We cannot talk about deep call unto deep without seeking Jesus.
Psalms 42: 1
“As the deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you, O God.”
This is a psalm written by David for God in the midst of distress. He was looking for an encounter with God. When you are in distress, what do you cry out for? Money? Help?
David decided to cry for the living God because he knows the source of everything. Look for God, not for things you look for from God. Remember the story of Soul, his father had lost donkeys and ultimately he was told that the donkeys you were looking for have been found. So as the deer panteth for the water, so my soul long after thee.
I want you to move away from the things that takes much of your thought time, the things that bother you and look unto the one who gives all the things. Deep calls unto deep. We have to seek the living God, to enquire of the living God, to say "want to see Jesus".
Hebrews 12:1-2 KJV
“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Bible reading: Philippians 3: 7-11 KJV
We have behaved very religiously but do we know him? Have we seen him? Have we encountered Jesus ? I am not questioning your salvation but your encounter with Jesus. A story is told of a man who was working as a contractor at a timber company. For 6 consecutive days he would leave the company premises pushing a wheelbarrow with a little box of saw dust in it. The security guard would probe and search him only to see the saw dust. On the 7th day, the man confessed of having stolen 6 wheel barrows right in the eyes of the security guard but the security guard was focusing on the rubbish, the saw dust. Let us not focus on the saw dust, let's focus on the wheel barrow. For a while we have focused on saw dust and we have not focused on the main thing, the wheel barrow. For the last 10 yrs, we have been focusing on the saw dust, it's time we focus on the wheel barrow.
Like Paul in Philippians 3:8-10 he said I consider everything as loss, that he may gain Christ, it's because he had seen the wheelbarrow. He was in pain, in prison but he still desired to know Christ. Do you see Jesus in your daily pain? When Steven was being stoned, he didn't beg for forgiveness but he declared to see the Lord standing. Do you see the Lord standing in the midst of your pain or you question where is Jesus? You must see and not look.
Bible reading: Luke 24: 28-33
Until you see Jesus in his presence, until you have a direct connection, being in his presence means nothing. Like the woman of the issue of blood, she was in the presence of the Lord but she knew just a touch of the hem of Jesus's garment she would be made whole. Many are caught up in the presence of Jesus but never get to see his presence. Elshaddai is a wonderful place to be but its not good enough until you see him. When worshipping the Lord in this house, desire to see him. Not physically but having an encounter with him to answer all your questions and problems that by the time you leave this place all your burdens will be gone. Like Moses had an encounter with God in Exodus 33:14-15. When you see Jesus, nothing else matters. When everyone is worried and they ask you how you see the situation, tell them you see Jesus. Have an encounter, see him first. All you need is spend a moment with him. You need to go beyond observing and start absorbing. When you observe it's sweet but when you absorb it can be bitter. Move from observing to absorbing and your life will never be the same. Have your own access to the word of God , go beyond noticing the scriptures to studying the word.
2 Timothy 2: 14-15 KJV
There is a lot of hearsay going on. You just hear the word of God in church on Sunday but during the week you stuff yourself with all sorts of hear says from the social media, typing Amen to all declarations by men of God. Seek God, study the scriptures. Fix your eyes on Jesus, he is the author and finisher of your faith, not man. Don't focus on me, am also focusing on Jesus and trying to make things right. Jesus is the flawless one, with no exterior motive. He is the one who knows us, he does not require us to make noise because a whisper goes to the father. Because you have seen Jesus, your behavior changes, you won't live for people but worry about what you do in private.
What does it mean to see Jesus?
Luke 2: 15-16 KJV
The shepherds could tell a story. They abandoned their sheep for a wonder they could not duplicate. They wanted to see Jesus with their eyes. They wanted to move from knowing to seeing. What are you seeing? I want to see Jesus. As we celebrate the 10th anniversary , I want to give you the encouragement to reach out to the author and finisher of your faith. Not the gimmicks of religion that is all around us these days.
Luke 2:26-27 KJV
“And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ.”
The man called Simeon, he was connected to the purposes of God, he saw the bundled Jesus, 8 days old and he said this is the Lord almighty and he worshipped.
There was no coaching, no protocol officer. There are some things that are caught and not taught. Simeon had an encounter with the Lord and was ready to die. How many times have you had an encounter with the Lord? If you have seen the world and not seen Jesus, you have seen nothing. I have had the privilege to travel all continents of this world but all that is nothing if you have not seen Jesus. Focus on him. You can't continue to converse with the devil everyday. Why can't you wake up in the middle of the night and worship Jesus. Stop glorifying the devil. Deny him your focus, presence and attention. Stop conversing with the devil.
Matthew 2: 2 KJV
“Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.”
The three wise men wanted to see Jesus, like Simeon and the shepherds. They were not satisfied with wonders. I have stopped focusing on the wonders happening around me, my focus is on Jesus. When you have such a wonder, how are you going to react. We are caught up in things that has nothing to do with Jesus. The star was historical, it was a privilege but it wasn't enough. Seeing the light over Bethlehem was not enough, but they wanted to see the light of Bethlehem. The wise men wanted to see Jesus. Even when they were diverted, they pursued because they said we want to see Jesus and pay their respects. Herod asked them to come and tell him on their way back. Matthew 2:17 None of us are disadvantaged or disabled to see Jesus. We all must see Jesus for ourselves. Seek him for yourself. I don't want to see on your behalf, am not finding Jesus for you. You must find him yourself. There are people who know about God but they have no encounter with him. If you are not living the vibrant of the Jesus you believe in you are in trouble. So Herod called the chief priests asking when Jesus will be born.
Seeing Jesus means going beyond the gift and seeing the giver. We are going to have two surprises in heaven
1: you are going to see people you never thought will make heaven
2: you are going to look for people you thought will make heaven but won't be there because they had no encounter with him.
Let's look beyond the light over Bethlehem but look at the light
Let's look at the star of heaven
Don't be stuck with revelation, be interested in the revealer.
You can never miss him if you seek him.
Hebrews 6:11 Behold the lamb of God.
Bible reading: John 1: 35-40
They left John the Baptist and followed Jesus. The disciples asked Jesus where he was staying, they wanted to be with him, where he was staying. When you have met Jesus, they are places you will leave, there are people you will leave, you shift positions, you shift relations when you have had an encounter with God. The disciples just didn't want to be in his presence but they wanted to know his address, where he lived, how he lived, they wanted more of him. They had to talk to him directly, they didn't go through his cousin John. Don't seek Jesus through a man of God. Seek God yourself. We have a direct line to God. If there was a time that we put Jesus to be the centre of our lives, this is the time. To say if it doesn't measure up with Christ, it's out. Don't just follow his presence, follow him.
In closing: I am pleading with you tonight to fall in love with Jesus again this evening. I want to encourage you that the days of playing church are over, let's focus on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. Like Moses, to say, if you are not going with us Lord, we are not going anywhere.