In Isaiah 8:20, In as far as what you are saying is not in the word of God, There is no light in you, “Jesus Christ is the only true light that lighteth every man that comes into the world”. Man is religious by nature, whenever there is anything to be worshipped you can be sure you will find men there worshipping the thing. That is why you find people worshipping stones, candles, or rivers. Religion is man’s way of looking for God. However, true Christianity is God looking for man (John 3:16-18). Satan loves religion much because religion does not affect Satan in whichever way. Big altars, nice pews, golden pulpit, pictures of saint and angels don’t bother Satan so long as there is deadness in the church. Doctorate and masters degree don’t matter when the spirit and the presence of God is lacking. A lot of people are religious but God is not interested in religion. Many potentially young people have been rendered useless by religion. Religion makes people poor and blind.
Let us learn:
I. ENCOUNTERING GOD IS THE NEED OF YOUR HEART (Gen.32:24-31)
- Each one of us must have a place called Peniel “I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved”.
- In Jacob’s encounter with God, we learn great lessons.
- The power of prevailing prayer– you can pray until you prevail.
- The long leg of Jacob that was used for evil had to be dislocated so that he could rely on God.
- When you see the appearance of the Lord, remarkable changes come upon your life.
- No one who has had an encounter with God will remain the same. We need a vision of God and a vision of heaven and hell to know the difference.– when God meets a sinner or a sinner meets with God, things change forever.
- When Jacob’s thigh was dislocated, Jacob got an infirmity which meant that from now on Jacob must lean on God.
- But instead of the children of Jacob leaning on God, they made the infirmity of Jacob a religion (V.32)
II. CHRISTIANITY IS A LOOK AND LIVE EXPERIENCE (Numbers 21:6-8)
- Jesus Christ referred to the above instance and reference ( John 3:14-15)
- All that God is asking you and me is “look and live”
- It speaks of Christ becoming sin for us that we may be made the righteousness of God.
- It speaks of looking upward and living.
- It speaks of God’s power to deliver.
- It tells us to Just believe.
- It tells us that the world having been bitten by the old serpent has its only cure in Jesus Christ.
- But again people love religion, instead of looking to God for salvation, they worshipped the brazen serpent that Moses made “Nehushtan” (2Kings 18:4)
- Again the sword of Goliath was worshipped in religion in Israel. The sword of the enemy is turned against the enemy “No weapon that is formed against me shall prosper”
- The cross that was used by Satan to kill Jesus became a weapon against Satan himself.
- Fix your eyes on Jesus not on man, because man can fail you at any time.
- Fix your eyes on Jesus, when things are rough when loneliness, frustrations and depression come your way.
- Fix your eyes on Jesus when there is no mother or father to love you when others disappoint you (The bride was turned down on her wedding day !!)
- Put you anchor in Jesus the solid rock, not on yourself or other ships in the sea.
III. DON’T LOOK BACK TO THE PAST, THE PAST HAS NO FUTURE.
- Don’t focus on sins you have repented from.
- Even if you were molested in the past, let it out, don’t focus on what happened to you.
- Joseph became successful in Egypt because he refused to look back and focus on evils done on him by his brothers.
- Don’t just think about what father did to your mother in the past.
- People like Peter sink into the waters when they take their focus away from Jesus.
- No security gates and wires can save you. Demons don’t come through the gate!! Look to Jesus Christ.
- Beloved, pray for the grace to fix your eyes on Jesus and Him alone, not on the Pastor, leaders or parents.
- O Lord, give me the grace to fix my eyes upon You all the time, In the Name of Jesus Christ.