Thought for the Week - 7th MayPastor Gareth Watkins
Romans 10: 14
How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed?
And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard?
And how shall they hear without a preacher?
Mr Hugh Black wrote in his book on Moses:
“We live in an age where there is frequently a light attitude towards God. There’s a very light attitude to Holy things, and even amongst supposedly good Christian people there is a light attitude to God and a light attitude to Christian things”.
Do you agree that there is a light attitude towards God in the world? A light attitude towards Holy things, and even a light attitude within the Church?
Reading these questions and reflecting on the verse above, there comes a seriousness attached to non-believing. How shall they call on Him in who they don’t believe? There is a seriousness attached to non-believing, and a seriousness attached to not being able to cry out to God. The light attitude towards God and Holy things in that scripture has gone away – there’s a seriousness about it all. Have we got a light attitude towards God and Holy things?
There’s a product of what we believe. There’s a product in these people who cannot cry out to God. We see it all around us – in work, in society, in our families – people have a light attitude to God and cannot call out to Him. It comes back to us… what is our attitude to God? We must ask ourselves if we have a light attitude to God and what is the product in our life? What is the product that surrounds us because of our light attitude towards sin and other things? If you have the strength, ask someone you trust: “do I have a light attitude to God?”.
Thankfully we have a God who doesn’t have a light attitude towards these things. God sent his son to die for us… that is not a light approach to things! God takes these things very seriously. Sometimes we don’t have the ability spiritually to apply these approaches to our spiritual lives. God’s made a way for us. He’s made a future and a way of life that takes us into eternity. God has made a way to come through all the world and sin to where we belong – eternity with Him. That is not a light approach to things. That is a wonderful, serious, encompassed approach to all things that matter. And yet we can treat things very casually, like it doesn’t really matter. But it does.
If we are not serious about things, how can other people be serious about things? When God sent His son He provided a wonderful approach for us to come through these gates through Christ onto eternity. That is not a careless approach to living. Selfishness on the other hand, propels me and those around me into a secular world. Where does that take us? I was reading this week about soft parenting. That’s an example of where the secular world takes us – a place where the child is all, eats when it wants, what it wants, is without discipline and instead is encouraged rather than taught. On the other hand, the Bible teaches me that if we’re without training under God then we are illegitimate (Hebrews 12:8).
If we’re not brought up in the right way, in the seriousness of God, we become illegitimate; we become feral. There’s a seriousness attached to the bringing up of children. God sees himself as our parent and our Heavenly Father. We, as His children, expect to be trained, disciplined or chastised. These things, like soft parenting, undermines the principles that God puts in place. He puts a seriousness over parenting. He puts a seriousness over the way we’re meant to be trained and brought up in God. He puts in place a system where we can cry out to Him, and the things around us change because we’ve brought it to Him. If we take it flippantly, where does it take us? It takes us to a place where things are not of a correct structure.
Exodus 3: 1-6
Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian.
And he led the flock to the back of the desert,
and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.
And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush.
So he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire,
but the bush was not consumed.
Then Moses said, “I will now turn aside and see this great sight,
why the bush does not burn.”
So when the Lord saw that he turned aside to look,
God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!”
And he said, “Here I am.”
Then He said, “Do not draw near this place.
Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.”
Moreover He said, “I am the God of your father –
the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.”
And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God.
This event that happened to Moses wasn’t a light hearted event – it has great seriousness attached. One of which was to take Moses to confront all the powers of darkness that held sway in Egypt. This event takes Moses into a place where he has encounters with all the forces of evil and wickedness that were in Egypt, and sets the children of Israel free from their captivity! This is a powerful man waiting to come into a place where God can use him.
This man was going into the desert and suddenly found himself alone with God.
Could you ever point to a time where you’re actually alone with God? Where the things of this world have gone, and the presence of God has come to you in a way that everything in your mind is out there somewhere, but you are in the presence of Almighty God. A very serious moment! Moses came to that moment.
When he came into that moment, Moses had to choose – like we have to choose. Do we look and take our direction towards the things of God, or do we run away? Moses chose to look towards God, and chose to go towards the God that was calling out of the bush. He had to make the choice. Many people make the wrong choice.
We read that he was afraid to look upon God. It was a serious and frightening moment. God told him to take off his sandals. Now he had to act upon what God was saying to him. He’s in a lonely spot before God. God calls us into these places for our own good – where we can see Him in a new dimension. In these private moments, alone with God, He expects us to turn towards him and act in obedience.
Inwardly, Moses had to respond correctly to God. He chose to see the seriousness of the situation. If he hadn’t have acted properly in that moment, would we have heard of Moses? We might have, or he might not have been used of God, or perhaps he might not have been in the Bible.
We can’t allow ourselves to become over familiar. Seek God and the seriousness of God in these matters! If you read of revival, a particular God consciousness comes and the spiritual atmosphere changes. There is no light, frothy attitude at that time. God is in control! I encourage you not to be in a place where you have a light heartedness towards the things of God.
Hebrews 12: 22-26
But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God,
the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels,
to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven,
to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect,
to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant,
and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.
See that you do not refuse Him who speaks.
For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth,
much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven,
whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying,
“Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven.”
In these verses we read we are coming to Zion, the city of God in the company of Angels! We are coming to all those that have been saved by Christ before us. We are on that path to that place! Read the seriousness of the instructions not to refuse Him!
We should take these things seriously. We have been assembled by God for a plan and a purpose, and that takes us onto eternity. It doesn’t give us the right to become light hearted and foolish.
We must be serious in our dealings with God and not light hearted. We must question ourselves. Where we are we today?