Musings 127

Exodus 33:13 “Now therefore, I pray You, if I have found favor in Your sight, let me know Your ways that I may know You, so that I may find favor in Your sight. Consider too, that this nation is Your people.” 14 And He said, “My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest.” 15 Then he said to Him, “If Your presence does not go with us, do not lead us up from here. 16 “For how then can it be known that I have found favor in Your sight, I and Your people? Is it not by Your going with us, so that we, I and Your people, may be distinguished from all the other people who are upon the face of the earth?” 17 The LORD said to Moses, “I will also do this thing of which you have spoken; for you have found favor in My sight and I have known you by name.” 18 Then Moses said, “I pray You, show me Your glory!” 19 And He said, “I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the LORD before you; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion.”

In this passage we see many things. We see the heart of Moses which was a heart that sought God. We see what it means to have a heart for God. We see the longings and the desires of a man who seeks after God. We see what a true leader wants for Himself and for His people. We see in many ways what is to be the focus of the churches and the focus on each human heart. The cry of our hearts must be for God Himself. We should long to know His ways so that we may know Him. We should not want God to come down and give us our sinful desires or our desires that are apart from Him and for His glory, but our hearts are made for Him and they should long for and desire Him. Instead of being caught up with the world and the things of the world, we are to be caught up with God Himself and the things of God.

This is far different than being caught up with self as self does the rituals and morality of religion, but all that this heart does is seek after God. This heart longs for the presence of God and it longs for God to be glorified, but it longs for God to be glorified for His own sake and for the sake of His people. This is a heart that knows how futile it is to plan things and plan church things without God. Sure, people use the name of Jesus as they plan what they are going to do, but that is far from the same thing as seeking God for what the church should do if anything. It is better to be still before God than it is to go our and do many things without His leading or blessing.

The person or the local church that longs for God knows that it is His free-grace that makes any spiritual distinction between the local church or the person. That person or that church will seek the Lord for His presence and if He does not grant His presence then there is no sense in going out. When people get engaged with busy work and they are satisfied with that rather than God Himself, there is a great deception among the people. This business seems to the deceived as working for God but they are working for self-righteousness rather than for God Himself. They are also working in the strength of self rather than the strength of grace.

The churches of our day sure seem to have the idea that if they build new buildings and have enough programs then the people will come and fill the building. Even if the people do come and fill the buildings, that does not mean that God is blessing the work. The blessing of God on a church or a person is when God Himself gives the person Himself and dwells with them and communicates Himself to them. The Regulative Principle of Worship (RPW) is a very helpful principle, but just because people or churches follow it to the letter does not mean that the people or churches worship. Following the RPW is not a guarantee for worship. It is only when God by His free-grace grants people His presence and hearts to worship that they will then worship.

When will the churches wake up to see that going through the motions on Sunday morning is not the same thing as seeking the living God from hearts that desire Him? When will the churches wake up and understand that their meeting together is not doing God any favors? When will the churches wake up and understand that they are to seek the Lord from the heart out of love when the people come together? When will the churches wake up and understand that as the nation of Israel thought that their outward sacrifices and keeping of the Temple pleased God so the churches have fallen into that same trap and think that their external acts and rituals please God? When will the people get sick and tired of all the trappings and seek Christ Himself for the grace to repent of pride, self, and religiosity and seek Him in all that they do? They will not seek Him until they are awakened by grace to see that they are helpless sinners and need grace to seek God. Only then will they seek Him and His presence.

When will the preachers wake up and realize that just because they are giving an exposition of Scripture is not the same thing as seeking God in true worship? When will the preachers wake up and seek the Lord for understanding that they may learn to preach rather than just lecture? When will the preachers learn that they must die to self and pride (which only happens by grace) before they can truly preach Christ and the Gospel of Christ? When will the preachers learn that they are to be taught in the heart to taste of Christ so that they may preach Christ rather than talk about Him? Oh what a shallow day we live as we are so easily satisfied with the externals of religion.

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