A Journey Thru Acts 19: Basking In The LORD 2…
We continue in our 19th post digging into the book of Acts to learn what God wants us to DO as His people, as His Church, until His Son Jesus returns to earth.
But DOING for God, as important as that is, is not the most important characteristic of our new life in Christ—as we began looking at last Sunday, KNOWING God is the most important, central, foundation of new life in Jesus Christ.
Last post we saw in Acts 7, right before and as Stephen was being killed/martyred for his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, he saw the glory of God and he saw the Lord Jesus standing at the right hand of God. Oh the comfort it must have brought Stephen to see the Lord & His majesty at Stephen’s lowest and most painful situation…
In verses 1-6 of Philippians 3, Paul describes the materials that he used to build his tower of Babel before receiving Christ as his Savior; Paul describes all the ways that he declared & justified his declaration of independence from God—Paul’s accomplishments that he built as his “tower of Babel.” And then in verses 7-11 he shows how that tower is worthless & rotten though looking beautiful on the outside:
Philippians 3:7-11: “But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him [not hanging AROUND Christ by routine, but IN Christ by repentance!]—, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. 10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.”
And so in this post we will bask in the character of God the Father, we will simply come into His presence through the Son of God, through the Holy Spirit and through the Bible and gaze, stare, stop & admire Who He is. By His undeserved favor we will know Him…this is the very definition of eternal life…
“2 Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble & test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. 3 He humbled you, causing you to hunger & then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. 4 Your clothes did not wear out & your feet did not swell during these forty years. 5 Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the Lord your God disciplines you.
You might say ,”Well I’ve never been to Egypt, I’ve never been a slave, this passage doesn’t really apply to me.” If you are in Christ, you’ve been a slave to sin; that’s clear Bible teaching in both the New Testament and the Old. And so Moses is saying not only to the Israelites so many years ago but also to us Christians today, to those who have cried out to the Lord Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins: remember…how the LORD your God, He led…you…all the way. Every step, we sang that earlier, He has been faithful, He has been leading us. We could just pause here for the rest of the post and focus on this half sentence—there is SO MUCH gold here, loved ones! God leads us…personally.
You know what’s so beautiful about God leading us? It shows that He doesn’t sit behind us—we are the horses, He sits in the wagon, cracking the whip behind us. It’s beautiful that He leads us because it means He is out in front of us. That’s so good. We could spend the rest of the post just on these three words: “God led you.” Wow. God leads me from in front! Does God discipline us? Yes, we’ll read that in this passage later. Does God spur us on, sometimes through pain/hardship, in order to help us run the race that He has marked out for us? You bet He does. And it feels like whips. But regardless of how it feels, His Word reveals that He leads us from the front, He has broken the trail to heaven, the trail that none of us could have made on our own—He went first.
- In war, the soldier who goes first, the point man, he gets shot at first, it’s the most dangerous place on the battlefield. And so Christ has done the dangerous work on the cross of living the perfect life and dying the death we deserve in our place; Christ Jesus has done the dangerous work as the point God-Man, making peace between the Father and any sinner who repents & receives the Lord Jesus as their Savior & King by faith. And so we follow Him Who leads us…
And He leads us ALL THE WAY, verse two…all the way. We could spend the whole post, the whole day, just on these three words—“all the way.” In the wilderness, these past forty years. Now you might say, “Well there are so many times where it doesn’t seem as if He’s leading me, it’s so dry, He seems so far away, it doesn’t feel like He’s leading me.” Oh my heart goes out to you, loved one…but He never said it would always FEEL like He is leading you—He simply has declared that He has and always will lead His children…all the way. And so we don’t place our trust in what we feel—we place our trust in what God has said.
And He’s leading us in the wilderness…especially in the wilderness. That’s so good—that’s the character of God! To lead us…all the way. But look at why He led us—we haven’t even gotten to the end of verse two. Remember this because you will not always be in the wilderness, it will easy to forget the LORD when the wilderness time is done, it will be easy to look at our more comfortable situation and think, “Look at what MY hands have accomplished, look at how far I have brought myself.” Back to the tower of Babel.
He has led you this far to humble us and to test us—that is ALSO the character of God—not just dessert all the time but the vegetables as well. To humble & to test us—why? In order to know what is in our hearts. While His praise should ever be on our lips, it is easy to fake that—lips, words, saying the right things, going through the motions, etc. You can teach a parrot to sing words to God—the parrot isn’t really worshiping Him, of course, but the parrot can learn to sing the words, make the correct sounds, etc. SO to know what is in our hearts—that’s our emotions, our will, our desires—what is deep down in there…and so the humbling and testing from God brings that out. When you’re getting squeezed, what comes out in your actions and attitude, that is what is in your heart. When the going gets tough, what do we reach out to: the styrofoam of sin, the nearest port in the storm, whatever will get us through the night? Or do we reach for the wood of the cross of Christ—do we lean wholly on what He has accomplished for us through His death and return to life? How do we try to make it through the wilderness? His humbling and testing of us will reveal that, not so much to Him…but to us…
Verse 3: “He caused you to hunger.” He causes this uncomfortable but necessary hunger for Him. That’s a good thing! Now you might say it doesn’t feel good to hunger—I agree! But it’s a good thing when the LORD causes this in us, to feel these hunger pains. He caused you to hunger, but then what did He do? He fed you with manna from heaven. What if we need God to cause us to hunger so we can realize we aren’t actually hungering for more of the tower of Babel, to put us through those hard times, not for more sin, not for more of anything this world can offer, but hungering for Him…what if that is why we have this hunger that nothing is able to really feed and truly satisfy?
- I love what C.S. Lewis said regarding this: “If I find in myself a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, it means that I was made for another world.” That I was made for something more than just to feed on this…
God causes us to hunger to teach us that humans don’t live on bread alone—on what this world can offer—but that we were designed by the LORD to live on every Word that comes from the mouth of God. Yes! And the only way to learn this vital lesson is to hunger, to go through deep trials/suffering, to go through the wilderness, to experience the emptiness in the stomach that inevitably comes with mouthful after mouthful of spiritual ice cream and candy; we must realize the rottenness of the spiritual diet of humans trying to be satisfied apart from repentance & faith in & submission to the Lord Jesus Christ, and so God is loving to cause in us this deep and in the short-run uncomfortable hunger…
We suffer long enough until we, by the grace of God, reach out to the one option we haven’t truly committed to: feeding by faith every day on the Word of God, nothing else works, and we cry out to the Lord Jesus, “Here I am…save me…forgive me…make me new…make me grow…satisfy me with your Presence, not Your presents…” And the LORD says, “Yes! Now we’re getting somewhere, now we’re cookin’!” Feed on His Word, loved ones, this is one of the foundational lessons that the LORD must teach His people, and He will put us through whatever it takes for us to learn it. Feed on the Bible, taste & see that the LORD is good, trust God to change your tastebuds/spiritual pallet (don’t change the Bible to suit your tastes!), trust God to show you that His Word the Bible is not boring, it’s old but not in the negative sense (outdated/obsolete) but in the good sense: it’s tested, it has lasted, it will never fail, it endures forever, and the LORD has used it to provide shelter & comfort to millions of forgiven sinners in wildernesses more remote, dry, barren and dangerous than we can imagine.
Verse 4: “Your clothes didn’t wear out, your feet didn’t swell during these forty years of walking through the wilderness,” when everything seemed to be going wrong and different from what you expected, God kept you going, underneath were the everlasting arms! Remember these acts of mercy & compassion & faithfulness of the LORD—don’t forget! “Know then that as a man disciplines his son, so the LORD your God disciplines you.”
Friends, we need to know that in our hearts, that it is the character of God to discipline His children. He blesses, yes! But His discipline is also a blessing too, it’s just a different kind. But we need to know this in our hearts—our feelings, will, emotions and desires—that being saved & matured by the Lord Jesus—following Him by faith!—is often going to make life more difficult in the short-run (though of course He always makes it better in the long run, either in heaven, on earth, or both). He is sacrificially and compassionately committed to us the way we are now (love!) but He is too sacrificially and compassionately committed to us to leave us the way we are now. He will transform those who are His, He will mature & sanctify us, no matter what it takes in the short-run. This is a beautiful promise!
Verses 6–9: 6 Observe the commands of the Lord your God, walking in obedience to him and revering him. 7 For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land—a land with brooks, streams, and deep springs gushing out into the valleys and hills; 8 a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey; 9 a land where bread will not be scarce and you will lack nothing; a land where the rocks are iron and you can dig copper out of the hills.
Oh loved ones, the LORD is worthy to be revered, to be reverenced, not just for us to begrudgingly do our duty and then say, “Alright I did it now leave me alone until I really need something in the future.” Oh what we miss out on when we say that, when we live like that. Oh may He transform us to revere Him, be amazed by Him, talk about the statistics of God in the Bible more than we talk about the statistics of athletes on the ball field. The Bible is full of the stats of God and He has set & broken every record of holiness & perfection and righteousness and no one will ever come close—He is the only One in the Hall of Fame.
“For the LORD your God is bringing into a good land…” Oh let’s think about what this description of the Promised Land must have been like to those who had literally wandered and struggled and suffered (their own fault, though!) through a barren desert for four decades. And not a desert in the sense of, “I live in Phoenix every winter—it’s a great place to live!” Not as good as that—no air conditioning! Not like that—that’s not the wilderness/desert the Israelites were in. Oh how good it must have sounded to be told & reminded that the LORD is leading you to a good land of fruitfulness and streams and deep springs and fresh produce and gentle breezes, BETTER than Egypt where you came from, BETTER than the sins you desire to return to/reach out for, though you have to go through a desert to get there.
And it’s easy to look at this description of the Promised Land and apply it to ourselves and think that it means that God will eventually, on earth, bring us through our current challenges into a season where everything goes how we want it and our bank account grows exponentially and our belly fat magically decreases and our vacations get longer and more luxurious and our houses keep getting bigger and our cars keep getting newer and we have all the earthly desires of our hearts. It’s easy to think that God is promising that to His people…but look around the world at the situation of possibly billions of people who call themselves Christian. The American Dream is not their experience, is not their blessing from the LORD, is not their promised land. Yet while God does sometimes bless that particular way, praise the LORD—steward it wisely and generously and sacrificially. But for most of us, that is not the way God blesses us.
But what would it look like to spiritually experience verses 6—9? What would it look like to hunger & thirst for righteousness—not opulence—and to be satisfied and quenched and nourished at our soul-level by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, His Presence, not His presents? Oh how much better it would be to be able to say like David did in Psalm 23, “The LORD is my Shepherd, there’s NOTHING that I want!” What would it look like for us to be like the writer of Psalm 119, who delighted in God & His Word, where he enjoyed God? What would it look like for us to literally enjoy God!? Not in the sense that He makes everything easy and comfortable for us, but to look at God and say, “Yeah there’s a storm going on, there’s a lot going on, I know I need to deal with it, but I just can’t take my eyes off You, LORD, I can’t stop staring at and delighting in WHO You are, I can’t even remember other things that I want, no storm/waves/wind can wash away this joy from my soul over Your character & promises & beauty & power. I can’t believe that You are STILL with me, STILL leading me, ALL THE WAY…and yet here You are, ever faithful, ever present, whether I feel You or not. You…are…amazing, God…”
What would it look like to mature to that point where we delight in Him and enjoy Him and are simply full, spiritually, the way our stomachs are full after a Thanksgiving meal? Where someone generously asks, “What can I get you for your birthday or Christmas?” and we honestly and humbly respond, “Thank you! But I don’t know…I really don’t. I’m…well…satisfied…oh what a strange but beautiful feeling…I can’t think of ANYTHING I want…I am so satisfied in my Savior & King & I deserve none of this, yet here He is! He’s enough…wow.” What would it look like for us to mature to that point? Oh let’s cry out to God to grow us like that—it’s a scary and dangerous prayer, but it is SO worth it!
Verses 10-14: “10 When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you. 11 Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. 12 Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, 13 and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, 14 then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.”
Oh the danger when we are no longer in the wilderness and we look around and say, “Wow…this is…great! I’ve been in the wilderness for so long…this rest & joy & refreshment from the LORD is so…well…good!” When this happens on earth, God warns His people to be careful—the warnings of God are also His loving character—God warns us to praise Him & give Him the credit & the honor, because the blessings of God are dangerous too. The wilderness is dangerous because we might quit on the Lord Jesus & run back to Egypt, our old beliefs and lifestyles. But the easier times—the mountaintops—on earth are dangerous also because we might forget the LORD and in our hearts start building again that terrible tower of Babel: “Look at what I have accomplished, look at what I deserve, look at how faithful/talented/special I am to get all this!” The danger is we will give credit to what we have done—like a weightlifter admiring him/herself in the mirror—instead of giving all the credit to Who God is and what He has done. We will become proud, and we should recoil from sinful pride just as we would recoil from a venomous cobra snake in the middle of our living room.
Verse 15: 15 He led you through the vast & dreadful wilderness, that thirsty & waterless land, with its venomous snakes & scorpions. He brought you water out of hard rock.
“He brought you water out of hard rock.” Oh loved ones, think of a time when you were utterly overwhelmed and miserable and engulfed and surrounded with fear, worry, anxiety, pain, grief, suffering, just think about it right now. I won’t ask you to think too long or rip off that healing scab because we are to leave what is behind & press on to win the prize for which God has called us heavenward in Christ Jesus.
But think about it a little now: at some point, whether it was that same day or weeks/months later, you laughed…you actually chuckled at something, you laughed for the first time in a long time, you were amused by something simple, a moment you though might never happen again, you were temporarily brought up & through the waves that crashed over you & you gulped a breathful of rich oxygen, you lungs screaming with a moment of lightness and refreshment and relief, and it caught you by surprise.
That’s water from the rock—that’s God reminding you of His Presence & power & promises, and though it started as a few drops it eventually turned into a trickle, a stream and then a flow…life perhaps still hasn’t gotten back to “normal,” you still have scars and pain and perhaps the rehab process is brutal and your soul has re-fractured again, but nevertheless the LORD has blessed you to breathe again, you are not on the bottom of sea with the wreckage of the Titanic but you are clinging moment by moment with Christ Jesus Who is Lord of the waves and with you Personally in them. That’s water from the rock…God is so good even in those terrible seasons of wilderness…
Verse 16: 16 “He gave you manna to eat in the wilderness, something your ancestors had never known, to humble & test you so that in the end it might go well with you.”
And so Moses is reminding us, don’t forget! He led you…He STILL leads you so that it might “go well with you”! Oh those words are so important—He disciplines us and allows us to go through all these trials because He loves us—our inheritance in Christ is better than temporary happiness, it is holiness that lasts forever! These are two polar opposite qualities of God—love and discipline—where we say, “Oh I hope God woke up on the side of the bed of love today and not the side of discipline”—they are both inseparably mixed together in the perfect character of God! Same bed, same God—it’s all His love! Bask in this Biblical character of Godn (Who He really is), not the cultural character of god that is a poor and false substitute (Who we want Him to be).
Verses 17–18: 17 You may say to yourself, “My power & the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” 18 But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, & so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.”
THAT passage is a very small but accurate snapshot of the character of God, and I must ask you to turn to one passage about His character. We will spend MUCH less time on this last passage—I promise!—but were are gazing at Who God is, not glancing, we are gazing on the slow not glancing on the go. This takes time—this isn’t fast food, it’s slower, and much better…
Hosea 11:1-11: One of my favorite passages in Scripture when you want to just gaze at the beauty & character of the LORD. This passage occurs historically many years after the passage above in Deuteronomy 8, God has continued to be faithful to His people and they, for the most part, have been utterly unfaithful. If you read 1 & 2 Kings and the accounts of the majority of the kings and the Israelites in the years between Deuteronomy 8 and Hosea 11, you see time & time again their rebellion against the LORD, their utter disrespect toward Him, committing spiritual adultery against Him with multiple false-god partners, and now listen to the LORD’s response:
11 “When Israel was a child, I loved him,
and out of Egypt I called my son.
2 But the more they were called,
the more they went away from me.[a]
They sacrificed to the Baals
and they burned incense to images.
Loved ones, this is where we often lose a passage like this, we fail to see it connect with us, each of us personally. We may think, “Well I’ve never sacrificed to Baal (whoever that is) and I’ve never burned incense to images (and even if I have, what’s the big deal?). So this passage may be nice to know but it’s not personal to me…” But God IS talking about you, about me…about us. Physically bowing down before an object is not the only way to worship, my friends. What are you constantly thinking about throughout the day, throughout the week? What do you set your hopes on, what do you desperately desire to have happen (or not happen)? To what do you think, “If I were to lose “x,” I couldn’t and wouldn’t want to live, to go on…”? I can’t live without this, I can’t possibly share that…with them!
And yet in verse three we see the LORD say:
3 It was I who taught Ephraim to walk,
taking them by the arms;
but they did not realize
it was I who healed them.
God teaches His people to walk—think about what this means. In a physical sense, think about a little baby that will someday learn to walk. The parents, on their knees, on the ground, face to face, teach that child to walk—it’s beautiful! And now think of the LORD doing so spiritually to His people—holding us by the hands, taking us by the arms, touch, closeness, relationship! They didn’t realize I Personally healed them, they gave credit to anyone and anything else except to Me! I was the One Who did it by My touch!
4 I led them with cords of human kindness,
with ties of love.
Not standing behind us with whips—though God’s discipline can often feel like this!—but God leading us from the front with cords of human kindness, ties of sacrificial commitment and compassion, giving us the grace we don’t deserve.
To them I was like one who lifts
a little child to the cheek,
and I bent down to feed them.
We have to see God like this—lifting us up to His stubbly cheeks, bringing us close in new life and forgiveness and adoption through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ His only Son. We need to see this: Christ coming down on the cross, the Father caring for us everyday, stooping down to us, not saying, “I’ll bless ya as soon as you can get up to Me—climb!” No no no…stooping down to us…
5 “Will they not return to Egypt
and will not Assyria rule over them
because they refuse to repent?
They—WE!—want to go back…After they’ve tasted and seen that the LORD is good, what do they want? More of Me? No…they just want to go back, they want to be like everyone else, they want their old beliefs and their old lifestyle and their old sin…they want to be the way they used to be, and look for satisfaction in all the wrong places…they want their old familiar slavery in Egypt again, they want their old shackles again to cover the scars on their wrists and ankles instead of carrying their cross on their shoulders and following Me, Christ, the Way and the Truth and the Life…
They want to have Me and their sin…they don’t fight against sin, they don’t repent and cry out for mercy…they (WE!) indulge, they justify their sin, they celebrate it and call it good and honoring to Me…and they want more…And so the natural consequences follow:
6 A sword will flash in their cities;
it will devour their false prophets
and put an end to their plans.
7 My people are determined to turn from me.
Even though they call me God Most High,
I will by no means exalt them.
Oh there are serious consequences for unrepentant sin…but look at verse 8!
8 “How can I give you up, Ephraim?
How can I hand you over, Israel?
How can I treat you like Admah?
How can I make you like Zeboyim?
My heart is changed within me;
all my compassion is aroused.
9 I will not carry out my fierce anger,
nor will I devastate Ephraim again.
For I am God, and not a man—
the Holy One among you.
I will not come against their cities.
10 They will follow the Lord;
he will roar like a lion.
Not a housecat—He will roar like a LION! That’s God. Not tame. He will bring those who are His to repentance, we will turn from our sin & learn to follow Him faithfully, we will experience His fierce & loving discipline & pruning—or else we aren’t really His children after all, regardless of how often we attend church (Hebrews 12).
When he roars,
his children will come trembling from the west.
11 They will come from Egypt,
trembling like sparrows,
from Assyria, fluttering like doves.
I will settle them in their homes,”
declares the Lord.
Yes! This passage is so beautiful because it shows us how terrible sin is—it doesn’t sweep our sin under the rug and/or call it good but brings it out into the open in all its ugliness and hints/points ahead to God’s ultimate solution: He will pour out His loving & just wrath against sin through the cross, on His Son, so that anyone who calls on the name of the Lord Jesus in genuine repentance of sin & simple faith, to anyone who agrees with God’s and the Bible’s diagnosis of our deep problem and says,
- “Oh God I see now, I am so grieved and sorry for this tower of Babel that I have been so diligently building, this declaration of my independence from You that I have signed my name to proudly and arrogantly, thinking that I can do life on my own and be my own God, I apologize and repent for all that, though I still desire such independence and sin—heal me change me transform me kill the guilty me and rebirth the forgiven me,”
that anyone who crawls to Christ will be lifted up and forgiven, made new, and adopted into the family of the One we so consistently have rebelled against. When we cry out like that to the Lord Jesus—to be our Savior & King not just our mascot and consultant—God promises to draw us with cords of human kindness & ties of love, though we turn back to our sin like a dog returns to its vomit He will bring us back again and again and again and throw a ring on our finger and sandals on our feet and His robe of righteousness to cover the shame of our sinful nakedness and call us not His servant but His child, not His employee but one of His heirs…because HE is faithful…
And so my final question is: Have you stared at God lately?
I don’t know your schedules and the pressures and trials and responsibilities that you face and all that you are going through now and the things that devour your time—I don’t pretend to understand, but nonetheless have you gazed at the character of God through His Son, His Holy Spirit, His Word? The LORD is Lord of the schedule…there is time, there is, to gaze upon His beauty, because He would never tell us to do something that we couldn’t accomplish with Him, in Him, and through Him…Friends, may we do that, the Bible is full of THIS, it’s so good—gaze upon His holiness, not just the parts that you want to hear, but also the passages of His anger against our sin and how He puts us through discipline and trials and causes us to hunger & humble & test us—that’s God, and that’s good…know Him…
Ephesians 2:18: “For through him [Jesus Christ] we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.”
Oh what a phrase…the mountain top, the end goal…
“Access to the Father…”
“Approaching His throne of grace with confidence” (Hebrews 4:15-16)…
When the Lord Jesus was on the cross, the veil of the Temple, this thick, heavy forty foot tall heavy fabric ornately designed curtain separated the unholy people (US!) from the Holy God, separated the Holy of Holies place from the rest of the Temple compound, what a symbol, that place where only one person (the High Priest) once per year could enter into the special glory/Presence of God, though God is everywhere His Presence filled the Most Holy Place of the Temple in a special and unique way…when the Lord Jesus was on the cross this veil/curtain was torn from TOP to bottom (not bottom to top)—there was no person on a ladder cutting it from top to bottom, no scissors could make it through that thick divider, no one was up at the top except the LORD—HE was there, and the sacrifice & death of His only Son tore that dividing curtain from top to bottom and gave access, face-to-face access to the Father, to any sinner who repented of our awful unholiness & cried out in faith to Christ Jesus & His awesome holiness…The death of the perfect Son of God was needed to give us ACCESS to God the Father…staggering…
Some of us have lots of access in our lives to different things:
- Wireless internet access: I know the code, I access it wherever I go whenever I want…this is BETTER than that…
- Maybe VIP/backstage access at a concert or sporting event, rubbing shoulders with celebrities…this is BETTER than that, knowing the only true Celebrity in the universe—the LORD Himself…
Access to God the Father Himself…I understand a speck of what this means, but I want to know more…
This access is not just getting stuff from God but KNOWING Him—that is first! It’s not mainly God giving us the desires of our hearts but God BECOMING the Desire of our hearts!
He says, “What do you want from Me, son or daughter?”
And we respond, “I really don’t know…I see You, by faith, by your undeserved favor, I see You…and that is enough…I’m satisfied…You are mine and I am Yours…and there are no cherries to top that…What else could You possibly give me, dear Papa?…Like David, and by Your grace, ‘One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek, that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek Him in His holy Temple’ (Psalm 27:4).”
If you have received the Lord Jesus as your Savior & King, take advantage of this access, loved ones! You can gaze at the LORD anytime, anywhere—in your house, in your car, at the store, in this building, out in nature, in your cubicle, in your classroom—this is turning into a Dr. Seuss book…you can have access to Him ANYWHERE through repentant faith in the blood and death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ…
Know Him, loved ones, bask in His character and qualities and Presence through the Holy Spirit & the Bible—you must have both! In this way eternal life begins now….but you say, “I’ve tried, I read, I pray, and nothing happens, it just feels…like nothing…”
I know. You’re in a wilderness, you’re in a desert,
it’s like trying to get water out of a rock…
But keep standing on that Rock of Jesus Christ & His Word, don’t drift over to the sinking sand of sin no matter how loudly it falsely advertises itself as beachfront property–it is sinking and will sink forever…
Keep reading and praying and gazing and trusting that HE will be able to bring the living waters of the Holy Spirit out of that Rock to quench you and satisfy you…His water will come out—that’s what God does, trust Him, know Him, and then as He fills you with His Presence and you just can’t sit still for one more moment, you must run to your rooftop and shout and tell anyone who will listen about your Savior, Who He is and what He has done for you and what He can do for them, then with every ounce of your being go and do that, brag about the LORD, invite others to taste & see that He is good, THEN go and DO for God…just don’t forget to BE with Him…that’s the point of all this, access to God, fellowship with the LORD, “Now this is eternal life, that they would know You, the One True God, and Jesus Christ, Whom You have sent” (John 17:3). Know Him by faith, and thus have eternal life begin now…