Ex 33:7-17, Matt 28:16-20
ILLN Aeroplane accident
Some years ago there was a strange aeroplane accident. A well-known American football coach was flying in a private jet from the Midwest to the East coast of the USA. During the flight it became apparent to the ground controllers that the pilot was not flying according to a filed flight plan. They tried to contact him but were unable to do so.
Soon it became clear that both the pilot and his passenger were not conscious because of an oxygen deficiency or some other kind of malfunction. The plane was controlled by autopilot so it kept flying and eventually headed out over the ocean and when it ran out of fuel fell from the air.
If we had been standing on the ground looking at the plane as it flew overhead we would not have known there was anything wrong inside. I might have said to you, “Just look at that jet - it’s flying so high and fast”. You might have said, “That’s a private plane. I wonder who is travelling in it. It must be someone really important”
We would have been impressed by what we saw. But we would have no idea of what was going on inside and the fact that the plane was going to run out of fuel and crash.
Many people today appear to be flying high and fast. We are impressed by how busy they are. But sometimes the high-flyers are the ones that run out of spiritual fuel. It is possible to become weary. When that happens the result is action without passion and service without enthusiasm. Eventually such a person will opt out and may totally give up
So let’s think today, how can we renew ourselves spiritually so that our Christian life is a joy rather than just a duty?
MOSES Ex 33:7-17
v.7 “Tent of the Lord‘s presence”, “outside the camp” - a quiet place to meet with God
v.11 Spent time alone with the Lord. Friend. Face to face. Intimate, personal relationship.
v.12 God’s call - “Lead these people” A daunting task. Felt inadequate. Wanted someone with him in the camp. Help with the work.
v.14 “I will go with you”
Better than a person. God’s PRESENCE. Always. Everywhere.
Gives Wisdom. Counsel. Understanding. Strength
“I will give you victory (rest NIV).”
You will cope. Not get exhausted. If you work with God
Also gave him people - Joshua & Aaron
v.15 Moses affirms the importance of God’s PRESENCE at all times
v.16 God’s PRESENCE makes us distinct from “Good people”
v.17 the Lord delighted to give his PRESENCE - RELATIONSHIP
JESUS Matt 18:16-20
Jesus has given us a task to do - to continue his work in the world today
It sounds like a very daunting task - Matt 28:19,20
We are to go out to people, not sit and wait for them to come to us
We are to share the good news of Jesus love through our deeds and our words
We are to make disciples and teach them about Jesus
If we try to do this work in our own strength we will fail and become discouraged.
Jesus said, “I am the vine, and you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will bear much fruit; for you can do nothing without me.” John 15:5
Jesus also said, “I will be with you always” Matt 28:20
This is God’s work and we are to do it in his strength not just our own, with his wisdom not just our own
This means we are to pray and ask God to fill us with his Spirit so that he can work through us
It means praying about things before we act, asking God to work in lives of people around us and in the situations we find ourselves in
We are working WITH God not FOR God.
Partnership. God needs us. We need him.
“Find out what God is doing and then join in”
ILLN Father working with his child
Andrew spent all Saturday putting new stone steps in his back garden. It was heavy work. Each stone weighed over a hundred pounds and it took all of Andrew’s strength to manoeuvre them into place. His 5 year old daughter Katie begged to help. When he suggested she just sing to encourage him in his work she said “No.” She wanted to help. Carefully, when it would not endanger her Andrew let Katie place her hands on the rocks and push them as he moved them.
Katie’s help actually made the task more complicated. He could have built the steps in less time without her ‘help’. But at the end of the day he had not only new steps but also a daughter bursting with enthusiasm and a sense of accomplishment. “Me and dad made steps,” she announced at tea time. And Andrew would be the first to agree.
The Lord could do his work in the world without us, but he has chosen us to work WITH him. He does not intend us to struggle on our own. PRAYER is vital. We heed His PRESENCE with us to renew our energy and enthusiasm so that we can do the task he has called us to do and work alongside him with joy.