Introduction: Today, we conclude our series, Experiencing God.
Today’s message is entitled, Obey and Experience.
- Theme: Numbers12:7–8(CEV)-“But My servant Moses is the leader of My people. He sees Me face to face, and everything I say to him is perfectly clear. …”
- We will focus on Reality 7: You come to know God by experience as you obey Him, and He accomplishes His work through you.
#1 - Demonstrates what I believe about God. (Exodus 4:24-26; Matthew 7:21–23; John 14:21,23-24; 1 John 2:3–6)
- God heard the cries of the enslaved Israelites and remembered His covenant promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob [Exodus 2:24], He acted by sending Moses to deliver them out of Egypt. [Exodus 3]
- But notice, [Screen] Exodus 4:24–25 (NLT)[P50]—24 On the way to Egypt, at a place where Moses and his family had stopped for the night, the LORD confronted him and was about to kill him. 25 But Moses’ wife, Zipporah, took a flint knife and circumcised her son. …
- Moses had to learn that God expected him to obey the conditions of the covenant which included his family and all of the Israelites he would lead. [Genesis 17:10-14]
- We obey because we trust God and we trust Him because know He loves us, which He proved by sending His Son to die for us [Romans 5:8], but also by providing for us. [Matthew 6:25-33]
- Because we know God loves us, we don’t question His directives, since He will only and always do what is best for us!
- We love God because He first loved us. [1 John 4:9-10,19]
- My obedience is the outward expression of my love for God.
- [Screen] John 14:21 (NLT)[P867]—“Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them.”
- Our obedience confirms our love relationship with God and Jesus, which results in Jesus showing us His character and nature, who He truly is.
- [Screen] John 14:23-24 (NLT)[P867]—23 Jesus replied, “All who love Me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and We will come and make Our home with each of them. 24 Anyone who doesn’t love Me will not obey Me. …”
- If I have an obedience problem, I have a love problem.
- I have heard people decide to disobey God and being encouraged in their disobedience because they believe God will graciously forgive them.
- Do you see how twisted that line of thinking is? “God, because of Your love for me, I will disobey, disrespect, dishonor You, knowing that because of Your love for me, You will forgive me”—that certainly does not display love for God!
- This principle is true in any relationship that is supposed to be based on love.
- If I dishonor my parents, disrespect my wife or disregard my children, the root cause is that the relationship is not right; it’s not directed and controlled by love.
- When we truly love someone, we seek to please them with words and actions.
- In other words, when we love God, it will show. [Matthew 7:21-23; 1 John 2:3-6]
- APP.: Does your life demonstrate your love for God and His love for you?
#2 - Determines whether I receive greater assignments. (Matthew 25:21; Ephesians 2:10; 2 Timothy 2:21-22; 3:16-17)
- God is growing and developing our faith through His assignments, but He is also accessing our responses to determine the types of tasks He gives us.
- [Screen] Matthew 25:21 (NLT)[P795]—“The master was full of praise. ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’”
- When we are diligent and faithful in completing smaller, lesser, assignments from God, He will give us greater ones.
- Larger assignments require longer periods of preparation.
- God must be sure that we possess the faith, maturity, and strength of character to attempt a more significant assignment appropriately; in particular, without self-centered pride. [1Timothy 3:6; 5:22]
- Sometimes the obstacles we are facing in our pursuit of God’s work might be intentioned by Him to prepare us for His service.
- God can change circumstances swiftly, but it takes longer to grow us spiritually.
- It may be that God is delaying an assignment until we resolve some lingering disobedience, eliminate some sin, that will prevent our pursuit of God’s work.
- [Screen] 2 Timothy 2:21–22 (NLT)[P961]—21 If you keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for honorable use. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work.22 Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts. [Fellowship w. believers encourages holy living.]
- It may be that God wants us to know His Word so we will know how to respond with biblical wisdom to difficult situations we will encounter in our culture.
- [Screen] 2 Timothy 3:16–17 (NLT)[P961]—16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 17 God uses it to prepare and equip His people to do every good work.
- Another qualification for a greater assignment: Am I willing to adjust my life to follow God’s calling, because obedience often requires sacrifice?
- This sacrifice may be altering my plans for my life, my preference for where I live, my professional goals and ambitions, perhaps, even my need to be liked?
- When God reveals His plans and purposes to you, your obedience will cost, but disobedience will cost even more—because you, your family and others that know you well, will see the effect of disobeying God, such as spiritual malaise.
- What if I am not hearing anything from God?
- Ask yourself several questions:
- Do I really believe God loves me and will always do what is best in my life?
- Have I responded to what God has already told me to do?
- Am I obeying God’s will in my personal, moral, life? (Not indulging sin.)
- Am I willing to wait on God’s timing and obey everything I know to do in the meantime?
- APP.: Am I willing to obey, without hesitation, whatever God calls me to do?
#3 – Develops my intimacy with God. (Exodus 33:11-23; Numbers 12:6–8; Deuteronomy 34:10–12; Psalm 103:7)
- [Screen] Psalm 103:7 (NLT)[P490]—He revealed His character to Moses and His deeds to the people of Israel. [GW.: His ways and the things He had done.]
- Moses knew God personally, but Israel only knew information about Him; why the difference?
- Moses participated with God relationally in the exodus of Israel out of Egypt.
- [Screen] Acts 7:35–36 (NLT)[P880]—35 “…Through the angel who appeared to him in the burning bush, God sent Moses to be their ruler and savior. 36 And by means of many wonders and miraculous signs [which God empowered], he led them out of Egypt, through the Red Sea, and through the wilderness for forty years.” [Deuteronomy 34:10-12]
- God shaped Moses’ life as He deepened the relationship between them.
- Through many threatening, encouraging, exhausting, frustrating, wonderful, discouraging and hopeful experiences, Moses came to know God more fully, more personally, more intimately, and grew in his ability to trust God—and God’s ability to trust him!
- [Screen] Numbers 12:7–8 (NLT)[P124]—7…Of all My house, he [Moses] is the one I trust. 8 I speak to him face to face, clearly, and not in riddles! He sees the Lord as He is. …” [Exodus 33:11-17] [APP.: Do you want to be trusted by God?]
- Moses learned to trust God as He obeyed God’s direction and experienced God’s character functioning in the relationship. [Exodus 33:18-23]
- When we obey God, He will accomplish His work through us, and we will come to know Him by experience.
- Knowing God by experience begins when we are born again and continues to develop and deepen as we obey God while serving with Him in His work.
- God doesn’t need our assistance to accomplish His plans; in fact, when He invites us to join Him in His work, He is telling us what He is about to do!
- He invites us to join in His work so we can know Him by experience!
- God is always calling us to a love relationship, not merely to complete a task.
- APP.: Do you know God personally or merely accept information about Him?
APP.: Are you growing in intimacy with Him as you obey Him and He works in and through you?