Where is GOD? Luke 64 By David Walters http://www.slideshare.net/Gospelman/where-is-god-1248110
A young boy went to church with his family one morning. That night before he went to bed he knelt down and said his prayers. He said, “God, we had a great time at church today. Wish you would have been there.”
All too often this is the case. We go to Church but the presence of God is not evident in His power and Glory. In that case we need revival. Isaiah chapter 64 is a plea from the prophet Isaiah for revival among the people of God. In this text I see THREE facts about revival.
WHAT IS REVIVAL? Isaiah 64:1 NET (63:19b) If only you would tear apart the sky and come down! The mountains would tremble before you!
Isaiah cries out to God, “If only you would tear apart the sky and come down!” This is revival. Isaiah knew that God was everywhere. He knew that God sat on the circle of the universe, that no temple could house His presence.
He was pleading with God to manifest His presence among His people, make Himself known, and make Himself real again. We need to experience the powerful presence of God in our services. We need to be like Jacob, Then Jacob woke up and thought, "Surely the LORD is in this place, but I did not realize it!" Genesis 28:16 NET
All too often our services can have all the right things in it, yet not the power of God in the midst. Revival is the presence of God among His people once again.
WHAT DOES REVIVAL LOOK LIKE?Isaiah 64:1 NET (63:19b)If only you would tear apart the sky and come down! The mountains would tremble before you!2(64:1)As when fire ignites dry wood, or fire makes water boil, let your adversaries know who you are, and may the nations shake at your presence!
We have mountains in the church and in our lives. Have you ever heard the expression, “We have always done it this way?” Those mountains get shaken up when God visits the church in revival. How about those mountains in your life? How about those things you do not want to change or do not think you could ever change? God shakes them up and turns us and our churches upside down.
1. A Shaking. He says, “The mountains would tremble before you!” When God shows up things are shaken up.
When God gave the law at Sinai the earth quaked. Exodus 19:18 NET Now Mount Sinai was completely covered with smoke because the LORD had descended on it in fire, and its smoke went up like the smoke of a great furnace, and the whole mountain shook violently.
When Christ returns the bible says that the stars are going to be falling from heaven & heavenly powers shaken. Mark 13:24 NET"But in those days, after that suffering, the sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light; 25 the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. 26 Then everyone will see the Son of Man arriving in the clouds with great power and glory.
When He stands to judge the Earth Mountains will be levelled. God shakes things up when He shows up. Here Isaiah says mountains are shaken at His presence. What are mountains? A mountain is a large earthen fixture that you and I can do nothing about.
When people are asked why they climb mountains they say “because it is there.” It cannot be moved, so you might just as well climb it, or take a picture of it. 2. There is fire Isaiah says, “As when fire ignites dry wood, or fire makes water boil,” God is spoken of in the bible as being a “consuming fire.”Deuteronomy 4:24 NETFor the LORD your God is a consuming fire; he is a jealous God.
What is the importance of fire? Judgement When God judged in the bible he judged often by fire. Sodom & Gomorrah were destroyed by fire. Genesis 19:24 NETThen the LORD rained down sulfur and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah. It was sent down from the sky by the LORD.
Who can forget God’s judgment of Aaron’s sons, Nadab and Abihu? Leviticus 10:1 NETThen Aaron's sons, Nadab and Abihu, each took his fire pan and put fire in it, set incense on it, and presented strange fire before the LORD, which he had not commanded them to do. 2 So fire went out from the presence of the LORD and consumed them so that they died before the LORD.
The complainers of the Old Testament were consumed by fire, Numbers 11:1 NETWhen the people complained, it displeased the LORD. When the LORD heard it, his anger burned, and so the fire of the LORD burned among them and consumed some of the outer parts of the camp.
Here is a story about God’s fire from Heaven you might have forgotten about. 2 Kings 1:2 NETAhaziah fell through a window lattice in his upper chamber in Samaria and was injured. He sent messengers with these orders, "Go, ask Baal Zebub, the god of Ekron, if I will survive this injury."
3But the LORD's angelic messenger told Elijah the Tishbite, "Get up, go to meet the messengers from the king of Samaria. Say this to them: 'You must think there is no God in Israel! That explains why you are on your way to seek an oracle from Baal Zebub the god of Ekron.4 Therefore this is what the LORD says, "You will not leave the bed you lie on, for you will certainly die!“….
….9 The king sent a captain and his fifty soldiers to retrieve Elijah. The captain went up to him, while he was sitting on the top of a hill. He told him, "Prophet, the king says, 'Come down!' " 10 Elijah replied to the captain, "If I am indeed a prophet, may fire come down from the sky and consume you and your fifty soldiers!" Fire then came down from the sky and consumed him and his fifty soldiers.
11 The king sent another captain and his fifty soldiers to retrieve Elijah. He went up and told him, "Prophet, this is what the king says, 'Come down at once!' " 12 Elijah replied to them, "If I am indeed a prophet, may fire come down from the sky and consume you and your fifty soldiers!" Fire from God came down from the sky and consumed him and his fifty soldiers.
13 The king sent a third captain and his fifty soldiers. This third captain went up and fell on his knees before Elijah. He begged for mercy, "Prophet, please have respect for my life and for the lives of these fifty servants of yours. 14 Indeed, fire came down from the sky and consumed the two captains who came before me, along with their men. So now, please have respect for my life."
15 The LORD's angelic messenger said to Elijah, "Go down with him. Don't be afraid of him." So he got up and went down with him to the king. 16 Elijah said to the king, "This is what the LORD says, 'You sent messengers to seek an oracle from Baal Zebub, the god of Ekron. You must think there is no God in Israel from whom you can seek an oracle! Therefore you will not leave the bed you lie on, for you will certainly die.'"
When God shows up in revival there is a great sense of our sin and failure. Sin is judged and repented of. There is a great judgement of sin and repentance among God’s people when the fire of revival comes upon a church.
Refining Jesus in Malachi is referred to as the Messenger who is like a refiner’s fire, and He will purify the sons of Levi. The fire of God is a refining fire, it consumes the sin.
Malachi 3:1 NET"I am about to send my messenger, who will clear the way before me. Indeed, the Lord you are seeking will suddenly come to his temple, and the messenger of the covenant, whom you long for, is certainly coming," says the LORD who rules over all.
2 Who can endure the day of his coming? Who can keep standing when he appears? For he will be like a refiner's fire, like a launderer's soap. 3He will act like a refiner and purifier of silver and will cleanse the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then they will offer the LORD a proper offering.
When God shows up little things are confronted in our lives and taken care of. Christians begin to be concerned about even the slightest sin as God’s presence refines. A quick side-note: Malachi said, “will cleanse the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then they will offer the LORD a proper offering.” Who were the sons of Levi? Priests right? Who are priests today?
1 Peter 2:4 NETSo as you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but chosen and priceless in God's sight,5you yourselves, as living stones, are built up as a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood and to offer spiritual sacrifices that are acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
The Holy Spirit is Fire John the Baptist said, "I baptize you with water, for repentance, but the one coming after me is more powerful than I am — I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. Matthew 3:11 NET
The Holy Spirit’s ministry is associated to fire in the Bible. Acts 2:3 NETAnd tongues spreading out like a fire appeared to them and came to rest on each one of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit, and they began to speak in other languages as the Spirit enabled them.
1 Thessalonians 5:19 NET Do not extinguish the Spirit. Paul said we can quench the fire of the Holy Spirit. When revival comes the Holy Spirit blazes upon God’s people, for He is the presence of God in our lives. He renews passion for Christ and people. He makes worship come alive, and empowers witness.
3. Fear Isaiah says in verse 2, “let your adversaries know who you are, and may the nations shake at your presence!” There is a great sense of fear when God shows up. What ever happened to the fear of God in the Church and in the world? The fear of God comes upon us when God visits the Church.
WHAT CAN WE DO TO GET REVIVAL? Isaiah 64:7 NETNo one invokes your name, or makes an effort to take hold of you. For you have rejected us and handed us over to our own sins. What can we do to speed up revival? Or can we? Isaiah outlines THREE things we can do to hasten God’s presence in our lives.
1 Fervent Prayer He says, “No one invokes your name.” This describes a desperate plea to God for His presence and help. James says, You do not have because you do not ask; James 4:2d NET We like Isaiah must begin to cry out to God for personal revival. Notice that Isaiah says, “No one.” Revival begins with the individual.
2 Wake ourselves up 7a,b NET No one invokes your name, or makes an effort 7a,b MKJV And there is no one who calls on Your name, who stirs up himself to take hold of You.
The prophet says we must make an effort,stir ourselves, or wake ourselves up. Many church members sit and wait for a preacher to stir them up with a fiery sermon, or a wonderful testimony, or a moving song. God says, quit waiting to be moved, and move yourself, wake yourselves up. Wake up to the state of our sleepy Christianity; wake up to the lateness of the hour.
3 Lay Hold of God How do we do this? Easy! Make a bold move toward God. Discipline yourselves to pray and: Seek God even when you do not feel like it. Go to church, even when you do not feel like it. Repent and confess sin, even when you do not feel like it.
James says; Draw near to God and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and make your hearts pure, you double-minded. 9 Grieve, mourn, and weep. Turn your laughter into mourning and your joy into despair. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will exalt you. James 4:8 NET
Who will commit themselves to fervent prayer and bold movement toward God in commitment with the expectation of experiencing the WONDERFUL, POWERFUL, MANIFEST PRESENCE of GOD?