My message today is the first of a three-part message taken from chapter 33 of the book of Exodus.
Part 1 is learning to have a “Not Without You” spirit.
Often, I think about times I would like the Lord to speak directly and clearly to me like He did many time to people in the Bible. For example, God spoke to Abraham to tell him to go. God spoke to Jacob to tell him to return to his home. Then the Lord spoke to Paul to tell him to stop and then to go. By their actions each of these three men said to the Lord, “I will go, but not without You.”
Now, I often wish for those times. I wish He would simply speak plainly to me and say what He wants to say. But then I wonder, do I really want that? I ask myself, “Do I really want what the Lord wants of me, or do I want the Lord to want what I want for myself?”
Here is what I have concluded. I don’t want a life that is without Him in any way, so I say to Him, “Not Without You, Lord.” I want to live in no way and in no place without Him. I want a “Not Without You” spirit. For me, I believe it is the only way I can overcome powerful desires I have to live for me rather than to allow Him to live within and through me.
In Exodus 33, the Israelites had been in the desert only a few months after being delivered from Egypt. God had been with them daily in the form of a cloud by day and a fire by night. But the people were hard-headed. They had already fallen into worshiping idols, quickly building a golden calf to worship while they waited for Moses to return from Mt Sinai.
They were out of Egypt, but they did not leave their old ways of Egypt behind. They had God in their presence daily, but they did not allow Him to be present in their lives. God saw that it wasn’t good for them to stay where they were. So, He commanded the Israelites to leave Mt Sinai and go to the promised land.
In verses 1-3 scripture says God told Moses to “Go up to the land flowing with milk and honey; for I will not go up in your midst, lest I consume you on the way, for you are a stiff-necked people.” Stiff-necked means you are unwilling to turn from the direction you are heading. Instead of a “Not Without You” spirit, the people had a “just as I am” spirit.
If we are going to remain just as we are, the Lord may well just leave us just where we are. This is the reason I wonder sometimes if I really want to hear Him or if I just want Him to hear me. I’m stubborn and stiff-necked in my ways. But God is loving. And even though they were stubborn, He was going to send an angel before them in His stead. The angel would fight and clear the way for them so they could take the promised land.
It’s important for us to understand, we cannot have a “Not Without You” spirit about what God asks us to do when we want to stay just where we are with a “just as I am” spirit.
It is very difficult for us to hear Him clearly when we listen more to ourselves for what we want for ourselves.
It is very difficult for us to feel His presence with us when we live more to be present in the things around us.
It is very difficult for us to change our direction to His path when we believe more of our lives should be lived on the paths we have chosen.
I could go on, but I hope that you see that it is very difficult for us to want His best for us when we really want Him to want what we believe is best for us.
The Israelites indeed feared going forward without God’s presence, but more than that, they feared leaving behind the things they knew best. We cannot have a “Not Without You” spirit when we know the things of the world better than we know the God who made the world.
The way to get more of what the world has to offer is to give up more of what the world is offering you now.
The way to have more of what God wants to give you is to give up more of what God wants you to leave behind.
When you have a “Not Without You” spirit, you can have a Godly marriage more than a worldly marriage; you can have Godly children more than worldly children; you can have a Godly job and Godly work more than those that are worldly.
If you strip yourselves of all your desires for what the world has, if you strip yourselves of all the things that you want for you, then you will be able to say with confidence, “Lord, Not Without You” will I want for anything.
Live a Delivered Life. Love you.