Luke chapter 9, and we're going to begin reading at verse 28. Let's pray before we read. Lord, our songs, we trust, have not just been empty words. We really do want to meet with You tonight, we do want Your Spirit to breathe upon us. Lord, we would desire to know that we are under an open heaven and there is nothing between us and You. We want to be in that Bethel place, where the angels of God ascend and descend upon the Son of Man. We want this place tonight to be a gateway to heaven, a portal through which You can visit us and we can visit You. Lord, we really ask for Divine encounters tonight, we ask that we would see Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith. So, Holy Spirit, would You come, and would You reveal the Lord Jesus to us. We need Your help:
'Emptied that Thou shouldest fill me,
A clean vessel in Thy hand;
With no power but as Thou givest
Graciously with each command.
Channels only, blessed Master,
But with all Thy wondrous power,
Flowing through us, Thou canst use us
Every day and every hour'.
This is what we ask for, this is what I ask for now, Lord. In Jesus' Name, Amen
Verse 28, then, of chapter 9 of Luke: "Now it came to pass, about eight days after these sayings, that He", that's Jesus, "took Peter, John, and James and went up on the mountain to pray. As He prayed, the appearance of His face was altered, and His robe became white and glistening. And behold, two men talked with Him, who were Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory and spoke of His decease which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. But Peter and those with him were heavy with sleep; and when they were fully awake, they saw His glory and the two men who stood with Him. Then it happened, as they were parting from Him, that Peter said to Jesus, 'Master, it is good for us to be here; and let us make three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah' - not knowing what he said. While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were fearful as they entered the cloud. And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, 'This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!' When the voice had ceased, Jesus was found alone. But they kept quiet, and told no one in those days any of the things they had seen".
Our series these Friday night at Oasis has been 'Divine Encounters', what can happen in a moment with God. What we've been talking about are incidents within Scripture of close encounters of the Divine kind. Most of the incidents that we have looked at are well-known Bible stories, but we haven't been looking at them just expositionally from a Bible study perspective alone, but particularly from the aspect of what these were as personal encounters with God Almighty - these men and women who had a moment with God, who were surprised by God in some way. We might say they had a brush with God, or even a face-to-face encounter with Him. So they are experiencing God in some kind of dramatic way. We have emphasised this, and it bears repeating every night: that we have a personal God, and therefore, because of that, we must expect personal encounters with Him. Christianity - it's a cliche now - is not a religion, it's a relationship. If we are in relationship with God, we've got to expect intimate encounters with Him.
So we looked at 'Moses At The Burning Bush', 'Jacob At Jabbok' as he wrestled with God, 'Gideon At The Winepress', 'Isaiah In The Throne Room', and the last time, I think it was in February, 'Elijah On The Mountain'. Tonight we are looking at 'The Three On The Mount', the three being Peter, John, and James who the Lord Jesus brought to the Mount of Transfiguration, before whom He was transfigured. There are five principles that I want to share with you tonight that, again, will serve to position us in order to have Divine encounters.
The first one I want you to see from the passage this evening is: everyone can have encounters, but not everyone does. Everyone can have them, but not everyone does have them. We see that it was Peter, John, and James that the Lord Jesus chose out of the twelve - the rest were left behind - and He took these three up the Mount with Him. We could call these three disciples in particular 'the inner circle of intimacy'. I'll not go into all this, but you know that there were the seventy, or the seventy-two, then there were the twelve, but even within the twelve there was this inner circle who seems to be brought into more confidence with our Lord Jesus - and then John himself, the beloved disciple, seems to have had prime place, almost, in the intimacy. We see that in his Gospel and his epistles, and in the book of Revelation.
We see Peter, John, and James, they were the three whom Jesus took into Jairus' house, and into the bedroom where the little 12-year-old girl was lying dead - and it was those three who witnessed that great sign and wonder of that little girl's resurrection. It was also Peter, John, and James that Jesus permitted to come with Him into that sacred moment in the Garden of Gethsemane, when He sweat, as it were, great drops of blood and He was near to death as He contemplated Calvary. It was John, of course, who was the one who remained at the cross when everyone else fled.
So we're being taught something here. I mean, if you decide to go for a hike tomorrow morning up Slieve Donard, or any other mountain for that matter, you'll find that at the top there will not be that many people there. Generally speaking, at every mountaintop there are few gathered. It was the case here at the Mount of Transfiguration: just Peter, John, and James. I have to say to you that there is an element of sovereignty here. It says, if you look at the verse, 'He took', verse 28, 'He took Peter, James, and John'. There are certain aspects of Divine encounters that are sovereign. What I mean by that is: God can come and touch a person uniquely, in a way that no other person may be touched, or few are - we've got to recognise that. Yet there is also, and this is often the tension within Scripture, the aspect of responsibility. What I mean by responsibility is: desire and pursuit of God and Divine encounters.
Why did Jesus take Peter, John, and James? Well, I happen to believe that, though there is a sovereign aspect to Divine encounters, there is also a principle that is explicit within the word of God. James 4 and verse 8: 'Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you'. There is the principle that God is usually found by those who seek Him. It's right throughout the revelation of the Bible. Jeremiah 29:13-14: 'You will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the LORD'. Now, there is a scripture in Isaiah 65 that says: 'I will be found by those who did not seek Me', and it's repeated again in Romans 10:20 - but that is in the context about the Gentiles coming to know the Lord outside the Commonwealth of Israel, it's not primarily talking about those who are just disinterested in the Lord and receiving Divine encounters, although that can happen in God's sovereignty. But the general rule is that it is those who seek and search for the Lord, who pursue Him and desire Him, that will discover Him.
That, for me, is profound; and it is also very convicting - because, on a practical level, what that means for me is that you can have as much as God as you want. Just let that sink in. Sometimes we might see these biblical Divine encounters, we may read about others throughout church history that the great heroes of the faith have had, and we might get a little bit jealous. There may be somebody in your fellowship, or in your circle of knowledge, and they have had certain experiences, supernatural et cetera - and you really long that you should know God like they know God, and have the experience of Him in the same way. There is an aspect of sovereignty, so we have to be very careful; and yet be aware that there is also this responsibility of pursuit and desire, which means you can have as much of God as you want. The issue, essentially, is desire: how much do you want Him? I'm so convicted by that.
It was C.S. Lewis who said: 'It would seem that our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us. Like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea, we are far too easily pleased'. Maybe you think that your problem is a problem of lust, or a problem of greed, or a problem of desire for wrong things. Lewis is saying that the problem is: our desires are too weak; not too strong, too weak. We are far too easily pleased with lesser things, when our greatest hunger should be after God.
That's what part of the parable of the seed, the sower, and the soils was about, isn't that right? In Mark 4, Jesus said: 'Now these are the ones sown among thorns; they are the ones who hear the word, and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful' - the desire for other things, when our first love is taken away. I think it was a meeting I was at yesterday, and some of you were at it - not yesterday, Wednesday - and someone made the point, I think it was there, that one of the things that all the revivalists down through the ages have had in common is that they were madly in love with Jesus. They had differences about baptism, they had differences in their view of predestination, they had differences in their concept of the Lord's return, they had differences to do with practice in church life and how we do things - but they had this in common: they were absolutely consumed with a passion for Jesus. It was Vance Havner who said: 'Revival is falling in love with Jesus all over again'.
Tonight, you may have noticed, is the first 'Divine Encounter' that we have embarked upon in the New Testament, and it's specifically related to a revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ. So I'm asking you tonight how much you want God, how much of God do you want? How much do you want Him? How much of Him? A.W. Tozer wrote that marvellous book 'The Pursuit of God', and on one occasion he says this: 'An infinite God can give all of Himself to each of His children' - isn't that incredible? 'An infinite God can give all of Himself to each of His children. He does not distribute Himself that each may have a part, but to each one He gives all of Himself as fully as if there were no others'. It's incredible! In another place he says: 'Our pursuit of God is successful just because He is forever seeking to manifest Himself to us'.
So the question is not of God's desire to encounter us, the real question is of our desire to encounter Him - what is it? How strong is it? Everyone can have encounters, but not everyone does. There is a sovereign element, but essentially, for me, there is this principle of the responsibility to pursue and desire God.
So, how do you position yourself for that? What can we learn from the Transfiguration? Well - after realising that everyone can have this encounter, but not all do, and we start pursuing it - we need to see that encounters are launched from the platform of prayer. Do you see this? It says 'He took Peter, John, and James and went up on the mountain to pray. As He prayed' - and then He's transfigured. So encounters are launched from the platform of prayer. Just fast forward a little bit into the Garden of Gethsemane, and these three are there again - He exhorts them to do what? 'Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation, because the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak'. He then comes again, finds them asleep, He says: 'Could you not even watch one hour?'. Here is an example in the Transfiguration that, as He prayed, He was totally transformed.
Is it any wonder in chapter 11, if you were to skip a couple of chapters, and verse 1 it says: 'Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, 'Lord, teach us to pray' - because they had seen what happened when Jesus prayed. He was transfigured! Do you know what 'transfigured' means? The dictionary definition: 'a complete change of form or appearance into a more beautiful and spiritual state' - wow! A change of appearance into a more beautiful and spiritual state. Now, this was unique to Christ, we know that because there is a sense here in His Transfiguration that this was His Divine glory bursting forth. Peter in His epistle says: 'We were eyewitnesses of His majesty'. However, we may experience something like Peter, John, and James did as they witnessed this great sight.
What am I talking about? Turn with me to 2 Corinthians chapter 4 please, verse 6: 'For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God' - where? - 'In the face of Jesus Christ'. We can have the knowledge of God's glory in the face of Jesus, just the way Peter, John, and James saw that glory on the Transfiguration Mount - but we can also experience a kind of transfiguration ourselves. Go back with me one chapter to 2 Corinthians 3:18: 'But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord'. Wow, isn't that incredible! We can be transfigured as we behold the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
Now, my point here was that encounters are launched from the platform of prayer, but I'm not just talking about any prayer. There are people who can pray for a living and never ever encounter the Lord - that's incredible to think, but that's a reality. There are people who have given their whole lives to a life of monasticism or some kind of devotion in some religious order - and I'm not despising all of that - I'm just saying, some people have done that, some people read their Bible and pray every day because they want to grow, but they never have these incredible supernatural engagements with God. You see there are different kinds of prayer, but surely the purest prayer is beholding the face of Christ? Do you know what I'm talking about? Encounters are launched from the platform of prayer, but specifically, this type of beholding the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, this being transformed from glory to glory in the same image as we behold Jesus.
Moses, it says, talked face-to-face with God. It's hinted at here in 2 Corinthians that, because of the glory that he encountered when he talked face-to-face with God - what did he wear over his face when he came down to speak with the people? He wore a veil. But we often make this mistake of thinking that he wore the veil because the people couldn't look upon the glory - that's wrong. If you look at what Paul says, he specifies that the glory was passing away, and he didn't want the people to see the glory passing away and fading - that's a picture of the Old Covenant - 'But we, with unveiled face, behold as in a mirror the glory of the Lord'. What does that mean? We have uninterrupted devotion and fellowship with God, and the glory that we imbibe and that is imparted to us in that communion doesn't fade away - it's permanent, it's perpetual, it's continual communion. That is the purest prayer that exists, in my estimation: beholding the face of Jesus. Do you do that when you pray?
If the truth is told, some of us can pray and not even think of Jesus. John 14 verse 23 is probably my most favourite verse in the whole of Scripture: 'Jesus answered and said to him, 'If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him''. That's incredible, the Father and the Son will come and make Their home with us. Listen, this little word 'to', 'We will come to him', the word 'to', 'to him or her', is the Greek word 'pros', and the prefix literally means 'face-to-face'. In John 1 verse 1 you have 'In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God', and the phrase 'with God' is 'prostontheon', 'pros' again the same word, 'the Word was face-to-face with God, and the Word was God' - that's the relationship the Father had with the Son, yes? What Jesus is saying is: 'If you love Me and keep My commandments, We' - the Father and the Son - 'will come to you face-to-face, and We will make our home with you'. That's the kind of prayer life you need to cultivate if you want to have Divine encounters - face-to-face communion with Jesus, not a shopping list. Ditch the shopping list. I'm not saying don't have intercessory times in your prayer, but for a lot of us: we're just going down a tick box exercise. You know, I honestly believe sometimes we need to shelve the shopping list, sometimes we need to break the alabaster box, whatever's restricting our daily devotions. Sometimes we get into a rut - discipline is good, don't misunderstand me, discipline frees us to worship the Lord, et cetera - but sometimes our discipline can be detrimental to the freedom of the Spirit, when the Spirit is wanting us to come to a place of just sitting and beholding Jesus.
Everyone can have encounters, but not everyone does; encounters are launched from the platform of prayer; thirdly: encounters are hindered by the dominance of the flesh. Encounters are hindered by the dominance of the flesh. Remember Gethsemane? 'Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation, the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak' - and here we have the flesh again in verse 32 with the same three guys: 'But Peter and those with him were heavy with sleep'. The Aramaic phrase, I'm led to believe, for what Jesus said in Gethsemane, 'the flesh is weak', is 'the flesh is failing' - the flesh is failing. Isn't that so true? I wonder how your flesh is failing you in the pursuit of God? Think about that. How is your flesh failing you in the pursuit of God? Do you fall asleep when you're praying? We all do that. Do you daydream? We all do that. What is it? I don't know, but the flesh is so often sabotaging our pursuit of God. The Passion Translation translates this: 'Your spirit is eager enough, but your humanity is feeble'. Our humanity is feeble! The Message renders it like this, I think this is powerful: 'Part of you is eager, ready for anything in God' - isn't that the way we are? I mean, intellectually, 'Yes, I want that, I want those Divine encounters, I want to experience what Moses and Elijah and Isaiah and Peter, John, and James experienced' - that's what we want in our spirit, 'We are eager and ready for anything, God!'. Listen how The Message renders the rest: 'But another part of you is as lazy as an old dog sleeping by the fire'. Doesn't that depict it well?
Do you know what my biggest struggle is? Me. Not the devil. Not the demon of this or that, or the principality and the power of here or there, but David Legge is my biggest problem. You have heard it many a time from me: sins need to be repented of, wounds need to be healed, and demons need to be cast out and expelled - but, you know, the flesh must be crucified. The cross is spoken of here. Elijah and Moses were speaking to Jesus in His transfigured state about His decease He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. The cross is central to redemption history, and it's central to the redemption of our bodies and indeed our very souls. So encounters are hindered by the dominance of the flesh, these disciples are falling asleep. We must crucify the hindrances of the flesh, otherwise we will not see His glory. Look at verse 32, it says: 'Peter and those with him were heavy with sleep; and when they were fully awake, they saw His glory'. When they wakened up, then they saw Him!
The New Testament is full of this. Ephesians 5:14: 'Therefore He says: 'Awake, you who sleep, arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light''. Romans 13:11-12: 'Do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light'. Do you know how the Passion Translation translates when Jesus came in Gethsemane and He found them asleep again? It renders it like this: 'Do you plan on sleeping and resting indefinitely? That's enough sleep, the end has come, and the hour has arrived. Get up and let's go!'. How long am I going to indulge the flesh in such a way that robs me of Divine encounters? We all want God to just show up, don't we, but we're not prepared to crucify the flesh. It has already been crucified on the cross, but we reckon it as dead.
Imagine sleeping in the presence of the transfigured Christ - it's unthinkable! But it happened, and to Peter, John, and James' embarrassment, it's recorded forever. Christ has now risen, He's glorified, His Spirit has been given to us - but most of us, if we are honest, we are asleep! We are living under an open heaven now, if we would only learn to walk by the Spirit and not fulfil the lusts of the flesh.
Encounters are hindered by the dominance of the flesh, but it's not only hindrances from within that rob us of God encounters, but also distractions from without. This is what I want you to see next: encounters are interrupted by the diversionary. Look at verse 33: 'Then it happened, as they were parting from Him, that Peter said to Jesus, 'Master, it is good for us to be here; and let us make three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah' - not knowing what he said'. This Divine encounter was kind of suspended because of a distracting preoccupation by lesser things or lesser people. Encounters are interrupted by the diversionary. Here it's Elijah and Moses - great guys, weren't they? Moses, the epitome of the law, the lawgiver representing the pure commandments of the Lord. Elijah, who was probably the greatest prophet, apart from John the Baptist of course, but he represents the prophets. So here are two individual personalities representing the law and the prophets standing on either side of Jesus - they are good people. The tabernacle that Peter is wanting to build for each of them, Jesus, Moses, and Elijah, a tabernacle is a good thing, isn't it? It's a place to worship God, but good people and good things - as good as they are - must all take their rightful place.
As I was thinking about this, God was obviously honouring Moses and Elijah, wasn't He? To be there appearing with Jesus in that transfigured state. So Peter felt, in his motivation, that he was justified in honouring Elijah and Moses along with Jesus. The problem is: honour and worship are different, aren't they? Peter failed to recognise that there was only one of those three that had the glory. I was thinking more about this, and it really convicted me, because Peter didn't leave Jesus out, did he? 'We will make a tabernacle for You, Jesus, and Moses and Elijah'. He just hadn't given Jesus His rightful place - and that is, to me, an illustration of how I so often am. It's not that I leave Jesus out, Jesus is on my lips, Jesus is in my life, Jesus is in my habits, Jesus is in everything I'm doing. It's not that He's not there, it's that He hasn't been given His rightful place! Often because I've exalted others too much.
Do you know what one of the biggest hindrances to revival is? One of the biggest hindrances to revival is drop the 'e' and the 'v', the rival - the rival. Whatever is competing for our affections and our attentions, the diversionary from without - not just the flesh within. That's what Psalm 24:3-4 says, isn't it? 'Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD? Or who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol'. Do you want to have a God encounter on the Mount, the Psalmist says, like the three, Peter, John, and James - not just clean hands, but your soul must not be bowing down to something else.
What is competing for your attention? What are you becoming preoccupied with, engrossed in outside? It could be something religious, because these two guys, Moses and Elijah, were religious figures, and a tabernacle was a religious place. Often our idols - and let's face it, an idol is essentially a religious object, isn't it? - often our distractions and diversions are religious. I'm going to say something that is very unpopular within Evangelicalism, but I'm going to say it anyway, and that is: our doctrines, our doctrines, our Bible doctrines that we derive from this book can be diversions. Our practices, our habits, our procedures, our externals, our ecclesiastical peripheral forms, methods, rites and rituals are so often robbing us of the centrality and the preeminence of the Son of God. They are a distraction! Some of us are happy to be engrossed in them, because they cover up the nakedness of our lack of devotion to Jesus.
So there is always this tension within the Christian life - get used to it. I'm constantly struggling with it, at the moment again - the tension between the good and the best. There are a lot of good things we can be doing, but Jesus told Mary and Martha: 'One thing is needful', to sit at Jesus' feet - and that's the thing that will never be taken away from you, that's the better part. It's incredible, isn't it, that this distraction for Peter came right in God's glory, right in the Presence! It's the same for Adam and Eve, they were not in a fallen state when they chose a distraction over the presence of God.
We see God's reaction in verse 34: 'While Peter was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were fearful as they entered the cloud', as you would be! This was no ordinary cloud, this was a Shekinah glory cloud. 'Shekinah' is a word that is derived from the root of the Hebrew word 'to dwell', 'shakan', so this is an indication that God has come down in some fashion. There are other indications of that, the glory in the face of Jesus, the light, the whiteness - but Shekinah is often indicated by a word from God, a spoken word. Here you have the cloud coming down, the disciples are fearful, they enter the cloud, and then in verse 35: 'A voice came out of the cloud, saying, 'This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!'.
Really what God is saying here is: 'Pay attention to Him!'. So there is the dominance of the flesh, the falling asleep; there is a diversionary from without, Elijah, Moses, tabernacles - and God comes and overwhelms them, and they get afraid. Guess what: when you have God encounters, you can get scared! Because God, He's not wanting to frighten us, but God is a consuming fire, God is big, God is great, God is awesome. He doesn't want to scare us, in fact that's why He stays away half the time, but when He comes near you feel scared. Some people became as dead men - I don't know if that means they actually died, but certainly they had to get an angelic touch in order to come to again.
But what was the message from heaven? 'Pay attention to My Beloved Son'. So here's my final point: encounters will happen when all your attention and delight is in the Son of God alone. Encounters will happen when all your attention and delight is in the Son of God alone. Do you remember at His baptism, the heavens cleaved and this voice came again, of the Father: 'This is My Beloved Son in whom I am well pleased', or another rendering of it is 'In whom is all My delight'. Do you know what God was saying there? 'This is My Boy, and I don't need any more than Him; all My delight is in Him'. Therein is a rhetorical question: do you need any more than Him? Do I? Is He enough? Is gazing upon His face enough for you? Is dwelling in His presence enough? For many of us it is not. It's not because we don't know about Him, or even know Him to some degree, it's because we've never seen His glory.
Look at verse 36: 'When the voice had ceased, Jesus was found alone'. God took all the other distractions away. It could be - and this could be very, very painful for you - God is allowing distractions to be taken out of your life, so that you will see Jesus alone. It could even be ministry, that's one of the biggest distractions of them all. Matthew renders this verse: 'When they lifted up their eyes they saw no one but Jesus only' - that's what it's about! God is saying to you tonight: 'This is My Boy, this is My Beloved Son, this is the Darling of My bosom. Pay attention to Him, listen to Him. He's enough for Me, He's enough for you!'. So focus all your attention on Him, and delight yourself in Him!
The result of truly seeing His glory was that they were taken up entirely and exclusively with Him. So, if we're going to learn from the three on the Mount and their Divine encounter, we learn that everyone can have encounters, but not everyone does. We need to pursue it and desire it. We learn that encounters are launched from the platform of prayer, but not ordinary prayer, prayer that beholds the face of Jesus - which is the purest prayer of all. As we behold Him, we are transfigured into His image. Encounters are hindered by the dominance of our flesh within, and interrupted by the diversionary without. Encounters will happen when all your attention and all your delight is in the Son of God alone.
There is a hymn in your Redemption Songs, we're not going to sing it, I think it's 438, I don't know - but listen to the words, a couple of the verses go like this - close your eyes even:
'I've seen the face of Jesus -
He smiled in love on me;
It filled my heart with rapture,
My soul with ecstasy.
The scars of deepest anguish
Were lost in glory bright;
I've seen the face of Jesus -
It was a wondrous sight!
And since I've seen His beauty
All else I count but loss;
The world, its fame and pleasure,
Is now to me but dross;
His light dispelled my darkness,
His smile was, oh, so sweet!
I've seen the face of Jesus -
I can but kiss His feet'.
I don't know what you're focused on tonight, the trials or difficulties that you're going through - which is understandable. Or maybe your focus is on some of those religious objects or idols? Or maybe your focus is on the flesh? It may not be the dirty type of immoral flesh that we are so familiar with when we talk about the flesh, but it could be that part of the flesh which is just that you're constantly self-conscious, so conscious of yourself - it's one of the biggest hindrances to beholding the face of Jesus, this self-consciousness. Some of you are Satan-conscious, you know I believe in Satan and I believe in the demonic realm, but I'm fed up of people being so conscious of the devil and demons and all the rest that their eyes are not focused on Jesus. The devil, I believe, is laughing at a lot of it, because he's got you chasing your tail.
Will you lift your eyes up from whatever you're focused on tonight that is not Jesus? That just basically sums it up, whatever is not Jesus that you're focused on, you shouldn't have your eyes on, even the Bible. Even the Bible, yes - the Bible, beyond the sacred page I seek Thee, Lord. The Bible is the revelation of God and God's Son, but some people get stuck at the Bible and make the Bible an idol, but they don't know God. That's what the Pharisees did, they knew their Bible but they didn't know their God when He showed up in human flesh. Will you tonight, in this attitude of prayer right now as we bring this meeting to a close, will you make a conscious decision to take your eyes off - your spiritual eyes, but maybe even your physical eyes - off the objects of fear, off feeding from sin, off religious things, off your own performance and achievements, maybe even off your own prayer life or your spiritual warfare? Would you put your eyes on Him? What must it have been like for those disciples up that mountain, to see Him in all His glory?
Let's just pause for a moment's prayer. I'm going to ask God the Father, in the name of the Lord Jesus, by the Holy Spirit, to reveal the glory of Christ and the light of His face to some of you tonight. Lord Jesus, You know where people are at, You know the grip that some are in through fear, or through the enemy's devices, or through the flesh that so often dominates and hinders us. You know those who are being distracted by diversionary things outside, even rival religious things that have gotten in the way of beholding Your Son. We have heard Your voice tonight, Father, You're calling us to attention, You're roaring from heaven: 'Behold My Son, pay attention to My Son! All My delight is in Him, be satisfied in Him, make Him your pursuit, make Him your passion, make Him your priority. Look away from those other things. Let Moses go, let Elijah go, let whatever else go and see Jesus only'. Will you look into His face? Look into His face. Look into those eyes that are pools of love, dying love, bleeding love, never-ending love, unconditional, never failing love and grace. Some of you need to see the peace that is in His eyes, the peace. Some of you need to see that there is no shame or guilt looking from His eyes to you because of the things that you've done. Some of you who feel the grip of the enemy upon you just need to look into those eyes, and you will be released, you will be released. Keep looking at those eyes and you will be released. Lord Jesus, reveal Yourself. Father, by the Holy Spirit, witness Christ to minds and hearts in this place. He is the Saviour, He is the Redeemer, He is our Deliverer, He is our Healer, and we need to see Him.
Preach The Word.
This sermon was delivered at Loughbrickland Mission Hall in Northern Ireland, by David Legge. It was transcribed from the sixth recording in his Divine Encounters series, titled "The Three On The Mount" - Transcribed by Preach The Word.
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