10-18-15 The Law Giver: The Presence of God

What a great weekend!  Not only was the weather nice, but the service was just Spirit-led from start to finish.  Long story short, I kept praying and praying about whether or not my sermon was going to strike the right tone, and I was still deep in prayer about it when we began our worship time.  But the songs that the Worship Team picked out were so absolutely perfect for what I was preaching on, that I was brought to tears by God’s affirmation.  One of the songs even hearkened to a chunk of verses that I hadn’t told anyone we were going to be looking at. 

God’s a really good guy...

Oh, and to top it all of, since this is Pastor Appreciation Month, Kristi Christianson even baked me some (frankly amazing) chocolate chip cookies.  I’ve been trying so hard to eat healthily and allow myself to have only one sugary thing a day... but I ate three of those things on Sunday, and I don’t feel the least bit guilty about it.

Before I forget, I’ve been asked to make sure that everyone knows that we’re having a Trivia Night here this coming Friday.  You’re all welcome to join us in a friendly competition as teams compete to show that they know the most about the least important things that come up in life.  Well, that’s not really entirely fair -- when you think about it, life is made up of the little details, and they’re all worth noting.

We talked about that a little bit in our message this week, continuing our look at Moses and his ministry as the “Law Giver” in Exodus.  But this week, we focused not so much on Moses or even on the people -- instead, we looked primarily at God.

See, in Exodus 19, they finally got to Mount Sinai.  Well, I say “finally,” but it had only taken them three months to get there.  They were now a stone’s throw from the “promised land” -- so the rest of the 39 years and change that it took them to get to Canaan were mostly due to them being stupid.  But I digress...

When they came to Mount Sinai, God spoke to Moses, but also said that He would cloak the mountain in clouds and thunder and come into the Hebrews’ presence Himself, so that they, too, could hear His voice and know that He wasn’t just a figment of Moses’ imagination.  In order for the people to understand Him as holy, God told Moses to give them some boundaries to make them stop and think.  For instance, He told them not to come up to the mountain until He called for them -- coming into the presence of God should never be flippant.

But by the time God called, they’d already screwed it up.  They’d confused God’s injunction to think about holiness with a bunch of rules about the mountain itself.  They’d also mistaken those rules to mean that they shouldn’t come into God’s presence, when the whole point was that God was calling them into His presence.  They missed the point because they misapplied the details.  To them, holding God at arm’s distance seemed like an act of respect -- but it’s never an act of respect to disregard what God says.

The fact is, God wants us in His presence -- He wants us in relationship with Him as His treasured possessions.  In fact, He literally died to bring us into His presence.  And yet, too often, we still think that we don’t belong there, and we still think that it’s an act of respect to hold Him at arm’s distance when He calls us into He presence.

Do you feel like God sees you as His treasured possession?  Do you feel uncomfortable in His presence?

But as a Christian, is there anywhere that you should feel more at home than with your Father?