Christians Series – Exodus 33:17-19
Intro: As great as modern technology is there are times when the device you are working on or working with such as a (computer desk top, lap top, TV, Mobile phone, Tablet) loses its connection. Following this inconvenience it is interesting how the average person reacts. I must admit myself included it is amazing the control one of these electronic devices has over us and the fit we have in the time being. A bad connection is a problem. The Bible teaches us the importance of connecting with God. When there is no connection to God, no relationship to God there is a problem. Great Christians stay connected to God, they have learned how to make that connection and do not lose it. This great connection can only be achieved through Prayer. Great Christians pray great prayers.
In the previous weeks we have learned great Christians think great thoughts, read great books, pursue great people and dream great dreams. This week we find that great Christians pray great prayers. When you have a prayer life that is connected with God your prayers are answered. There will be no need for buffering, or worrying about losing connection. No need of an antenna, cable or satellite. God is all the connection you need!
“The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite (Crushed) spirit. 19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the LORD delivers him out of them all.” Psalm 34:18-19 (NKJV)
Text: Exodus 33:17-19 (NIV)
“And the LORD said to Moses, "I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.18 Then Moses said, "Now show me your glory." 19 And the LORD said, "I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the LORD, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.”
1. Great Prayers are Personal:
“And the LORD said to Moses, "I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you.”
Moses had a difficult job assignment given to him by the Lord. His duty was to lead a rebellious, self-centered, stiff-necked people through a desert to the Promised Land. To get this job accomplished, Moses needed a close relationship with the Lord. Now, when we come to chapter 33, Moses has just received the 10 Commandments and the Law from the Lord. He was gone for 40 days and nights while he received the Law and while he was a way, the people made a golden calf, began to worship it as God and committed terrible sins of immorality. When Moses came down from the mountain, he saw what they were doing and threw down the stone tablets containing the Law and broke them. Now, the Lord is angry with the people and He refuses to go with them into Canaan. Moses responds by reminding the Lord that the Israelites are God's people and that if the Lord doesn't go with them, then Moses isn't going. So Moses and the Lord discuss the matter and God decides to go with them and bring them into the land of promise. Characteristics of Great prayers start with making them deeply personal. As with the case of Moses, those who pray great prayers want God Himself.
Moses was concerned, very concerned, about the chastisement of God. He felt that he and the people could never reach the Promised Land without God's very own presence leading them. He was not satisfied with second best; he wanted the best. He was not satisfied with an angel; he wanted God. Moses did not want the presence of an angel; he wanted God's presence. Moses did not want the guidance of an angel; he wanted God's guidance. Moses did not want the protection of an angel; he wanted God's protection. That hasn’t changed for use today, great Christians still want that!
Moses did the only thing he could. Moses took up the arm of intercession. Moses went before God and prayed. He prayed as he had never done before. He interceded and interceded; he stayed before God until God heard and met his need. He made it very personal.
- He asked God for help.
- He asked God for renewed assurance in a personal way; he wanted to please his lord.
- He asked God to teach him the ways of God.
- He asked God to remember that the Israelites were His own people.
Here they were now camped at the foot of Mt. Sinai having just committed the terrible sin of rejecting God. They were now facing the terrible withdrawal of God's presence. Moses wanted God to remember that Israel was His nation of people, the very people God had wanted to be His followers and witnesses upon earth.
What was God's response? God gave Moses a great promise, the promise of His very own presence and of rest: "I will go with you and give you rest". God forgave the sin of His people and restored His full presence. God promised to lead His people to the Promised Land, to lead them to the land of rest He had promised. By "rest" is meant; a spiritual rest, the assurance and security of God's guidance and protection day by day. A saving and redeeming rest, the deliverance from all their enemies, both spiritual and physical, an eternal rest, the rest of living forever with God in the promised land. Great Christians pray prayers that are personal and with concern for family and others.
2. Great Prayers Come From a Brokenness:
Then Moses said, "Now show me your glory." 19 And the LORD said, "I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the LORD, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.”
Great prayers are birthed in brokenness. “The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit. 19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the LORD delivers him out of them all.” Psalm 34:18-19 (NKJV)
Moses had a heart to know and experience God in a deeper and more profound way. Moses knew that the nation of Israel could not meet his need. He knew that just working on his leadership skills would not meet his need. Moses seems to know that the best cure for discouragement, disillusionment and dryness is a fresh glimpse of who God is and what He is all about. It seems to me that what Moses is praying for is a great connection! When great Christians experience a genuine move of the Lord, they also experience all of these great blessings. A connection is real when we possess a desire to know God's ways so that we might better serve Him; when we have a desire to know Him better in an ever-deepening fellowship; when we long for His abiding presence to guide us day by day; when we want nothing more than to see the glory of God revealed so that He might receive the worship and praise that He is worthy of receiving. Moses request boils down to a request for genuine revival, he desired a great connection. Not everyone wants this kind of connection, to experience this kind of a move of God! When the Lord begins to move in a life or in a church, He has a way of rooting out sin, selfishness and hypocrisy. Many are afraid of a real move of God - a good connection! But, for those who desire it and who are willing to seek it, it will change their lives forever! I wonder, how many here today are hungry to see the Lord move in these days? How many are willing to spend time in prayer, seeking the Lord's face until He comes, where His glory is revealed and His power is demonstrated?
Moses understood God’s presence was an absolute necessity. He couldn’t reach the Promised Land without God's very own presence, without His very own guidance and protection. God gave strong reassurance of His presence, because of Moses' intercession and because of his close relationship with God. Moses was a Great Christian who had great prayers. Prayer changes things. Intercession—strong, strong prayer—attracts God and moves the heart of God. God will meet the need of the person who truly seeks the face of God, who will not let God go until God meets his need. This is the teaching of Holy Scripture.
One of the reasons we struggle with prayer is that we don’t really believe that God wants to hear from us. That comes from a warped view of God. A right view of God impacts our prayers. One of the reasons we struggle with prayer is that we don’t dream great dreams. "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7 (NKJV)
Moses made a bold but humble request: he asked God to show him His glory. Moses wanted... a greater knowledge of God, a closer, warmer fellowship with God, a more intimate communion with God and a deeper experience of God's glory. Moses wanted more and more of God in his life. He wanted a bond, a oneness, a unity with God that just grew and grew.
Nehemiah is another example of someone who prayed in brokenness and desperation; “O Lord, I pray, please let Your ear be attentive to the prayer of Your servant, and to the prayer of Your servants who desire to fear Your name; and let Your servant prosper this day, I pray, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man. For I was the king's cupbearer.” Nehemiah 1:11 (NKJV)
Nehemiah was the right hand man of the King of Persia, and he heard a distressing report from some fellow Jews who had come from Jerusalem. This prayer of Nehemiah’s was one of the greatest prayers in all the scripture. Nehemiah had a great connection with God and God received his brokenness and understood the situation and answered his prayer.
Conclusion: Moses is a type of Christ in his intercession for Israel. He stood before God as Israel's mediator, Israel's intercessor. He pleaded with God for God to forgive the sins of the people and to restore the full measure of His presence to the people. Again, Moses is a type of Christ in his intercessory ministry.
“For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10 that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; 12 giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. 13 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, 14 in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.” Colossians 1:9-14 (NKJV)
Do you look at yourself as a Great Christian? Are you connected? Are you personal? Have you come to God in a sense of spiritual brokenness? Great Christian pray great prayers because they our connected to God. God is delighted when our focus shifts from our own needs in our little world to His agenda for His world.
In : Sermon
Tags: "great christians series" "book of exodus"
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