Do you remember the time before we had a plethora of digital devices instantly giving us the world’s knowledge right at our fingertips? We actually used to talk to one another instead of to devices. We relied on others to read and interpret oversized road maps to us for directions instead of a GPS telling us where to go and what lane to get into. I grew up in rural Missouri and I remember party lines on a crank telephone! I recall when we as a family got our first black and white Motorola TV set and we sat around and watched episodes of Lassie together. Times have changed!
It is hard for this present young generation to even imagine life with out a smart phone or doing math with a lead pencil on a piece of lined paper. Now don’t get me wrong, I love our modern day technology and I personally do at least 50% of my shopping online. Now that it’s time for true confessions, I even talk to Siri (iPhone) and Alexa (Amazon Echo) almost every day! Yes, there was life before the W.W.W.
The Original W.W.W.
God had the original W.W.W. and it was not the worldwide web. It was and is His Word, His Will and His Ways. When we fully follow and surrender our lives to God’s W.W.W., the end result is seeing His glory.
It seems to me that in some circles today we treat God’s Word like it is a box of chocolates where we pick through the bunch to find our favorite one and leave the rest of the less desirable ones left sitting there. But according to God’s Word in Ecclesiastes 4:12, it is “a three cord strand that is not quickly torn apart.” We need all three strands of truth brought together so we can stand in the evil day (see Ephesians 6:13). Oh that we would no longer be tossed all over the place by every new fad or whim and truly grow into the full stature and maturity that Christ desires (see Ephesians 4:11-16).
This will only happen by adhering to God’s Original W.W.W. Let’s give ourselves to the on going process of digesting His Word, walking in His Will, and learning His marvelous Ways.
The Foundation of His Word
In considering His Word, His Will and His Ways, the Holy Spirit continues to reveal the nature of God through His written Word to us. Man lives by every Word that proceeds from the mouth of God (see Deuteronomy 8:3, Matthew 4:4). In a previous message, God Still Speaks, I outline the necessity of abiding in the written Word and thus the giving the Holy Spirit something to breathe upon to change the logos into the rhema.
Everything is built upon the foundation of His Word. Without the right foundation your house will not be able to stand up against the wind and the waves of life (see Mathew 7:24-26). Having covered the subjects of God’s Trustworthy Word and The Uniqueness of God’s Word in my Getting to Know God and His Word curriculum, I will move on to these two remaining aspects of God’s Original W.W.W. by taking a glance at Exodus 33.
A Glance at Exodus 33
Many of us love the amazing truths displayed in the life of Moses as contained within Exodus 33. For a moment I want to take us on a quick tour of this chapter but in reverse order. You will understand what I am referring to as this short lesson unfolds.
“Then Moses said, “I pray You, show me Your glory!” And He said, “I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the LORD before you; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion.” Exodus 33:18-19 NASB
Moses prayed what many of us are asking for today: for the Lord to reveal His glory. God’s response to Moses’s earnest plea was to “make all My goodness pass before you.” Just imagine for a moment – the Lord answers Moses hunger for the glory realm by revealing the nature of His goodness. Incredible!
This is exactly ones of the major themes the Holy Spirit has been emphasizing over the last decade. As many different leaders have stated in our day, “The best kept secret in the body of Christ is that God is in a good mood!” The revelation of God’s goodness is breath taking. God is good all the time! Jesus brought us the Good News! Acts 10:38 boldly declares, “Jesus went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed of the devil.” I’m in agreement, how about you?
One of the most quoted verses in the entire Bible is Romans 8:28, “All things work together for good for those who love God and have been called to His purpose.” As Oral Roberts taught, “Something good is just about to happen!” So from His Word we clearly find from both the Old and New Testaments, God is good – period!
Learning His Marvelous Ways
Let’s briefly consider what is probably the most overlooked aspect of God’s W.W.W. – His Ways. We find once again, that this was the heart cry of Moses. He didn’t just want to know about God, he wanted to know God. Moses wanted to be intimately aware of God’s nature, personality and His wisdom ways.
Exodus 33:12-13 remarks, “Then Moses said to the LORD, “See, You say to me, ‘Bring up this people!’ But You Yourself have not let me know whom You will send with me. Moreover, You have said, ‘I have known you by name, and you have also found favor in My sight.’ “Now therefore, I pray You, if I have found favor in Your sight, let me know Your ways that I may know You, so that I may find favor in Your sight. Consider too, that this nation is Your people.”
Moses tied together the principles of finding favor in the Lord’s sight with the desperate prayer to know God’s ways. Why? That I might know Him! Isn’t that what your heart beats for? Then join me, and thousands of others, as we proceed in Passionate Pursuit of getting to know God by getting to know His Word, His Will and His Ways.
Walking in His Will
Maturity is doing God’s will without having to be told over and over again. I am a father of 4 and now a grandfather of 4. I know the drill of child raising, “Now repeat after me…” Or, “Listen and obey!” Sometimes you learn the stove is hot when you touch the stove. “Oooh daddy, stove is hot!” It is fun today to watch my grown adult married kids having children of their own. I watch at a distance as the grandchildren discover that is it really in their best interest to do what Mommy and Daddy say.
Jesus taught His disciples to pray, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (see Matthew 6:10). According to Luke 22:42, in deep agony Jesus cried out, “Yet, not my will, but Yours be done.” Jesus walked in it. Moses taught it. We each must eventually learn, “I have come to do Thy will, oh Lord!”
His Requirements Precede His Glory
In His Word, His Ways are revealed. One principle we find is that the Holy Spirit is looking for a people who will walk in God’s will no matter what it costs or looks like. When He finds such a people, He has no problem demonstrating the goodness of His glorious nature. So let’s take another look into Exodus 33.
Exodus 33:5-6 tells us, “’Now therefore, put off your ornaments from you, that I may know what I shall do with you.’ So the sons of Israel stripped themselves of their ornaments, from Mount Horeb onward.”
I, like many of you, have read Exodus 33 for years and prayed the prayers for greater glory like Moses. But only recently, did the Holy Spirit highlight to me the principle that precedes the promise. “So the sons of Israel stripped themselves of their ornaments, from Mount Horeb onward.” They did what? They stripped themselves of their external forms of identity and found their security in Him and Him alone.
If we want to truly see His glory, if we really want to walk in the fullness of His ways, if we want His will to come on earth more than anything else, then we will joyfully strip ourselves of our ornaments and worship Him. He alone is worthy!
Let’s walk in His Word, His Will and His Ways! After all, God has the original W.W.W.!
Rejoicing in His Ways!
James W. Goll
For more on the subject of knowing God’s will, word and ways, please see my book Passionate Pursuit. It is also available as a full curriculum including the Getting to Know God and His Ways 12 Session Class set as well as the Getting to Know God and His Ways Study Guide.