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2. Thick With the Almighty

Zachary Page
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Practical and powerful devotional breakout series #2

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  • June 23, 2017
    11:30 AM

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God. We long for something more. We long for more of you we long for an experience that's beyond anything that we've experienced before the Lord as we look at what is one of my favorite stories in the whole Bible we talk about how it's changed my life I just pray that you would change our lives even more than you would keep us walking more and more closely with you we've long to know you to serve you with our whole heart for our whole lives please guide this speak to us through the power of your Holy Spirit during this time we pray in Jesus' name amen. On this ridge there was a silhouette a lone figure there it was one of those days where the hero huge storm and many of you have seen huge storms you might get them a little bit more up north of near Shasta you get sometimes get big storms up there. Sometimes. We'll get as many of them down further south in California but I remember when my wife and I were Michigan that we would go into the bedroom and we had this big window and when there was lightning and thunder outside it was so much fun to watch the huge storms outside. Of the storm like no other like no storm that I have experienced before. There was this man standing on the ridge and as he stood there there were tons of emotions floating through him I imagine at that point he was feeling extremely tired imagine at that point that he was feeling extremely excited because God was doing phenomenal things. Imagine that point he was also feeling this intense earnestness that God would do something more. As Joshua stood there on the ridge he was looking down at the Million knights who God had brought this storm and was doing one of the greatest miracles in the entire Bible but yet he was not satisfied let's look at the story. Really fast in Joshua chapter ten Joshua was one chosen by moons is to bring the children of Israel into the land of Canaan. He was a. Young follower of Moses and Joshua chapter ten we see him with his his. His people facing the biggest challenges they face so far so in the previous chapter we had to give you knights who made this league with the Israelites by lying to them but they honor that leave that they had made and so in the first one it says now it came to pass when I advised that king of Jerusalem heard how Joshua had taken AI and other leaders traded as he had done to Jericho and its king so he had done to area and its king and how the inhabitants of Gibeon had made peace with Israel and were among them they say that they fear greatly because Gibeon was a great city like one of the royal cities and because it was greater than AI and all its men were mighty There is this mighty city that is in league with the Israelites and their feeling really nervous about this therefore atomized that it king of Jerusalem sent to him king of Heber and Hiram king of Germany a German with Jiffy king of Lakeisha and De Vere king of Egland saying Come up to me and help me that we may attack Gibeon for it is made peace with Joshua and with the children of visual So these five kings gather their five armies together and they are going to crush out Gibeah and as they go to do this give us in the frantic message to Joshua saying we need your help please come help us and so Joshua rather than just immediately responding he prays about it and he gets this message from from God saying in Muncie verse eight it is. In the Lord said. Joshua do not fear them for I have delivered them into your hand not a man of them shall stand before you this gives this incredible promise that not one of these people will stand before Him Now the previous First tell us what he did next so Joshua ascended from Gil go out he and all the people of war with him and all the mighty men of valor Now this path from Google out to give was sixteen and a half miles and it was uphill the entire way and if you were gone a sixteen half mile hike Yeah the uphill the whole if maybe not half wherever it usually goes the whole way was an ascent and then it says this verse nine Joshua therefore came upon them suddenly having marched all night from Gil gal this was an all night sixteen and a half mile march to get to get to help out their new colleagues there so they get there they have to be exhausted at that point but immediately to go into battle they begin to fight against these five kings and verse ten dollars so the Lord routed them before Israel killed them with a great slaughter Gibeon chased them along the road that goes to best foreign and struck them down as far as the Zeke a and make a death and it happened as they fled before Israel and were on the descent of Beth horon that the Lord cast down Rochdale stones from heaven on them as far as he could and they died there were more who died from the hail stones than the children of visual killed with the sword now first of all as we read this we have to remember that in Genesis fifteen God said You are going to become to Abraham your people are going to become slaves and in Israel for four hundred years. Because iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete so when we see God pouring out judgment on people. Their iniquity is finally complete they finally totally rejected God and their existence has become harmful to the planet so we see this instruction happening now Debian is the city that was this massive fortress city that it was really important for the whole land of Canaan because it had the access to these passes and one of those is the the passive the foreign and this passes the one that they chase the army best foreign was a another six and a half miles up this pass it's another two thousand feet in elevation gain so by the time they get to the top of this past they have been hiking on night long and now they've been fighting plus hiking up this mountain pass and they've gone what about twenty to twenty three miles at this point. Imagine how exhausted you would feel at that point but imagine how excited you feel at that point because here God is sending hailstones down he's totally wiping them out he's fulfilling his promise to you thinking God's done exactly what he promised so that's me and I'm standing there in that Paso to say God thank you I'm going to go home now and get some sleep. Joshua doesn't do that Joshua was there on this pass and as he looks out he sees that the sun is about to go down in the sky and he sees that the that the Amorites there are still Amorites who have not yet been destroyed and as he looks out and he remembers the promise of God that he has that not one man will stand before him. He does the most audacious thing I think in the entire Bible look at the next verse verse twelve then Joshua spoke to the Lord in that day when the Lord delivered up the Amorites a letter to says he spoke to the Lord like he's telling God this is the deal spoke to the world today when the blue delivered up the Emory. Before the children are visual and he said in the sight of visual sun standstill over Gibeon and moon in the valley of Aijalon so the sun stood still on the moon stopped to the people had revenge upon their enemies is it not written in the Book of Jasher so the sun stood still in the midst of heaven and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day and there's been no day like it before or after that the Lord heeded the voice of a man for the Lord five for Isha what gives a person the audacity to pray a prayer like that. To say to the son I mean imagine you're doing your yard work on Friday it's getting close to sundown you're looking at the sun is thinking I just don't have enough time to get all that I want done so sun stand still. Be pretty crazy for a prayer when it seems really crazy and if you think about it at a bare minimum what would have had to happen this is probably the biggest physical miracle in the entire Bible because in order for this to take place a bare minimum the earth had to stop spinning so I was reading on the NASA website if the earth stopped spinning the atmosphere would still be spinning and it spins at a thousand miles per hour and the whole earth has been either thousand miles per hour so if the Earth suddenly stopped rotating there would be a thousand mile per hour winds that would imagine what hurricanes like it's nowhere near a thousand mile per hour winds it would immediately shear everything off the planet and make it just a round bar you would have to have the moon be held in its place from its orbit around the Earth you have to. Huge miracle like beyond anything that we can really comprehend physically is taking place he stops the atmosphere he stops the moon he stops all of these things in place for twenty four hours because one man needed more time for his army he didn't have enough time to get the job done and he said God You promised I get the job done it's not getting done so I need more time. Stop the sun stop the moon in its place what gave Joshua the audacity to pray a prayer like that to have that close of a connection with Jesus but he knew the Jews would do whatever it took to do what he's asking for I want to have that kind of faith I want to know Jesus like that and sometimes when we read in the Bible we see stories like this and it's like so many this pops up on the scene and they have this amazing experience and we think well maybe someday that will happen with me but I want to know what is it that led Joshua up to this place I remember it was one of the first ministers meetings that I was at in central California we were up at Leoni MEADOWS It was after one of the evening meetings and as we were sitting there as I looked around the room I just felt out of place I was young a ministry there was a lot of like at that time kind of famous pastors in our conference is Jeffers Ario is there and David Asher Rick were there and just a bunch of people were talking and interacting and stuff and as I say I sat there I just said I don't know what I'm supposed to be doing I don't have anybody that I felt like I really connected with to talk to I didn't feel like I had any friends there the are that close to friends at that point. So I just picked up my Bible and I still kept reading I was reading straight through the Bible that year as the beginning of the year and I had started this reading in Genesis and I think of the Bible and I kept reading and I ran upon a verse that radically changed my life and I realized the key to everything in my life so go with me to Exodus Chapter thirty three. Exodus Chapter thirty three and we're going to look at a story. That reveals I believe where Joshua got that kind of faith that he knew Jesus that well walked that closely with Jesus that was able to pray a prayer like that son's stance to. And you think about the problems you face in life how much easier they to solve than a sun standing still how much more can God do that when we have this type of faith so what was in the life of Joshua Josh Exodus up to thirty three verse seven this is after the Golden Calf Moses took his tent and pitched it outside the camp poorly puts the tent. Outside the camp and he called it the tabernacle we missed one line far from the camp so where is this this tent pitched it's outside the camp and then emphasizes that it's far outside of the camp so here you have the tent right in over here you have the camp of visual and it's it's a long ways out there to that tent. So it was whenever we skipped another part of any call that the tabernacle was meeting and it came to pass that everyone who was a say sought the Lord when out to the tabernacle of meeting which was outside the camp no one says sought the Lord it's a a word that's intensive in the Hebrew the form of the verb there you could have used a simpler verb there but instead he uses one that's really intensive for example it's used in I believe it's first time in one thousand where Saul is trying to kill David Saul is seeking David's life. Think about the intensity that he had in that search he was willing to pay in his own son to the war with the javelin in order to get to David's life he was willing to hunt him down in the wilderness he was willing to do whatever it takes he he killed all of the priests because he was trying to get to David. He was willing to do whatever it took to get there and Moses takes this tent he preaches it far outside of the camp of visual. And that's the place where people go to seek the Lord seeking That's an intense seeking a seeking That's not letting anything get between them and God. So it goes on verse three so it was whenever Moses went out to verse eight sorry went out to the tabernacle that all the people rose and each man stood it is tent door and watch move this until he had gone into the tabernacle and it came to pass when Moses into the tabernacle that the pillar of cloud descended and stood at the door of the tabernacle and the Lord talked with Moses beautiful picture of God's presence in Moses lied all the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the Tabernacle door and all the people rose and worship each man in the tent in his tent or beautiful picture of this area at about two million Israelites out there in the world and as in this huge church service would take place when most would go out the presence of God would come down and everybody would go to their tent door and they would worship God beautiful picture. All the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the Tabernacle door and all the people rose and worship each man in this tent or verse eleven so the Lord spoke to Moses face to face as a man and speaks to his friend. The beautiful verse and we usually stop reading right there we think about the Moses spoke with God face to face he had this close friendship as if God was right there and he was able to talk with him but usually stopped right there and not read the rest of the verse but that night when I was there going through that this wondering question really was all in my own pride. I read the rest of the verse. And it's changed my life goes on to say this and he would return to the camp so most of this goes back to the can and when Moses would go back to the camp I imagine everybody else went back about their business they went back to tending their fires and cooking their food they went back to everything that you had to do when you're camping you know it's difficult to get everything done while you're camping some of your camping gear then it goes on to say this but his servant Joshua. The son of Nun a young man did not depart from the tabernacle. So where Joshua. Joshua was in the the tabernacle it's fire outside the camp right he is in that area what did you go to that have an angle to do. To seek divide with intensity of heart to earnestly seek God and Joshua doesn't leave he stays in the tent in the presence of God. He's just a young man it tells us here he's just the servant of Moses a young man nobody special but he's determined to keep on seeking the presence of God to stay in the presence of God to be with God. And then we fast forward and we find a man who's willing to stand on a mountain and say Son stand still and moon stand still it wasn't like that was a momentary decision in this one day he woke up and said I'm going to say this he got at that point he had had this experience with God and we get a little glimpse of this at the beginning of Joshua when Moses appears to him and I mean not when Moses pierce him but after Moses is died God comes to him and says just as I've been with Moses I'm going to be with you no man is going to be able to stand before you but then he goes on to say don't be afraid in and make sure that you meditate on my Law Day and I don't have to depart from your mouth for then you will have success and then you will make your way prosperous you know there's some amazing answers to prayer in the Bible maybe you've heard the one before about George Mueller where he walks into his orphanage one morning and there's all the tables are set every child is sitting is orphanage. And they're sitting there at the table and there's no food the cup boards are empty the pantries empty and there's absolutely no food anywhere in the cafeteria and it is George Miller enters he tells all the children children rise for prayer. And they all rise for prayer and they must've been thinking this guy is crazy there is no food here but then he bowed his head and he said Lord for the food which we are about to eat we thank you. No sooner he said amen and there was a knock at the door and it was the milkman very which was first it was a baker first I think who had been woken up in the middle of the night and he had two trays full of bread he said I was impressed that you guys need bread you can can you take this bread can you use it thirty minutes at of course bring it on it and then the milkman came and knocked at the door said my cart just broke out in front of your orphanage and all of them know it's going to spoil could you possibly use fresh milk this morning. That's a man who has an audacity to pray. But here's the thing George Miller was a person who he didn't just go on that journey just because he wanted to you but he actually went on that journey because he was a pastor and he would go around to people's houses and he would find these people who were so burdened because they were spending so much time at work then after work fourteen hour days in the factory and they could barely take care of their family he would try to tell them about the love of Jesus and experiencing God and how wonderful it was and they would say we don't have any time for that we have no time for a guide we're barely able to make ends meet as it is and so he went on this journey to to show that God would provide for their needs when they put God first in their lives and George Miller was somebody who. By the end of his life he had read. Bible through this is two hundred or three hundred times he would read it through two to three times every year just constantly reading through the Bible he meditated on God's word day and night in that assurance of who God is through the word through knowing God Even the audacity to pray prayers like or thank you for the food that we're about to eat and Lord we don't have any money for the orphanage right now and there are some you know thousands of orphans we're taking care of millions of dollars were brought in over the time of his ministry to radical faith in God but that was built on a day to day basis as he spent time in the Word of God We see the same thing with Joshua Joshua goes up on that ridge and he prays that prayer because he knew God for himself and spent time in the tent he refused to leave the tent and I love described this in the book paychecks in profits this is the secret of success is the union of divine power with human effort Joshua done a lot of human effort on that day he had totally thrown himself into this battle because those who achieve the greatest results are those who relied most implicitly upon the Almighty arm. The man who commanded Oh sun stand still a given a no moon in the valley of Aijalon is the man who for our for hours late prostrate upon the earth in prayer in the camp Gilgo the men of prayer are the men of power paychecks and prophets page five on the men of prayer are the men of power Joshua was able to to say what he did not because in that moment he had a powerful prayer to pray and he prayed all the right words but because he had a close friendship with the God of the universe through much time spent. Within hours spent with me think about it he's there in the camp he knows that they are going to go to war and he spends hours in prayer I mean should we be there sharpening the swords and sharpening the spears and figuring out the battle plan imagine some of his men might have been like Joshua Aren't you a little distracted from the things that really matter. It wasn't that he was an active It wasn't that he didn't go into battle but first he took the time to be with guide he took the time in the word he took the time in prayer and then he was able to do radical things but you know we read a story like this and we think well that's great for Joshua he had huge battles to fight for God but me I don't have that same kind of thing that I'm facing in my life but it goes on to say this in the same page in page action prophets we are told of a greater battle to take place in the closing scenes of verse history when Jehovah has opened his armory and has brought forward the weapons of his indignation if we are facing a greater battle could it be that God is looking for Joshua last to stand up today Joshua's who won't depart from the tent who will not leave until they know that they having communion with God until they know that they know God for themselves who refuse to settle for less than an intimate relationship with Jesus I believe God looking for Joshers stand up today if we are facing a greater battle than ever I love the story that Ellen White tells in gospel workers is as God's messengers must tarry long with him if they would have success in their work the story is told of an all the cash or woman who was listening to the reasons that are neighbors gave for their minister success they spoke of his gifts of his style of address of his manners. He said the old woman I will tell you what it is your me in is very thick. You know my. That's the source of power for a man he's knows God for himself it's not his manner of address is not his gifts it's the connection that he has with the on my King of the universe. Speech to fifty five it continues to say when men are as devoted as Alijah was and possessed the faith that he had got who were real in self as he did then when men plead with the Lord is it Jake of the results that were seen then will again be seen power will come from guide in answer to the prayer God wanting to do those same things today he's wanting for the son to stand still in your lie is wanting for you to be able to handle the difficulties of your life as you like we talked about last session radically depend upon him remembering that he loves you that he's holding you in his arms and that takes taking this time alone with God It takes bending time with God and a lot of times we think men I just don't have time to spend time alone with God You know I just my days so busy I have so much going on in my life. But there's a person who had far more things to do I think than any of us it's a story in Christian history and as Martin Luther and with you've ever read about Martin Luther the type of person that he was but you know so much of what we have today as Protestants is due to the writings that he did the preaching that he did is amazing there's a guy by the name of John Piper who was writing about Martin Luther and some of his accomplishments you see he was and he was. He wasn't the pastor of the Wittenberg church and yet he preached about three thousand sermons in his lifetime he was. You know because back then they would have church they'd meet at five A.M. and have a beginning of their service and they'd have a. Any and services on Sunday then they meet again in the afternoon you know want to be on the Gospels one would be on the songs and then they'd have an evening service and then throughout the week they'd have evening services so the pastor couldn't cover all that so he would do quite a bit of preaching there. But. John Piper goes on to say about him that. His job as a bible professor at the University of Wittenberg was full time work of its own beyond just the preaching that he did at the church there he wrote feel logical treaties by the score biblical homiletic cool educational devotional political some of which have shaped Protestant church life for centuries so he's writing all of this on top of preaching over one hundred sermons a year on average all the while he was translating the whole of scriptures into German a language that he helped to shape by that very Translation he's translating the Bible into German. He could on a Volm this correspondence for he was constantly asked for advice and counsel travel meetings conferences in colloquy where the order of the day all the while he was preaching regularly to a congregation that he must've regarded as a showcase of the Reformation this guy was busy right but this guy had an incredible faith in God. In the. The book by the. History of the great reformation it says that it recounts the story where Luther is writing to milling and this is when the length in these in the midst of having to represent the Protestant faith because they've denied Luther from being able to go to the August Berg experience so we there was somebody who the Emperor had actually given permission for anybody to kill Luther on the spot not only had he been excommunicated from the church but they had said it if if you kill Martin Luther then it's like you've killed the wild. Or you've done us a favor he was somebody who I mean the princes were still defend the and that's why I was able to be in Wittenberg but everybody else was out to hunt and he could walk down the street and somebody stab him and. They would be seen as doing a favor for God That's the type of stuff he was going through and he writes to his friend Malenka and he's also experiencing some persecution and this is what he says to him in peace and cry in Christ I say and not in the world Amen I hate with exceeding hatred those extreme cares which consume you. I hate that stuff that fills me with things I hate that we talked about last session and I hate the fact that you're here filled with all of this anxiety in your lie if the cause is unjust then abandon it if the causes just why should we bother either promises of him who commands us to sleep without fear. We can trust that God will finish his work we read the end of the book we know what's coming. God lets us be a part of his word but he doesn't have to have us as a part of his word Christ will not be wanting to the work of justice and truth he lives he reigns what fear then can we have what fear how about being stabbed him or in these there what about what about getting chased down by the armies of the pope you have so many things to be afraid of and yet it's only thing I hate it that you're so inches just trusting just let him take care of all the stuff in your life because he cares for you. And why in the book great controversy further depicts what Martin Luther secret of power was says from the secret place of prayer came the power that shook the world in the great reformation there with the whole the calmness the servants of. The Lord set their feet upon the rock of his promises during the struggle at Augsburg Luther did not pass a day without devoting three hours at least to prayer and they were hours selected from those most favorable to study. Three hours a day devoted to prayer at a time when what he needed to do was to write all these things out for Millington to be able to go dogs were going to be able to defend the entire Protestant Reformation the Reformation that changed the whole world if it wasn't for the Protestant Reformation we in America when be enjoying the freedoms that we enjoy and we have seven they haven't is recognizes the importance of so many things from the reformation where the power come from that shook the world and the great reformation it came from the secret place of prayer the same place that Joshua found it is the same place that Martin Luther bound it. Goes on to recount his prayer times it's interesting that the secretary actually came in there's a story about how he snuck up next to the door of the room where Martin Luther was and he held his breath so Martin Luther wouldn't hear him and he recounted what it was that Martin Luther was praying because in the privacy of his chamber he was heard to pour out his soul before God in words of full of adoration fear and hope as when one speaks to a friend remember Exodus thirty three eleven Moses spoke to God like one speaks to a friend Martin Luther knew what that was like because he had spent hours in the presence of God I know that thou art our Father in our God he said and that the will scatter the persecutors of the children for the hour they self endangered with us all this matter is the hind end it is only by that I can strain that we have put our hands to it defend this and then over five and that a beautiful pray the prayer of faith that prayer. Somebody who knew that God was God Is Back that God was with him and that he really could depend upon God but that prayer comes through much time in prayer much time in the presence of God I remember I moved back to Andrews to the seminary and in two thousand and ten I done ministry for two years at that point and as I moved back I was excited about some of the stuff I was going to be learning there and I thought this will probably be a good experience I'm probably going to grow some from the classes and the classes were phenomenal I learned a lot there gave me a deeper Foundation a deeper appreciation for the truth that we hold dear is seven damaged. But there is a bigger thing that happened in my life one of the first classes was a class on biblical spirituality and as we went to that class they assigned this a prayer partner and they signed us to once a week meet together to pray together and I began to meet with my prayer partner and pray and we specifically would ask each other questions about how our walk with Jesus was going it was practically challenging each other saying so how over the past week how do you grown with Jesus in in what ways are you closer to God now than you were before what challenges did you have in your walk with God What goals do you have for the coming week and those kind of like forced us to begin to think well we better learn how to grow in our walk with Jesus not just stay stagnant in our walk with Jesus we need to set goals to set priorities to figure out how to block out more time in our lives and I read some of these quotes from great controversy and I read some things from him downs is this portion where he talks about the great men of prayer in the hours that they would spend in prayer and you know what. That's the most important thing that I could do to prepare myself for ministry you know I could study and study and study but there are people. Who know so much you don't even believe in God We're you sometimes read commentaries from from people who know the Bible they know the Hebrew they know all that stuff so well and yet they don't even believe that God exists so just studying isn't going to cut it for me I need to study I need to immerse myself in the words but I need something more than that. And so began to to ask God to do something more for me and I wasn't a morning person at the time I didn't really like to wake up I remember that they were starting that G C initiative praying at seven am and seven pm and I was like why did they have to set it at seven A.M. That's early. I don't know that everybody is up at that time well as. Time progressed I began to pray that God would open the door for me to spend more time with them and my family had started doing this before me my parents grew up hearing them pray this prayer so I was if if the verse for the Lord God has given me the tongue of the learned that I may know how to sustain a weary one with the words he awakens me morning by morning he awakens my ear to hear as a disciple he wakens me morning by morning and my parents literally would pray this prayer and not use an alarm clock and so the teenager and other crazy. Maybe they just think about it enough for they are so used to waking up at that time that I don't buy it then I met Leah and Leo is really good friends with my mom and she was praying the same prayer and God was waking her up every morning as we got closer finally and I began to say you know what I need to start praying this prayer as I began to pray that prayer God begin to do it and let me tell you when you claim this promise I literally claim it every single night I just say God would you wake me up tomorrow morning and it is so peaceful to not have to wake up to you know how it is. If you have a ring tone on your phone and you hook it up to that ring tone you like I better change this because I hate hearing that sound now and you have to change to another one and eventually any sound gets annoying that wakes you up. But when you pray this prayer and God wakes you up ready to be you ready to do experience Him you you have a an excitement to spend time with the God that you love. And so started praying that prayer and I don't know maybe some of you pray that but it can be really early in the morning sometimes and sometimes I'll wake you up and you think this could it possibly be right God I'm going to be so exhausted today but if you can stop the sun in the sky and the moon how much more can he sustain you throughout a night of prayer how much more can he give you energy through the word of man doesn't live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God give me energy and strength through His Word so that says something practical is really help me to pray that every day but there's I was there the seminary began to pray that prayer God was leaking me up in the morning spending more time and I just said you know what I'm going to start blocking out this time and I want to spend at least this amount of hours if Martin Luther spend that amount of time and surely he would call me to spend that amount of time to and then I remember Pryor way in right now sin was speaking in Pioneer Memorial Church and we were there and he was saying I don't care how much time you're spending with God But I want you to double it and that was a summer when. I had the most credits I was overloading that summer so that we could get done sooner I was paying to have extra credits and actually got worked out so I didn't have to pay but I was doing extra credits and I thought that's not possible five double three hours that just it's illogical it doesn't work and I can tell you that that summer is I said OK I'm going to do what he's what he's appealing for and I. Had accomplice. All those things that word that that. It was phenomenal So there's is this quote. Or L.-Y. it says I calling page one sixteen this course of action may seem impossible to the human mind I have not time you may say but when you consider the matter is it really is you who's no time. To really have faith we recognize that we we lose no time when we are with God for when you secure the power and grace that calm alone from God You do not accomplish the work it is Jesus who is the real worker without me says Grace you can do nothing. Not a moment is wasted in his presence that doesn't mean that we go and become monks and we don't actively share with the world the love of Jesus that spending time with Jesus has to be pointing at that that's how the fairies are able to or the council is able to look at Peter and say we can tell you've been with Jesus right they knew that he had spent time with Jesus and that changed things and I remember during that year that what I thought was going to take place was you know I would be in to preach these powerful sermons and and I would have power to heal people and you know you begin to think well the more time I spend with God It's just going to be this amazing euphoric experience. You want to be in the find Jesus be end of this point out little corners of my heart you know how you treat your wife. That's really not very nice. You're right well that kind of hurts but you know I should let that go. You know how. You're eating this and it's really sapping your energy and you want to spend time with me but you have no strength in the energy for it maybe should cut that out not just so that you can somehow live longer I'm coming soon but so you have. Our energy to spend time with me so you have more energy to work with me work for me and God be in that radically transform so many areas of my life and one of them was diet where I literally I could have put up a picture of when I was a little kid I loved cookies pizza McDonald's egg and cheese biscuits hold the whole the bacon like I loved anything that was really unhealthy Dona it's anything like that and I hated vegetables when I was a little kid my mom would serve broccoli and I would plug my nose and there's this Russian and if you've been to in Santa Cruz called dharmas we would go to dharmas and thankfully they had this broad menu where I would order you know like pesto Posterous something like that and my parents asked my mom she would order like the salad and then this vegetable stir fry and I tell her. How could you waste all that money on a meal that's prepared for us that is not good at all so I was there at the seminary and I began it is pray God you know how twisted my tastebuds are you know that I don't even like healthy food I absolutely despise vegetables. I just be in the payload would you change me that wasn't an overnight experience but I can tell you that today I love broccoli I love vegetables I love all those things and I believe that God is able to change every area of our life as we simply come to Him and allow him to work transformation and our hearts out and faster for some than for others but as we just keep building that relationship with Him He wants to change every area of our life he wants to make a huge difference in our life he wants for us to have that passion to pursue him with all of our hearts. In the book education because to sixty's as an intensity such as never before was seen as taking possession of the world in amusement in moneymaking in the contest for power in the very struggle for existence there is that terrible force that. Gross's body and mind it's all in the midst of the maddening rush guy is speaking Josh Merritt is talking about how fast technology is advancing you know everything is just bombarding Shang was talking about last night how you have all this background noise in your mind the Devil is purposefully doing as much as possible to engross every part of our mind every part of our body to distract us and it goes on to say God is speaking he bids us come apart and commune with Him BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM guy some forty six ten BE STILL AND KNOW that I'm God goes back to what Enoch experienced just recognize that I am in that I am a reward or of those who diligently seek to seek me recognize that I want to just be your loving father that holds you in his arms. Goes on the same me many even in their seasons of devotion fail of receiving the blessing of real communion with God not a pause for a moment in his presence but personal contact with price to sit down and companionship with and this is our need education beach to sixty to sixty one That's our need to sit down and companionship to really know Jesus and it's going to change absolutely every area of our ally and it's a joyful thing it's comes through delighting ourselves in the lower lakes on thirty seven forces the light yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. I wouldn't trade anything for getting to spend time with God honestly it's become the greatest delight of my life I remember it used to be hard to pick up the Bible and to read there and I'm like well this is what I got to do and I remember to take time in prayer it used to be a really hard thing in this still can be there's so many distractions you know going on which just a side note something really practical to. Be helpful when when you're praying and you have those thoughts in your mind about where they need to get this done in the get that done in get this done either have there on your phone or a note pad a To Do list and as soon as that thing pops in your mind write it down and then you can totally forget about it you can leave it in the can put your mind back on what matters if you are able to push those thoughts and you know that is taking care of and you don't have to keep thinking about it because otherwise it go on praying and then you like Wally but I have to make sure that I remember to do this Martin Luther has some amazing thing that he's written about prayer and there's one article where he talks about the Lord's Prayer and how to dis practically go through the Lord's Prayer and really expand it into pray in a really meaningful way talks about the value of praying out loud so that your actually your thoughts are following because you're speaking out loud he says that he he would either kneel or stand in need pray the Lord's Prayer and he would you know just take it line by line our father and he would just think about God as His Father and pray to God as His Father and pray along that topic which which are in heaven he talked to God about heaven in just go through it step by step line by line for me that's such a valuable thing because I remember this January actually we're going through a difficult time my wife and I and some things that were going on in our community and just all these thoughts racing through our mind I don't know if you've gone through you know some really difficult times in your life where it's like you can't focus on anything but that problem and I remember like one morning God woke me up really early in the morning and I was trying to pray I was trying to talk to him and I just couldn't I could not focus on God at that point as a guide you have to help me what do I do as felt impressible just open your Bible and begin to pray through Scripture something simple and yet something so. Transformation I just picked up the song chapter thirty one I was at that point in time and I began to read it as a lawyer and I put my trust let me Never be ashamed deliver me in you're right just miss that's exactly what I needed at that point I'm going through a time where I feel I need deliverance bow down you are to me deliver me speedily be my rock of refuge a fortress of defense to save me there were some accusations going on and different things and I really felt like God is telling me I'm going to defend Don't worry I'll take care of the church you don't have to worry I'm the defender the church you don't have to be there to make sure that things don't fall apart I'll take care of it for you for you are my rock and my fortress Therefore for your name sake leave me and guide me pull me out of the net which they have secretly leave for me for you are my strength in dear hand they commit my spirit you have redeemed me a Lord God of truth and on and on it goes just promise after promise exactly what I needed in that was able to destroy my mind on what really mattered at that point to focus on praying about things that really matter and I believe God has such a deeper more intimate experience for us I believe that he wants to take us deeper and deeper with him I think that he's calling for Josh was a stand up today and say I'm not leaving that tent. Leaving that and I will not depart from your presence but I'm staying there like Jacob I'm wrestling and I will not let you go until you bless me. And then when we're in that moment of crisis and we're standing there on the ridge and we don't know if we have enough time doesn't matter if we don't have enough time or whatever it is that you're facing you serve the God of the universe you can stop the sun in its place you can say to the moon stand still for a day God wants to do incredible things in our lives in our family's lives. In answer to prayer. Any thoughts or things you'd like to add to that are questions that you guys have. Any experiences or things that have helped you in your time alone with God That might be helpful for for other people that the practical experiences that you've had. To share this time you know. I will. Get. You to have we have. All of. You. Doesn't talk back to you. Yeah I can't help. That's very true and. I still use electronics but what I tend to do is the first page I've taken all the apps off of it besides my Bible why it's writings in the notepad thing and then also usually hit what is it and I do not disturb so that none of the notifications come through and it still is still very easy to get distracted so I think it really is better for just paper but I think there are ways to that you can utilize those tools to so helpful anyways that whatever it takes right now that's what it does the same for Joshua They went out to that ten they did whatever it took to see guys doing whatever it takes that's awesome Let's pray together and it's asked that God gives us more of a heart to seek him more of a heart to know him. Father who we really want to know you we just pray that you would teach us how to know you how to have an experience with you that's living in active glory we want to. Like Moses is a friend. We want to have the experience of Joshua we know who you are and we know that your promises you will fulfill in our lives we want to have the faith of George Mueller that we know we can bless the food that's not there because you told us to take in the orphans and we know that you'll feed them and we want to have the faith of Martin Luther that even though everybody is trying to kill us that we could just rest in confidence in you having no fear because you are sheltering. Just teach us how to prioritize Time Lord radically transform our hearts and our lives we want what Sean talked about this morning we want your love to be how people know that we are disciples. I believe that comes by sitting being set on fire by your love in your presence and I just. Fill us with your holy. You with. This media was brought to you by. A website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about. 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