Robert Morris - The Foundation of Abandonment
So we're in a series called The Four Living Creatures. It's something that I know you've been wanting to hear for years. I will say it's kind of fun, don't you think? Just say it anyway. Just, Yeah Pastor Robert, it's fun. Okay. And were these four living creatures are in Revelation and in Ezekiel. And there are four creatures and each creature has four faces: the face of a man, an ox, an eagle, and a lion. And they follow the Spirit. Wherever the Spirit goes, the creature goes, but it never turns, it goes in that direction with that face then facing wherever the Spirit is going. But the other thing it does is it goes higher and higher. That's what we're told. It's lifted up. So God takes us higher in our understanding of certain things in scripture. And so we talked about the man, and the man represents Jesus, the Son of Man. Jesus himself referred to himself in the gospels 82 times as the Son of Man.
Now some of those are repeats, but he still decided to put it in there in those four books, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, 82 times. So Jesus is the Son of Man. The face of the man refers to the man. Some people will say it refers to righteousness because it's Jesus. Some will say holiness. I used it to say grace. Some say grace and truth. Here's the point. I know it refers to Jesus, so it refers to everything Jesus is. But what I believe God is doing during this series is highlighting an aspect of each face to take us higher as a church. And he is zeroing us in. For instance, when I talked about grace, I could have said, I'm going to preach on grace, and subconsciously, some of you might've had a little moment to think, Well, I know about grace, Pastor Robert. And then...
All of us can have this. All of us can drift during a message. Our drift during a conversation with our... Nevermind. Alright, so but all of us can drift, okay? I was going to say spouse, and I thought that's probably not a good illustration. But the point is, because God zeroed us in on something in that first message, it was own giving ourselves grace for failures after we've been saved. It was like, it kept us all engaged. It was like, Wow, I hadn't thought about that.
So then last week I talked about the ox. The ox represents servanthood, and yet God took us to a specific part of servanthood, which is humility. I would like to say this, and I think he's taking us higher in our area of servanthood and humility. But I want you to think about this. You could be serving someone like a boss or someone in your life, but you're actually serving yourself, because that person has the power to promote you, or give you a raise or give you a good review. So even though you're serving that person, you might kind of be serving yourself. Well, what humility does is it takes us to what Jesus did. Jesus served us not to be served. He had no ulterior motive. So that's what he's trying to. So it's taking us somewhere differently, taking us somewhere deeper and higher.
So this week we're going to talk about the eagle, and the eagle represents worship, but the Lord zeroed me in on a word that, I've never used this word to talk about worship before. So this week, the title of the message is The Foundation of Abandonment. Abandonment. And I like to read through the Bible every year and I'm reading it through The Message right now, and I was in, I read in Psalm 40. And it's a famous passage in New King James, New Living Translation NIV, ESV about God has put a new song in my mouth. Many will hear it and fear and trust in the Lord. Talking about abandoning ourselves to God. But here's what The Message says, alright.
Psalm 40 verse three. "He taught me how to sing the latest God-song, a praise-song to our God. More and more people are seeing this: they enter the mystery, abandoning themselves to God". They enter the mystery, abandoning themselves, that'd be full trust, to God. This went off in me like I can't even tell you. And I hope it can go off in you. This is what worship is. A lot of people in worship, in the worship portion of the service, where we're singing, a lot of people sing, but don't abandon themselves to God. In other words, you come in in control, and you leave in control. You go into your quiet time in control and you leave in control. You have not worshiped if you don't abandon control of your life to God. That's worship. That's an encounter with God, when you abandon yourself.
Let me give you a little bit of a couple of Miriam-Webster Dictionary definitions. "Abandon means to give up with the intent of never again claiming a right or interest..". Like you abandon property or you abandon ship. You abandon. But here's another definition from Webster's, "To give up to the control or influence of another person or agent". "To give up to the control of another person". Okay. So I'm telling you, you need to abandon yourself... to God. Because see, here's what we'd say: Well, Pastor Robert, if I don't take care of myself, who will? Well, I understand there's the aspect of taking care of ourselves. I understand one of the fruits of the Spirit is self-control. I understand that. But that's something that the Holy Spirit produces in us when we give up control, when we abandon ourselves, have you ever thought about this? Like you're here, and you're going to abandon yourself. You're going to walk away from yourself, but you're doing it because you're letting Jesus now take care of you.
I'm telling you, people miss this, And they listen to worship music in their homes, and they sing a few songs on the weekends, but they're still in control. You haven't worshiped unless you've abandoned yourself to God. By the way, this is where true peace and joy come from. Worry, fear, anxiety, depression, sadness. That's when you're in control. When God's in control, you're fine. You're great. So, why wouldn't people abandon themselves more? And again this is, in the Hebrew this comes from this word, trust. Many will see it and trust. They'll put their trust in the Lord. Okay, so why wouldn't we trust God? Well, let's say it another way. How can we trust God more? Because we do trust God, but how can we trust God more? Well, we have to know his character more, because the more we know his character, the more we can trust him.
So what I want to do and this message, this is gonna shock you. I have three points. Okay? So I heard about a church where they got pretty upset because the pastor tried to squeeze a fourth point in on them. And they didn't like that at all. So I've got three points, obviously. All good messages have three points because we have a triune God, so it's it represents trinity. So, by the way I was just thinking, Joakim, it's good to see you. Will you just stand up for a minute? I just forgot. Joakim from Sweeden is here. He preached here about a year ago. Will you turn around and just say hi to everyone? I love you. I was just thinking when he came to preach, he said, I've got three points, so that was good. So, alright. So how can we trust? So what I'm going to do is I'm going to take the three omnis, O-M-N-I the three omnis, and show us if we understand these character traits of God, it's easy to trust him more. It's easy to give him control.
First one: Omnipotence. The omnipotence of God. The word omni means all. Potence means powerful. Power. God has all power. He's omnipotent power. He's all all potent. He has all power. So God has... It's not just that he has some power. It's not just that he has most power. He has all power. And when it dawns on you that he has all power, then you can give him control. When I thought about a biblical illustration for each of these, I thought about Abraham when God asked him to sacrifice his son. And here's what Hebrews tells us. He said, Abraham did it knowing, concluding is the way it says it, that God was even able to raise him from the dead. So the way he could give up control was, I'll do this because the all powerful God is asking me to do it. And God's already told me that my seed is coming through Isaac, that this is, the promise it's coming through Isaac. So if he's asking me to do this, he must be going to raise him up from the dead. And that wouldn't be hard for God to do because he's all powerful, but I want to show you how worship comes in.
So Abraham has taking Isaac, he's walking up the hill. He's about to walk to walk up the hill. He has the firewood and all that. And he says just a little line to the guys that are with him. He tells him you stay here, and then he says this, "...the lad and I will go yonder and worship". Here's what he's saying. We're going to go abandon ourselves to God, to the control of the Almighty, and everything will be okay. It'll all be okay. Pastor Preston Morrison is in Scottsdale, Gateway Church Scottsdale. He was here for many years, youth and young adults pastor. And great church. They're doing fantastic. They're just growing like crazy.
About two years into the church. I asked one of our elders... Now, let me let you know, when someone goes to plan a church, Preston, Tim, Ethan, guys like that, a few of our elders will serve as elders for them. Because you don't put a novice in the position of an elder, the Bible says, so you can't go plant a church and start with elders. Cause you don't know who the elders are yet. You don't know them, you don't know who's tested. So three or four of our elders will serve as elders for them. And then all of our salaries are set by a few elders who are non-staff. So they don't serve on our staff. You can't have someone on your staff, on your payroll, set your salary because they'll want to give you a raise. So you... Everyone follow that? Okay, so my salary, since I started has been set by non-staff elders. Okay. So same with Preston.
So I said to one of our elders who serves on his elder board about two years in the church, so this was several years ago. I said, Hey, did y'all give Preston a raise this year? They said, We tried to, but he turned it down. And he turned it down last year, too. So I said, okay. So Preston was coming in to preach, and it was the Sunday of the Masters golf tournament, the weekend of the Masters. So I said to him, Hey, come watch after the service. Come watch the Masters at my house. He said, okay. So we're watching the golf tournament and we got to this place and I hit pause. And I said, Hey, I want to talk to you about something. He said, okay. I said, I want you to give yourself a raise.
And he said, Well Pastor Robert, I don't have the authority to set my salary. I said, Well, apparently you do, because you have the authority to turn down a raise, and you could just see, he's got one of the most tender hearts, and he just, it just hit him. I said, Preston, if you don't have the authority to raise your salary, how do you have the authority to lower your salary? And he said, Well, can I tell you why I did it? I said, Well, I know why you did it, but go ahead and tell me. I've been doing this a while. I know why you did it, and you did it for a great reason, but it's still wrong. You can be sincerely wrong. So just go ahead and tell me why you did it. He said, Well, we're young, and I want to be able to hire more staff and I want to be able to pay them well. So I just feel like these first few years I'm going to keep my salary lower so I can use those funds to hire more and pay them better.
And I said to him, Oh, so you're the provider of the church. And that's kind of what he did, except he went like this. Oh. I said, Preston you have a great heart. I know why you did it, but you're not the provider. And furthermore, you're not in control. You have to yield control to God. So Preston said, I repent. And he said, I'll tell them I'll receive a raise. I say, you don't have to tell them. I already overruled you. And I said, it's already in motion. Matter of fact, they're also going to give you back pay for the time you said you wouldn't get it because I'm putting things right now. So we did that and then here's what Preston told me.
I just talked to him this week, and it was... Well, I was gonna say it was a bad conversation. Well, one part was. I said, what's the temperature there? He said, Oh, we had to get our sweaters out. It's 60. Okay, so anyway, here's what he said. He said within a few weeks of that, someone in the church, I had no idea, I didn't know him, anything, but I was just told by our finance department, gave a check for more than my yearly salary. Just one check. And that year, once I took my hands off of it, the income of the church doubled, because God said, Oh, you'll let me be in control. I'll take care of it, then. I'll take care of it. So we yield control to the all-powerful.
Here's the second omni I want to talk аbout: Omniscience. Now, if you look at the word again, see the word omni, and then see the word science. All, science means knowledge. God has all knowledge. I know there's a big deal about let's believe the scientists. Well, some scientists are right and some are not, but I'm gonna tell you one scientist who is always right. And that's the one who has all science, all knowledge. He's the one we need to believe right now. So he has all knowledge. And I'm not trying to make a political statement. I'm just simply saying, there, there are... Well, let's just leave it at that. Alright, so let's just believe God. Alright. So anyway, so you yield control to someone who knows everything. That's why you can yield control. He knows everything. David is leaving the city after being king for many years because Absalom, his son is trying to take over the kingdom. And so David just leaves. He just leaves. He's going to let God take care of it. And on his way out, he notices that Zadok has the Ark with him, the Ark of the Covenant. And he tells Zadok, his high priest, Take the art back to the city, because if God wants to, he can bring me back. And if not, then this is what he says.
2 Samuel 15:26. "...let Him do to me as seems good to Him". Let him do to me as seems good to him. Let me tell you what David's actually saying. He knows more than I do. God knows more than I do. So I trust him. Let him do whatever he wants to do. But remember, I told you Abraham yielded control, and then we saw he worshiped. Let me show you what happened just a few verses after this verse. 2 Samuel 15:32. Now it happened when David had come to the top of the mountain where he worshiped God. You want me tell you a little something else? We started in Psalm 40. You remember, we were at Psalm 40, Old King James, New King James, Many will see it. God's put a new song in my mouth. Trust in the Lord, and Message about people are understanding the mystery now, and that's abandoning themselves to God. That was Psalm 40. Remember he wrote that Psalm? David. A Psalm of David to the chief musician is what it says before.
Do you know, when most theologians believe he wrote that Psalm? Right here. When he was running from Absalom. And you know what he said? God's put a new song in my mouth and I'm just going to abandon myself to him. I'm going to give up control. Alright, so we're talking about giving up control though to God, not just give up control, but giving it to God who has all power and all knowledge. So let's use an analogy. Let's say that you're lost in the woods and it starting to get nightfall, and it's about to get cold. You haven't had any water, you hadn't found a stream all day. So you got to get some water. You got to get someplace to find some dry wood. Maybe it's been raining and you're cold and you got to get a cave or something. And you've got to find some sort of firewood, some sort of flint rock or something to try to get a spark going. And it's starting to get night temperature's about to drop. You probably won't make it through the night.
And let's say Jesus shows up, and it's really Jesus. It's not just a long haired bearded fella. It's really Jesus. I mean, you know it's Jesus, got the nail prints and everything. It's Jesus. And you say, Oh man, I'm so glad you're here. And the Lord says, Well, I know we need some firewood, cave, and I know, there's a cave right over here. And so I need to, we'll just go this way. And you say, Well, I just came from that way, and I didn't see a cave over there. He would probably say to you, Okay, Yeah, but I created these woods. I know where the caves are, and I know we're dry firewood is, too. And we need to go this way. And then you might say, Well, I have a compass. And it says north is this way. And he would say, Yeah, well, I created north. And you know why your needle moves? Because I created the magnetic field around the earth. Will you shut up? Because I know more than you know.
Now we say, Well, if I was in the woods and Jesus, it was really Jesus showed up, you know, I wouldn't argue with him. You've been in the woods a lot and not giving control to Jesus, and thought you knew more and you knew a better way to do it, but this is why we worship. Cause when you truly worship, there's a mystery that happens. The mystery is you abandon yourself to God, and God steps in and takes over and leads you out of those woods. So he's all powerful. He's all knowledgeable. Here's number three: He's omnipresent. Again, it means simply all present. God is all present. He's everywhere at all times. When you think about his omnipresence, you might remember a scripture that a lot of people know, Hebrews 13:5 says, "...He Himself has said, 'I will never leave you nor forsake you.'" You y'all ever heard that scripture? I will never leave you nor forsake you. Here's the part I think we miss: "...He Himself said". Okay? Where did he himself say? Ever thought about that? Because Hebrews says, For he himself said, but do we ever think about, Well, where did he himself say? Well, he said it when Joshua was succeeding Moses. He said it twice to Moses to tell Joshua. And he said it once to Joshua after Moses had died.
Deuteronomy 31:6, This is Moses talking to Joshua. "...will not leave you nor forsake you". Deuteronomy 31:8, "will not leave you nor forsake you". And then after Moses has died, he shows up talks to Joshua personally. Joshua 1:5, "...I will not leave you nor forsake you". Now, I said true worship is abandonment to God. So, we saw Abraham worshiped, and he abandoned himself to God. We saw David worshiped. But did Joshua worship, did he abandon himself to God? Well, remember the famous story when the commander of the Lord's army shows up. Joshua 5:13, "...it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, a Man..." Capital M. It's Jesus. "...stood opposite him with His sword drawn in His hand. And Joshua went to Him and said to Him, 'Are You for us or for our adversaries?' So He said, 'No, but as Commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.' And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and [abandoned control]..."
Now I just put that in. That's not in the Bible. I just put it in for our study today. "Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped, and said to Him, 'What does my Lord say to His servant?'" See, here's what Jesus did. He showed up. And Joshua said, are you for us or for them? He said, No, I'm not here to take sides. I'm here to take over. And that's what he says every time he shows up, Because Lord, I'm going through something right now with my wife. Are you on my side or her side? No, I'm here to take over. I'm here for both of you to submit your wills to me. I'm here for both of you to give up control. The only way it works, son, is when I'm in control, because I'm smarter than you are, I'm more powerful than you are, and I will never leave you nor forsake you. I will always, always be here for you. I'm always present. God told Abraham to sacrifice his son, but he told him to go somewhere specifically. He told him to go to the land of Moriah. And it says when Abraham was a far way off, he lifted up his eyes and saw the place God told him to go.
Okay, so you can't prove this, but most of theologians would agree. It was Mount Moriah because you can't lift up your eyes from a far way and see something if it's not raised. It just makes sense. But even then, it was still in that vicinity. It was the land of Moriah. But I believe Abraham walked up a hill, Mount Moriah, with his son, raised a knife in the air, but God stopped him before he sacrificed his son. But about 2000 years after that, God walked up a hill right there. Mount Moriah is where Solomon built the temple. Temple Mount, about 800 yards away is Golgotha, the land of Moriah. God walked up a hill with his Son, but he didn't stop. He let nails be driven through his hands and feet, and a spear in his side.
And you know what Jesus said to him when he was on the cross? Why are you abandoning me? Why are you forsaking me? The answer is, I'm going to abandon you right now, so you can die for the sins of the world so that I will never leave them, I will never forsake them, and I will never abandon them, because you're going to take care of it all right now on the cross. You're going to take care of it. Let me say it this way. God is saying, I can be all powerful, all knowing, and all present if you'll give up control, You give me control, I'll be all powerful, all knowing, and all present in your life.
I want you to bow your heads and close your eyes. I want you to just take a moment like we do every weekend and just say, Holy Spirit, what are you saying to me? Even if you're watching at home, or if you're listening to this message and you're driving, obviously don't close your eyes, but just take a moment, just breathe that prayer. Holy Spirit, what are you saying you to me? What are you saying to me? And maybe he'll pinpoint one area right now of your life, and say, in that area, you're still in control. I need you to abandon yourself, your knowledge, your expertise, your thoughts, because my thoughts are higher than yours. I need you to abandon yourself right now to me. Abandon control to me. I'll take over. Because I have all the power to do it. I have all the knowledge I need. and I'll never leave you or forsake you. You can trust me. So maybe the Lord will just show you an area of your life, where you could abandon to God. Maybe he'll show you this week. It'll just come back to you in your quiet time one day this week. But just take that time. Think about it all week. Maybe he'll show you two or three areas, and just say:
Lord, in this area I abandon control right now in Jesus' name. Lord, I want to tell you thank you for quickening an area to my life, right then when I was saying that. And so Lord, I, they say to you, in that area, I abandon control, and I trust you, Lord, that you're powerful enough to take care of it, you have the knowledge to take care of it, and you'll never leave me or forsake me. So Holy Spirit, I pray you'd do that for all my brothers and sisters, In Jesus' name, amen.