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Rainbow Divider
MCM Broadcast

TV Broadcast #1095

Reverence for a Holy God

September 29, 2013

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Transcript of message from TV Broadcast 1095 -- taken from Closed Captioning Text

— Brother Tony Talbert: It’s worth it to know Him. It’s worth it to know Him. I don’t care what kind of problems He may have to send to us. I’m telling you, His way is gonna be done, and we are not gonna thwart His plan. We need to understand where we stand in the big scheme of things. It’s God. He’s in control. There is nothing taking place outside of His control and we need to find our place low before Him, humble before Him, realize that we are the ones that are in need of Him every day.

We need … it says over there in 1st Corinthians 1, it says, He is, “… made unto us wisdom ….” We need Him for wisdom. We need Him for sanctification, keeping us set apart for His own purpose. Do you know that? If He would pull His hand back, Beloved, we’d be just like the world. It’s His mercy to have His hand upon us.

Go over and read Psalm 139. David said … oh God, it was awesome to him that God’s hand was upon him. He put a hedge about him to protect him. Do you know there’s a hedge about us? God loves His people. Let’s humble our self, and let’s come the way we need to come before Him to acknowledge Him for who He is. He is God Almighty and we need to come low before Him. Listen, if we come low before Him, and we come honest, with a humble heart, with our cry, He will answer us. Oh, God, may God help us to understand the position we occupy in His presence. Amen. Praise God!

( congregational amens ).

— Brother Steve Sharpe: I appreciate that, Tony. I certainly believe that’s the mind of the Lord, here tonight … for us to be exhorted to recognize that this is a holy God we serve. We’re privileged people to be brought into His presence. I think He wants us to not take it for granted. I dare say we do that. We can get in a form to the point where we spend more time and attention talking, like he said, than listening and recognizing that we’re coming together. If He says if two or more are gathered together in My name, then I’m in the midst, then He’s here. And shouldn’t we reverence Him?

There are other examples in the Bible where men were confronted with the holiness of God. I guess Moses is as good an example as any, when He first commissioned him. It said, the Lord saw that he recognized where he was at in the burning bush, and Moses drew near to him. What did God say to him? He said, Moses, take off your shoes, you’re on holy ground.

Do you know we’re on holy ground here tonight? But you know, I am thankful that He has made a way that we can approach Him. But we still need to approach Him with reverence—with reverence. This Godly fear, it’s not a fear that causes us to draw back, but it’s something that we honor Him and respect Him. That’s what He wants from us.

I was reading today, too … Tony and I talked about some of this today. Tony, I wish you would have shared, if God would have given you grace to do it, the story about praying for the young boy that … was he crippled?

— Brother Tony Talbert: Blind.

— Brother Steve Sharpe: Blind. He had the right kind of approach to God. He said, God, I can’t see you, I can’t see you. But he said, I know You can speak to me, speak to my heart. Is that what his prayer was?

— Brother Tony Talbert: He said, I want to see You with my heart.

— Brother Steve Sharpe: I want to see You with my heart.

( congregational response ).

I believe God answers that kind of prayer! That’s what He wants out of us. And I got to thinking about this today. I couldn’t sleep and I went to Revelations. Here’s another example. I was reading one time in a commentary about John. You know, these scholars, Bible scholars, they were debating as to whether John that wrote the Gospel of John and the Epistles of John was the same one that wrote Revelations, and part of their debate was because they felt like there was a difference in his writing in Revelations. I believe there might have been … because he had a little different confrontation here than he did back then. He saw the Lord! And that ought to change us.

There were many examples. We know that he talked about the seven stars and the seven candlesticks. And we know that the seven stars, he explained it himself there in chapter 1. The seven stars are the angels of the churches, and the candlesticks are the churches. And I got to thinking, in every one of these examples, you know, God commends them basically in some of the things that they were doing, but He corrects them in some of the ones that they weren’t doing.

And I thought of one church, this one in chapter 2, the first one, the message to Ephesus. And this is my contribution here, and a thought that I think God wants us to have. It says, “Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks; I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.” (KJV).

That’s pretty commendable. But then he goes on to say, “Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.” We need not leave our first love. He is our first love. And we need not do anything, anything in our human effort, or labors, or religious efforts, aside from seeking Him with all our heart, and respecting Him and honoring Him as the head of this church.

It says, “Remember therefore from whence thou are fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” But then he talks about this. It says, “But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans.” I think that was a sect of people that were kind of loose in their morals.

My Bible here says that they were make-believe Christians. That’s the thing that God despises is hypocrisy. My God, help us not to get into some kind of dead form, but help us to recognize every time we come together in fellowship one with another, that Jesus Christ is in our midst. And let us love Him, and love Him only, and honor Him, and worship Him, and draw nigh to Him, and then He’ll take care of all the rest. He’ll meet our needs.

I just say, let’s turn back to our first love. God is beckoning us to come back to Him. And this is not just in this meeting, somebody said it earlier. We’ve been hearing this message for a while now. And it’s come to us in many different forms, from our own pulpits and from other men that we’ve heard say this. God wants His children to cry out to Him, and to put Him above everything else!

( congregational amens ).

There’s nothing else that we need to live for, but Him, and Him only, and loving Him, and serving Him, and honoring Him … that He bring glory! That He be glorified. The glory needs to be to Him, and then He’ll do His business in the earth today. Praise the Lord!

— Brother Phil Enlow: Praise God! I appreciate this so much tonight. And I was very much ready just to sit there and listen. But I don’t know, just out of the blue, something … just an old familiar story came to me and maybe it just fits right here.

You know, a lot of the theme has to do with recognizing who we are, and who God is, and our proper place before Him. But you know, it’s beyond theory, isn’t it. We live in a real world. We live in real circumstances. And, the thought that I had goes back to the experience of Jehoshaphat. When he was faced with a real battle that I believe has parallels in our circumstances today.

We live in a world that is being overrun with darkness, with wicked spirits that hate God, that hate us. How many of you, you know, you feel the oppression, you feel the efforts of the enemy against you? We are in real battles. The enemy we see is not like the one Jehoshaphat was thinking about where real physical armies were coming against him. But the armies that we face today are real, and they hate us, and this is a time when God is allowing them to overrun the world of unbelieving men, and we’re called to stand in this hour.

Folks, we need to take the proper place before this great and mighty and holy God, and we have every right to, as we do that, to see Him work, and to see Him carry out those plans that the devil cannot gainsay and cannot undo. Praise God!

And so, just take a quick look, because here’s Jehoshaphat, and this is in 2nd Chronicles 20, minding his own business, King of Israel, or King of Judah, and “Some men …” in verse 2, “… came and told Jehoshaphat, a vast army is coming against you from Edom, from the other side of the Sea.” (NIV ). So this is from over in the east. “It is already in …” and he goes through all these places where he’s at. And so what he does, “Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved …” to do what?

( congregational response ).

Yeah. I mean, he didn’t get the war committee together, and get some focus groups, and take a poll. He didn’t do any of the things that men do! He didn’t rely on human wisdom in any form! He said, we have no other hope in this circumstance but to call on God!

And it’s obvious from the way he approached this that he did not go bopping into God’s presence demanding his rights, did he? He came with the proper spirit. Praise God! He, “… Resolved to inquire of the Lord, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah.”

You know some of us heard a message the other night that was focused on fasting. How many of you, who were there, were blessed and challenged by that? Yes. There’s a place for those kinds of ‘taking God seriously’ … those times when we take God seriously, and set things aside, and say, God we need You! We think we can muddle along in our own strength and with our own wisdom, and just sort of coasting based on what we knew, what we’ve always done, our little tradition, the motor is running, we’re just kind of going along. We need God!

( congregational response ).

We need Him every day! There’s never a time when it’s proper for us to put the gear in neutral and simply coast! We need God every single day. And the Lord brought this about to show His people who He was and His power. But oh, there was something in the heart of this man. “He proclaimed a fast for all Judah. The people of Judah came together …” to do what? “… To seek help from the Lord; indeed, they came from every town in Judah to seek him.”

This was a united effort. Now I understand that they were scared to death. They had a real situation on their hands. But, I mean, they were … everyone was on board. Everybody got it. You know, I hope everybody gets it tonight, that you just don’t go out and say, hey, we had another good service. It was great … de-da-de-da-de-da, and then go on. Oh, God. God isn’t giving us these things to entertain us.

( congregational amens ).

But anyway, “Then Jehoshaphat stood up in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem at the temple of the Lord in the front of the new courtyard and said: O Lord, God of our fathers, are you not the God who is in heaven?” See where his focus is? He’s reminding himself, he’s reminding the people, he’s letting God know that he knows … I’m in a position here, Lord, where You’re the God of heaven.

Are you not that God? “You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you.” Boy, that’s a good way to start approaching God, is to remind Him of who He is, and how we see Him, and our understanding of who He is, and simply say, Lord, I get it. I know who You are. I’m coming to You because of who You are. Now you can’t come to Him like that and say, well, I’m up here and we’re gonna talk. No, we take that low place. We get who we are, too.

( congregational response ).

He didn’t come because he thought he was somebody great. He came in that lowest place he could take. He got down, and I don’t know physically what he did. But I know in his heart he was absolutely on the bottom rung saying, O God, without You, we are goners. We have no hope.

“Power and might … no one can withstand you. O our God, did you not drive ….” Now he’s gonna look back and remind God of the things that He’s done. “… Did you not drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham your friend? They have lived in it and have built in it a sanctuary for your Name, saying, If calamity comes upon us ….”

Now he’s looking back to what Solomon’s prayer was. You remember how Solomon took that low place. He said, I’m a child. I don’t know how to go out or to come in. Give me wisdom to help this people. And he built Him a temple and then called upon the name of the Lord, and said, Lord, come, dwell in this place, And Lord, when we’re in trouble, hear our prayer when we gather here and offer it before You. Oh, God! This is what Jehoshaphat is looking back to.

“If calamity comes upon us, whether the sword of judgment, or plague or famine, we will stand in your presence before this temple that bears your Name and will cry out to you in our distress, and you will hear us and save us.” Man, it’s a good thing to pray the promises of God.

( congregational amens ).

Because, if I tried to simply muster up faith, where am I gonna get it from? I certainly can’t look inside and say I deserve anything. I’ve got to go to the Word, and the promises of God, and who He is and what He’s about. Now if I stand on that ground, I’ve got a place to stand. We’d better stand on some solid ground.

“But now here are men from Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, whose territory you would not allow Israel to invade when they came from Egypt; so they turned away from them and did not destroy them. See how they are repaying us by coming to drive us out of the possession you gave us as an inheritance. O our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us.” How many of you struggle against some of the feelings of futility sometimes as you look around and you see the needs, even in our own midst, let alone around about us?

( congregational response ).

Where do you think that feeling comes from? You think that’s coming from God? It’s coming from the enemy of our souls. Folks, we need to rise up and start calling upon our God and believing that He actually can do something!

( congregational amens ).

We have a God who declared that there is nothing that is impossible! And I’m here to tell you that I struggle with this just like you do! But we have a God who has made promises to us, and we need to get on our knees and recognize who He is, and come before Him in that spirit of supplication recognizing … getting off our high horse, recognizing that we are exactly what’s been described tonight. Praise God!

“… We have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us.” Man, as I look around, I am constantly reminded. I think of people that … I just say, God, why can’t they see? They’re blind! They’re entrapped. There just in bondage. There’s terrible needs and I see them! Oh God, but I feel so powerless! But folks, there’s a God who’s not powerless!

( congregational amens ).

And our place is to call upon God in united prayer and expect God to work!

( congregational response ).

How many times in the ministry of Jesus, you do see people come with their own need and say, oh God, help me. But you see a lot of other people who come and say, my daughter is sick at the point of death. My daughter has a demon. My son has a demon. People coming on behalf of other people who can’t even ask for their own needs. We have a right to bring people before God!

And I’ve experienced the same things that Tony did over there and we were praying. I mean … and I think back about some of those people, and I say, oh God, You heard every prayer that we prayed. Just don’t forget them. Lord, help those people that we prayed for! You know, I know a lot of times you’ll have people who come around thinking we have magic hands, and oh, just bless us. And I’m sure there was some of that, but I’ll tell you, there was some real need.

And I appreciate the reminder of that young blind man. I had almost forgotten about that, but that was amazing. That was … boy, that was a blessing. They had that man sitting there … I guess they were telling us what he was saying. They were translating, obviously, because we don’t understand Telugu … at least most of the words. We did learn a few key words. But anyway, what a blessing it was to hear that man’s testimony. I can’t see you, but I love you. Oh wow. You know, talk about feeling about this small. I thank God for every time he’s put us in situations where we remember how small we really are.

( congregational amens ).

Oh God, how privileged we are in so many ways, and how little do we appreciate it. But, anyway, “We have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us.” Well, that’s kind of like the situation we’re in today. We don’t have a prayer facing what’s facing us in this world in our own strength. I don’t care what our religious program is, what doctrines we preach, all those kind of things … we don’t have anything unless He dwells in our midst, and He has the power and does the work.

And so his final prayer is … his conclusion of his prayer is, “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you.” Isn’t that an awfully good posture to take?

( congregational response ).

Our problem is we think we know what to do. We get our little religious manual out, and this is what we’re supposed to … no! You know Jesus walked with the Father, and He hardly ever did anything the same way twice! But by God, we want to find a formula!

( congregational response ).

There is no formula other than saying, God, we do not know what to do. Tell us what to do. It’s pretty simple. Unfortunately, our pride stands in the way … and we want to get in control. Oh God, we’re not in control, and I’m glad. We’d make a mess of everything.

“We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you. All the men of Judah, with their wives … and little ones, stood there before the Lord.” Oh I’ll tell you what, do you think God was mad with them over this? He was highly pleased. They were absolutely giving Him the place that is only rightfully His. There was an honor … oh I’ll tell you, the Lord runs to someone who takes this posture. You want to know why the Lord doesn’t hear you sometimes? Get off your high horse, take that place. Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God. Tony referred to that verse.

“Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jahaziel son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah …” And so forth, a bunch of his forebears there. “… A Levite and descendant of Asaph, as he stood in the assembly. He said: Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the Lord says to you: Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.”

( congregational amens ).

Well folks, I want to remind myself, first of all, and then you, secondly, that the battles that we see in our midst are not our battles!

( congregational amens ).

They are God’s battles! We have every right to call upon Him to do His work, and to change hearts that need changing! Open eyes that need opening! Drive spirits out of lives! Do whatever needs to be done! I do not have the power to do that. He does!

( congregational praise ).

It’s His battle, His church. And so, they get the strange battle plan. They’ve got some strange battle plans in the history of Israel. But you know, every time the Lord gave them one of these strange ones, it sure did show who was in charge, and where the power was coming from.

( congregational amens ).

“Tomorrow march down against them. They will be climbing up by the Pass of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the gorge in the Desert of Jeruel.” Who needs spies?

( laughter ).

The Lord knew right where they were at. “You will not have to fight this battle.” Well, that sounded pretty good. “Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, O Judah and Jerusalem.”

Do you notice those words … two words in the middle of that? Stand firm. Sometimes that’s our problem. We get all geared up and then … the next thing you know, we listen to that voice that ministers fear, and doubt, and question, and all these kinds of things. God, help us to seek Him and to stand firm until God does His work.

( congregational amens ).

Praise God! Praise God! “Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, O Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.” Praise God!

And of course, you know the story of how they sent the choir out ahead to praise God, and the praisers went before the sword. That’s where that line comes from in our song. And God gave them a tremendous victory. And you know, they were like three days gathering up all the spoil. God turned absolute certain defeat into a mighty victory and a great blessing for God’s people.

But let’s not forget where we started here. It was not incidental to the fact that they took the position before a great and a mighty God that they did. Folks, that is the only position that makes any sense for people like you and people like me. We are sinners saved by the grace of a God … that God was so holy that when He dwelled with His people Israel, His presence stayed in one place, the Most Holy Place. And there was a curtain there, and nobody, but nobody, went in there. That was certain death. That’s how different we are from this great and mighty and holy God. You go into His presence, based on who you are as a human being, whew …

( snapping fingers ).

Vaporized! Somehow … you wouldn’t be. It would be instant death! But oh, God began to make a way through the blood that was offered. Even then, the high priest went in one time a year and he had to wave incense to kind of obscure the altar. And he went through the ritual one time in the year. The Lord was just showing us the holiness of this awesome God.

You know it’s been mentioned about that how when Jesus died, that veil of the temple … I don’t know what in the world the priests, those blind priests, must have thought. All of a sudden, their great curtain was just torn. Not from the bottom, but from the top, and nobody was there! What a witness from God that we can come into that holy place! But my God, we’ve got to remember it’s a holy place!

( congregational amens ).

Oh, there’s so much casualness in religion today. God, help us to reverence Him. God, help us to take the place that we need to take before Him. And I’ll tell you, we’re gonna see the same things that Jehoshaphat and the people there saw. We’re gonna see a God who will move on behalf of His people, if we will reverence the God that we serve, the way He deserves to be reverenced. Praise God!

( congregational amens ).