Audio from Senior Pastor Vaughn Drawdy on Sunday morning February 11th, 2018.
John 17:1-5 NIV
1 After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. 2 For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. 3 Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. 4 I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.
Interesting statement that Jesus made in this prayer. (Verse 3) "Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent." The only way we can know Jesus is to know God. Jesus prayed that we would know God.
Let’s look closer at the descriptions of God and grow in our knowledge so that we can grow in faith and understand the promises, provision and presence of God.
Who is God?
The first place we see God is Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God
Who is this God who was at the beginning of all?
-Answered in the Bible
At the core of our being, there is a need to know God and be known by Him. Many search for Him and never find Him. Jesus said it this way:
Matthew 7:13-14 NIV
13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
Many walk the wide path. This path is all about "SELF." They make life all about themselves. Some don’t care about God and His purpose for their life, many are trying to conform God to there ways and ultimately come away not knowing Him… many are ambivalent towers God… want Him in the storms, act like He’s not there in the calm.
Jesus said that the way to Him is small and narrow and few find Him. Few find Him. Many try to find God on their terms, few try to find Him on His terms.
When we get to the end of our selves, when we find we can’t fix a big problem, faced with mortality, bow in great anguish and are overcome with hard questions that go beyond our reasoning… in surrender, in contrition, we find God.
>Ps. 51:17 “a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.”
Psalms 34:18 “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
Matthew 5:3 (NLT) “God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
So let’s stop now: ask God to help us… repent, surrender, stop… ask God to help us truly realize, we need Him. We are survivalist… we figure things out, we are resourceful. But when all that has played out, we come up short, feelings empty… that is what poor in spirit feels like… We need God.
I am so glad that God desires to redeem us and have a relationship with us. I am so glad that He reveals Himself to us and that we have truthful testimony of Him and His love.
God has given us an incredible account of His Words, His ways and testimonies of those who struggled in their faith, defined their faith, proclaimed their faith. Let’s look at God’s Word, find Him in His story. The first name place we see God is in Genesis 1:1. We see His actions more that His attributes. It is only after His creation of man do we hear of His love, care, provision. To better understand Him, let’s look at His names. Usually in our modern translation we only see the name GOD or LORD, but in the Old Testament Hebrew and in the New Testament Greek, there are so many names that He is called by, known for, expressed in.
ELOHIM. The first place we see God is again in Genesis 1:1. God is the “All-Powerful One Creator.” In this we see His creation of order where there was chaos. Life where there was death, nothing, a void. God created. How: In this we see that He knows all, creates all, and is everywhere at all times. In His creation we see His provision where there was absolutely nothing.
Aren’t you glad that our God can handle the darkness, the emptiness?
God looks into the emptiness of your life and can create LIFE. Eternal life through Christ Jesus.
In Genesis we also see God as :
El Elyon (The Most High God) Gen. 14:17-22
He is Sovereign God in whom we can put our trust. He has supremacy over all false Gods. God was referred to as El Elyon 3 times by Melchezidek when He blessed Abram.
Genesis 14:17-22 NIV
17 After Abram returned from defeating Kedorlaomer and the kings allied with him, the king of Sodom came out to meet him in the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley). 18 Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, 19 and he blessed Abram, saying,“Blessed be Abram by God Most High,Creator of heaven and earth. 20 And praise be to God Most High,who delivered your enemies into your hand.”Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything. 21 The king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the people and keep the goods for yourself.” 22 But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “With raised hand I have sworn an oath to the Lord, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth,
El Roi (The God Who Sees Me) Gen. 16:11-14; Ps. 139:7-12
Hagar called the Lord by this name beside a fountain of water in the wilderness. God knows all of our thoughts and feelings. It is great to know that there are no circumstances in our lives that escape His fatherly awareness and care. God knows us in our troubles.
Genesis 16:11-14 NIV
11 The angel of the Lord also said to her:“You are now pregnantand you will give birth to a son.You shall name him Ishmael,for the Lord has heard of your misery. 12 He will be a wild donkey of a man;his hand will be against everyoneand everyone’s hand against him,and he will live in hostilitytoward all his brothers.” 13 She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.” 14 That is why the well was called Beer Lahai Roi; it is still there, between Kadesh and Bered.
Psalm 139:7-12 NIV
7 Where can I go from your Spirit?Where can I flee from your presence? 8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. 9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,if I settle on the far side of the sea, 10 even there your hand will guide me,your right hand will hold me fast. 11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide meand the light become night around me,” 12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;the night will shine like the day,for darkness is as light to you.
El Shaddai (The All Sufficient One, The God of the Mountains, God Almighty) Gen. 17:1-3, 48:3, 49:25, 35:11; Ps. 90:2.
God calls Himself - El Shaddai when He confirms His covenant with Abraham. God is the all-sufficient source of all our blessings. He is all-powerful. It is great when we know Him as El Shaddai… for we know that our problems are not to big for Him to Handle.
Genesis 17:1-3 NIV
1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless. 2 Then I will make my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.” 3 Abram fell facedown, and God said to him,
Genesis 21:33 NIV
33 Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and there he called on the name of the Lord, the Eternal God.
El Olam (The Eternal, The Everlasting God) Gen 21: 33
He is the beginning and the End, the One who works His purposes through the ages.
Psalms 90:1-2 NIV
1 Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations. 2 Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
Genesis 22:13-14 NIV
13 Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.”
As man walked with God, cried out to God, saw God’s mighty acts of justice, provision, guidance and grew in knowledge of who God is… more names were given as testimony of His character.
Jehovah Jireh - The Lord will PROVIDE (Gen. 22:13-14)
Just as God provided a ram as a substitute for Isaac, He provided His Son Jesus as the ultimate sacrifice. God will meet our eternal needs.
Exodus 31:12-13 NIV
12 Then the Lord said to Moses, 13 “Say to the Israelites, ‘You must observe my Sabbaths. This will be a sign between me and you for the generations to come, so you may know that I am the Lord, who makes you holy.
Jehovah-Mekaddishkem - The Lord Who Sanctifies (Ex. 31:12-13; 1 Pet. 1:15-16; Heb. 13:12; 1 These. 5:23-24)
God sets us apart as a chosen people, a royal priesthood, Holy unto Himself, like Israel, a people of His own. He is at work in us, by grace, growing us, maturing us cleansing us to reveal His love, His life, His ways to a dark world in chaos.
Exodus 17:15-16 NIV
15 Moses built an altar and called it The Lord is my Banner. 16 He said, “Because hands were lifted up against the throne of the Lord, the Lord will be at war against the Amalekites from generation to generation.”
Jehovah-Nissi - The Lord is My Banner
God gives us victory against our sinful flesh, the world and the devil. Our battles are His battles. Victory is in Him. Jesus conquered the darkness…
Exodus 15:25-27 NIV
25 Then Moses cried out to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a piece of wood. He threw it into the water, and the water became fit to drink.There the Lord issued a ruling and instruction for them and put them to the test. 26 He said, “If you listen carefully to the Lord your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, who heals you.” 27 Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve springs and seventy palm trees, and they camped there near the water.
Jehovah-Rapha (The Lord Who Heals) (Ex. 15:25-27; Ps. 103:3; Ps. 147:3)
God has provided the final cure for spiritual, physical, and emotional sickness in Jesus Christ
Psalm 23:1-3 NIV
1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,he leads me beside quiet waters, 3 he refreshes my soul.He guides me along the right pathsfor his name’s sake.
Jehovah-Rohi (The Lord is My Shepherd) Ps. 23; Is. 53:6
The Lord protects, provides, directs, leads, and cares, for His people. Jesus is the GOOD shepherd who played down His life for all people.
We are going to stop there today and pick it back up next week. I pray you’ve been encouraged to know this God of ours better.
For this God of ours, desires to be known. Throughout the ages, He’s revealed Himself is miraculous ways.
To know Him, simply come to Him on His terms. When we stop and really surrender, calling out from our desperate need, our brokenness, our genuine sincere desire… asking Him to show us the way to Him, and walking in humility,- God show us His ways, blesses us with peace. In this we are filled with hope, love and His presence. You can know God… walk with Him.
Do you want to know Him more? Do you feel like He is not there or millions of miles away? It could be that you aren’t coming to God on His terms… Instead of God I want this or this… simply say, God I surrender my life to You. Pray: Help me understand who you are so that I may grow closer to You and reveal Your love to others