Today’s Scripture:

Introduction:

We’re just barely into a series about Seeking God.  I know that 8 weeks is a long time, and that will take us just past perhaps what may be one of the most important elections in this nation’s history.  It may also be an important election as it relates to Bible events.  Which is why I believe the Lord’s lead us down this road with this series.

There’s never been a time where it’s more important to seek God in our personal lives, and for this nation’s future.  I know many of you, as am I, are very concerned about the direction this nation is headed, and I also believe that many of you know, as do I, that the only hope for America is Jesus…and there’s never been a more important time in our history that the people of God need to stand up…and stop being silent…but first we must hit our knees…and seek His face…and that’s the whole point of this series…

Seeking God’s face, God’s presence, God’s will, and most of all God’s love.

Today’s Message:

God knows you intimately and fully.

I have to say that  is Psalms 139 one of my favorites because there’s such intimacy written in it, and therefore I believe it might be appropriate to just have it be part of the message.  So…here…in it’s entirety is Psalms 139:

To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.

1O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me.

2Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.

3Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.

4For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether.

5Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.

6Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.

7Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?

8If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.

9If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;

10Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.

11If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me.

12Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.

13For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.

14I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

15My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.

16Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being imperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.

17How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!

18If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.

19Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God: depart from me therefore, ye bloody men.

20For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain.

21Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee?

22I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.

23Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:

24And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Let’s take a look at a couple of these verses because I believe it’s important in the scope of understanding how intimate and personal God wants to be with us.  So, we’ll look at some of the verses that express that, and then we’ll come back and look at some of the verses that speak to how intimately we should be seeking Him.

1O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me.

2Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.

3Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.

4For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether.

5Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.

“Thou hast searched me, and known me.” I can’t think of any deeper statement then that one right there.  We know that this is a Psalm written by King David who has the distinguished title (given to him by God) as a man that was actively pursuing the heart of God.  Can I tell you that all of us should be seeking after the heart of God as diligently as King David did?  I mean, I don’t know about you, but I want to be known by God as a man that was after His heart…and yet I know in my heart that I fall short of being so diligent to seek Him…yet there’s a yearning and longing in my heart that is only settled and satisfied by God’s presence.

“For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it.”  Imagine if we would all think about the fact that before we even speak…God knows exactly what we’re going to say.  There’s not a word that is on our tongue that God doesn’t know about.  Now, I know I spoke yesterday about the fact that God’s numbered every single one of our hairs, and He knows exactly how many we have…and in my case…how many have fallen out.  Then we read that before we ever utter one word…God knows exactly what we’re going to say.  Come on, friends, is there any doubt in your minds that God desires intimacy with us?

I mean, for all of you who view God as this fire and brimstone kind of God that’s sitting up there in Heaven keeping score of the wrongs and sins we’ve committed.  Can I ask where it is you’ve found that in the Word of God because everything I read in the Word of God is about how much God loves us, and how He longs to have this kind of intimacy not just with King David…but each and every single one of us who calls Him Lord.

Yes, it is true…He wants to be our Lord.  He wants us to yield and submit to Him.  He wants us to trust Him, and allow Him to lead and guide us through life.  But He also wants us to view Him as a Father who desires to know us on a level that no other God desires to know His people.

I can assure you that the Muhammad doesn’t want to know his people who intimately, and I can also assure you that he can’t know his people who intimately…because he is dead.  You can’t have an intimate relationship with a dead person, but you can have one with a living God.  I can assure you that them Buddhists don’t have a personal relationship with Buddha.  They may have their peace and “chi”, but Buddha cannot search them or know the words of their tongue…because he’s dead too.  I’ve never heard a Buddhist claim they can feel the presence of Buddha…you know why…because he’s dead.

Let’s look at some more…shall we?

14I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

15My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.

16Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being imperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.

Before getting to these verses, David talks about no matter where he went or goes or is…that he knows God is with him.  “Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?”.  David understood that no matter where he went that God was with him.  In the most recognizable of all the Psalms David writes:  “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me;” Psalm 23:4.

Can I let you know that God’s with you where ever you go?  In the last few messages, the phrase “God is no respecter of person” has been on my tongue, and here again I have a need to use it in this message because if He truly isn’t a “respecter of person”…that means just as David had the assurance that no matter whether he was in green pastures or the valley of the shadow of death…that God was right there with him…we too can have that assurance.

Now, this is where David’s Psalm turns to his knowledge of God’s seeking him, and turns it to his desire to seek God…and this is the point I’ve been wanting to get to…

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:

24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Oh, that is the continual cry of my heart…this is where David turns and seeks God’s face because he realizes just how intimate God wants to be with him, and out of that comes a desire to seek God’s face with more passion.

Do you have a passion for God like this?  If not, I offer a perspective that maybe the reason you’re not this passionate about God is that you don’t realize that He is this passionate about you.  Maybe you’re not so on fire or in love with God because you don’t understand that God is this on fire and in love with you…but the truth is that God is this passionate about you, He is this on fire for you, and He is this in love with you.

Friends…Paul writes here in Romans 8:38-39 something I think we know within the context of our minds, but this is something that we need to get as revelation into our hearts…like David and Paul had it.  Let’s look at Romans 8:38-39, and then work to wrap up today’s message:

38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Paul says:  “I am persuaded”.  Now, for those of you that have followed along with me for any length of time know that some times with verses (especially this one in a message like this) I like to consult the Amplified Version of the Bible because some times…it helps us to dig out more of what we’re looking for.  So…here is Romans 8:38-39 in the Amplified.

For I am persuaded beyond doubt (am sure) that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor things impending and threatening nor things to come, nor powers, Nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Here we have what Paul writes as that he is “persuaded beyond doubt” that he is SURE that there is absolutely positively NOTHING that can separate him from the love of God.  Perhaps in order to get a full perspective here we ought to take a closer look at the word “persuaded”.

Persuade:  “to induce to believe by appealing to reason or understanding; convince: cause somebody to adopt a certain position, belief, or course of action, ”

Paul was convinced, certain, induced to believe by appealing reason or understanding that there was absolutely, positively nothing (including his sin) that could or would separate him from the love of God that was in Christ Jesus.

Do you know the number one struggle that Christians have?  It’s their own personal walk with God.  Do you know what the number one reason for that struggle is?  We believe God will love us more if we don’t sin, and love us less if we do.  We believe that the love of God is based upon our performance, and our obedience.  We believe that because we don’t understand that God’s love isn’t given to us because we’ve earned it…it’s given to us because that’s Who God is…and that’s what God does.  God is love.

Friends…listen to me.  There’s nothing that can separate you from the love of God…but you.  If you’re relating to God based upon the belief that His love for you is conditional based upon your sin…then you’re never really going to be able to receive God’s love.  Look, even I have had my understanding of God’s love for us changed by one simple statement made by Pastor Cass Hill of New Life Christian Center.

I was taught to believe that God’s love was “unconditional”, but Pastor Cass said that “God’s love isn’t unconditional…it’s perfect.”  Friends…in addition to unconditional…God’s love is perfect, it’s flawless, it’s absolute, and it’s something that cannot be earned or lost…it’s just given.  God loves us freely…because that’s Who God is.

So…there’s nothing…not even our sin that separates us from the love of God…Paul was fully persuaded of this, and so too was David.  I like this because it gives an Old Testament under the law example, and a New Testament under grace example.  In both cases…David knew that God love him and was always with him, and so did Paul.

Friends…if David being a liar, murderer, adulterer could be assured of the love of God, and if Paul being a murderer of Christians and a chief Pharisee who knew all of the law could be fully persuaded that nothing could separate him from God’s love…since God isn’t a respecter of person…we can have this same persuasion and assurance.

That’s because God’s love isn’t based upon us…it’s based upon Him…and that’s why no matter where we are, what we do, where we’ve been, and who we were.  There really isn’t anything that can separate us from the love of God…because before we ever entered into this world…He knew and knitted us in our mother’s womb.  He knew your name before you ever had it.  He knew what you would do before you ever even did it.  He knows the words you’re going to say before they even form on your tongue.

He is our Heavenly Father…and He loves us with an everlasting, undying, and unquenchable love that’s not just unconditional…it’s absolutely perfect…because God IS love…and therefore since He is perfect…so is His love…and that, my friends, is why we can be assured that whether we’re in the greener pastures or the valley of the shadow of death…He is right there with us.

He longs to be loved and known by you.

Do you ever wonder what the perfect will of God is?  I know I have, but one day as I was thinking about that very question…God answered me by simply reminding me of His relationship with Adam and Eve before sin entered into the world.  Friends…that’s what Heaven is going to be like.  All of us having the opportunity to walk with God in the cool of the day…and that…my friends…is the perfect will of God…the relationship He enjoyed with Adam and Eve…is the same relationship He longs to enjoy with us.

But did you know that we don’t have to wait until we get to Heaven to have that kind of relationship with Him?  We can have that kind of relationship with Him right now…but it requires us turning off the television once in a while.  It requires us to get away and alone with Him in our quiet place where we go to shut the door, and just seek His face.  It requires spending time in His Word, time talking to Him in prayer, and worshipping Him…again in that secret place where it’s just you and Him.

I think the best way to close this message is to simply repeat that last statement:

He longs to be loved and known by you.

Be A Doer…Not Just A Reader:

Ahh…you didn’t think you were going to get away from this message without having some kind of homework did you?  Here’s some suggested homework for you to do today:

Write out your favorite verse(s) from today’s reading, and record some thoughts to God in response to His love for you.

Choose to enjoy Him all day long.

Conclusion:

Well…what an amazing message. I am so thankful for the opportunity to do this, and it’s such an encouragement to me whenever someone clicks the “like” button. I want you to know the reason I do this isn’t for the notoriety, but because I love the Lord. The very mission of Christlike Ministries NWAis to help each of you discover and maintain your own personal and intimate relationship with God. It’s important in these last days that we seek and cling to God with everything we can…and it’s also important that we get out of this religious mindset that God’s dealing with us according to our sin, and that He’s somehow disappointed in us.

Friends…we need to get to a place where we’re like David and Paul…fully persuaded that God’s with us and loves us beyond anything we can imagine. We need to get to this place where we relate to God as our loving Father because when we relate to Him any other way…that’s where the separation comes from. If we feel distant from God…it’s not because He’s left us and doesn’t love us because we’ve sinned way too much…it’s because WE have moved away from Him…and we’re under guilt, shame, and remorse because we feel like we’ve let Him down…He loves us…ALL of us…and He longs for you to return that love to Him.

Let’s all make the conscious choice today to:  Choose to enjoy Him all day long…Amen!?!

Romans 838