Holiness comes from a deep reverence for and fear of the Lord. We are now under the new covenant through the blood of Jesus made holy, but the reality of the absolute holiness of God, and the greatness of God should still bring us to a posture of the fear of the Lord. And it's that fear of the Lord, that will give us a hatred of sin, and drive us to purge it out of our lives.
Full transcript generated by ai (please excuse errors):
I know things for our spiritual family and for the body of Christ, and then for the world have been really intense the past several weeks the past couple of months. And I don't know about you, but I've found myself falling asleep and waking up in the morning with this feeling of being just disoriented, and being a little bit unmoored. And not not in a way where I feel like I'm losing my faith in the Lord or in the Word of God, but just feeling a little bit lost as to how to even perceive the times that we're living in. And as I was sharing all of this with the Lord, I felt him just bring me back to a passage that is just very grounding for me, I call it I told tale like this passage is my comfort food and like, it's macaroni and cheese, it's chicken and dumplings, its rolls covered in butter, like this is my comfort food. This passage, grounds me and brings me hope. And that is the burning bush moment of Moses in the Lord. So I'm going to be reading a lot of Scripture today. And I will try to remember to let you know which passages I'm reading. And because I know some people like to know, I'm primarily reading out of the tree of life version. But I do hop around a little bit to ESV and New King James Version. But I'm going to start out actually with the account that I believe it Stephen shares in X seven. So this is x seven, verses 23 through 29. When he that's Moses was approaching 40 years of age, it came into his heart to visit his brothers in Israel. When he saw one of them beach being treated unjustly, he went to the defense of the oppressed man and avenge him by striking down the Egyptian. He was assuming that his brothers understood that by his hand, God was delivering them, but they did not understand. So on the next day, he appeared to them as they were fighting, he tried to reconcile them in Shalom saying, men, you are brothers, why do you do wrong to one another, but the one doing the wrong to his neighbor pushed him away, saying, Who appointed you ruler and judge over us? You don't want to kill me as you killed the Egyptian yesterday, do you? At this remark, Moses fled, and he became an exile in the land of Midian, where he became the father of two sons. Now I'm going to hop back to Exodus starting in chapter two verses 23 through Exodus three, verse one. Now it came about over the course of those many days that the king of Egypt died. And Israel groaned because of their slavery, they cried out, and their cry from slavery went up to God, and God heard their sobbing, and he remembered his covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, God saw Israel and he was concerned about them. Now Moses was tending the flock of his father in law, Jethro, the priest of Midian. So he led the flock to the farthest end of the wilderness, coming to the mountain of God and horrible, and I'm very sorry, if you're a Hebrew scholar, I do not know how to pronounce that. So it's always struck me that Moses knew that he had a calling to deliver the people of Israel from Egypt. And I'm sure he had at least some kind of picture in his mind of what that was supposed to look like a story of how he would be the great deliverer. But when he killed the Egyptian, and the Israelites who the Bible called his brothers, they didn't understand that story of his life of what he saw would happen and what he expected in the future, completely crashed around him, and he fled. And we don't know much about his life over the next four, four decades. But verse 30, and X seven says that 40 years did pass before before the Lord appeared to him in the burning bush. So I think, okay, 40 years of life, 40 years in the desert, 40 years of feeling like you failed at your great calling in life to be the deliverer 40 years of probably, measures of sickness, pain, loss, confusion, questions. In the wilderness, and he had grown up in a royal household in Egypt, while also understanding to some extent his calling and his life, as he expected it to go, as he probably, I would say, put the expectation on himself to accomplish was gone. And I imagine that he and this is my speculation, but I imagine that he felt those emotions of being unmoored of being disengaged, disillusioned, and not knowing how to perceive the time of his life and his calling. And then the burning bush 40 years later. So I'm picking up again in Exodus chapter three, verses one through four. Now Moses was tending the flock of his father in law, Jethro, the priest of Midian. So he led the flock to the farthest end of the wilderness, coming to the mountains of God in horror, then the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire from within a bush. So he looked and he saw the bush burning with fire, yet it was not consumed. And Moses thought, I will go now and see this great site. Why is the bush not burnt? And when Adam and I saw that he turned to look, and I've probably said this before, but I love when it says this, I love that it says, When Adonai saw that he turned to look, because it's almost like the Lord was just waiting to see, how is he going to react to the burning bush. And I know that God already knew and God already knows everything that we're going to do. But I, I see that God is responding to our curiosity and Him. And God is responding to our actions and our words towards him as our heart turns towards him. And it also makes me think, why a burning bush, you know, God could have gotten his attention by just speaking, that would have been enough. But God chose to use a burning bush that was not actually burning. I just love that about the Lord that he he wants to stir our curiosity towards him, and he wants us in this place of wonder. So when Adonai saw that he turned to look, he called to him out of the midst of the bush and said, Moses, Moses, so he answered, he named me. And he Nene is a Hebrew word that means here am I. I just think how many times that Moses asked for the Lord, where are you? In those 40 years in the desert, where's the God of my father's, as the Lord's people, the Israelites are in slavery, are going through immense suffering, and as we read earlier, are sobbing before the Lord. And I'm sure that in those five years that Moses was with his birth mother, and we know that he continued to have a relationship with his siblings. I know that they told him about Abraham, and Isaac and Jacob and Joseph, and the covenant that God made with Abraham. And I can only imagine that Abraham was just asking the Lord over 40 years, why, where are you what is going on? And then when the Lord calls to him, Moses, Moses, and he answers that invitation by saying, he Nene, Here am I. Then the Lord said, Come, no closer, take your sandals off of your feet, for the place where you're standing is holy ground. And moreover, he said, I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob. And so Moses hid his face because he was afraid to look at God.
And I'm only going to touch on this a little bit, because I just feel this stirring in my heart that as a family, we need to unpack this a little bit more. And I don't know, I don't think I have the wisdom or knowledge to do it. But I'll share what has been on my heart about this is the recognition of the holiness of God, and of who God is, is what brought the fear of the Lord on Moses. And his recognition that God is so holy, that the dust on the ground where the Bush was was too holy for Moses sandals, just that dust that dirt on the ground. X 732 says that Moses trembled, and he did not dare look. And God would soon bring the law through Moses. And we know that Moses was under the old covenant. We are now under the new covenant through the blood of Jesus made holy, but the reality of the absolute holiness of God, and the greatness of God should still bring us to a posture of the fear of the Lord. And it's that fear of the Lord, that will give us a hatred of sin, and drive us to purge it out of our lives. Proverbs, Proverbs 616 says, in mercy and truth, atonement is provided for iniquity. But the fear of the Lord by the fear of the Lord, one departs from evil, so it's the Mercy, the truth, the grace of God, that covers us in the blood of Jesus. But when it comes to our own motivation to actually get it out of our lives, it's the fear of the Lord. And I believe that we need to be walking in that fear of the Lord and the desire for holiness before the Lord in a greater and greater measure, so that the Lord can bring us into greater realms of glory in the same way that he did with Moses, Moses got to experience the glory of the presence of the Lord at the burning bush, with the realization and the recognition of the holiness of the Lord. And I do think it's important to note like none of us are perfect, we all sin, every single day. But if we've reached a point where we're content, to let some sin, just sit in the secret and fester, than we need the fear of the Lord to touch that place, because again, I really believe that what we see in Scripture is holiness is that doorway to the glory of His presence. And this is not a man made holiness. This is not the striving kind of holiness for false perfection. But it's the entering into the cleansing of the blood of Jesus by way of repentance, rather than covering the sin and hiding the sin. So they're in the fear of the Lord, and in the recognition of the holiness of God. Moses experiences the glory of the presence of God. And then the Lord gives him his calling, and his mission to go and deliver God's people from slavery. And there's this sequence of events that I think that we can notice here. It's the invitation of God, the burning bush, Moses responding to the invitation. He named me and then recognizing the holiness of the Lord, and then God gives him his calling. And we see the same pattern in the passage from Isaiah, that Tay. Yes. So the sequence that we see is the invitation from God, the burning bush, Moses responding to the invitation, he Nene, Moses, recognizing the holiness of the Lord, and then God gives him his mission. And so going back to Tay last week, wherever he is, mentioned, the passage in Isaiah, and this is Isaiah six verses one through eight. In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting upon the throne high and lifted up, and the train of his robe filled the temple. And above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings with two covering his face to he covered his feet. and with two he flew, and one call to another, and said, Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord God of hosts, the whole earth is full of his glory. And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said, Woe is me, for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips, for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts, then one of the Sarafem flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar, and he touched my mouth and said, Behold, this has touched your lips, your guilt is taken away, and your sin atone for, and I heard the voice of the Lord saying, Whom shall I send? And whom will go for us? And then I said, Here I am. He named me Here I am, send me and he said, Go and say to this people, and then the Lord goes on, to give him the prophetic word that he was to say to the people. And so again, we see that same pattern, where there's an invitation when the Lord brings him up into this vision. There's a recognition of the holiness of the Lord. There's a fear of the Lord that comes upon Isaiah and seeing his need for the holiness of God. There's Isaiah responding, Here am I he Nene, and then God gives him his calling. And I know that the sequence is slightly different, because technically, you know, Isaiah has the fear of the Lord before that he named me and it's opposite with Moses. But you see what I'm saying? It's though that pattern of events. And the first thing that I feel the Lord really pressing on my heart about this, this burning bush passage, and the Isaiah passage is the fear of the Lord. And the recognition of our need to be made holy, by him to walk in His Holiness always takes priority over our calling. And we should never be so busy working for the Lord and doing ministry, that sin has time and secrecy to be brewing in our hearts, and growing undealt with because that creates a cold heart, a heart that is cold, towards the conviction of the Holy Spirit. So I never want to be in a place where Mike, I'm putting my calling. In front of that personal repentance, we need to regularly be before the Lord like David saying, Search me, O God, know, my heart, examined me know my anxious thoughts, see if there be any offensive way in me and lead me to the way of everlasting. Because I think the tendency, whenever we're putting ministry, above that time of listening to the Holy Spirit, and asking for his conviction, is we start putting propping up our own holiness, and saying, Well, this is enough, this balances out, I know, I have this sent over here, but I'm doing this I'm doing that this ministry, every you know, everybody's saying how wonderful my prophetic words are, or whatever it is, you know, and then we in actuality, we have a cold heart. And that's a terrifying thing to me to not know where my heart actually is before the Lord. Secondly, I believe we need to have soft hearts, when people close to us confront us, with a sin they might be seeing in us. And that's the beauty of walking in a community like this, where we're close to one another is we've built this foundation of trust, where we have access to speak into one another's hearts, because hopefully, you know, you also need to have the trust with the person that they're not walking in a spirit of accusation, or a spirit of legalism, because there is so much of that in the church, where if we locked walk closely enough together for a long time, we're going to see a lot of flaws in each other, there's going to be a lot of things that we see, we're like, that's a weakness, or that's an immaturity. And it would be hypocritical of us to just be pointing those out to each other that would be walking in a spirit of condemnation. But whenever someone sees in me a sin that is clearly hindering my walk with the Lord, I want them to approach me with that, and confront me with that, because again, I know that they love me, I know that they want the best for me. And in the same way, if we see sin in our own lives, that we're struggling with, then we can go to one another and, and repent and ask for prayer.
The second thing standing out to me about this passage, and it was my Honestly, my favorite thing, this is the soul food for me, this is the cover of food for me is that Moses never got over the wonder of being in the presence of the Lord. This experience awakened in him a hunger to be in that glory of the presence of the Lord, to chase after it for the rest of his life. And it really just kind of makes me chuckle to see that here in this first experience with God, at least the first one that we have recorded, that he's terrified, it says he's, you know, he's, he's in the fear of the Lord, He's trembling, he's hiding his faith, he is afraid to look at God. And then years later, after the people are delivered from the Egyptians, and they're in the wilderness, the Bible says that Moses is begging God, please show me your glory. And I just imagined that he probably spent you know, the last few years thinking like, Man, I should have tried to look, you know, like, I shouldn't have been so afraid. I should, uh, you know, I just wonder if if he was, you know, kicking himself for not, you know, taking a peek, but he's asking the Lord like, please, but he wants that experience again. And he was in Not content, to just fulfill the calling of God. He was not content to just be doing all these miracles and being this leader that every one of the Israelites knew probably every one of the Egyptians knew. He that wasn't enough. He wanted to be in the glory of the presence of the Lord. And so the Lord says to him, I just can't believe that God engaged this like I, this is not the perspective that I have on the Lord sometimes. But he was he said, You cannot see my face for no man can see me and Liv. But Adonai said, See that place near me, you will stand on that rock. So it just see it like, the games my kids play, like, Okay, you stand there, and I'll be over here. And I just love that the Lord was having this friendship with him, where instead of him just saying, No, you gotta wait till heaven, you can't handle it. Now. He was like, Okay, you're gonna stand on this rock. And he says, Well, my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft of a rock, and I'll cover you with my hand, until I have passed by, then I will take my hand away, and you will see my back, but my face will not be seen. And so I just love it that the Lord had that friendship with Moses that he was saying, you can see my glory, you can't see all my glory, you can see some of my glory, and here's how we'll do it. But Moses wanted the burning bush again. And he hungered for that presence of the Lord. And his relationship with the Lord became so precious that the Lord said about him, when there is a prophet of Adonai. And he's speaking, he's actually rebuking Miriam. And in an Aaron in this passage, he says, when there is a prophet of Adonai, I reveal myself in a vision. I speak to him in a dream, but not so with my servant, Moses, and all my house, he is faithful. And I speak to him face to face, plainly, and not in riddles. He even looks at the form of Adonai. And I just, it's amazing to me, like I cannot imagine having the Lord say that, about me. And I think, okay, 40 years of wandering 40 years in Egypt, first as a prince, and then 40 years of being a shepherd, for your father in law, feeling like you've lost your calling, having all these questions. And yet, the Lord still had all of this in store for him. And the greatest treasure to him, was the presence of the Lord was that friendship with the Lord.
So this is what I believe that the Lord's calling us to reach for is this wonder, of being in his presence of having that close of a relationship where he would say about us all I don't speak to them in riddles, I speak to them face to face, and having that faithful walk with the Lord, and recognizing that, although right now things are very turbulent. And things have not gone according to the story that we had in our heads that the Lord is still has such great things in store for us. And the greatest thing is not the mission. That's not the greatest thing he has in store. The greatest thing he has in store for us is the nearness to his heart and the glory of God that comes in the midst of all of the questions and does it try to answer them, but it's just near to us as a friend. So that's my macaroni and cheese. That's my chicken and dumplings.
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