crouch, fall down (flat), humbly beseech, do (make) obeisance, do reverence, make to stoop, worship.
*Intimacy with God’s majesty and glory is followed by a vision of how small we are in our own strength. In Isaiah chapter 6 we read about Isaiah, a strong man chosen to show God’s word to his generation and declare God’s Word to them. When he sees God high and lifted up in chapter 6, we see he is “undone” and realizes his true identity.
Job, who in God’s own words was His servant, none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that fears God and turns away from evil (Job 1.8), after God spoke directly to him, said, [I now see] I have rashly uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know… I had heard of You [only] by the hearing of the ear, but now my [spiritual] eye sees You. Therefore I loathe [my words] and abhor myself and repent in dust and ashes. (Job 42.3, 5-6)
Are you daring enough to be exposed to your true identity and allow God to break you in your time of worship? Or are you like the Israelites who told Moses: you tell us what God says and we’ll do it – we don’t want to go near the mount quaking and burning with fire because we may DIE. YES, when you get close to God something in you MUST die: SIN! When God’s glory is revealed there will be times of brokenness, we will realize that many things we do, the songs we sing and our actions are not giving glory to God but are just things activities we do to make us feel good about ourselves. A true worshiper will be willing to lay down himself in exchange for intimacy with God.
*Humility will be the result of true worship. You realize it’s all about God and there is nothing you can do to bring God’s presence. It’s all about God and God alone. We tend to depend on our ability, skills and latest songs to usher God’s presence, but it’s only when we let go off our pride and own ability can we experience God’s presence.
*True worship will find us prostrate, or at the feet of God. The story of the woman who broke the alabaster and poured it at the feet of Jesus demonstrates this type of worship. This woman laid all she had at the feet of Jesus, considering it nothing next to the worth of who He is. Paul considered all but dung compared to the excellency of knowing Him. When true worship is present, there is no lifting up of ones self, accomplishments, positions or pursuits: there is a humbling acknowledgement that bendsor bows before your Lord.
*True worship brings “ALL within us.” In the book of Psalms 103:1 it says, “Bless the Lord O my soul and all that is within me bless His holy name.” It does not say worship Him when you feel good but with everything that is within you. Even if it’s your sorrow, joy, doubt everything that is going on inside, you can use it and present it to God as an act of true worship unto God.
*True worship will bring transformation. If there is genuine surrender to God’s Lordship, we won’t just cry tears of emotion, but we will have genuine surrender that leads to transformation because of the presence and Lordship of Christ. We see many people with superlative emotions in worship, but it isn’t about how we feel or what feelings we can work ourselves up to in emotional music, but a true intimate insight into the Spirit, nature, character, and power of God. When Paul was struck down by God’s presence on the way to Tarsus, he was a changed man, and people saw the change in him. When Moses saw the Lord face to face, he needed to cover his face with a veil. In the Old Testament, God’s presence gave freedom from sin. How does God presence change you?
* True worship is between you and the Lord. No one else would be there during the intimate time you have with your husband: it’s a secret place between you and him. There is an intimate place where cymbals and dancing and loud music and compliments or praises don’t belong. It is a place where you don’t want to check your email on your cellphone or answer the phone or watch television. It is a place of union between you and God where His purpose becomes yours, and you become one with Him, as Jesus prayed in John 17.21 and 23: The goal is for all of them to become one heart and mind—Just as you, Father, are in me and I in you, So they might be one heart and mind with us. Then the world might believe that you, in fact, sent me. I in them and you in me. Then they’ll be mature in this oneness, And give the godless world evidence That you’ve sent me and loved them In the same way you’ve loved me.
*Excited about the things of God: When we worship before Him and are changed and moved by His presence, others “take note” that we have been with Jesus (Acts 4.13). Because our words, our boldness, and where our confidence is, will be in something that can never be shaken. Give me ten minutes with someone and I can tell you what excites them, what moves them, and what they are confident in. Do you delight in talking about the things of the Lord? Do others want more of Jesus after talking to you – are you the “salt” of the earth making others thirsty for more of Christ, and preserving the decay of the flesh like salt does??? Or are you “good for nothing” but to be cast out and trodden underfoot of men? When Jesus comes to your tree, does He find fruit on it, or is it worthlessly taking up ground???
We talked about the Pharisees. Who was God to them? They were so religiously polished yet Jesus called the Pharisee hypocrites and John the Baptist called them ‘Brood of Vipers.’ Wait a minute! Jesus said that except your righteousness exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of the heavens. Matthew 5:20 Holiness is not based or promised on Pharisaical morals and duty. So what did Jesus mean? What are we missing here?
The Pharisees were always disputing and debating, doubting, judging, and forever challenging Jesus and quoting scriptures. For all their understanding of scriptures they failed in one area! They failed to acknowledge Jesus as Lord. In the Pharisee’s heart, at the very core was the one missing element: Relationship! They were ‘close’ but they had no true relationship!
Do you know the President? You may say you know him. But do you really ‘know’ him? You may know of him but not have a relationship with him. You can say you are close to God yet not even know Him, His Spirit, or His ways! Somehow we could have become an empty shell of robots performing ritual duties without a real intimate relationship with God. Multitudes are unaware of the absence of holiness or even the need for it. It’s being dropped from sermons and doctrines for fear of offending. Yet, holiness is the dividing line between unbelievers and believers. If we know Him intimately His Holy nature lives in us and our holiness is based on our bodies as temples housing His Holy Presence. We are to Strive to live in peace with everybody and pursue that consecration and holiness without which no one will [ever] see the Lord. (Hebrews 12.14)
We all love to quote Exodus 33:15 If Your Presence does not go with me, do not carry us up from here! Everyone can agree! But what about the next verse? FOR BY WHAT shall it be known that I and Your people have found favor in Your sight? Is it not in Your going with us so that we are distinguished from all the other people upon the face of the earth? Moses had an intimate relationship with God. He knew God’s Voice by experience, which is far better than mere knowledge. He would do anything to meet Him in a tent! He could not stay away from His Presence! He knew Holiness, and Moses himself became holy because he hung out with a Holy God.