Moments in the life of a Pastor

Walking with God

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9. Worshipping Wrong Gods in The Right Way – Part 2

Exodus 20:1-3 “Then God gave the people all these instructions: “I am the Lord your God, who rescued you from the land of Egypt, the place of your slavery.You must not have any other god but me.”

Not only does God’s command start with a proclamation but second we see that it is:

  1. Personal

Verse 2 says,“I am the Lord YOUR God”It’s not about rules it’s about a relationship. The 10 commandments are nota system of salvation, no one gets saved by keeping them. How many of us have ever broken one of them? And those who didn’t admit to breaking one of them just lied and broke one in the process! God’s law requires perfection, and the 10 commandments do 2 things. First, they point out our problem, that we are all sinners. Second, they point us to the perfect sacrifice for our sin, God’s Son Jesus Christ. Why do we need to see our sin? Because you can’t be saved until you realize you are lost. The law not only points out that we are lost but it points us to the Lord. So, let me ask you is the Lord your God or just a God? Do you know Him personally? Not know about Him, know Him. I know about the president, but I don’t know the president. I’m talking about a personal relationship with Jesus.  It’s what David declared when he said the Lord is My shepherd. He didn’t say the Lord is the shepherd or a shepherd, He said MY shepherd. Has there been a point in your life when you have admitted your sin and asked Jesus to save you from your sin? If you have Jesus is not just God, He is YOUR God. It’s a personal relationship. Not only is it personal but it is also about:

  1. God’s Presence

Verse 2 goes on to say, “who rescued you from the land of Egypt, the place of your slavery.”God is not some distant deity, He wants to be present in every aspect of our lives. Not just in the pleasurable moments but also the painful ones. It was His presence that brought them out of the prison of Egypt. Because of His presence they went from pain to peace. Peace is not the absence of problems but the presence of God. For us to be all that God created us to be we must start with a relationship with Him because He designed us for fellowship. The 2 greatest needs of the human heart are a need to be loved and a need to belong. Even the Hells Angels need a gang to belong to. God created us for fellowship with Him, but if we don’t worship Him, we will worship something! The commandments begin with God’s presence and what got Israel and individuals into trouble is when they followed something other than God. They often took their eyes off of God and put it on idols or man. As we saw last time in the breaking of the 10 Commandments. They turned to a golden calf instead of God because they had been following Moses, a man not the Messiah. With their attention drawn elsewhere God’s people soon forgot about His presence and so they missed His purposes for their lives. Today many Christians come to God based on their problems instead of His presence. But when we come to God for what we can get its not based on a relationship it is using God. And if we use God, we will use other people. Unfortunately, today there is more religion than righteousness, because often God is not the first passion of people’s hearts. Does your prayer life revolve around your problems or His presence? Sadly, feeling better has become more important to us than finding God. If we are not careful as a church, we will lose sight of why we are here. Our purpose is not to push programs it’s His presence and introducing people to Him. Is God’s presence your number one priority? He desires to be present not just when we have problems but for all of our life. If we are not careful, we will compartmentalize our Christianity. So that we end up with a Sunday God and a Monday Me. Where we pursue His presence part time instead of all the time. Not only do we see God’s presence but also:

  1. The Protection

“who rescued you from the land of Egypt, the place of your slavery.”Here God reminds them of His power to protect as He rescued and redeem them. Why is He a jealous God? For our protection. God’s jealousy isn’t selfish, it is to protect us from experiencing less than what He had planned for us. This makes His jealousy very different from our concept of jealousy. He is not protecting Himself in the commandments, He is protecting us. God rescued us from the slave market of sin and redeemed us for relationship. Our problem is that when we run from Him, we run right back into ruin. Instead of living in freedom we live as foreigners. Today people view freedom as getting to do what they want when they want. But people who try to gain freedom apart from a relationship with God are like a ship which is free when it loses its rudder; it is free to sail anywhere, even onto the rocks. We need the rudder because it doesn’t just provide direction but also protection. Relying on your relationship with God protects you from the storms of sin allowing you to sail around them instead of getting sucked into them. Resting in Christ protects you from the currents of the culture that want to carry you away from the Savior and into sin. There is protection in His presence. God’s plan has always been to bring us out of prison and into His presence. To separate us from the world. “I am the Lord God, which brought you out of bondage.” He is not only the God of our present, but also our past, and if we put Him first our future also. Because He has saved us, He has the right to tell us what is right. It was His saving power that free them from slavery, and this is still true when God is given first place in our lives, He still frees us from the slavery of sin and selfishness. Are you making it personal? Is it about His presence and protection or just your problems. This year rather than focusing on the problems try pursuing His presence. Because peace is not the absence of problems but the presence of God.