James Merritt - Knowing God
There's very few people you just mention his last name and everybody knows immediately who you're talking about. And one of those names may be at the top of the list, outside of Jesus, 'cause that's not his last name, would be Einstein. You mention Einstein, almost everybody, "Oh, I know you're talking about Albert Einstein". Who to this day is universally recognized as one of the most brilliant, smartest people who ever lived. They did not measure IQ back in his day, but scientists and other people who do these kind of studies estimate, his IQ was at least 170. He single handedly created modern physics, which revolves around two theories that he both developed, the Theory of Relativity and the Theory of Quantum Mechanics.
When he was 11-years-old, he was studying college physics. The man was absolutely brilliant. But he made a statement about God that makes me both glad and sad at the same time. Because the Bible actually affirms the first part of what he said about God. But the Bible also strongly disavows, the second part. Now here's the first thing Einstein said, "Certainly there's a God. Any man who doesn't believe in a cosmic force is a fool". Well, that's not original. King David wrote the same thing, 2,500 years before Einstein was born. David said, "The fool says in his heart, there is no God".
By the way, if you wanna know all that the Bible has to say about atheism, there it is, you're done. God says to the person, "You know what? If you don't even have enough sense to believe somebody made all this and you don't believe in me, you are a fool". Well, Einstein said that. He says, "You don't believe in a cosmic force, you are a fool". But then he went on to say this, "But we could never know him". Now, that is not only catastrophically wrong, it is incredibly sad. What good does it do to believe in a God you can't know? Why does it matter? Who cares if there's a God who cares? If there's a creator? Who cares if somebody may this?
If I don't know him, I don't know if he knows me, I don't know if he cares about me, I don't know if he loves me, I don't know if he has a plan for my life. He said, "You can never know God". Well, the good news is if this book is true, we can know God. As a matter of fact, God created a world so that we could know what he's made. God gave us a book so we could know what he's done. And God gave us a son so we could know who he is. So we really can know God. But that brings us to the man, we've been studying for the last several weeks, a man named Moses. I don't mind telling you, this is me, I'm not trying to break on myself, I'm trying to brag on Moses in this book.
I don't know that I've done anything more, richer, that's been more of a blessing to me than this series, we call, "Red Sea Moments". What I've been trying to tell you is, even though Moses lived 3,500 years ago, he was just like us. He had faults, he had failures. He had good points, he had bad points. Sometimes he did the right thing, sometimes he didn't. Sometimes he kept his cool, sometimes he lost his temper. Sometimes he was patient, sometimes he was not. Sometimes he was encouraging, sometimes he was discouraging. But of all the things about Moses, the reason why I love Moses, and the reason why Moses is such a blessing to me, because there's one thing that you really see when you study this man's life, and that is, Moses knew God. He knew God in a way, I want to know God.
And to be honest with you as we study, and by the way, if you brought a copy of God's word, we're in the second book of the Bible, the book for Exodus, we're in chapter 33. And in 33rd chapter of the book of Exodus, Moses makes a statement to God that you can make right now to God. And what Moses asked God to do, that God did, you can ask God to do, and God will do for you. Here's what he said. He said, "God, if you're pleased with me, teach me your ways, so I may know you and continue to find favor with you". Moses said, you're talking about an audacious request. Moses goes to the creator of this universe. Moses goes to the God that put you in your seat. Moses goes to the God that gives you the breath that's in your lungs. And Moses says, "I wanna know you. I wanna know you personally. I wanna know you intimately. I wanna know you like nobody else has ever known you".
And son of a gun, God gives him his request. God says, "Okay, you wanna know me? I'll let you know me". So here's the question of the day. The question I want to ask you today is this. Do you know God? Now don't blow that off. Don't sit there, just say, "Oh yeah, sure I know God". The question is not, do you know about God? The question is not, do you believe in God? The question I'm asking is, do you know God personally? And how well do you know him? I wanna talk about knowing God. I want you understand clearly what I mean when I talk about knowing God. You know, there are three ways you can know anything, I dunno if you know this or not, but if there are three ways, you can know anything. One is by observation.
You know, you learn just by, and by the way, that's the simplest kind of knowledge, you watch, you look and you observe. For example, little children, you don't have to teach a child to believe in God. A child just normally will believe in God. Even a child will eventually look at all that's out there and they'll go, "Somebody made this, this didn't just happen. There must be a God out there". Just like you can look at a car and you look at a car and you say, "Okay, I know somewhere there, car manufacturer". You look at a house, "Okay, I know somewhere, there's a builder that built that house". So you can learn by observation. But that's incredibly limited. That's one way. There's a second way you learn. That's by education.
So you learn by investigating, rationalizing, thinking, studying. Here's a good example. Take somebody that says, "Hey, have you ever been to Atlanta"? They say, "Well, no, I've never been to Atlanta, but I know a lot about Atlanta". "Really, what do you know"? "Well, I do know that hell on earth is traffic at three o'clock in the afternoon, I know that. And I do know that Atlanta Braves are the world champion, and I do know Peachtree Street is kind of one of the happening streets. And I do know about the Fox Theater". And I, "Well, how do you know that"? "'Cause I did my homework, I got on the internet, I read a book, I studied about Atlanta".
So even though you've never been to Atlanta, you can know a lot about Atlanta. But that's not what I mean by knowing God. I'm not talking about observation. Yeah, I see, I believe there's a God, he made all this. I don't even mean by education, "Well, I've kind of read about God". No, the best way to know something, and the third way, is what I call participation. That's when you have this personal experience. When I'm talking about knowing God, I'm not talking about just observing God or trying to learn about God, I'm talking about, do you really know God? So I wanna give you this thought. I wanna ask you a question to give you this thought. One of these days, we're all going to meet God face to face. One of these, we are all going to meet God face to face.
Here's my question. The God that you're going to meet face to face, do you know heart to heart? I don't wanna face this God, I don't know. And I don't wanna face this God that really doesn't know me like I want him to know me. So the question is not, am I gonna meet God face to face? Do I know God, heart to heart? 'Cause there are two ways you can know God, you can know God casually or you can know God intimately. You say, "Okay, Pastor, what's the difference"? Here's the difference. If you know God casually, you know God, by his works, you know God by what he's done or what he can do. But when you know God intimately, you don't just know his works, you know his ways, you know how he acts, you know how he responds, you know how he wants you to live. You see him for who he really is.
So here's what I'm gonna learn today, this is a great thought for us today, listen, you can personally go to a God that you intimately know. You can personally go to a God that you intimately know. And here's why, and some of you, if the shoe fits, wear it. There are a lot of people out there, you know what I call them, I call them God name droppers, they name drop God. "Oh yeah, I believe in God. Sure, I believe in the man upstairs. Oh yeah, I believe in the God of the Old Testament". You know, they're name dropping God. Let me tell you something. There's a difference, there is a huge difference between name dropping God and knowing the God that you name.
So the question is what does it mean to know God? And how do you come to know God? And what happens when we do? We're in Exodus 33, and we'll say three quick things, we'll be done. You ready? Number one, knowing God feeds on intimate communication. Knowing God feeds on intimate communication. Now, if you wanna get to know me, lemme tell you what you gotta do if you wanna get to know me, you gotta spend time with me. Most of you don't know me. It's not your fault, we just don't get to spend much time together. That's okay, you know me when you know, you know Sunday morning, James, you don't know Monday morning, James, right.
In fact, if you really want to get to know me, I got some people out here who know this, go with me to a Georgia football game. You'll really get to. You'll see me in a way you'll never see me up here. Am I right, Wayne? You'll get to know me and you'll say, "You're a man of God". "I am, but this is the way I act at a football game, this is who I am". Right? You spend time with people, you make it. See if you wanna know somebody, you've gotta make it a priority to get to know anybody, including God. Well, you know what, that's exactly what Moses did. Watch what he did.
"Now Moses used to take a tent and pitch it outside the camp some distance away, calling it, the tent of meeting. Anyone in inquiring of the Lord would go to the tent of meeting outside the camp. And whenever went out to the tent, all the people rose and stood at the entrances to their tents, watching Moses until he entered the tent. As Moses went into the tent, the pillar of cloud would come down and stay at the entrance while the Lord spoke with Moses. Whenever the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance to the tent, they all stood and worshiped, each at the entrance to their tent".
Moses, every day, would go outside the camp and he would build this tent. As matter of fact, three times, we're told, it was outside the camp, it was a long way away. He got it away from everybody. And I'll tell you notice, I want you to notice something. He called it the tent of meeting. And I find that so interesting. Why did he call it the tent of meeting? Because he knew what he was going to do and they knew what he was going to do. When Moses went into the tent of meeting, those people knew two things, he's going in here to meet with God and he means business. He's getting away from everybody. He's getting away from everything. And as I've thought about this, I've changed my thinking about something.
I used to call my time with the Lord, that I have every day, doing devotions, or having a quiet time. And then I read this passage and I thought, you know what? That's not right. Said, "What do you mean"? Anybody can do devotions. A Buddhist can do devotions. A Hindu can do devotions. And the quiet time, people who practice yoga can have a quiet time. You can put earplugs in, close your eyes and have a quiet time. So I've changed my whole thinking. Here's what I now call what I do with God. Every morning, I have a meeting with God. I've got a tent of meeting. And I go in to meet with God.
And here's what I do. I turn off my cell phone, I shut my computer down. I put everything in everyone aside. I go into this tent with an open heart and I'll say, God, I'm gonna give you what I know you're giving me right now. I'm giving you my I full attention. I am giving you my full concentration, 'cause you'll listen. You will never come to know God, this is what breaks the pastor's heart, you will never come to know God just by coming to hear me preach about God. If all you ever do is come to hear me preach about God, you will never ever know God. You'll never get to know God, just hearing sermons of about God. You'll never get to know God just by reading books on how to know God.
If you wanna know anybody, you gotta spend time with them. You've gotta give them their full attention. You've gotta have that intimate communication. Give your good example. Of all the people on this planet, the person that knows me better than 50 people put together is that lady right there. Nobody knows me better than Theresa, nobody. You know why? Because for 45 years, we have spent four and a half decades together in intimate communication, talking with each other, being with each other, seeing the good points, seeing the bad points, seeing the faults, seeing the sexes, seeing the failures. She's done that. I know her better than anybody knows her. She knows me better because we spend time together. We've done it for four and a half decades.
I give you a great illustration. If you've ever been in a recording sound booth, and I've been in a recording sound booth before, it's a really pretty cool deal. You can take a sound booth, a recording sound booth, you can put it right beside I-85, at the busiest intersection in Atlanta, Georgia. It doesn't matter how many cars are rushing by, doesn't matter how many trucks are blowing their horns, doesn't matter how many sirens are going off, when you're in that sound booth, the only thing you can hear is what's coming through those headphones.
You ought to have a sound booth somewhere in your home, where you get away from everything and you get away from everybody and you get alone with God and you say, "Lord, I here to meet with you. And I need you to meet with me. And the only sound that I want to hear is the sound of your voice. And the only thing I wanna listen to is what you've got to speak to me and say to me, as I read your word". Because in this incredible tent of meeting, we read this incredible verse, watch this, "The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, face to face, as one speaks to a friend". You're sitting there you say, "Well, I can't talk to God face to face". You absolutely can talk to God face to face. I did this morning.
So what do you mean? I got three things that help me speak to God face to face. I've got the scripture, I've got the spirit and I've got the son. We come into his presence through his son. We hear his voice when we read God's word and the spirit of God speaks to our heart. But here's the point I'm making, if you want to get to know God, you gotta give God a chance to speak to you. You've gotta give God a chance to talk to you. You've gotta give God a chance to spend that time when you're that pre, I mean that unbelievable time where you're just saying, "I just wanna speak to you. And I want to hear from you".
That's where knowing God begins. It feeds. It feeds on intimate communication. Then, knowing God breeds intentional preoccupation. It breeds intentional. Tell you what I mean by that. You remember how, if you were here last week, we were in chapter 32, remember what happened? Israel got tired of waiting on God because he was up on the mountain top meeting with God, so they make this golden calf and they become our dollars, and they put God to the side and they start worshiping this golden calf. Call it whatever you wanna call it. They gave God the finger. They slapped God in the face. They kicked God out the door. Well, that's what happened in chapter 32. And God had to deal with that. Now we going to chapter 33, the chapter we're in now, and this is the way the chapter begins.
Now watch this, "Then the Lord said to Moses, leave this place, you and the people you brought up out of Egypt, go up to the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob saying, I will give it to your descendants. I will send an angel before you. I will drive out the Canaanites, Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites". Even the termites, I'm gonna drive 'em all out, they're all gonna be gone. "Go up to the land flowing with milk and honey". Now watch this, "But I won't be going. I will not go with you because you're a stiff-necked people and I might destroy you on the way". Now draw real close, listen. God's had enough. He's fed up. Moses has made a promise to the children of Israel, "I'm gonna get you to the promise land. We're gonna get you there".
God made a promise, he's gonna keep it. I made a promise, I'm gonna keep it. But here's what God said to the people of Israel. He said, "Tell you what I'm gonna do. I'm gonna give you my provision. I'm gonna give you my protection. You're gonna make it. I promised you I'd get you there, I don't break my promise, I don't lie, I do keep my word, I'm gonna get you where I told you I'd get you, but you'll go by yourself. I am not going with you. You will not have my presence".
Now, here's what I want you to hear. And this may be the most important thing I say in this message to you. It is a scary thing to be satisfied with God's provision and God's protection, but not care about God's presence. You have what you have right now. I have what I have right now because God provided it to you. You made it to church today, safely. You're sitting in that chair right now. You're breathing right now because God protected you. But it's a scary thing to say, "I'm cool with that because that's all I need". And my question is this, just be honest, how many people are satisfied? They're saved, you're saved. You've been forgiven. You have eternal life. You're going to heaven when you die. You're gonna spend eternity with God and you are satisfied with that.
And you just don't really care, day to day, that you spend time with God. I'm just asking a question. If it ever occurs to you that you ought to be more concerned with his presence than you are with his provision. You ought to be more concerned with his presence than you are with his protection. 'Cause let me tell you what, can I tell you what's true? There were a bunch of people in those Israelites that would've said this, "You mean we get to go to Canaan"? "Yeah". "You mean we get to drink the milk and eat the honey"? "Yes". "You mean you're gonna drive out all of our enemies"? "Yes". "But you're just not coming with us". "No, I'm not coming with us".
You know what they'd have said? "We're down with that. We're cool with that. 'Cause you know what? I just want my big bank account and I just want my car and I just want my house and I want my jewelry and I want my health and I wanna be happy. And if you just wanna sit it out and you don't wanna come along with a ride, that's okay". So now we have to ask this really, I have to ask, this really tough question. Am I more in love with all that God has given me or that God has given me all that I have? Let me let that settle for a minute. Am I'm more in love with all that God has given me or the God that has given me all that I have? "God, you just keep providing and you just keep protecting. And otherwise you can just sit my life out. I don't really need your presence. I don't crave your presence. I don't desire your presence".
In other words, how many of you are content with the blessing, whether or not you have the blesser? I have a big fear, every time I walk onto this platform, every Sunday, my biggest fear, it's not that I'll forget my message, 'cause I've got notes. I know some of you say, "I wish you didn't have it, I wish you'd forget it, we'd get out earlier". Well, I'm not gonna do that. Can I tell you my biggest fear? Is I'll get up here and preach in my flesh and my power and not have the presence of God on my life. That's my biggest fear. Not to have the presence of God. And my simple question is this, if there is anything, listen to me, if there is anything right now, that's more dear to you and more precious to you and more important to you, than having the presence of God in your life, you don't know God, you don't know God.
I mean, do you really want, listen, do you really want God to be with you every moment of your life, in you say and everything you do and everywhere that you go? See here's where we are. We get on an airplane, I'm gonna get on an airplane tomorrow, I gotta fly to Kentucky, I'll be gone, preaching at Kentucky Baptist Convention, I'll be back Tuesday. So I gotta get on a plane tomorrow. Can I be honest? I want God on that plane. If I didn't think God's on that plane, I am I getting on that plane. And when I get it, when I take off, I always pray, Lord put an angel on that wing and an angel on this wing.
If you've ever been into surgery, and I've been in surgery, if you ever been into surgery, you want God in that operating room. You want God's hand on that doctor. I get that. But how many times do we see things and say things and we go to places and we say to God, "Sit this one out. I'm gonna leave you in a separate room and shut the door. You just wait until I get back". I was reading the other day, you'll love this, about a Navy officer. And he had made his first trip on a destroyer across the ocean. He'd gone through all this rigorous training and it came time to take the destroyer out of the harbor and bring it back to America.
Well, it was his first time to ever do it, he wanted to do it right. He stayed up all night, he did his homework. He looked at everything he was supposed to do. So he gets up the next morning, he's barking commands. And he's telling people to do this and do that. And I mean, everything's just working like clockwork and he's making this very difficult maneuver of taking the destroyer out of the harbor. And he does it without a hitch. So this big destroyer safely out of the harbor and he's feeling pretty good about himself. And they're making record time when one of the sailors came to the officer and he said, "Sir, you have a message from the captain". He thought that's kind of strange, 'cause it was a radio message. This is what the captain said, "Young man, you've done an excellent job. You've done it with great speed. You've done it according to the book. But there's one unwritten rule, you have overlooked, the next time you leave, don't ever leave without the captain on board".
How many times do we get up every morning, pull out of the harbor of our house, head into the open seas of another day and leave the captain behind? I don't care how wise your plans are, how much ability you have. I don't care how sure you are that you know you're going, or you know where you've been, you better make sure the captain's on board. Matter of fact, you better make sure he's the pilot of the ship. You better make sure God is with you. Now, listen, this is what Moses said, listen to this, "Then Moses said to him, if your presence doesn't go with us, do not send us up from here. How will anyone know that you're pleased with me and with your people, unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth"?
You know what Moses said? "I couldn't care less about your provision and I couldn't care less about your protection, if I can't have your presence". 'Cause Moses had learned in effect, "I'm not going anywhere without you. I'll stay right here in the desert but I'm not taking another step without you". Because see Moses knew something that we're still learning. He knew there's nothing, listen, nothing, not a place, not a possession, not a pleasure, nor any other person, there's nothing that can satisfy you without God, nothing. And so to put it the way a country boy would put it, let me put it this way. What Moses was saying was this, You're better off in the outhouse with God than in the penthouse without God.
Now you're better off in the penthouse with God, just to be clear. But you're better off in the outhouse with God, than in the penthouse without God. If anything is more important, more better, more dear to you than having the presence of God in your life and knowing God's owning your life, you don't know God. There's a prayer I pray every day. Theresa knows what it is. Is this prayer, I pray it every day. And as I get to the close of my prayer, this is one of the things I say, Lord today, maximize my desire for you and minimize my desire for anything else. Maximize my desire for you, minimize my desire for anything else.
Now notice what the Lord said to Moses, this will bless you. The Lord replied, "My presence will go with you and I'll give you rest". You know what that literally says in the Hebrew language? Can I tell you, it's so beautiful? He said, "My face will go with you. My face will go with you". You can't get any closer than when someone's walking beside you and their face to face. He said, "Moses, my face will go with you". 'Cause when you're walking with God and you are preoccupied with God's presence in your life, he says, "I'll give you rest". You say, "What do you mean, he'll give you rest"? You can walk out of your house every day and know, I've got a God that will tell me what to do. I've got a God that will show me where to go. I've got a God that when a time comes, he will teach me what to say and he'll take me where I to go.
See, knowing God breeds, this intentional preoccupation, God, I don't need anything else, but I do need you. Now watch this. Here's the ice cream, here's the cherry on the cream. God says, "Tell you what, if you really wanna know me, when you have this preoccupation with me, you really, really want me, and you've got this communication with me, you're really spending time to get to know me". He says, okay, knowing God leads to intense revelation. God says, "Okay, here's what I'm going to do for you". 'Cause now the best is yet to come, right? Moses said, "Lord, I wanna know you". He said, "Okay, Moses, I'm gonna let you know me". He's seen the works of God, but he wanted to know the ways of God. And there was only one thing he needed to see and experience.
You know what he said? He said, "Here's how I'm gonna know God, here's how I'm gonna know that I really know you, here's the kicker, I'm gonna see your glory". So look what God says to him, "Then Moses said". Now what's this. "Now show me your glory. 'Cause that's all I want. I don't need the house, I don't need the cars. I don't need the jury, don't need the 401k. Don't need the bank account, don't need the money. Show me your glory". I read somewhere the other day, somebody said this and I think it's so true. "What people pray for is a great indication of what they live for". What people pray for is a great indication of what they live for.
What people pray for show you what's really important in their life. And for Moses, he said, "There is nothing more important to me, God, I want you to show me your glory". And I am absolutely convinced, the longer I follow God, the closer I get to God, the better I know God, the more I love God, the greater will my desire to see two things. I wanna see the glory of God and I wanna see God glorified. That's what I wanna see. I wanna see the glory of God and God glorified. Because you know, there are only two beings in the universe that don't care about the glory of God, you know that, right? There are only two beings in the universe don't care about the glory of God, fallen men and fallen angels, that's it. Fallen men, they don't care about the glory of God. Fallen angels, they don't care about the glory of God.
That's why they're going to inhabit a place called hell. Because you know what hell is, let me tell you what hell is? Forget the fire and the brimstone, all that. I'm not worried about all that. Put all that aside. Here's what hell is, hell is when you are absolutely completely, totally, permanently, eternally out of the presence of God. Because if you're living your life right now and you say, "You stay in your place, you stay put, you stay where you are. I'm gonna run my life. I do not want you in my life". God says, "Okay, I'm gonna give you what you want forever. You don't want me around, I'm not gonna gonna be around. You'll have not have any presence of me in your life". 'Cause God's not gonna force his glory on anybody. But if you want his glory, he'll fellowship with you. If you want his glory, he'll show it to you. If you want his glory, you will see it.
Now let me just make sure you understand something about the glory of God, a lot of you misunderstand. Yes, we ought to give God glory. And I don't make you think you should, we should. But let me also clarify something, in a way you don't really give God glory. You just recognize the glory that God already has. God is a glorious God, whether you glorify him or not. God is a glorified God, whether you praise him or not. God is a glorified God, whether you worship him or not. You know judges take on their glory when they put on their robe. Police officers take on their glory when they put on their badge. Generals take on their glory when they put on their uniform. But God doesn't just have glory. God is glorious.
And when you give God glory, you're not giving God something he doesn't have to, you give it to him, you're just recognizing what he already has. And the point is this, what Moses had to learn from God, was this, "Moses, you wanna see my glory"? "Yes, Lord, I wanna see it". "You really wanna see it"? "Yes, God I do". God says, "Okay, Moses, I gotta reveal it to you. You can't see my glory on your own. You don't get this out of the book or a classroom. You have to get it from me because only the God of glory can show us the glory of God". So here's what we read. Watch's this, we'll wrap this up, "And the Lord said I'll cause all my goodness to pass in front of you. And I'll proclaim my name, the Lord in your presence. I'll have mercy on whom I'll have mercy and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. But, he said, you cannot see my face for no one can see me and live".
What he mean by that? Well, you can't see God. I can't. If you were to see God right now, you die. You can't see God and live. You can't see God directly. You can't see the glory of God directly right now. But here's the good news. We can see a manifestation of God's glory. We can see reflections of God's. You say, "What do you mean"?
Let me give you an illustration. I've never thought about this until I did this message and I don't know where I've read it. There is one face that you have never directly seen in your life. There is one face, not only that you've never directly seen, you can't please see it. You know whose face that is? Yours. I've never seen my face directly. I've seen it in a mirror. I've seen it in a snapshot or picture. But you can do for my face, what I can't even do for my own. Wayne, you can see my face directly, I can see yours. But you can't see your face and I can't see mine. And that's just way it is with the glory of God. We can't see, we don't, listen, it's gonna blow your mind the first time you see God. And you're gonna say, "I didn't know you were that glory".
It's gonna be unbelievable. But to give us a foretaste, you know what God does for us on this planet, he lets us see glimpses of his glory. "Like gimme an example". You say. The birth of a baby. That's the glory of God. When that sunrise comes over of that ocean, that's the glory of God. When you see a person who goes from darkness to light and from blindness to sight and from a life that is wrong to a life that is right, that's the glory of God.
When you see someone come down, as they came down to me at 9:15 this morning, we gonna have a prayer time, we're gonna do it today, a couple whose marriage was shot, they were done. She was leaving the next day. And one of our staff and I went to their apartment about four months ago, and led her husband to Christ. And when she came up to me, this morning, she actually came, 'cause she's got a hip problem, she wanted me to pray for her hip. She came up to me and she said, I'll call his name Sam, you wouldn't know who it is, but she said, "Pastor for the past four months, Sam and I are the happiest we have ever been in our marriage. God has changed our home". You know what that is? That's a reflection of the glory of God.
So I wanna wrap this up. We're just, we're done. I just want you to be honest. And I've never done a message, I had to get more honest with myself, James, than this one. Am I just satisfied with the gifts of God, and don't really care that much about the God who gives the gifts? Do I just have a desire for the guidance of God, but once I get the guidance of God, God can sit it all out? Is all I care about is the goodness of God? And I just wanna make sure you keep me healthy, you keep me strong, don't let the economy affect me. Or is my greatest desire of what it ought to be, and that is, God, I just want you to be glorified in my life. And I wanna see that glory every single day in my life.
So as we wrap this up, you may be sitting there thinking, "Yeah, here's my problem, I'm not Moses". I know that. "And see, I'll never get to experience the things that Moses did". Well, yes and no. No, we're not gonna part a Red Sea. And no, we're never gonna see manna fall from heaven. And no, we're not gonna speak to a rock and water's gonna come out. Nope, that's not going to happen. But we can do things and experience things greater than Moses did. Say, "What do you mean"? Well, because of the son of God, we're not just friends with God, we're a part of the family of God. Because of the son of God, I just don't talk to God like a friend talks to a friend. I got up this morning and talk to God like a son talks to a dad. Just because of the son of God. Because of the word of God.
I can hear the voice of God in a way that Moses couldn't even dream about. And he speaks to me every single day in FM stereo. And because of the spirit of God, I don't just have a God that's walking with me to the promised land, I've got a God that lives in me while I'm going to the promised land. So, the last lesson, the greatest lesson that this great man, called Moses teaches us, is real simple. And you'll realize this one day, when you come to the end of your life. There is nothing greater, there is nothing better, there is nothing sweeter than knowing God. And you can know him through his son, who died and came back from the grave, so we could.
Would you pray with me right now? Just for a moment with heads bowed and eyes closed, let me tell you what we're about to do a moment. When we were planning this service, we thought, you know, not only is there a God that knows us and we can know, but there's a God that cares about us and loves us. So when I finished this little brief time of invitation, let me tell you what we're about to do. It was so sweet at 9:15, and I pray God to do the same thing here.
I want you to imagine we built a tent, down here in front of this altar. There's a tent down here. We're gonna call it the tent of meeting. There are many of you in this room right now and you're carrying a burden by yourself, and we don't want you to do that anymore. It may be a physical illness that you're battling. It may be a bad marriage you're in. It may be with prodigal children. It may be, you've got a financial need, you need a job and you hadn't got one. It may be a mountain of depression that you keep trying to climb and you can't get over it. It may be because of an addiction or a particular sin, you just can't seem to get defeat, can't get victory. In just a moment, I'm gonna ask some people to come, our staff and some volunteers gonna be down here and I'm gonna be down here, and I'm gonna invite you to come and let us pray for you. You should have seen the Al the alt down here at 9:15, it was unbelievable.
Now to do that, you gotta swallow your pride. 'Cause what you'll think is, "Well if I go down there, they're gonna wonder what's wrong with me". You don't need to worry about that. Please give us number one, the opportunity to get under a burden with you. By the way, when you come to the, those of you who will come, whatever you say here stays here. We don't share with anything with anybody. But I'm inviting you today to come to a tent of meeting where God is ready to meet with you, and God's ready to do the work in your life. And God's ready to answer your questions and solve your problems and get involved in that situation. And let us bear that burden with you.
Now to know God, you have to know his son. You can't know the Father if you don't know the son. And Jesus Christ died on the cross and came back from the grave so that you could know him, his Father and his spirit, that's why he came. And if you don't know Jesus, you don't know God. So I'm going to ask you today, I'm gonna ask you today, if you've never trusted Christ, just to say something like this:
Lord, I realize now I know about you, I believe in you, but I don't know you personally. 'Cause I've never come to faith in Christ. I'm a sinner and I've never been able to get to you before. Now I know Lord, I need a savior. And I believe Jesus, you're that savior. I believe you died for my sins. I believe God raised you from the dead. I believe you're alive right now. And I ask you right now to become my Lord and my savior.