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What I Want

Tom Waters


A vulnerable look at how Christs treats us in failure and how it makes us want to "know Him" and Love Him like He loves us!


Tom Waters

President, co-founder and speaker for Restoration International


  • April 5, 2014
    11:00 AM
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I'm excited about what I'm going to be sharing today because it's all about what I want I'll just stop there for a minute. Because before I tell you what I want I want you to think for a few moments a few seconds I wish I could give you moments but you have to be that later a few seconds I want you to think what is it that you really want young people adults something you've never had maybe something you've always wanted but what is that you want and just let's pause and you think about it nobody else has to know what is the you once you see sadly for all of us not most of us for all of us we have spent most of our lives other than maybe the littlest toddlers in arms those little babes in arms most of us have spent too much of our lives wanting what self wants. If I can just have my way if I can just if I can just have all the toys mommy need took my toys a if I can have on and we started off pretty young or it starts showing itself thinking that then if we can just justify no way it was he started it that we will be justified and therefore somehow we can be happier if we can get what I want and preferably now and really I hope most of us as adults I mean I hope all of us but particularly those of us here today that are adults. Have been finding out that just giving what self wants is killing our Christianity. It's killing our real happiness because the end of selfishness has only been experienced by well those who who we might think could really get it all that really have enough money to really get it all. Like a man called Solomon that he really started out good. And he didn't ask for lots of money and he didn't ask for a long life or he asked for was to be a wise king and that's what he desired and God said whoa that was good I'm going to give you that. And I'm also going to give you money and also you to give you power and I'm also going to give you long life but unfortunately he turned inward to self and we know the history of that great king who could give it all he could get all the wives he wanted he could get all the concubines he wanted he could get all the gold he wanted he could build all that he wanted to build and he finally said. Oh it's all what was the word. So very few of us will ever have the opportunity to have every car that we might have thought would make us happier or all these other things because we spend our lives somehow thinking if I can do it my way I will be happy and that is coming from the adversary the one who said I will set my throne above the throne of God And so today even for those of us who are professing to be crucified with Christ. Never the less we live but it's no longer us living it's Christ living in us and the life we live even those that are saying that believing that wanting that surrendering to that I'm going to I'm going to read a list of words here that we are experiencing too often and with what we profess irritation frustrate shun anxiety fear lust secret sin anger love of fashion being controlled by technology the negative thinking which leads to depression controlled by appetite it's many children today are me 1st I want to my way and the world is making it politically incorrect to help them see that having your way is going to kill you it's not politically correct we see it on airplanes now and it's a tragedy we fly a lot and we see it it's it's sad to see in the little children that they're being encouraged in what ever they want indulged don't you know keep your hands off of them one mother out of frustration after doing everything she could do to get her child in the seat belt because you can't fly until the seat belt was on a matter how much of a tyrant that child has become through the indulgence of her parents. She gave that little one a smack on the behind so quite a gun here. That's because you know what's politically incorrect on an airplane today and you also know that it's gone way too far and when that door opened on that airplane there were agents on the other side of the door who took that child away from that mother. That's the world we're living in today because somehow we think that if we can get my way or give our children their way they're going to be happier and we could go on and one of the deadliest things that professing Christians have to face is pride and the deadliest form of pride is spiritual pride. The deadliest for. So why do we resonate with all these things now you didn't resonate with all of them but you didn't have to think is that me do I do that you know because the Holy Spirit brought it to our minds just like that that's that's me or I do that I don't like it but I do that I don't want to do that but you found yourself somewhere in those categories and if you found yourself saying I don't do any of that stuff you might be in the deadliest form of all. And that's a tragedy and it's very hard to get our attention when we're there. And I'll tell you as I have been looking at my own life and looking what God has done and what he's trying to do and how he wounds and draws and all these things I'll tell you what my conclusion at least the one I can say to you today in a short phrase it's because we don't really know God we don't really know our Father Jesus said in John 173 this is a life eternal not just up there. But life eternal which begins where here this is life eternal to know the only true God and Jesus Christ whom he has sent friends to know God is to love God more than my self this is what God is is trying to help me understand to really know God is to really love God and to love God actually so much that I want to love Him and serve him more than I love and serve my sound and that is the battle of the ages that is the great controversy boiled down to one human being and his god is it going to be me or is it going to be him and when we love him enough when we know him enough it sends chills down my spine we will love him more than we love our selfishness more than we love our self more than we love being right and making our wife know that we are right she is wrong. That is the love of self. And it's killing our Christianity. So. What I want and what I have been putting my energy into over the last year plus is to know him. To know this God And so in my studies over the last year but in amazing journey I love it because I'm going through the Bible in a completely different way now completely different way going through the familiar stories to find out all about how God responds to all these sinful people every one of them. I'm one of them but I'm going through the stories and finding out and I'm going to talk about 2 of those people today and it is powerful to my life it is powerful to us it's the story of the lie just just one little piece of his life and we'll talk about today and the story of the particle son in law Jim was a man who had a connection with God you believe that. In large you had a connection with God and we're going to be looking at the 1st kings Ok so if you want to get your Bible ready we're going to look at the 1st case we're going to be just focusing on Chapter 19 and don't start reading it because I know what it's like you want to start reading it and remember the story but please I've got a very special direction it's going to be unlike what most of us have heard Ok going me until I began to look at God this way KANK but it lives as you remember the story just just to give you context. It logic came in before King a Hab after 3 and a half years of dried drought serious drought he comes in to the king he always had a way of getting into the King without anybody letting him in that's a that's because of his connection with God it didn't matter how much security that he had had he just finds in larger standing in front of them and in law just says I want you to gather all the leaders of Israel and I want you all the prophets of Bale and I want you to meet me up on Mount Carmel did King a have obey Yes he did not talk back to a larger because the larger was in charge because God was in charge of Elijah and they met up on Mar Carmel and we had the privilege when we did meetings in Tel Aviv a few years ago we had the privilege of being on top of Mount Carmel and it was totally different than I expected you know you get pictures in your mind if you're a visual person you get pictures and you see the story in your mind and you hear about all these prophets of bellowing all of Israel there and who is on the Lord's side and they answered Not a word. Really taken a stand right not a word they wanted to find out what was politically correct there. Was a have still in charge or was the God of the larger going to be in charge once they found out that the God of the largest sense fire down from heaven now they're ready to talk they're ready to Ok we're on your side isn't that tragic that self but. That's the scene we were up there we was a lot smaller and I realized you know what talks about gathering is real they just gathered the leaders because there wasn't any way in the world physically that you could have gotten all the people in Israel that wanted to come Ok it was the leadership that was there and the $450.00 prophets of Baal it's not a large area but I tell you just to be there and to be able to see in the distance some of the ruins of jazz radio or Elijah ran in front of a have so here's the story illogic has called for God to send fire down to show the people that he's not operating on him on his own agenda God sends fire down illogic destroys the 450 prophets of Bell he says rain is coming he gets in front of a Habs horse takes it by the reins and runs runs how far I looked up some of the stuff to make it a little more interesting in my study about 24 miles from k. we actually took a car from Mt Carmel over to the some of the ruins of Jess real and so he runs who's given the power to run God he runs in front of the horse blinding rain gets there and now he's sitting in front of the wall why didn't he go in because God was still in control we do not enter in to be enchanted ground he stayed outside didn't have a tent doesn't say he did. He's outside it's pouring rain and. Now in the middle of the night he gets a message a messenger comes to him and let's pick it up in verse 2 1st Kings 19 judges of else on a messenger to a larger soul let the gods do to me and more also if I make not died life is the life of one of them about this time. Ok so. Notice what happens verse 3 when he saw that what did he see he's a visual he sees it he sees his light being made like who the prophets of Belva he did away with he sees it and what does he do he arose and went for whose life his life whose life was he fighting for up on Mount Carmel the life of God's people and God's reputation and God's character and he now is going for whose life his life he's going to run for his life. In Soho verse 4 says he went a day's journey into the wilderness No I'm sorry 1st 3 let me finish 1st 3 ran for his life went to bear Shiva and left his servant there verse 3 says Ok so I did a few more calculations and so he went about 111 miles to bear Shiva with his servant now was he running out of the power of God at this point no make it clear he's not into the power of God He's doing it his way why is. Suddenly now serving himself as the most important prophet at this time with God Why is he doing it I'm going to tell you why he's doing it fear. Here's why he's doing it James Chapter 5 or 17 you don't have to go there you know this person says that Elijah was a man of like passions as we are. And that was one of the 1st things that hit me about the beauty of what I'm sharing today about God's perspective you're going to hear this unfold in larger wasn't supernatural sitting under the walls of just real he was just like us you like to sit in the rain at 3 o'clock in the morning he's got no supernatural power working he's not running in front of Ahab's horse he's not slaying the prophets of Bale with supernatural power he's he's a man who's finished a mission and he's sitting there in the rain and he gets the message I'm going to kill you about by this time tomorrow and he forgets he forgets Ok came a man who's had this kind of experience forget his faith. Have you ever had it happen. Oh yes we've had it happen he forgets God's intervention he forgets that we're God leads him what God asks him to do God enables him to do he forgets all this and he says I've got to get out of here and he does because he's a man of like passion like we are he has the power to choose to do it his way and so he's running it goes 111 miles and then in verse 4 it says and then he himself went to Day's Journey into the wilderness and he came in sat under a juniper tree and what happens there Ok so let's understand that he's he's gone 111 miles that we know of we don't know how far he went to day's journey but we know he went with us serving about 111 miles to bear Sheba. Now he's blocked the server he's gone out he's under a juniper tree can we can we say that he's probably tired and exhausted running on his own steam absolutely God is not sending him on a mission and so here he is under the tree and he says to God. Let me die it is enough now Lord take away my life for I am not better than my fathers do you know what that means friends enlarges admitting I'm like the ones that I've been up here trying to help Israel see to reform they kill the prophets they turn away they are past the size from you and I am no better than my father's Just let me die now I'm not going to ask you to raise your hands but have you ever felt like you're not going to make it as a Christian that you know other people do but but the devil convinces you it's happened to me and it's happened more than once to just give up in life is ready to give up and he says let me die now we get the 1st glimpse of God here and how does God respond. Nothing says nothing in logic for the sleep nice that God didn't take him at his word didn't kill him didn't let him die but he falls asleep and notice what happens when he falls asleep that in verse 5 an angel touched him and sat on him Arise and eat now. This is where we start to see a different aspect of God because if we were sent out you know there's reformers out here in this congregation there is that everyone Ok reformers are great but in every Reformation there is legalism in every every Reformation there is misjudgment there is extremes and some of us if we would have been sent out to a larger we would have said something like this what are you doing you're running for her we want to tap him on the shoulder and said Come on you're the best prophet we've got if you can do it who can and these are the kind of things unfortunately that we would say and how do I know we would say because we say to our children we say it to our wives we say it to fellow church members but the initial touch isn't on the shoulder touches him didn't kick him didn't shake him didn't push him didn't tap him on the had touched him on the shoulder and says to him Arise and eat and there was verse 6 a cake that was baked on the coals on a cruise of water. Do you hear any lecture going on here by the angel like you idiot nothing he falls back asleep he's exhausted notice what happens the 2nd time the enter comes to him a verse 7 and touched him and said Arise and he because the journey is too great for the what journey running running your journey is too great the Angel didn't say Arise and eat and then let's talk about what you're doing right now and I just put this in perspective. He said Arise and eat there's more food there's more water because you have got a long journey ahead of you and God is providing for you to run do you hear this friends God is providing my father is providing for your needs right now. We haven't seen that kind of god friends many of us have missed it we've missed him he's not lecturing Elijah if you could lecture anybody you could lecture his star prophet he could say Come on you know it all you know better than this come on get get your act together this is how we treat people too often this is how we treat our children we don't see the progress that we're making we're think on what is wrong with you you can't get your room in order your closet still looks like a nightmare. This is our our tendency in this is not who our father is and he says through his messenger the journey is too great and so he got up eat he ate and drank in the strength of that journey of strength of that me he went 40 days 40 days and 40 nights that's how long he went on that food and water was he on a mission for God no. He was on a self preservation mission that we all recognize a very quickly he was not doing this for God but God fed him God watered him God fueled him to run all this is a god that many of us have not seen and many of us have not expressed and many as many of us don't love him because we've never seen this god. I wish I could tell you all the stories I've been learning about this God and His love and it is not cheap love it is love so deep it breaks our hearts it is not cheap grace and so now Elijah goes 40 days beyond what he's already gone and guess where he ends up in his hiding place he found his hiding place it was a cave his hiding place now where God hid him when God was telling him what to do during a 3 and a half years it's his hiding place now he's doing it under his steam and now God comes to him and says the word of the Lord came to him in verse 9 and 7 to him What do is here to. This is still God our God from the beginning of the Bible to the last book of the bible asks questions because of that it's how you get the best response from the person getting the question we don't say I know what you did why did you do that to me that's how we do it that's all self does it I saw you do that to your brother I saw the way you know God said. What are you doing here Elijah. Who's been running for a long time you think he's ready to fess up what you think here's And here we go and he said Elijah said Oh I have been very jealous for the Lord God of hosts for the children of Israel or for sake and I Covenant and they've thrown down your altars and they've sling your prophets with the sword and I just mean I am left alone and now they seek my life to take it away what is he doing here all of us that understand self what is this call self or just a for cation right Ok. So now he's he's justified himself now we're going to hear a lecture from the Lord right no no we're not going to hear a lecture from the Lord the Lord has been speaking to him but we're not going to hear a lecture from the Lord notice what happens and it says in verse 11 and he said Go forth and stand on the mount before the Lord every foot the whole the Lord pass by in a grave in strong wind rent the mountains and break in pieces the rocks before the Lord but the Lord was not in the wind and after the wind and earthquake but the Lord was not in the earthquake and after the earthquake a fire but the Lord was not in the fire and after the fire a still small voice Now stop right there this is a demonstration of the power of God Now put yourself in a light just place he's been running now with God not for God but for himself Ok he knows this he's running now no God asked him what he's doing there he justifies himself and now God does the manifestation of his great power have you ever seen rocks rents so in such a strong wind that they shatter and explode and earthquake fire and if you can put yourself because we don't do this very often in stories we read him we go yeah that's a good story you put yourself there you've been running on your own steam. Put it in context home school marriage parenting whatever it is you've been running your own steam and now God does a manifestation of his great power and every time when the mountain shatter you think oh man I'm going to be killed he's he's upset at me. And then years quit comes oh it's going to swallow me up and then the fire comes I could be consumed this is Old Testament prophet he just called fire down from heaven. We could be consumed here he's a prophet of God we don't think about these things and God was not in God produce God was not in any of those things and then he spoke in a still small voice in that the Bible says. In verse 13 when he larger heard it he wrapped his Nanse all over his face why because God was in the still small voice. And in lie just knew it God didn't consume him with. We go in and didn't consuming with the earthquake didn't consume him with the fire deserved it absolutely if God gave us what we deserve friends we wouldn't be here on this planet right now. And isn't our God. In the still small voice God was in it quietly speaking to the heart of a larger He saw it he felt that he experienced it he covered his face with his mantle and then after God has his attention God says at the end of verse 13 larger What do is. Here asked the question again now we know this man of God This great prophet who is almost ready to be translated he doesn't know this but we know it we know the story this great man is is going to be ready to give himself to God and say whoa I'm ah I have been running a Mundungus think that's going to happen next listen to what happens next. So you answered Not a word because you don't know what's going to happen next even though you know the story Ok Elijah says I have been very jealous of the Lord God of host because the children does this sound familiar it's a direct transcript of what he said before he knew it was God direct transcript before he covers his face with a mantle he's still not ready to admit that he's just justifying himself he's in self pity he says I'm the only one that's left and so now are we ready for a lecture from God Come on are we ready for it would we be doing it absolutely there's no lecture from God Ok you get a new side of this story and so the Lord said unto him after he gives his speech that he gave before the after he asked the 1st question the 1st time now after Elijah give this same speech word for word the Lord's out of the him go return by the way to the wilderness of Damascus and when the bow come as the North has the all to be king over Syria and years of the Son of Man she shall be king over Israel and ally sure the son of shape it to take your place as a prophet. You've never thought of it in those terms before probably I never had. Never occurred to me until I looked at this through the eyes of the Father who loves us with an everlasting love. He says to John he doesn't give him in the lecture he just says this is what I want you to do now. Found you out here hiding in a cave 40 days journey from wherever here's what I want you to do give them as instruction and his last instruction to him was now I want you to anoint allies show. To be the prophet in your room that he's in your place do you get a different perspective on this is a line judge could have thought in that moment didn't get a lecture didn't get killed by the fire didn't get swallowed by the earthquake didn't but now I'm getting. We're tired he's done with me you know that hit me that hit me that he lied you. Begin to recognize and what he began to recognise made him the sole self dependence upon God that you'll never find anything else that happens in the lodges life after this that goes wrong nothing because God took him through this to prepare him for translation. And so he went back there's no one no more structure here he won't bet with and this time went for a couple kings. And a replacement and God gave him no more instruction but when he does what God asked him to do that's the rest of the story but that's not my story today Ok that's the rest of the story he's going to find out if he does find out that he's going to be taken up in a chariot and he tells Eliza his trainee c. doesn't even know he's going to be straining but he gets it unfolded as he becomes faithful again as he loses his fear and loses his self reliance he gets further instruction and he tells Elijah that if you see it happen you get the answer to your prayer. Double portion of my spirit so you know what's going to happen and he prepared and he said you know if you're here if it's allowed that you can see me go you get it so he knows now at the end of his life but this was a turning point for his faithfulness this is a God who lets us run and loves us still lets us run and loves us still not only lets us run but fuels us to survive oh friends I want to know that God That's what I want to know him is to love him and to love him is to love you more than I love myself more than I want to do my will and a lie just finally learned this lesson and was translated without done. Only one other person ever had that privilege. In what a privilege but that's not him that's the one I'm talking about I'm not talking about the reward I'm talking about the God the God that we need to know so well that we will serve wholeheartedly better than we will serve ourselves I want to know him that way the prodigal son I never saw the connection between the prodigal son and Elijah ever before until I was doing this kind of study about God about the kind of father that he is I never saw the connection but the prodigal son wanted to run away Ok and the prodigal sons father fueled his journey and gave him counsel given every evidence of his love but he let him run and the fuel this journey. And he never stopped purring and yearning and calling back that son we know that their father is our Father and have him go with me to look at the 15th chapter because the story is I want to tell you that this story always makes me cry Ok and that's a good thing because I always see something new something deeper about my father but this son and look if the 11 to 32 this son has become weary of restraint thought that is liberties were restricted that's what many people think about the law of God It's not a law of love and liberty to many of us for 4 years that was not allowed to live in liberty for me it was I've got to do this or I'm going to hell if I do that I'm not going to heaven it was not a lot of love in liberty in this prodigal son and there are prodigal sons in this congregation today. This prodigal son thought that there was too much restraint not enough liberty his father's love and care were misinterpreted. And he said I want my inheritance now. And that father who represents our Father in Heaven gave him what he asked for knowing exactly what was going to happen gave him his share of the inheritance and he went and he began to enjoy quotes. What he was enjoying it was all the things that were income covering his conscience all the loud music all the immoral lifestyle he was keeping himself so busy God was still calling for him but he was covering it up and pretending he was happy and he had all these people around him and he was buying all the drinks and it was just one big party until the money ran out and there was nobody around nobody with him and were told there in verse 14 it says and when he had spent all there was a famine in the land and he begin to be in want praise God. When we come into want and things change for us we start needing God don't we we need something and he begin to be in want then where were his friends were when he was in want they're gone his money's gone he doesn't have food he comes face to face with his wants. In a verse 17 as says. He came to himself. Where did he come to himself he was right in the middle of a pigsty the worst job a Jewish boy could ever imagine having to feed swine and so poor and so hungry that he was there having to consider whether he would eat at the hospice that were being fed to the pigs in that moment it says he came to himself. What will it take for God to bring us to the place our heavenly Father that we come to ourself the Says he came to himself and he said I will arise and go to my father. And I will say Father I have sinned against heaven and before the and I'm normal or worthy to be called by son make me as one of our hired servants so I want us to stop for a moment this boy who misinterprets his father's love and care call that restraint calls it the lack of freedom this boy remembers Ok I love this it says. That he remembers his father's love this is taken in the inspired commentary in Christ object lessons it says he remembered his father's love and that love was drawing him home what was drawing him home how come no he calls alone it's because he seen something of the pain of what he called freedom no restraint I can do what I wanted. And nobody's going to tell me son if you do that it's going to hurt now I'm going to do what I want to do and it's going to be different for me and there are young people in this congregation today that are struggling with those same thoughts you think that your parents the love is a restriction of your liberty you think that they don't really love you you think of their being too hard on you you think at this point in your exist period think you know more than they know and. You want that freedom to go out and prove that you know more than they do and I tell you many have done the experiment that the prodigal son has done and I tell you you don't have to do that young people you don't have to experience that many of the reasons that young people do today is because they've never tasted of the real love of God they've never experienced real Christianity they've never seen it in their parents they've seen all kinds of things in their parents but they haven't seen that kind of love and that love is what we're talking about today that the father has and I want to challenge any young people here today that are struggling with these things that you forget for a moment about seeing it in your parents and that you go to God and say God if you're real God If you really love me God if you can really make a difference in my life please do something to show me that you are a personal God that you love me then you will do something for me and God will do that oh that sends chills down my spine God will do that because he loves us with an ever lasting love and to offer we don't give him a chance this prodigal son did not give God that chance he thought his Father's Love was to respective now though he's coming home he's got his heart ready to confess and repent and he's ready to be a servant that's a good position for us to be in ready to be a servant. And he comes home and all how I love this verse 20 and he rose and he can do is father but when he was you had a great way off his father saw him. And had compassion on him. And ran rain then. Friends business is our God this is our Father in heaven he runs to meet us if he throws his arms around us and he holds us tenderly entirely and he doesn't want to let us go unless we push him away this is our Father. And his son begins to give him the speech all broken hearted. And this sunset and in verse 21 father I have sinned against heaven and in God's side and I am no more worthy to be called the high son and the vats where the father stops him in his prepared speech there will be no more speech there will be no more words about being a servant in his father's house his father takes off his own row and puts it around the brokenness of his son on the willing for even his servants to see the condition of his son this is our God to know him is to love him more than I love myself this is what it means to know God this is the God who waits for us this is the God who sees us turn and runs to meet us now waiting with his arms folded saying I tried to tell you didn't I son did you get it now. Did you get it this is not our father this is our humanity this is our selfishness this is too often how we treat those we say we love that. But Don wants to show us another kind of love. That will break us down and make us over again. And this father. Who represents our Heavenly Father says My son was dead and he is alive again he was lost and he has found. That our God You see part of the reason that the story of the prodigal son always makes me cry is because I have been a prodigal son I know the pain that I caused my father my father and I were this like in this we were so close I know the heartbreak when I caused my mother might have even contributed to the cancer that took her I don't go there but I know what it means to be a prodigal son and today I'm learning how to be the father of a prodigal son. Because I have a son who did walk away from God and walked away from us I'm learning what it means you see our son our children we have 3 children never had rebellion in our home. I praise God that we had a home that was learning how to represent God and in simple ways we had a loving home we had a home that had boundaries and rules but none of our children ever even had the desire including our son to rebel at home we don't have to teenage rebellion our son left home with our blessing went into flight school top of his class tremendous flown with him many times and tremendous gift of God his abilities as a pilot top of his class got opportunities to get involved where he took his schooling was near Scottsdale Arizona which is one of it's a flying Mecca in the United States where lots of the rich people fly airplanes and he began to rub shoulders and start flying jets then had every rating that he could get until he had all the readings that were possible except his a.t.p. his airline transport pilot which you couldn't get here 23 years old he had all these started his own business started flying jets couldn't fly in the right speakers he didn't have his a.t.p. but hired I talked to the captain that he hired who is retiring from another major airline and he said I have to tell you it's nice working for your son but he said I've never I'm 65 years old I've never worked for a kid before because just I couldn't fly the jets he could fly in the right seat but he couldn't fly the left seat that's the captain and so he began to make money lots of money and he was still walking seeking to do what was right and he called me one day it said Father you know I'm making a lot of money I want to be a millionaire by the time I'm 30 years old I said Josiah the love of money is the root of all evil. He said Father I'm not love in money I just want to make money so that you know you sacrifice you and mother of sacrifice for our family and for the ministry of the Lord all of our family life and you never complained about it I want to buy your house I want you to be over retire I want to give you a payback for all that you've sacrificed a lot I said just don't care about that thank you for that kind of thought his his heart was in the right place initially belittled by little the money started taking him away and he started making more and more money in his communications started decreasing with us and then he got involved with a jet broker girl at a jet convention who was involved in say tannic rights. I'll tell you the double wants to take our young people down front. He doesn't just want them to you know just kind of dabble he wants to get them by the throat and kill him when they're lost and he got involved in this relationship and it was terrible and this soon as he got involved in this relationship it was June he cut off his communication with us I remember the last phone call we were doing a parenting series at Wisconsin can't meeting was an hour I can't mean just doing a parenting seminar or conference can meeting I remember that caller number right where I was standing I had no idea I was going to be my last call with him for a long time and he went silent and that relationship went toxic and it got so bad that one day he called me about 3 years into the relationship he called me that I mean he had called from time to time but very very rarely he called me says 1230 at night we talked for 6 and a half hours on the phone the longest phone call I've ever had he said I need help father. I need help this relationship is telling me I need help please and by God's words I got an airplane the next morning that was a miracle I got on an airplane the next morning and I flew into Sky Harbor Phoenix and as soon as the wheels hit the ground I got on my cell phone I said I called he didn't answer I said Son I'm here since I get my baggage I'll let you know which door I'll be coming out looking forward to seeing you there was no response to that message I got my baggage I called him again he didn't answer all day from 9 o'clock in the morning a call them I call them in a cold him and he didn't answer I know the pain of a product son because my father pain but I know the pain and the pain of our Heavenly Father to a small extent and I call the few the day in that it was nightfall and I kept calling him and I kept believing that he will come he asked me to help him had no idea what was going on I found out 3 weeks later what happened terrible but I kept calling him and finally you know I was it was 10 o'clock at night I was tired and and so if you've ever been to Sky Harbor Airport it's not a place to stay overnight. It's not set up like some airports. It's not a place to stay overnight I found a park bench a park bench not a cushioned seat not something I could stretch out and I put my briefcase under the park bench and I laid on my side and I cried myself to sleep talking to the Lord. And I woke up about 10 minutes later and it was so painful I turned over on my other side. And the reminded me that he had no place to lay his head for me and I said all thank you of course oh it's good to be it's good to feel our need brothers and sisters it's good to feel our need. And so I spent that night tossing and turning and I kept calling him the next morning and I actually got another hotel spent another day there and 3 weeks later I found out I can't tell you the whole story of that but it was a terrible story and he said Father I was so sick I nearly threw up when I did what I did to you I was driving the other direction and every time your call came in my my stomach was torn up I was more sick and her dad was over there in the passenger seat saying your dad is controlling you know he's controlling leave that man live your own life this is her father telling him he's also in the say tannic rights had him by the throat I didn't help my son that day other than I did my best and so I went home and I began to pray a prayer that I prayed for 2 years every day multiple times a day Lord I know you don't force but I know that you confuse the languages of the Tower of Babel and they went their separate ways Lord confuse their language. If it is your will. I prayed that prayer for 2 years after 3 day in July 2 years later some months relationship has been going on for 5 years after months I got a call in July in assoon as I heard my son's voice I knew something had changed he said Father it's over. I knew exactly what he meant he said Father you are not. For the last 6 months we can not talk about anything without getting in an argument and the last 3 weeks or 2 weeks our member exactly he said we cannot talk at all. If we even open our mouths which fight we get angry I want to say that I didn't just quietly. Praise you for hunger he said it's over but our particle son didn't come home but that relationship was over. And it was the beginning of access to him a new to start having normal things happening and I tell you this this reference for any parent that's going through this crisis object lessons to all to. The father urines over those who have chosen to separate from Him This is the part I love Don't miss this he the father sets in operation influences to bring him back to the Father's house Oh I tell you when God sets influence in motion There's nobody that does it better he knows the timing he knows the heart he knows the police he knows exactly what to do. And he was setting those things in motion. And my wife and I were praying a prayer and Isaiah 4925 it says I will contend with him that contend with you and I who speaking. I. Will save our children the whole verses beautiful says thus they have the Lord even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away and I tell you he was under the captivity of the Maya to me and we were praying daily because this was not just a relationship but it was a demonic. Connection. And so I found myself continued to pray my wife and I pray this prayer over and over and many other prayers which we never lost hope in and I remember being in my closet for one day who literally floor in the dark. And I was just pouring out my heart to you our Heavenly Father and I said Lord I can't lose one of my 3 children for eternity because our girls have never never desired to turn from the Lord and I think God for that I said I can't lose one of and in the midst of the darkness the Lord brought this thought to my mind I lost one 3rd of my children in heaven and I never made a mistake your son is only temporarily off the path. On never let go. I can say to you by the grace of God and no credit to ourselves that we as a mother and father never lost hope in the return of our son never by God's grace all I could tell you many times but I was tempted to but are I knew the God would not let him go and I knew that if thou canst believe all things are possible to him that believe in them I held on by God's grace to the power of those promises and I want to tell you what happened on Sabbath March 23 this past March my wife and I were doing meetings in Illinois to church when we do church seminars because we're you know rains do church seminars we do church summers we don't do them together like we do here so it's all it's the weekend is you know it's just a busy weekend and so Sabbath is all day so I said to my wife Honey let's just leave our cell phones here we're going to have time to really deal with them anyway let's just leave it here and we'll check and see if you know we're getting messages we come home so we had a beautiful day also did you know did Services came home that night just about the close of the Sabbath were staying with the host family of the meetings that this church. And so were there in their home they'd given us one of their bedrooms and we went in and as I walked in to the bedroom I saw my phone the light flashing on my phone and I went over and this is what I read in the text message from our son I had another small answer to prayer last night it was a simple prayer one that would have made the prayer of the publican seem eloquence. Fighting God for almost 10 years has left me realizing that there is always going to be pain and longing in my heart that no money no special person career business or any other distraction can hide forever I can rest in peace knowing that I have literally explored and exhausted every alternative to God. And there is nothing left to question. Nothing. I came to church today for the 1st time in many years to gain a blessing not just because I needed to make someone happy over so much to share but I'm in church now. And I love you all friends. We my wife and I. I want to show you what we did but because it hurt my knees we drop to our knees I've got a bad knee some of you know have. We dropped to our knees. Right there and we just poor and our hearts in thankfulness to God. Who never fails. And who never gives up on us we didn't know that while we were pouring our heart to God with tears running down our faces that the host of the meetings the lady very dear hostess she came to our doorway didn't shut our door we just dropped to our knees she came to the doorway to invite us to come down for the close of Sabbath we didn't know that and so when we got downstairs she said Oh I'm so sorry that I interrupted you in coals of the Sabbath she thought we were closing the Sabbath and that we had such an intimate connection with God that we were sweeping because we had to see the Sabbath go and I wish it was that way. We didn't try to get into the whole story because it's hard to do that when you're with somebody that you don't really know and they don't know the history and it is too big but you know it kind of made us smile and made us think you know wow that's the love of our God and so. My son called me after we got back from those meetings and we had a very long long talk. And he said to me father and I can't tell you only those of you that might have experienced this what it's like. To have my son back because we were just like this like my father and I and I was able to restore that relationship with my father. And become a Christian the best I know how to be a growing Christian and he had my son on the phone talking to me. So real and so candid and he said Father I know that you never stopped believing in me I know that you never stopped loving me. And I know that you never stopped believing that I would come back to God. So parents. I don't know where you are I know some of the pain the some of you have is in every congregation never give up. Never lose hope never stop believing you know I used to tell my son even when he was in the darkest times I used to say very infrequently but when I felt that the war was asking me to I would say this to him Josiah I believe in you son. Those words were an anchor for his home. Because somehow he got a little bit of a glimpse. That this God that that he used to serve and that that his parents serve as a God who never gives up on us until there is no hope of our recovery. And he said father. Your prodigal son has come home. All sweet words and then he said now father. You'd have to know and understand this. I'm just inside the gate so give me some time Ok I'm back but it's not like everything's back I'm back and I said sorry I'll give you all the time that you need because the God that brought you this far will take you where you need to go and it doesn't have to look like I think it needs to look I'm just thankful you're back. This my son was dead. And he is alive. He was lost and he is found praise God this is our hope for anyone here. And for anyone and it's not just young people there are adults that I talk to all too frequently that are wanting to walk away from God because they've given up because they've never really tasted in seeing who God is the devil has done such a sales job on telling us that God is a tyrant God is watching you don't you do that and we get focused on our self and focused on our problems and focused on the lies and we lose our way where ever you are today I want to treat you give God an opportunity to love you the way he wants to love you give him an opportunity to have access to your life completely give him a chance to show you what his love is like and it's a transforming love and I want to know that God I want to really know him so well that I love him so much that there's nothing in me that wants to go to my selfishness any more but to stay with my God for eternity in closing I want to sing a song and the title of the song. Is to know him. Because that's what I want and I hope that's what you want today as well when you Neal with me as we pray of other in heaven. Tender Father we want to know you to really know you and the only way we can know used to give you an opportunity to reveal yourself to us a father a prayer right now today for my own soul and for every person in this room if there's someone here Lord that is ready to walk away from you the doesn't feel hope. It doesn't feel loved it doesn't really know who you are and has gotten a false picture through whatever means the devil is used Oh I pray that that person will talk directly to you and give you an opportunity to reveal yourself or Father thank You for the way that you have worked in my son's life. Oh Father I want to know you better. I want to be like you I want to love you like you I pray for each of my brothers and sisters here that when we leave this place we will. Be determined to really know you. To let your love change us and then be able to represent you in some small way. That there is life eternal and it begins here. And she's a snake I meant. This media was brought to you by audio verse a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio overs or if you would like to listen to more sermons lead to visit w.w.w. audio or.


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