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The Importance of Seeing God as He Reveals Himself to Us

I believe the main purpose of God; the creator, communicating to man throughout the total volume of the Bible was that he desired to reveal himself as he really is to the creatures he had created in his own likeness in terms we can best comprehend. Sometimes he does it in very direct ways, like thundering audibly from the mountain, sometimes speaking through angels or prophets. At one point in history he, the Word of God became flesh and blood in the form of the man Jesus so that he could reveal himself in person. At other times he simply speaks with a still small voice through the spirit of man and thus through the voice or pen of an apostle. At times he gives us bits and pieces of revelation that we must put together rightly if we are to understand who he is. A. W. Tozer in his book “The Knowledge of the Holy” says, “We tend by a secrete law of the soul to move toward our image of God.” This is true not only of the individual Christian, but of the company of Christians that composes the Church.” Therefore, it is imperative that we put aside the preconceived ideas and thoughts we have concerning God and come to an accurate image or concept of God. We must begin to think of him as “HE REVEALED HIMSELF” to us through his Word. That may or may not be the way we have perceived him in the past. Disclaimer: I must emphasize at the beginning of this discussion that since God is an infinite sovereign being, than he is not exactly like anything that is finite or created. Therefore it is impossible for you and me to fully comprehend or for me to fully explain all that makes up who God is or what he is like because he is not like anything that we can see, understand or even imagine. It may be easier to just simply state what he is not like because he is not like anything we can know or even imagine.

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Choose

Moses has just reviewed all of the commandments the LORD gave his people. He has reminded them of all the things the LORD has done to prove himself to them. He is about to pass the baton of leadership over to his younger disciple, Joshua and pass from the scene into eternity. This is his final address, his farewell address to the people. He says this is my final command, “The choice is yours, it’s your decision, you will decide your own destiny and your choice will effect your children after you.”

“You will be choosing between:

Prosperity & Disaster

Life & Death”

That choice doesn’t seem so hard does it?

He goes on to explain how it works, “If you love the LORD your God and walk obediently to all his commands, laws, and regulations He will bless you, He will bless your land so that it produces.” In other words He will bless all your efforts, the works of your hands.

He continues by warning them that if they do not choose to love and obey the LORD that they will suffer the consequences of their decision. The consequences will be that they will be destroyed just like the wicked people who occupied the land before them.

He also warns them that even though they make the right choice that they should not be drawn away to serve and worship other gods. It reminds me of the parable Jesus told his disciples about the seed planted in thorny soil. You see the seed was good and sprouted. The soil actually began to bear a crop but the thorns and weeds choked out the crop and it died without producing fruit.

Jesus said, “The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature.” Luke 8:14 (NIV)

When Moses and Joshua confronted them with making a choice they made the right choice. They vowed that they would serve only the LORD. But when things became comfortable they soon forgot their commitment and gradually began to worship other gods and began to trust in other things.

Isn’t that our struggle as well? We go to revival meeting, retreats and experience those mountain top experiences and come away determined that we will love and serve only the LORD. But after we get back to the normal routine of life we gradually drift into a lackadaisical cycle of getting up, going to work, paying the bills and repeating it over and over until our commitment gradually begins to wane and we loose our zeal and settle into a less than fulfilling lifestyle.

The other thorns that Jesus warns about is we come away from the mountain all fired up but gradually the desire for things, wealth and pleasure begin to choke out our commitment to the LORD.

One of the biggest problems I have against TV is that all the advertisements are geared toward convincing us that unless we get their product then we haven’t experienced all there is. They are all geared toward convincing us that contentment and satisfaction is wrapped up in their product. And we sit in front of it continually and watch it again and again until we gradually without realizing it begin to, “Buy the lie.” But they never satisfy. When we get that thing that was suppose to satisfy, it doesn’t and the pursuit continues on and on.

Complete satisfaction and fulfillment can only be experienced through an intimate love relationship with the LORD the creator of the universe. That was what we were created for. Only then will we experience his blessing.

“Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, that you and your descendants might live! Choose to love the LORD your God and to obey him and commit yourself to him, for he is your life. Then you will live long in the land the LORD swore to give your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” Deuteronomy 30:16-17 (NLT)

I like the way Moses put it, “Choose to love the LORD your God, he is your life.” I couldn’t have said it better my self.

The LORD has just past the baton of leadership from Moses to Joshua. The LORD’s advice to Josh is “Be strong and courageous.” Not once, or even twice but three times in almost as many verses. Do you think the LORD was trying to make a point?

The first, “Be strong and courageous,” was because the LORD told him “I have a job for you to do. It will take strength and courage, so don’t give up. Hang in there, endure to the end.”

The second, “Be strong and courageous,” is so that you will succeed. The LORD even continues with the formula to success. The LORD says, “Obey my Laws I passed down to you through Moses and you will be successful.” Then he tells him how to do it. The formula to success is the same today. It doesn’t matter what field we want to succeed in; the formula is always the same.

The LORD gave him three steps to success.

Step #1   Study God’s Word continually

We need to study God’s Word so that we can discern the heart of God and develop a heart that seeks after God, one that yearns to please him and desires an intimate relationship with him.

God’s Word holds the keys to all truth, knowledge and divine wisdom. We need to know God’s Word so well that we can evaluate everything we hear, see and do in light of what the LORD has revealed about it. Only when we understand a matter as God sees it will we really be enlightened. Only then will we be able to make the choices he wants us to make.

Step #2   Meditate on God’s Word day and night

Part of step #1 must certainly be memorization since I cannot meditate on something unless I know it. I at least have to be familiar enough with it to process it without having it word for word in front of me.

Notice when we are to meditate on God’s Word, day and night. Sort of fits with his instruction to study continually, doesn’t it? In fact, meditation is a form of studying. It is mulling a subject over and over in my mind and examining it from every angle and searching out every detail of information until I clearly understand the matter. He says we are to meditate on his Word day and night.

But what does he mean by day and night? Well we are to meditate on God’s Word all day long, when we are driving down the road, waiting in lines, while we are doing things that do not require full concentration.

He also says we are to meditate at night. I like to put myself to sleep meditating on the LORD and his Word. I find that when I do I often awaken realizing that I continued that train of thought in my sub-conscience mind while I slept. In fact, my mind has processed problems or things I didn’t understand when I went to sleep but I have awakened in the morning with the solution. I guess some people would probably call that some kind of a spiritual gift but I believe it is the natural process of the mind to keep active even though the body stops to rest.

Step #3   Be sure to obey all of God’s Word

In order to be sure to obey all of God’s Word I first have to know what it says. That is the reason for steps one and two, studying and meditating on God’s Word. If I don’t know; I can’t obey. If I have access to God’s Word and don’t know it and haven’t tried to learn what it says I believe God will hold me accountable.

You may say, “But what does this have to do with success in all areas of life?” This whole universe is established upon truth, God established truth. Even the laws of nature are established upon his truth. Gravity isn’t a fluke of nature that just happened to work out. When I evaluate everything I come in contact with from God’s perspective and choose to live accordingly I begin to develop a heart that seeks after God.

The secret to success lies in developing eternal values for our lives. When I  evaluate everything from God’s perspective I begin to develop an eternal view of life. As long as I evaluate everything from an earthly point of view I will develop a temporal view of life. Life will be wrapped up in gratifying my own momentary desires at the expense of the eternal. But God says we are eternal beings and this life is only a pinpoint of time in light of eternity. We need to grasp that concept.

When I have studied God’s Word and meditated on God’s Word I am to act on God’s Word by choosing to obey all of it. And then he concludes by saying, “Only then will you succeed.” That is the only path to true success.

The third, “Be strong and courageous,” is one of the most powerful of all truths in scripture. He says, “I command you — be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

The truth is the LORD is always with us wherever we go. Greater is he that is in us than he that is in the world. He is the ultimate power, the Almighty, the omnipotent, nothing can stand against him. He says to each of us as believers in him, be strong don’t become discouraged because I am with you wherever you go. Be courageous and don’t be afraid because I am with you wherever you go.

If you want to be a real success, Study God’s Word, Meditate on God’s Word and then apply it through obedience to him and be strong and courageous because he is with you wherever you go. Wherever he goes there is success.

Several weeks ago one of my friends from work asked me, “If a person who has never heard about God dies would they go to Hell?”

What stimulated the conversation was an article he had read about a missionary to the Eskimos who lead a man to faith in Jesus Christ. The man then asked him, “If you hadn’t come and told me about Jesus; would I have died and gone to Hell?” The missionary told him he wasn’t sure but he didn’t think so. The man asked him, “Then why did you bother to come up here to tell me?”

In light of what the scripture says, “That there is no salvation in any other than Christ Jesus,” and the Bible very strongly declares it many times; then we as Christians actually believe, yes he would have gone to Hell.

And my friend’s next question to me was, “How is that fair if the man never heard the message of the gospel?”

I have spent a lot of time the last several weeks pondering the questions of the Eskimo and my friend.

Another question I have been meditating on for several months in an attempt to understand is “What does it mean in the “Ten Commandments” when God says he visits the sins of the fathers onto the children and the children’s children?” The word interpreted “Visits” in the older versions of scripture is actually a more accurate translation than the newer more modern versions which translate it as “Punishes”.

“Visits” has the connotation of “Consequences”. “Punishes” has the implication of “Judgment”. God strongly teaches us in scripture that he never judges the parents for the sins of the children and he never judges the children for the sins of the parents. Each person has to give a personal account for their own sins. So, punishing couldn’t be the proper interpretation connected with that commandment.

But “Visits” means that the children often suffer the consequences of the sins of the fathers and forefathers and that is a reality. We see it all around us even today. A drunken father abuses his child; they grow up to abuse their children who do the same unless somewhere one of them breaks the cycle.

The reverse is true as well. My grandparents lived and exampled the life of one who loved and served the LORD for my parents. They have done so for us and each of us as children have chosen to love and serve the LORD as well. Hopefully, by the grace of God we will be faithful in loving and serving the LORD and our children and grandchildren will choose to love and serve the LORD after us and pass it on to their children and grandchildren after them.

So in my family I personally know of at least five successive generations of followers of God. From what I have seen of my family tree there were many generations of Christians before them on both of my parents families. That is the result of each generation successfully passing on their faith to the next generation who faithfully passed it on their children as well.

As I was processing the first set of questions all of a sudden I began to understand the second one that had been plaguing me for a long time.

Somewhere back in the Eskimo’s family tree there was a father that feared God. You may have to go all the way back to Noah and the flood to find him; but there was one somewhere. Somewhere down that hereditary line a man broke from faith in God and his descendants followed him in his unbelief. The Eskimo was suffering from the consequences of the sins of his forefathers being visited on him.

You see, if each of his forefathers had faithfully passed their faith in God on to their children and grandchildren then the Eskimo would have already known God when the missionary arrived.

Moses commanded the people of Israel, “Know therefore today, and take it to your heart, that the LORD, He is God in heaven above and on the earth below; there is no other. So you shall keep His statutes and His commandments which I am giving you today, that it may go well with you and with your children after you, and that you may live long on the land which the LORD your God is giving you for all time.” Deuteronomy 4:39-40 (NASB77)

Moses declared to them that if they honored the LORD that it would affect their children after them.

God told Moses to, “Assemble the people, the men and the women and children and the alien who is in your town, in order that they may hear and learn and fear the LORD your God, and be careful to observe all the words of this law. And their children, who have not known, will hear and learn to fear the LORD your God, as long as you live on the land which you are about to cross the Jordan to possess.” Deuteronomy 31:12-13 (NASB77)

They were to gather and bring their children to assemblies where the Word of the LORD was taught so that the children would learn to love and worship the LORD. That was part of their training process for their children. It would be equal to our modern-day church services.

Samuel in his writings about the kings of Israel tells of the consequences of not living faithfully for the LORD. He said about the people of Israel, “So while these nations feared the LORD, they also served their idols; their children likewise and their grandchildren, as their fathers did, so they do to this day.” 2 Kings 17: 41 (NASB77)

Do you see the consequences he is describing in this passage? The parents failed to worship the LORD whole-heartedly and the children followed in their parents footsteps.

It is possible for one of our children to break the cycle but they seldom ever do. This is truer of a parent who does not serve the LORD than of one that does because of the sinful nature of the children. The natural bent of the child is to do wrong so if one or both of the parents succumb to sin the child is much more likely to as well.

Even though a parent faithfully serves the LORD is not a guarantee that the children will. But if a parent doesn’t it is almost a guarantee that the children won’t either. It is always the choice of the child and sometimes one will break the cycle and begin his descendants down the right road.

So, the responsibility is ours. Our children for many generations after us will be affected by the lives we live and our commitment to our LORD. What kind of legacy do you choose to leave behind you?

Moses is giving his farewell address to the people of Israel. He knows he will soon die and the people will cross the Jordan River and enter their land. He addresses the older generation of Israel in particular because they have all experienced God’s mighty deliverance from slaveship in Egypt. These people are over forty years old. They were children or young adults below twenty when the LORD delivered them. None of them are over sixty because the LORD caused everyone who was twenty and older to die in the wilderness.

He reminds them of how the mighty hand of the LORD delivered them from Egypt and brought them out and set them free. He reminds them of how the LORD was always with them and delivered them from enemies along the way and how he provided for their every need while traveling through the wilderness.

He also tells them that the LORD will go ahead of them into the land and bring a fear into the hearts of the current occupants and the LORD will fight for them and they will win easily and possess the land.

But Moses gives them a warning, if they faithfully obey the LORD and serve and worship him with all their heart and soul he will protect them and prosper them in every way. But if they forget the LORD then he will withhold his blessing in every way and they will dry up and die in the good land the LORD has given them.

He goes on to charge them to pass their faith in the LORD on to their children and grandchildren telling them over and over again how the LORD delivered them and teaching them the LORD’s commands.

Moses told them they had a choice. They declared their loyalty to the LORD. But when they were safely and comfortably settled into their new homeland they soon forgot the LORD and began to worship other gods.

What they needed was not a onetime commitment but to continually make the decision to follow, love and worship the LORD.

The LORD gave them their promise land. He delivered on his promise but the people failed on two fronts.

First, they became complacent when they became comfortable in their new homes and homeland. They forgot the LORD and began worshiping other gods and soon became as pagan as the nations around them.

Secondly, when they no longer worshiped the LORD they passed on their new worship of other gods to their children and grandchildren. Thus they failed in God’s command to pass their faith in him on to them.

When we fail to live out a life of true worship to the LORD in front of our kids we fail them because they begin to conform to our wrong patterns of worship and develop them as their lifestyle.

We older generation of Americans have failed our children and grandchildren.

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The Doctrine of Creation of everything that exists by an all powerful, all knowing, everywhere present, sovereign God is the foundation upon which all the other Doctrines of the Christian faith are built. It is so fundamental to every part of Christianity that it has become one of Satan’s primary points of attack.

 

That is why the “Doctrine of Evolution” is being promoted on all fronts by Satan’s emissaries as science. It is in reality a religion or belief system that has been pushed by our educational system as science. But it can never meet the criterion of empirical science.

Empirical Science is the study of a premise or theory that can be observed, measured, and demonstrated consistently. It must be capable of falsification thus the failure of the results would disprove the theory.

 

Chuck Colson in his book, How Now Shall We Live, says, “The real battle is worldview against worldview, religion against religion. We cannot oppose science with religion. They will only disavow us as close-minded religious freaks. We need to confront bad science with good science.”

 

A worldview is like a pair of glasses through which we view everything. If the prescription is correct we will see everything as it really is. If the prescription is even a little off something or everything will be out of focus.

 

There are a number of non-Christian worldviews that are diametrically opposed to God’s worldview that have managed to establish themselves as the accepted means of explanation of the beginning and they present themselves as science even though they are not scientific at all. They require as much faith to believe in their explanation as it does to believe in creation.

 

In this post I would like to compare the non-Christian worldview of evolution with the Christian worldview of creation in light of scientific evidences.

 

All the non-Christian worldviews of how everything began are established upon the premise that everything just happened to come into existence through random chance with no outside influences.

 

I find so many evidences of an intelligent design by a being far superior to any we have documented even with today’s advanced knowledge and information. As I look at these evidences it seems impossible to me that the complexities we see in our universe as we know them could have just happened to come into being.

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I was reading this morning from Deuteronomy 5 and Moses was reminding the people of Israel about the time God came down on the mountain and spoke his commandments to them.

They told Moses to go back up on the mountain and talk to God but they were afraid to hear his voice. The voice of God speaking directly to them made them afraid. They told Moses to communicate with God and come back and tell them what he said and that would be good enough for them. Whatever God said; they would do.

I am afraid that most Christians today are like that. They want the pastors and teachers to go before God for them and hear what he wants to say. They expect the pastors and teachers to then stand before them and tell them what God has to say to them.

That is a second-hand relationship and there are three things wrong with that philosophy.

First:  God desires a personal, intimate relationship with all his children. If that is the only relationship I have with him then my relationship is not pleasing to him and it dishonors him. He alone is worthy of all my love, adoration and worship. If I am not experiencing a personal, intimate relationship where I delight coming into his presence daily; I am not fulfilling his purpose for my life. He is not honored in it.

Second:  If I have only a second-hand relationship with God our relationship can never grow beyond that point. We would never think of having a second hand relationship with our kids but that is what we expect from God. We would never allow someone to be an intermediary between us and them. But that is what we expect from God.

If I want to experience a personal relationship with God I must spend time in his presence. I must spend time listening to him speak to me and I must spend time communicating with him. He desires a two-way conversation. That is the only way a relationship is built here on earth and it is also the only way to develop one with him.

Third:  If I want an intimate relationship with him; I have to have the right kind of two-way communication. I cannot just come to him with my grocery list of things I want from him and tell him thank you when I get them. An intimate relationship requires much more than that. It requires hearing each other’s heart.

Just as a son needs to hear his father express his love for him so I need to hear him express his unconditional love, which he demonstrated by dying for me. I need him to speak his tender mercies and grace into my life. I need to allow him the privilege of speaking council and conviction to me when it is needed. I need to invite him to do that on a regular basis because I am finite and he is infinite.

In a healthy father/son relationship the son looks up to and expresses his admiration for his dad. That is as important to the dad as it is to the son. I need to express my admiration, praise and worship to my Heavenly Father as well. I both need it and he desires it.

When I as a son did something wrong it was of utmost importance to me and my dad that I confess and show remorse for my wrongs. If my dad saw enough penitence he may not even punish me and my sorrow for my sins needs to be expressed to my Heavenly Father as well.

Personal, intimate relationships can only be built by spending intimate time alone together. And that is true in my relationship with the LORD. I don’t know about you but the best part of my day is the time I spend alone with him.