Beth Moore - Unshakable
Would somebody turn in their Bibles with me, please, to Hebrews chapter 12, the 12th chapter of the book of Hebrews. I'm gonna pick up at verse 18, "For you have not come to what may be touched, a blazing fire and darkness and gloom and a tempest and the sound of a trumpet and a voice whose words made the hearers beg that no further messages be spoken to them. For they could not endure the order that was given, 'If even a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned.' Indeed, so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, 'I tremble with fear.' But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel. See that you do not refuse him who is speaking. For if they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape if we reject him who warns from heaven. At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, 'Yet once more I will shake not only the earth, but also the heavens.'"
Verse 27, "This phrase, 'Yet once more,' indicates the removal of things that are shaken, that is, things that have been made, in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain". Verse 28, "Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire".
Did anybody come to this place shaken? What has you shaken right now? We're definitely going to have a theology lesson tonight, and we're gonna be studying these Scriptures all weekend long, but with your patience, I wanna take just a couple of minutes to set our concept into play to make sure we're in the mind-set to receive this seed down deep where it needs to go. I Googled the words "shaken up". Do those two words resonate with anybody in the room? Anything gotten you shaken up? Anybody come into the house this weekend, just a little bit or a whole lot shaken?
And I Googled those two words, "shaken up", and the context that most commonly came up in the very beginning, you've heard a number of times, and it was this: "So-and-so was in a car accident". Perhaps you have gotten this from your spouse, who gave you a call and said, "I just want you to know that our 16-year-old has had a car accident. She is perfectly fine. She is unhurt, but she is", can you tell me those two words? "She is shaken up. She is shaken up".
As the Lord would have it, this exact thing happened to me only three days ago. I nearly had a really bad wreck, and I did that thing that perhaps you have also done, where you kind of lose control of your car, and you start fishtailing all over the place, and you're turnin'. You're trying to turn the wheel the opposite direction that you're going, and then it goes that way, and you just try to turn the wheel back this way. And I was sliding on a lot of moisture underneath my tires. And, I mean, I was just, like, yelling and hollering, and I was just so aware. It was when time slows down and you think, "I'm about to total my car if I even make it out alive", but what made this a little bit more unique was that I was in a drive-through carwash.
I don't know what happened to me. You know those, when you're supposed to go into that thing, it goes like this, and your tire is supposed to go into it? When I start toward that, my heart starts palpitating. Somebody, tell me that you've been there where you think, "I don't think I'm gonna be able to get my tire in that groove", and I start manifesting all sorts of anxiety, and I start getting really sweaty, and it's like it knows. It's like it's laughin' at me before I ever, it's like the automated thing ought to say, "You idiot, you idiot", but, and I start like, "No, I can do it. You can do it. You can do it. You can do it".
And I start, I try to drive straight ahead. I try to do everything right, but somehow I got up on the thing instead of down in the groove, but then, when I tried, I turned my wheel like this and tried to get off of it, well, then I slid that way over here and started fishtailing around here, and there was so much water down below that I was just fishtailing all over the place, and then, when I thought, when I finally, my heart was just beating like this. I was yelling, and I was just like, by the time I got my car straightened out, I thought I just had to keep putting it, I put it in "drive", and then I put it in reverse, and then I put it in "drive", because I was trying to get it where the light would just go, "stop". "Stop". "Stop".
Honestly, by the time I had my car wash, I thought I'm gonna have to get out of my car and go tell them my car is stuck in there. You know, I thought my car was gonna be totaled. I don't mean it was a long one. I mean, it was only the length, just a little longer than my car. That's the kind of car wash I'm talkin' about. You just drive through the thing. There's no man standing there, nothing. Nothing. You're completely unsupervised and unsafe. It's terrifying, absolutely terrifying. And by the time I was out, when it said "Go", I felt like it was like this: "GO".
But, y'all, I'd gotten so tickled, I would have given $100 to have had a video to give my daughters, $100. That would have been the best moment of their lives because I don't know, I don't know if you're a little bit like this. Like, I don't get tickets, and I don't have accidents, praise you, Lord, and let it stay that way, but it is the grace of God because I never take a turn I do not hug. I love, I love curbs. You know what I'm sayin'? Every single time I take a turn, I hit a curb. So it's that kind of thing, that kind of thing. So we all know what it's like where you just, like, get shaken over something stupid, and then there's things that are just a little bit more serious.
For instance, by the time I was puttin' on my mascara today to get ready for you, my hands were beginning to shake because, if you think I take it lightly, 30 years later, to walk up in front of a group, you are out of your ever-loving mind. It is scary, and it is weighty, and it shakes me up, and it ought to. It ought to. It ought to shake us up a little bit to be servants of God. Even though it is the privilege of our lives, there's some responsibility attached to that. All sorts of things can shake us up globally.
I want you to think globally before we lock it into personally. I want you to think of things like, if you've ever been on a mission trip, for instance, and left what is our more comfortable world in terms of the rest of the planet, and then you go to the other side of the world where, you know, you can just go on day by day, when you're over here and not have to think about it, but then, people are starving to death over there and are oppressed in ways that we've never comprehended.
I remember the first time I ever went to Angola, and we went out into villages where they had never seen a woman as white as I am with this blonde hair as I have. Bleached though it may be, it was a shock to them. Some of the children literally cried when they saw me, and someone finally told me, "They think you are a ghost". I said, "Perfect, perfect, that's just perfect". It just struck me. It shook me.
What really shook me is that we were bringing in a feeding program, and that feeding program had been there for some amount of months, and we watched the children line up and they, listen, these people, you couldn't even explain electricity to 'em. There'd be no way, they would have no way to even comprehend, nothing to compare it to, to even understand what in the world you were talking about. They've never been any further than it would take them to be able to get water and find something to kill to eat on occasion, to grow something there if they could. They're just going as far as they can walk and come back. That's what they're living in.
But I remember so well, seeing the line the very first time because all the feeding program could do was feed the children 14 and under, and I'm watchin' this whole line of children from rural village to rural village, and then the adults are just standing there beside 'em. It'll shake you up. ISIS will shake you up, that people think up horrors and ways to make people suffer, that are flat-out demonic, shakes us up. But now here's what I wanna do because, see, if we're gonna be a courageous church, and by "church", I don't mean anything that has to do with denomination. We are united as the church of the living Lord Jesus Christ through our faith in him alone and what he has done for us on the cross, and by grace we are saved through faith, and this is not of our own works.
But the church, if the church is gonna be courageous in the day in which we've been called, if the church is not gonna be easily shaken in the day in which we have been called, then that means individuals within it, we keep wanting something to happen to the church. We keep wanting revival in the church, but until we have personal revival, and many of us have it, the church is not going to have it because the church is us. So we're looking for the church to get more secure in our day and have more courage in the way it serves the globe, but we don't have more courage, and we are shaken, ourselves, so it's gotta come down to personally, what is it that shakes you up? What is it that shakes me up?
I wanna do a little survey of topics, and here's how I'm gonna ask you to do this. I want everybody in this room who has a smartphone to get it out, and I want you to turn your flashlight on your smartphone. If you don't have a phone that has a flashlight on it, I want you to use this because this has got enough white on it that I'll be able to see it. I'm gonna do a survey with you, and I'm gonna name different areas or topics that have the most propensity to shake us up.
Anybody in the room shaken up over a health matter of any kind? Maybe a diagnosis, maybe a heart attack not too long ago, some kind of infirmity that really is cheating some of your quality of life. Look around this room and take that in because that is a lot of people shaken up over a health matter. You may put it down. You are in the right place this weekend. Anybody shaken up this weekend, whether it's a little bit or it's a lot, over any kind of family matter, may I please see your lights? How you like that, girls? Listen, you have lit this house up. Listen, that is some kind of sight.
Number three is this, and let me qualify it first. So I'll get to the end of it. Give me about three or four sentences to make sure you know what all I'm throwing into this one category, and then I'll ask you the question at the end. So this one is gonna be about anybody shaken up over a relational crisis. Don't lift it yet. I already know. And by this, I mean, it would include you feeling like a relationship might be threatened, fearing a breakup or a fissure of some kind, or maybe it's already happened, and there's already been a breakup or a fissure of some kind of, a betrayal or rejection, or suddenly somebody's gone cold on you. You can't figure out what's wrong. You keep asking, "What's the matter"? They keep denying anything's at all the matter, but you're shaken up over it.
Do any of those things apply, any relational matters that have you shaken up right now? Could I see 'em, please? There you go. Put 'em down. Anybody here shaken up over a financial matter? Could I see your lights, please? Thank you. Just a couple more. Anybody that, I see a little bit of difference between these two things because not all job-related things that shake us up have to do with finances. It can be that we've got a new supervisor, or we are a supervisor, and we're having a whole lot of trouble in some area or another, or maybe you're just, like, for whatever reason, are having an extreme challenge with your job, but are you shaken up over a job-related matter? Can I see those lights, please? Huge, absolutely, huge.
Okay, now, let me expound on this one as well. Give me just a second. This one is gonna be about anything regarding a faith matter, and I'm talking about are you shaken up over a crisis of faith? Are you doubting what you've believed or second-guessing whether or not what you believe is right or wondering where on earth God is? "Can the Bible be believed"? "Should we, just, like, now just, like, move on into more modern times and just let go of the Scriptures altogether"? Anything like this? All of these things, we're just gonna put under the one category. So with that in mind, anybody in the room shaken up over a matter of faith? Can I see your lights, please? Thank you.
And I would imagine that there are probably more than that, but you're already knowing that the person sitting next to you is gonna ask you about it in the car. You will be hounded to no end about it. Hounded. Hounded. So, if you need to, just, totally say, "I'm just, I'm a little shaken up over new ways that I might share my faith". You can try that. You can try it, but only if it's true. Only if it's true. All right, this one is gonna be the seventh one, and the last of this little grouping. This is gonna be really, really specific, but it's very, very big when it happens.
How many... let me see it through with about three questions here until you get it. How many of you are shaken up by somebody letting you down? You're shaken up because somebody's let you down, somebody else's failure, or somebody falling off a pedestal. Could be in a family setting, could be in a work setting, a church setting, a faith setting. Anybody shaken up because somebody let you down? Can I see your lights, please? There you go. There you go.
So do you think, anybody, that maybe we've hit on the right topic this weekend when God has called us together in Waco, Texas, at this particular event, at this particular time, to study about the contrast between what is shakable and what is unshakable, to see what can be shaken so that we can behold what cannot? You can go ahead and turn your flashlights off. I do have one more, however, and we're gonna sit on it for a couple of minutes. The reason why I'm not gonna have you hold up your lights over this one is because every single one of us will have this one if we live long enough, and you might only have to live to be about five years old to have had this kind of experience because such is as common to man and woman. We will all across the board get shaken up over this one and probably no few times, but some of them will not just be shakes. They will be earthquakes.
How many of you in this room... you can just say it with a groan. You can answer it with your hand. You can pick up your booklet. You can just sit still and nod your head. You can do it any way you want to. Anybody shaken yourself up, that your biggest shake-up is you? I appreciate the one little booklet I see back there, and you are gonna have a mighty work of God, a mighty work of God. Nothing in my life has shaken me up like I have shaken myself up. A lot of ways, a lot of ways it comes. It can come, we can shake ourselves up by just a confrontation of our own mortality. That can shake us up. Disappointing ourselves, devastating ourselves, bringing terribly difficult consequences on ourselves, doing something we would have told you we were absolutely and utterly incapable of doing, incapable of doing, can I see anybody's hand in here if you have been to that place?
I know that place, realizing that we were weaker than we thought, maybe physically, maybe morally, maybe spiritually, maybe intellectually just weaker than we thought we were, more depraved, more prone to depression or despair, but wholly more vulnerable than we thought. I am convinced, I've tried to make a test of it, and I've thought about it all week. I've put it in all sorts of different circumstances. I've looked at it and looked at it and looked at it and tried to see, does it fit? Is this a fair general statement to make?
And I believe that almost across the board, almost across the board, I wanna leave out some room there, almost across the board, every self-directed, what we would call an "existential crisis", comes basically down to one moment, and it could happen a number of times in our lives, and it could happen at any age. It's not an age thing, but it boils down to one realization, and this is the realization: "I am not as awesome as I hoped".
All it takes to have a self-directed existential crisis is to come to an awakening that you are not as awesome, and I am not as awesome as we hoped 'cause, you know, when we're little kids, like, "I'm gon' be awesome". We just have this certain, we're gonna be awesome. And this means, because that's been in us since the garden that our ultimate human moments, in strictly natural terms, are when we get the feeling "I am awesome. In fact, I am so awesome". I mean, in the human experience, self-directed, fleshly alone, it does not get higher than that. So it stands to reason that the big existential crisis is "I am not nearly as awesome as I hoped". Not only that, "I am not nearly as awesome as I have acted".
Can somebody let that one land nice and deep? "Maybe I am the opposite of awesome. Maybe I am the 'anti-awesome'". Anybody know what I'm talkin' about? I need to know that somebody has thought "I'm the very opposite. I'm not only not awesome, I am the opposite". Like, "When you look up the antonym of 'awesome,' that's my name". I need to know, can anybody at all go there with me? Anybody? See, facing our lack of awesomeness can come in any context. "I'm not as awesome a student as I thought". Maybe you were valedictorian in your high school graduating class, but you're having trouble getting through medical school. "I'm not as awesome a parent as I hoped".
I need to see somebody's hand if you have ever thought, "I'm not as awesome a parent". Y'all, I took a child-development class when I was expecting my first child, and I got an "A", and I was so sad that they did not put pluses in college because I had actually made an A-plus, and then I actually gave birth to the child, and then you start facing your lack of awesomeness. Whatever it is that most brings us identity, I don't care if it's that you won one spelling bee after another as you were growing up, there comes a time when you're going to know that somewhere on the planet is a better speller. Existential crisis, "I am not as awesome as I thought".
Many of you in this room, you're the cream of the crop and like, did you see all of our lights tonight? Some of you held up seven times because let's face it, there's a lot of shaking going on down here, a lot of shaking. And we can't always control everything that shakes us up. We want to, we're gonna see what we can affect, but I'm gonna tell you something, we humans are woefully shakable. Now, a person of faith or not, we find out the hard way often, and sometimes the short way, other times the long way, that we, humans, are woefully shakable.
Now, here's what I want to say to you as we gather in this place. God knows exactly why you're shaking, exactly why you're shaking, exactly down to the detail why it hit you that way. There's this proverb that I think about from time to time that says, "Each heart knows its own bitterness", and I think about that a lot because I think, you know, all tragedies do not hit individual hearts exactly the same way. We may have been diagnosed with exactly the same kind of cancer, with exactly the same kind of treatment. You may have been with exactly the same doctor and gotten exactly the same kind of regimen, but you still are gonna process that a different way than the person sitting next to you because you're you. You're you.
Somebody needs to know that God is very aware, all the way down to the detail, why you are so shaken up over something that if you sat across the table from someone in a coffee shop, and you told them what had shaken you up, they would look at you and go, "Is that it? Is that it"? You also know that for some of you, you are not telling what has you shaken up. God knows. I want you understand something else too, so does your enemy, so does your enemy.
Here's the thing, I want to I want to read to Psalm 13:3 and 4 because they say this, Psalm 13:3 and 4, it's the psalm of David so this is David, a man after God's own heart. "Consider and answer me, O Lord my God; light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death, lest my enemy say, I have prevailed over him, lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken". Your enemy, the devil, knows that anybody who shakes hard enough and long enough is going to fall. You can only shake so long and so hard and not deal with it until you're gonna tumble and until I'm gonna tumble because that is the nature of being shaken.
This weekend, you and I have come to bring our shakenness to our unshakeable God. That's what we have come to do. I'mma wait, let that hit somebody because let me tell you something, as long as the enemy has access to what we are shaken about, he will mess with us, and mess with us, and mess with us. He will know that we are weak to temptation in that area, and he will taunt and terrorize us with all manner of fear and intimidation. Whatever we're shaken about, we bring to an unshakeable God seated on an unshakable throne, but we will not be shake proof until God lets there be the kind of shaken that's gonna shake everything up, but that which cannot be shaken.
Number two, this is some glorious news. Number two is this, if we shake awake, it can be a life-saving shake. Somebody? See, there's a shaking going on. We're all shaking up in one way or another, but here's the beauty of it. If what's shaking us shakes us awake, it can be a life-saving shake. For instance, we can suddenly be shaken up about something in a relationship that could end up saving that relationship. We could wake up because we are shaken about something going on in our marriage, if we're married, and it can be the life-saving of that marriage.
Anybody getting that with me? Are we gonna be shaken apart, or are we gonna be shaken up? Because what the enemy is hoping is we'll just be shaken apart, just come to pieces. But the beauty of it is that you and I can be shaken up. Can I just say shaken up? Just, you don't have to do it way up here just like shaken up. But I just want, if I'm gonna shaken, somebody say, "If I'm gonna be shaken, then let me be shaken up". Because I don't want to be like shaken down, I want to be shaken up. And so, with every shaking, I can either like shake apart or I can...
Some of you are going, "We don't shake where we come from". I understand that, but while your skin is staying still, your insides are, so you can either or you can. So we're gonna, somebody say, "I'm gonna shake it up". I'm gonna shake it up. Okay, I learned the most interesting thing this week. I googled every form of the word "shake" or "shaken", every single form of it.
And I learned something called seismic shakability, seismic shakability, and I thought it was so interesting. It's a scientific study. I even read what the first one was, and it was in the former USSR that it was done back in, I believe, just like the mid 1900s, if I've got that exactly right. There began to be a science of ways that they could go in and test, in many ways, theoretically, but there were certain evidences they could take and then draw some strong theories from it of what that particular land had as far as stability or instability with regard to how dangerous it was, or prone to have an earthquake, to shake or to tremble. So, this has everything to do with population. It had everything to do with where they would build a structure. Does this make sense?
So, number three is this, our standing ground's stability rates our seismic shakability. I do love a good rhyme. The standing ground of your life, whatever it may be, whether you believe in just the goodness of people, whether you believe that the universe is a friendly place, whether you believe in universalism, whether you believe in things that are of our faith, in many similarities, but without Christ, or whether it is Christ himself. Whatever you're standing ground on, it may be money, finances, job, whatever it is, where you put your most stable stand, you're standing ground, stability, rates your seismic shakability.
So how much you can be greatly shaken depends on where you're standing. Does that make sense to anybody? So now, would you look with me again into Hebrews chapter 12? I want to read verses 18 through 24 and then verse 28. "For you have not come to what may be touched, a blazing fire and darkness and gloom and a tempest and the sound of a trumpet and a voice whose words made the hearers beg that no further messages be spoken to them. For they could not endure the order that was given, 'If even a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned.' Indeed", verse 21, "so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, 'I tremble with fear.' But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering".
The NIV says, "In joyful assembly". "And to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel". Would you go down to verse 28 and let me read it to you? "Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe".
Here in these few verses, the writer of Hebrews is contrasting the Old Covenant and the New Covenant, and he's contrasting Mount Sinai where Moses received the tablets of stone and Mountain Zion, which is called the heavenly Jerusalem, which to somebody is gonna be an eye opener this weekend because what the Scripture is saying is that we're already gathered with them. We're just this side of it. But as we came together tonight, if you thought was really the music was too loud in this place, you should have heard what was going on over our heads, and I should have too because we were joining in joyful assembly. It's happening around us 24/7.
So, I want you to look at the screen and I want you to see with me, this is taken right out of the brilliance of Hebrews chapter 12. I want you to look with me and see these two mountains that are being contrasted here, Mount Sinai and Mount Zion, two mountains, Old Covenant, New Covenant. What we have there under the Old Covenant, which is Mount Sinai where it was given, we have a touchable but lethal mountain. The reason why it says in verse 19, or verse 18 rather, "You have not come to what may be touched" is because you and I stand at Mount Zion.
We are gathered there with a joyful assembly, but we can't touch it. It's out of our reach, but he's saying, "Oh, they could touch theirs, but they would touch it under threat of death". And we're gonna see that back in Exodus 19 in just a moment. It was burning with fire, darkness, gloom, storm, trumpet blast, and at the very top of that what I put that in that seventh one, what I want to call with you, if you'll allow me too, and a scholar called it this enough and I felt like it really helped to lock it down to give you the feeling of it for where we're going under the New Covenant. A holy, divine, beautiful, awesome, but disembodied voice.
Does anybody know what I'm talking about when I say disembodied? What I want to say is that they were hearing this voice, but they were seeing no form. And so, that just strikes some fear in you like you're hearing this booming and this thunder, but you can't see, I mean like, are you for us or against us? And if I could just like see, maybe I would know. It's just this voice, it's just this voice. I want you to look at, first of all, Exodus 19 and I want us to center on Mount Sinai for a couple of minutes. I want to read Exodus 19:4-6 to you.
"You yourselves have seen", this is God talking to the Israelites. "You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles' wings and brought you to myself". Now, he's saying this, of course, through Moses. "Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel".
So, this is God speaking to it Moses, Moses goes down and he speaks it to the people. And so, it says in verse 9, go with me here, "And the Lord said to Moses, 'Behold, I am coming to you in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with you, that they may hear when I speak with you, and may also believe you forever.' When Moses told the words of the people to the Lord, the Lord said to Moses", Because the people that said, "Listen, you just tell him whatever he says we're gonna do". That would have been back in verse 8. "You just whatever he speaks, we're gonna do that".
And so, Moses told the Lord and the Lord said, "Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow, let them wash their garments, and be ready for the third day". Is that gorgeous or what? "For on the third day the Lord will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of the people". And then it goes on from there. You can check it out for yourself where he says, "Put limits around the mountain, do not even let an animal touch that mountain, nothing. Only the ones I permit up the mountain may come". And then it says in verse 16, "On the morning of the third day there were thunders and lightnings and a thick cloud on the mountain and a very loud trumpet blast", and it says that the people trembled and that Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God.
And they, they stood at the foot of the mountain, it was wrapped in smoke because the Lord had descended on it and firing, smoke was going up and the mountain trembled. And the sound of the trumpet, verse 19 says, grew louder and louder and louder, and God spoke to Moses. Powerful, powerful moment.
Look with me at Exodus 24, I want to read verses 3 through 11 to you. "Moses came and told the people all the words of the Lord and all the rules. And all the people answered with one voice and said, 'All the words that the Lord has spoken we will do.' And Moses wrote down all the words of the Lord. He rose early in the morning and built an altar at the foot of the mountain, and twelve pillars, according to the twelve tribes of Israel. And he sent young men of the people of Israel, who offered burnt offerings and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen to the Lord. And Moses took half of the blood".
Just go with me here 'cause if you're not familiar with this, this is going to spring your eyes wide open. Please imagine this, "Moses took half the blood and put it in basins, and half of the blood he threw against the altar. Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it in the hearing of the people. And they said, 'All that the Lord has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient'". And you know what Moses did? He put his hand in that blood, and he pitched it all over them. Can you even fathom it? And you know why? Because they had said, "You just tell the Lord whatever he says, we're gonna do". Anybody ever felt that way?
Moses knew that coming in, "We'll do everything he says". No, you won't, but you will be covered by the blood of the sacrifice. You will be sprinkled clean by the blood. Would you go back now and look at Hebrews chapter 12, and let's glance at the Mount Zion that depicts and represents for us the New Covenant because this is our scene. This is Mount Zion. I just want you to contrast this to Mount Sinai and that disembodied voice because you gotta understand with me, Jesus is the fulfillment of all this. You remember back there in Exodus chapter 24, once they are sprinkled with the blood, the Lord then invites Moses and Aaron. Aaron is the high priest, Nadab and Abihu, his sons, and seventy of the elders of Israel went up and they saw the God of Israel, they saw his glory.
"There was under his feet as it were a pavement of sapphire stone, like the very heaven for clearness". And verse 11, "He did not lay his hand on the chief men of the people of Israel; they beheld God, and they ate and drank". In other words, they lived through his presence, why? Because they had been sprinkled by the blood. Brings us to the New Covenant. You have not been brought to a mountain of darkness and gloom burning with fire, and storm, and trumpet blast, and a disembodied voice. The beauty of it is that Jesus fulfills every single type that is shown back there in the Old Testament. Not only was he the fulfillment of the deliverer that Moses was, Jesus was the ultimate and one and only deliverer. He was also the fulfillment of Aaron, who got to go up the mountain a certain distance because Jesus is the great high priest, but not only is he the deliverer and the great high priests, he also became the sacrifice.
Now, I don't know if you can do better than that when one, when one Savior just completely fulfills every need from A to Z, but that's what you've got in Jesus. That's what you've got in Jesus, the perfection of the New Covenant. I love this so much. Think back about that disembodied voice, jot down somewhere in your notes Numbers 7:89. "And when Moses went into the tent of meeting to speak with him", and that is Yahweh, "he heard the voice". Everybody say, "The voice". Say it again.
Now, this is not something you're watching on the TV. This is the original tell me again, and it's not just voice it's? Say it again, it's? "The voice speaking to him from above the cover which was on the Ark of the Covenant from between the two cherubim, and he spoke to him". The voice, the voice. See, you and I cannot grasp this holy and divine, but disembodied voice fully unless we appreciate the fact that in the New Testament when Jesus comes, he is called according to John chapter 1, "The Word that was made flesh and dwelling among us".
I want somebody to understand that, that in the Old Testament under the old covenant, it was God spoke to them in a disembodied voice. They could not see his form. In Jesus, the God man came. God literally came to earth. He's squeezed himself in a body of human flesh and blood, and he, the voice, wrapped himself in flesh so that he could be touched. I need somebody to go there with me. I need somebody to go there with me because this was one who could be touched.
The disciple John gets it totally when he says in 1 John 1:1 and 2, "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched", this, "we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it". "We saw him, the voice, the voice, the Word made flesh and dwelling among us".
I want you take in those angels as we begin wrapping this baby up. It says that the angels are up there beyond number in what the ESV says is a festal gathering. But I love the N.I.V., "joyful assembly". Because here's what I've come to ask you today, remember when we talked about that third point, that our seismic shakability is gonna be all dependent on our standing ground's stability?
So, I'm gonna ask you a question, if you aren't in Christ, at which mountain are you standing? Because you can only be saved at the mountain where there's the sprinkled blood of Christ. We can only be saved by grace, but I would like to just pitch out to you the possibility, I know because I lived it for so long, that we can be saved right there, the only place we can be saved, because the gate is the cross of Christ. But then we can shift dramatically right from that mountain and live the rest of our life right here at the foot of Mount Sinai.
Girlfriend and guyfriend, you got to figure out which covenant you are under. If you are in Christ, you are in the New Covenant, and you must stand at that mountain. But what happens is we're saved under the New Covenant and we move over and live the rest of our lives in the old, and we're full of gloom. We're full of darkness. We're scared of him all the time, and nothing about us is joyful. Listen, these angels were full of joy. "Joyful assembly", the word is only used one time in the entire New Testament, just one time.
I'm gonna read this to you out of the definition in secular literature. "This word is used of parties or the celebratory atmosphere at the annual athletic competitions such as the Olympics". In the Septuagint, "It speaks of multitudinous gatherings to celebrate an occasion of joy or delight, often associated with the feast. Thus the word communicates a sense of excitement, revelry, and well-being". There's some emotion in the joyful assembly. If you're full of gloom, you're standing at the wrong mountain.
And let me tell you something, the world is watching us. The world is watching us. One of our biggest, most powerful testimonies to a lost and gloomy world is our joy, and we have got to get it back. We have got to get it back. It is our right in Christ. We have got to get at the right mountain, a mountain that has joy in it, where we know that we've been welcomed. See, there is good news and there is bad news. Do you want the bad news first? We are not as awesome as we hoped, but God is more awesome than we have ever conceived, conceived.
We are 28 states represented in this room. Now, I gotta say something to you who are in our TV audience on the other side of that screen, because I want you to come in, and I want you to just, like, sit down with us. Don't just watch us from that screen. You come in. Enter into what we're doing here. So, once we count you in, we've got all sorts of states, and we've got all sorts of nations, and all sorts of kinds of people, and that's the way we love it.
That's what we're doing here, but I want you to know something with them, if you're not from Texas. You need to know, all 27 states of you and 49 other states of you and all sorts of other nations, we have a Texas institution, the pride of the Lone-Star State, a huge convenience store called Buc-ee's. And the thing about Buc-ee's is that they tell us over and over again, by one billboard after another, that they're gonna have clean restrooms for you, and they always do. You cannot do better than Buc-ee's, and you think, you think it is a well-kept secret in Texas. No, it's not. You cannot get in that parking lot to save your life, to save your life, and I've got a story to tell you about it.
Please, somebody, tell me, everybody tell me that you know Christy Nockels. Do you know who Christy Nockels is? Because let me say something. If you are missing her, you are missing one of the most anointed voices of our time. That woman has such a gift, and not only to sing, but she also has been given such a gift to share and to communicate, and I just see God raising her up. And she was in the Houston area, oh, about 30 minutes from where I live, and this was sometime about a year ago. And so, she was doing her ministry time at a church, and then we were having her for the night, so she was coming out to spend the night with me.
Now, I live way out in the country, in Houston, so instead of trying to figure out how her friend could bring her all the way to my house, because you have to turn off on one dirt road, and then you turn off on another dirt road, and then you go past my mother-in-law's house, and then you come around to my house. It's just all of that. It's like past the third cow, on the right. That's just how it is. My neighbors are the kind that just go, "Mooo-ve", you know? This is what my reality is. I live out with the snakes and out with the goats, and we just love it, and we are just embracing it, but I thought, "You know, I better meet her someplace".
And so, we were doing what most of you do. We had not talked one time about this on the phone. We text, just like you do, and so we've been texting back and forth, and I said, "Okay, I am giving you directions". I was writing all this out on a text. I gave her the directions to get to Buc-ee's, and I gave her the address so she'd know where to get off of the freeway, and I said, "You come into that parking lot, and I will meet you there". And so, at the exact time we were supposed to meet, there she was, and she got out of her car. We hugged each other.
Let me tell you something. Christy Nockels not only has a voice. She has the greatest hair known to humankind. You cannot believe that hair. She truly has a godly inheritance, and I'm not playing with you there. And so, we were so glad to see each other. We put her stuff in my car, she gets in the front seat, we start to pull off, and I can tell she looks a little sheepish, and her eyebrows are drawn down just a little bit. And she looks over at me, and she says, "You know", she says, "I was so confused". She said, "I thought we were meeting at an Italian restaurant".
And I said, "Did I say an Italian restaurant"? She said, "Well, Beu-sez". She saw I had spelt B-U-C-apostrophe-E-E-S. She had seen it as Bucées, and we were going somewhere very refined. Instead, she drives up and sees beaver teeth, but it never occurs to me because this is Texas, and I'm used to it. And I thought to myself, "Isn't that us"? Because this is the existential crisis. We're expecting Bucées, and we drive up, and it's Buc-ee's. Just this is not turning out like we told it to.
And we're so frustrated with God because he does not do what we tell him to. We tell him and tell him, and this is what we have: Buc-ee's. And so, where we're gonna come around today is that God has so much more than we have ever dreamed, more than our eyes have ever seen, more than our ears have ever heard if we can get past that thing of, "This is not turning out the way I thought it was going to", and get onto how do you want it to turn out, because you can't believe how well this thing is turning out from God's point of view. And when we come alongside of him, we are going to be floored. We're gonna get some of our awe back this morning.
Does anybody remember that that's what we're doing in this session? We have come to get back some wonder. Anybody? We prayed as a team this morning, as we always do, and one of the things we really asked God was not to let us lose any ground this morning. We're gonna start right where we were, and then we're going forward, because he's after something that we have not yet experienced in him and in his Word, and we want that. So, number one is what? We? We humans are woefully shaken. And if you're just coming in on this with us, we don't even have to explain that one. You know that we are, because we are going to be shake-prone and not shake-proof until God sets up his unshakable kingdom right here. And all of us are living the fullness of life in the middle of it.
Number two is this. If we...? We're talking about being shaken, and so we're looking at some of the upsides of being shaken, and here is what we've determined. If we'll just, like, shake awake, then it can be a lifesaving shake. That if we shake awake to something in a relationship that is just, like, circling the drain in the tub, and suddenly we realize we're about to lose something precious to us, and we come alive to it, and we start really fighting for it, listen, that's a shakeup we want. 'Cause you and I have been facing the fact that we can either shake apart, or we can... tell me again. We can shake up. And you and I, we wanna shake up, not just shake apart.
And number three is this: our standing-ground's stability rates our seismic shakability. What are we standing on? And we've been discussing are we standing at the mountain of the law in the old covenant, or are we standing at the mountain of Mount Zion in a joyful assembly of angels, with those who have already gone before us and whose spirits have been made perfect in the presence of our God. What mountain is the place of our standing-ground?
Number four, number four is this, and it's huge. It's one of the reasons why we are pressing in for our awe and our wonder in this particular theme. Number four is: if our God is getting downsized, our theology needs shaking up. If our God is getting downsized, our theology needs shaking up. Now, I realize that saying "amen" may be going a little bit out of style, but I still need you to say it, because you know when we were talking in our last session about a self-directed existential crisis? That if we're just talking about the natural man, the fleshly man, that what really, really gets us off-kilter and shakes us up is coming to the realization that we are not as awesome as we hoped.
Let me tell you one that goes a whole lot deeper than that and has a whole lot more ramifications, and that is for the spiritual person who knows God, when somehow you wanna get to an existential crisis in your faith, then you start coming to the conclusion that your God may not be as awesome as you thought. That maybe Jesus is not as awesome as you thought. And you talk about a crisis, it will be a full-on crisis. Of all the things the enemy of our soul wants, and I'm gonna stop here long enough to say this, because there has become a growing doctrine that there really is no such thing as a literal devil and a horde of demons, and that that is just something archaic and was legendary and really it's just the force of darkness.
Let me say from Genesis all the way to Revelation, the Word of God, which is the only truth we can fully depend on, the only concrete on which we can stand, the Word of God says, from Genesis to Revelation, there is most definitely a devil, there are demonic powers, and there is certainly the kingdom of darkness. I can't think of anything he would rather us think than that he was not active and alive in the world in which we live, so what happens is this: when we have that kind of crisis, when we have that thing in us that says to us, "Maybe what I have believed and what I have long since said and even taught is not true at all", it starts breaking apart everything we've got.
Because here is what the enemy is after: more than anything else, more than the enemy is after your marriage, more than the enemy is after your family, more than the enemy is after your health, more than the enemy is after any part of your life, your church, anything else, your circle of friends, anything else. The number-one thing the enemy wants is your faith. It is your faith, because Jesus has already said to us, and we didn't make this up. We might not have voted for it. Maybe this is not the way we want the system, but except in exceptions where he decides that that is going to be the way he's going to operate. He has said, "So as is your faith, so shall it be unto you". In other words, he is responding so often to our faith.
Do you remember the time he goes into this one place and because they had such little faith he did not do many miracles? I mean, it's stirring, and it is stunning. The enemy is after our faith, and so what we wanna do when things start coming apart and when we start doubting, this is a beautiful time. That's not a bad shakeup. This is a beautiful time to come to Jesus and go, "Tell me who you really are. I need to know. I need to know", because here is what can happen. And this is the beauty of a shakeup.
What can happen is that we can get into a holding pattern, and we can think to ourselves that our doctrine is like a diploma. We get it, we get our diploma, and then we live for the rest of our lives with that diploma, and we live as according to that diploma as we know how. But it's not like we have to really pay a lot of attention to the diploma, because we already know what is in the diploma. Does anybody know what I'm talking about? This is what happens to us. We'll get to a point, I believe this is true for a massive amount of believers among us. This is the way that I was raised.
So this is what happens, is that we come to our conclusion of what it is we believe. We get those things down, and we'll get 'em down by the time we're about 25. Twenty-five years old we got it down, we got it down, and then for the rest of our lives we just live on from that. We'll do a little lesson here or do a little lesson there, but here is what we mostly do. We mostly, from that point on, we have decided when we're 25 exactly what we believe. We have got our systematic theology completely worked out from A to Z. Am I speaking anybody's language today? Anybody understand what I'm talking about?
We get it all worked out. We have decided exactly which camp we're in and from that point on the reason why we keep believing exactly that same thing for the next 25 years is because every single podcast, every single book, every single blog, everything else we read is written by someone who has exactly that same systematic theology, and we continue to affirm exactly what we already believe, and we do not believe anything new. Do you know what, I have just, here is what...
Listen, there is a lot of Bible here, a lot of Bible here. The Word of God says in the book of Colossians that all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are in Christ Jesus. You cannot exhaust this book. Once you think you have mastered the Word of God or you have mastered your systematic theology, you have been deceived. You have been deceived. You cannot master this, and here is what's happening. We're bored. Maybe you won't admit it, and I'm not talking to all of you, but you're out there, and I've been you. I get it, but you're not really, like, fired up about this because you already know it. You already know it, 'cause you've got your systematic theology down. You know exactly who you studied under. You know exactly what your camp is. You know what I'm forever wanting to ask? I don't do it 'cause I'll just get slaughtered, just slaughtered, but I just wanna ask every now and then: in what way have you changed your mind dramatically about what you believed in the Word of God in the last 30 years?
Because you know what? If you have not changed your mind about anything in 30 years, I have to beg to ask you: are you studying Scripture, or are you studying just the same systematic theology? Because I'm gonna tell you something. I've had to grow up, and I've had to change my mind about some things. I'm just gonna wait for somebody. Anybody? Because this is what we're doing, and then we wonder why we're bored, because we quit studying. We quit studying. We didn't realize this is life and breath to us. I mean, these are, like, living words to us, and so we're just like, "We've already done that. We've already done that".
And we wonder. We wonder, because, see, you and I, we're created for fire, so because we don't have the fire of God's Word in our bones we'll go looking for another fire. You know what some of 'em out there have done? They've got anger for their fire. You know the only other things they're reading? Things they can criticize, so they can come back around and say, "Wow, those people are so stupid". I'm asking you today is that how we wanna be? Because we get to decide. We get to decide. If our God is getting smaller, we are being deceived. We are being deceived.
I wanna say something to you that have studied it for years and years and years and years, because you might say sometimes, maybe you're a teacher. Maybe you've been studying for 40 years and maybe you're saying sometimes, "Well, you know, just I need something fresh, something fresh". You know something? Y'all, all I can do is give you what I have. That I'm so far from having it all together, but what I have, I will gladly give you. I'll gladly give you. I will gladly tell you what has worked for me. Maybe it won't work for you. I don't know.
Let somebody else tell you, interview other people, what is it that has helped them stay passionate, but one of the things that God has used to help me stay passionate is that if I get the least bit overfamiliar with a particular book of the Bible, then I start memorizing it. And I'm gonna tell you something. If you can take the challenge out of that, good luck, because suddenly when you're going word for word, that thing is jumping off the page. I can be on a walk and start saying a chapter, and I can be tired when I start out, and I can be, sort of, downcast over a family situation.
Well, by the time I'm walking back up to my driveway, I'm just like, "Whoo, whoo, whoo"! Anybody know what I'm talking about? Because the fire is back in my bones, is back in my bones. This is what we're meant for. We are meant to be the most alive people on the planet. I'm gonna tell you guys something. I'm gonna tell you guys something. Some of us have got to be willing to say this. Some of us have got to just put ourselves out there, take the hit, and be willing to say this. When all is said and done, the biggest joke the devil will have gotten away with in our day in the church of Jesus Christ is to convince us we must choose between the Word of God and the Spirit of God. It is preposterous. It is preposterous.
What Bible are we even reading to make the decision that we are either gonna be at this extreme, in the Word camp, or we're gonna be over here in this extreme, in the Spirit camp? And that there is about a 1-inch overlap here in the middle of people going, "Are you out of your mind? Why would we have to decide between the Word of God and the Spirit of God"? The Spirit of God is the Spirit of truth. You know what we're doing? I mean, it's just nuts. We are taking the Word of God, and we are literally quarantining it from its own author.
We have taken the Scriptures out of the hand of the one who wrote it, and that is the Holy Spirit of the living Lord, Jesus Christ. We are told in 2 Peter that people wrote, that these men wrote as the Holy Spirit moved them, and so here is what we're gonna do. That we're gonna think to ourselves the Holy Spirit moved them then, but ever since then it's just been dry ink on a page. What sets the Word of God apart from every single sacred book on the planet of every other world religion, what makes the Word of God different is that it's a living, breathing Word. It is alive and active today. It is as full of life today.
Hebrews 4:12, "The Word of God is alive and active". It is as alive today as it was the day that the Lord inhaled and exhaled it right out on that inspired writer and that pen, the ink of the Holy Spirit, boom, down with that quill, on that scroll. It's as alive today. That if we're taking the Spirit out of it, then we have just taken the life and the vivaciousness right off of that page. I just plead with you, especially you who are young and you who are coming up behind us, you insist. You champion this cause. You fight for the right to be people of the Word of God, who are filled with the Spirit of God, who believe that the Spirit of God still speaks through the Word of God, just as surely as it did yesterday.
Where will we be if we don't believe that? Girlfriend, it will put the life right back into it. Listen, again, I'm just telling you what works for me. I have been an idiot in so many ways, but I will fight for this one. I will fight for this one. I will fight for this one to the death. This is the kinda thing I want to bang my head on a wall over, bang my head on a wall over, because this is our right. We get to get up, say, for instance, you like to get up in the morning and read the Scriptures to start your day.
It's so important to me. I love to do it when it's completely black outside, where I'm just, kind of, sitting in the light of the Scriptures, and one of the things I'm praying from the very beginning, "Holy Spirit, come. I don't want to read this Word apart from you. You wrote it". Why would I take it out of the hands of the author? "Holy Spirit, come. Speak to me through your Word. Cause those words to jump up off the page and jump into my bones. Lord, I'm counting on you that when I get up in this many minutes and when I walk away, I am healthier than I was when I sat down", because his Word is health to our bones. "I am more equipped for my calling today than I would have been, and my day will be different because I started it in the Word of God, with the Spirit of God".
Anybody, anybody? Anybody, anybody? Anybody? It is our right. It is our right. We got the Word-centered camps, we got the Spirit-centered camps, and it's like we have all been brainwashed. I wanna say something to you. Use your brain. You've got your own brain. You have got your own brain. We gotta have our teachers. We gotta have our preachers. We got to have 'em. We've got to have 'em. We must have 'em. We will not be equipped if we don't go look up Ephesians chapter 4, and that will prove it to you. We need to be under teachers and many, many teachers. Do not get yourself under just one teacher, because if they go into error, you won't be able to recognize it. Get in your Bible and start at Matthew 1:1 and read all the way to the end of Revelation chapter 22. And when you get to the end of it and you sit up, in however long it takes you to do it, that, girlfriend, that, guy-friend, is the real Jesus.
Use your brain. You've got your own brain. You have got your own brain. We gotta have our teachers. We gotta have our preachers. We got to have 'em. We've got to have 'em. We must have 'em. We will not be equipped if we don't. Go look up Ephesians chapter 4, and that will prove it to you. We need to be under teachers and many, many teachers. Do not get yourself under just one teacher, because if they go into error, you won't be able to recognize it.
We stay under many teachers. We continue to compare Scripture to Scripture, but when we do this, when the Word is alive and active to us, here's what I'm saying to you: just get in your Bible and start at Matthew 1:1 and read all the way to the end of Revelation chapter 22. And when you get to the end of it, and you sit up, and however long it takes you to do it, that, girlfriend, that, guy-friend, is the real Jesus.
If you want to know who the real Jesus is, quit letting everybody else tell you. Yes, let them help you. Let me help you. You help me to walk with him, to be sound in my doctrine, to know how to act on my faith, how to witness, how to serve people with love, how to get through trial, how to be strong when I'm weak, and how to live, yes. But when it comes to who Jesus Christ is, if it is anyone different than the Jesus you see from Matthew 1:1 all the way to the end of Revelation, when you get to the end of Revelation, who do you think Jesus is and what do you think he's capable of doing? Because that's the real Jesus.
And any other Jesus, I don't care how much you love your teachers, any Jesus that is less than that Jesus is a shadow of the real Jesus and not the true. You take your sweet little brain, you get into your Scriptures, you open that thing up, and you read it, and the real-life Jesus will stand up. He will stand up. He will stand up. And let me tell you something. You're gonna stand up right with him, because that's where the power is. That is where the power is.
Look with me at 1 Corinthians chapter 2. 1 Corinthians chapter 2. I wanna read verses 3 through 13, because it would be really fair right now for you to say to me, I would want you to, "Reference. How can you back up, how can you support what you're saying"? 'Cause I'm gonna show you. I'm gonna show you. We could go to many, many places, but I'm gonna show you one of 'em right here. 1 Corinthians chapter 2, verse 3. This is the Apostle Paul talking to the church in Corinth.
"And I was with you in weakness and in fear and with much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away. But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But, as it is written, 'What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him'".
Verse 10, "These things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For who knows a person's thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And this we impart in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual".
The Word without the Spirit is dead ink. It is a page with history and minus the holiness. The Spirit without the Word is a dove with no place to land. Anybody understand that with me? And when we have, we are just full of the Spirit, but we are not in the Word of God, and we're just pulling words out of the air, instead of out of the Word of God, out of the Word of God. And what happens is there is a dove with no place to land. That Spirit lands. It lands on us, and he lands on his Word.
The Word of God gives the Spirit of God a place to land, and that is where things begin to happen. We're gonna get out of these camps that stare at one another, this camp that is the only, I mean, just like Word camp, no Spirit, looks at them and goes, "They are crazy". The Spirit camp over here with no Words. I'm talking about extremes here. There's a lot of things in between, thank God, but in the extremes, they look at the Word camp over here and go, "They are ice cubes". We get to say, "I'm gonna be a woman of the Word of God, filled with the Spirit of God". And that is what causes a Word to come alive.
Go with me now to Isaiah chapter 6, verses 1 through 9, the very first part of 9. "In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said: Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!' And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: 'Woe is me! For I am lost; for I'm a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!' Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar".
Now, let me stop there just a second. In Hebrew the word seraphim means burning ones. Burning ones. I mean, just like burning ones. I love this picture, that he's flying over with tongs in his hands to get a burning coal that he had taken off of the altar. Now, that altar, because of what the burning coal is going to do, and a coal that was burning would have no property of its own to do what it's about to do, so our assumption is that in this depiction of the throne room of God that the altar is the altar of sacrifice, because that would be where the blood was.
So, get that picture in your mind. That was the true of what the Old Testament tabernacle and temple was a shadow of things to come, so I want you to just picture taking a coal off of the altar. And then, it says, "He touched my mouth and said: 'Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.' And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, 'Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?' Then I said, 'Here am I! Send me.' And he said, 'Go'".
I'm just praying that this is somebody's day today. I can't even tell you what all we're praying for today. We're praying that so many people will respond to the calling of God in their lives. We're praying that God is gonna raise up mighty teachers, mighty communicators of his gospel in this place, mighty servants of the living God. Oh, I pray with all of my heart that something happens when we leave this afternoon, something in us is brand-new, something, something has changed and caused us to be on a path of our calling in a way that we had not yet understood.
Point number 5 is this: a shaking can mean we're on the threshold of a calling. I just wanna throw that one out to you conceptually. I'm just presenting to you the idea that perhaps a shaking can mean we're on a threshold. I mean, just this side of a calling. I want you to look back at the passage that says... shows the throne room of God. There are several times, I'm thinking in terms of Isaiah chapter 6. I'm thinking of Ezekiel chapter 1. I'm thinking of Revelation chapter 4, and every single time there is a reference to the throne of God, someone is always sitting on it, always. Praise God. Praise God it is never not occupied.
I even love the fact, and I'm gonna press this a little bit with my imagination, but just, like, humor me for just a second. I love the fact that Ezekiel in Ezekiel chapter 1 even sees the vision of the throne with wheels on it, so I figure if God ever does have to leave the place where he is, he just takes his throne with him, and it just goes like wheels all the way through. You understand what I'm saying? Because he's not getting up. He's not getting up. At no time does he not occupy that seat; and notice with me what it says about the threshold, because it says in verse 4 after the angel, one called to another.
Now, understand with me this is the angel's voice that calls this. Imagine the voice of God. This is a created being. Verse 4, "And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. 'Woe is me! For I am lost'".
I want you to look at that for just a moment, because I love the idea that when things are shaken, when things are shaken, when things are shaken, O Lord, let it be. Let it be. That we're on the threshold. That we've never been nearer to you. Lord, let it be that in our shaking we just drop on our faces before you and go take this, take this. Lord, I'm so shaken up over this, but, Lord, shake the thresholds of your throne room. Bring meaning. Bring service from this. Bring compassion to this. Bring a part of my calling from what I am so shaken up by and redeem it. Buy it back from the enemy and buy it back from the things of this world.
I can't even tell you how much you will find that some of the things that shake you up most, some of the earthquakes in your own life, will result if you will be obedient through them and if I will be obedient through that shakenness. And I will bring it to Jesus, and I'll fall before him, and I'll trust him in that shakenness. Every single time, he will pour it back into your calling. He will bring meaning to it. You won't understand all of it. We'll understand those things when we see him face to face, but can he redeem it? Can he do something with it?
Listen, every day of my life God uses the biggest disasters of my life, one of which came from victimization as a small child off and on until I was about in middle school. I was a victim of that one. The other one was my own ridiculous foolishness in a time of extreme despair and brokenness. And both of those things, even what I brought on myself and then what was brought on me, both of those things, I cannot even tell you how they have shaken my life. And yet he has used both of them and uses them every single day whether I ever make mention of them, no matter who I sit across from, no matter who I encounter, in my own relationship with him, to just things of just, "Lord, you are the awesome one. There is no awesomeness that dwells here. You are the awesome one".
A shaking can mean we're on the threshold of a calling. I gotta tell you something so wild. I want you to jot down John 12:41. I wanna tell you the context of it, because the apostle John is under the inspiration of the Spirit, of course, and he's penning the gorgeous, gorgeous Gospel that came from his hand. And he's talking about Jesus and the unbelief of the people, of some of the people around him, and he quotes from these passages back in Isaiah chapter 6 and portions where it goes on from there in Isaiah chapter 6.
And he says of Christ, John 12:41, "Isaiah said these things because he saw his glory". If you've got an NIV, it says it straight out, "Jesus's glory and spoke of him. Nevertheless, many even of the authorities believed in him, but for fear of the Pharisees they did not confess it, so that they would not be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God". Do you realize what John was saying?
That what Isaiah saw in that passage was Jesus. Look at Luke chapter 5, and I wanna read something to you, and then give you a little insight that I received from my studies. Luke 5:1 through 11, please. "On one occasion, while the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the Word of God", this, of course, is Jesus, "he was standing by the lake of Gennesaret, and he saw two boats by the lake, but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets". Verse 3, "Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon's", that's Simon Peter, "he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down, and he taught the people from the boat. When he had finished speaking", in verse 4, "he said to Simon, 'Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch'".
So, in verse 5, "Simon answered", this is Peter, "'Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.' When they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking. And they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both of the boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw it", watch what he does, "he fell down at Jesus's knees, saying, 'Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.' For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish that they had taken, and so also were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, 'Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men'".
That's gonna be somebody's life verse right there. From now on you will be catching men, but that's another story. Verse 11, "And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him". Okay, so this is what one of my commentary said. Never would have occurred to me in a thousand years. This is the beauty of a commentary, teachers. This is the beauty of it. People have been given the gift of knowledge and believe in the Word of God. And what he said, it was out of "The New International Commentary of the New Testament" on the Gospel of Luke.
He makes this comparison, and he doesn't say a lot about it. I was wanting him to write on and on and on and on. He just makes the point and moves on, but he says that there are similarities between Luke 5:1 through 11 and Isaiah 6:1 through 10. There's epiphany, there's reaction, there's reassurance, and there's commission. Well, I'm just like freaked out because I'm starting to think to myself, "You know, this is the same Jesus". This is the same one. Isaiah saw him, and this is the same Jesus that is in the boat, and so what I began to do is I just started, just kinda let my mind imagine the difference between the two.
And I just did a little bit of creative thinking just for this parallel between 'em, just to see if we can make the point, so just go here with me for a moment, just making a little parallel between Isaiah 6 and Luke 5, Isaiah's calling and Peter's calling. Isaiah 6:1 the prophet Isaiah wrote, "In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord seated on the throne, high and exalted; and the train of his robe filled the temple".
Now, here's what I want you to do with me. I want you to picture that when I stand over here, I'm gonna be talking from Isaiah's point of view; and when I stand over here, I'm gonna be talking from Peter's point of view. So, who is this? Who's this? One more time. And so, this is what Isaiah saw. Well, Peter, he might have been able to say it more like this, "In the year A.D. 30 or thereabout, I saw the Lord with people packed around him, listening to the Word of God. And all at once he was seated in a boat, a little from the shore, and the train of his robe filled the floorboard. And suddenly", Peter might've said it like this, "it seemed like it was just the two of us, and he told me to put out into the deep and let down my nets, after I'd fished all night and caught exactly nothing. But because he said so, I did so. And, lo and behold, two boats could not contain the haul of fish, and I looked at him and I wondered what manner of man was seated there in the boat, the train of his robe filling the floorboard".
But what Peter's eyes, perhaps, were shielded from seeing was that, as surely as Christ is God, on that very day in the deep there were above that same Jesus seated in the boat seraphs, each with six wings. With two they did cover their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And though Peter's ears were unable to hear, as surely as Christ is God, right there above that boat were seraphs calling to one another, "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty. The whole earth is full of his glory".
Back to Isaiah chapter 6. The prophet cried out, "Woe is me! For I am ruined; for I'm a man of unclean lips; and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty". When Simon Peter saw the sight before him, he fell at Jesus's knees and said, "Go away from me, Lord. I am a sinful man". Then one of the seraphs flew to Isaiah with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar, and Isaiah wrote of that event. "With it he touched my mouth and said, 'See, this has touched your lips, and your guilt is taken away, and your sins atoned for.' Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, 'Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?'"
Peter and all his companions were astonished, and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee. Then Jesus said to Simon, "Don't be afraid. From now on you will be catchers of men". And in Isaiah 6:8 the prophet said, "Here am I! Send me". And on Peter's side over here in Luke 5, verse 11, Peter, James, and John pulled up their boats to the shore, left everything, and followed him. And one of these, the very youngest of all three, would take his pen to paper and write these words, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only. Holy, holy, holy the whole earth is full of his glory".
Did Jesus not humble himself with a cloak of human flesh and blood for that exact reason? Beloved, this is who your calling is from. This is your Jesus. Any other Jesus is not the real Jesus. This Jesus seated on the throne is the one who came here, that literally took no beauty upon himself, which I find stunning in Isaiah 53. There was nothing about him that anyone would have desired him, as far as what his appearance was like. Do you realize his beauty will be so full of splendor when he comes back that it will be painful to see? Painful, people will look upon him, and they will mourn over his gorgeousness and his splendor and his glory. This is our Jesus. This is the one that allowed himself to be spit upon, to have his beard pulled, to be mocked, to be stripped, to be beaten beyond recognition, the prophet said at the very end of Isaiah chapter 52. That is our God, this is Jesus.
Got up from that throne, came and wrapped himself in flesh. That is the same Jesus. The same one who called Isaiah is calling your name. He's got a job for you. He's got a place for you to go. This is not us just sitting cross-legged. This is us getting busy with the global gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, because once people realize this is what Jesus will do for you, what you cannot do for yourself and what no one can do for you, that the Spirit of God would move upon them, and they would respond. Do you remember in Hebrews chapter 12 where the writer of Hebrews, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, said that, "We have come to Mount Zion, to the joyful assembly, to righteous spirits made perfect, to the church of the living God"?
This is what we come to. This is what we come to. And too, if you remember, at the very top of that mountain to a blood that speaks a better Word than the blood of Abel. Do you remember the story of Abel back in Genesis chapter 4? If you're unfamiliar with it, you've gotta look it up because it's so intriguing, because Cain kills his brother, Abel. And God says to him, "What have you done? Because the blood of Abel cries out from the ground to me". The blood of Abel cried out, "Vengeance. Punishment. Vindication. Go get him. Paybacks", until there was the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Whatever has shaken you up, the cross of Christ has come to pay for every single failure, every single poor decision. All of our fallenness, all of our brokenness on one cross, through one act on Calvary, all of our sins, carried. Somebody needs to know that today.