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Foundations for Your Success (3 of 6)

Shane Willard

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Foundations for Your Success (3 of 6) We don't like spirit, because we can't control it. It doesn't obey our rules. Where is God? How big is He?

If you want to live a successful life, you've got to organise your life to where God is with you all the time; not a statue/idol that's with you one minute, but not the next. We can't make God manageable.

To have the best relationship with God, don't make your prayer life about words and needs, He already knows what your needs are.

The supply of everything I need, which is as close to me as the air that I'm breathing, I stop and become aware of that.
Review

Last night we talked about the first line of the Ten Commandments, all night long: I am the Lord your God. I am the Lord your God.

What we discovered was: God's heart towards us.

I hope what you took away from last night, is that: God is nice. We're actually more comfortable with a God who's judgemental, than we are with a God who's loving. I reckon it takes more faith to put trust in the fact that ‘God is Kind’, than it is that: ‘God is full of Justice.

I want for us to really get our head around the fact that: God wants to marry us, leaven and all - He wants to be with us.

Main Message

The second commandment, in Exodus 20:4 – “You shall not make to yourself any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in the heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow yourself down to them, nor serve them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the sons, to the third and fourth generation of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands of those that love Me and keep My commandments.”

There's a couple of ways to read this... The rabbis taught was that every scripture is interpretable to four levels okay: Peshat; Remez; Derash; and Sod; [meaning: Plain; Hint; Seek; Secret].

At the end of the day, that we're just Joe and Jane okay, we're just these guys (draws stick figures). If you were here last night, you'll remember there are a lot of complications with a 4-D person trying to communicate with a 2-D one, huge.

If I said simple things like: Joe, in my world I can extend my arm out. Joe says: what in the world are you talking about? I can't. He's stuck in his 2-D world; so given the number of complications that exist between a 4-D being and a 2-D being, can you imagine the complications that exist between an infinitely-dimensional God, trying to communicate with a 4-D person? At the end of the day, we are just finite; so the rabbis said: “an infinite God limited Himself to the language of men”.

That's how the Bible came about, that God humbled Himself, and He limited Himself to the language of men. So because God limited Himself to the language of men: every scripture has four levels of interpretation; and is like a diamond, that depending on how you turn it in the light, has 70 different facets of truth. So we just never can get our head totally around God. We're just Joe and Jane.

But this command, on the surface, is this: “Don't put statues of other Gods in your house, and bow down to them” - and I think that that would be fairly irrelevant to us. Most of us would not struggle with that. If someone gave you a statue, of something that could have been God - there's something inside of you that just won't allow you to place it in your house. You'd think it's creepy, and it would give you a really weird feeling inside, so you just wouldn't do that.

So then the question becomes: what else is going on here? What is deeper; and there's two big things going on here, two incredible questions. When we answer these questions, or begin to journey to the answer to these questions, we begin to lay a foundation for the success in our life.

Those questions are this: 1) How big is God? 2) Where, exactly, is He?

These are the deeper underlying truths going on here. If you realise that once you ‘make God into an idol’, then there is a place where that idol lives - a place where He can be ‘here’, but He's not there. Once God becomes an idol, once there's an idol made to represent who God is, then you can organise your life around God being: ‘with you’ in some circumstances; and God ‘not being with you’ in others.

God says: if you want the best life, we're not going to do it that way. We're not going to do that!

Keep in mind the context. How would the First Century people have seen this? These people were enslaved for 430 years; and they saw this is as a 10-word Katubah; a 10-word marriage proposal. God is wanting to marry them; and not just to marry them, God is wanting to use them to create the best culture the earth has ever seen - a culture so blessed, that the whole world's going to want in on it.