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God in Search of Us

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you haven't even heard me speak yet so you might want to take that back in a little bit hey it is so good to be here my name is Brad my wife Sherry well we're so happy to be here our first time to west side was in 1999 so long time ago I don't know how many of you were here back then back in those days we were on staff at a church where in order to be on the stage you had to wear a suit and a tie and there were organs and pianos and that sort of thing and we came here and my brother-in-law and sister-in-law attended West Side back then they'll outlive in newburgh but but they brought us to a Saturday night service and I was blown away because like it's obviously things have changed a little since 1999 but I remember there was this big neon sign that said Saturday night alive up here anyone remember that yeah like three people right and when the offering came it was cowboy hats that went around and I was like this is awesome like I love this and so Westside church for a really long time has been a church that has inspired and encouraged and been really kind of a role model of what we think the kingdom of God looks like in a community so it's a privilege to be here with you guys today I'm really excited to talk with you today for a few minutes there's an idea that I hear people say are kind of a phrase I hear people say that reveals something that I think is a part of the human consciousness when I'm having conversations with people about faith or about religion about their ideas of what ultimate things are and then they talk about their journey towards God whenever I'm in those sorts of conversations I hear people say well in this season of my life or in this particular time I found God how many we ever heard someone talk about finding God before right they go back they go while I was really like in college I found God or was during these circumstances or during this season I found God and I know what people are saying when they say that but when we say that there's a bit of an irony that rings in my ears as I hear those words I think about us finding God right like I remember we had this dog years ago that no matter how high i put my fence around my yard my dog like could have gone to the Olympics because she could get out and I would go looking for my dog and I would eventually find my dog and I would bring my dog home and I think is that what we're talking about we talk about finding God we're finding God like I find my dog that tends to run away or this morning some of you may be putting on jeans or slacks for the first time in a while you ever done this where you slip your hands and a pair of jeans you haven't worn for some time and you find a ten-dollar bill right how many is it how many of you have ever done that right yeah you're like yes god this is amazing do you find God like you find a missing ten dollar bill in your pants is that is that what we're talking about when when we've got three girls our oldest is 18 then we have a 16 year old and a 13 year old girl all girls you can pray for me about that right three teenage girls when our oldest was young my wife and I were shopping in a grocery store and I thought that she had her and she thought that I had her and turned out that neither of us had her and our rambunctious toddler was running around the store and eventually I found her and no one called cps and that was a good thing right and I and I found her and I think about people saying I found God do we find God like God is a rambunctious two-year-old running through a supermarket without his parents is that what we're talking about see when I think about it in those terms what that does to my thinking is really shift my perspective and I realized that maybe it's the opposite maybe instead of me are you finding God maybe it's God who is finding us are you with me in this so something that happens inside of us when we begin to see that sort of perspective and we see God finding us rather than us finding him there's something that changes in our perspective our own faith journey is transformed we start seeing a god who's coming after us how we understand how we approach God our orientation towards him is different when we start to see that he's a god who's actually pursuing us not me pursuing him in fact not only does it change our understanding of our story but it also helps us understand the story of Scripture when we see a God who is searching for us often times people conclude that the Bible is sort of this random collection of like poems and histories and in prophecies and letters but when you begin to understand that this is a story about a God who is searching for us the pages of Scripture come to life and we see humanity and God in a whole new way that relates to what we're talking about this morning and I want to share that perspective because that perspective changes passages like the one that we're going to talk about today on this morning we're going to be walking in through or walking through the first chapter of the book of leviticus in the Old Testament and I know some of you just now probably thought to yourself What did he say and some of you are like wondering like why would a guest speaker speak on Leviticus of all things like aren't you supposed to be good when you come speak from somewhere else but here's the deal when I talked to Steve and I talked to casey and i was like guys what should I teach on they were like hey here's where we've been and here's where we're going our james series could you do something that's just different than either of those things and I was like well leviticus is different right like that's different like you not been a while since somebody taught Leviticus right guys like we haven't done this in a while so so we're going to walk through the Book of Leviticus now for those of you not familiar why some people are laughing because some of you in the room like maybe your first here to church like you've got it you're just like checking it out you're thinking about Jesus and you're like why are people laughing why is this funny it's funny because Leviticus is a really strange book Leviticus is a book that is full of rites and rituals and sacrifices and ceremonial instructions it is a book that is chock full of weirdness and strata me some of the miss quoted misguided things that people say oftentimes come out of the Book of Leviticus in fact I have a joke i frequently say the Book of Leviticus is where bible reading plans go to die right like you know there's somebody out there that's like oh man i'm gonna read through the Bible this year and they get to Leviticus they like no or something else right like I have not read through this whole thing because Leviticus is weird it's strange it's bloody it's it's this unusual thing in fact here's the deal often times people look at things like the Book of Leviticus the writings that were even looking at today and these are the sort of things that cause people to conclude that Christianity is archaic or that the scriptures are primitive and so we have to we have to address these things from a new perspective and when we begin to see that this is a story about a God who is searching for us it means that even the strange gory bloody things in Leviticus might tell us something that don't already know I'm see this is a story of a God who is in search for us which means this story even Leviticus has something to offer us now before we dive into this on this specific text today I want to talk a little bit about two things I want to talk a little bit about art and I want to talk a little bit about history first a little about art this summer we were on vacation and we went to newburgh for a vacation how many of you have gone to newburgh for vacation right we went to newburgh because my brother-in-law and sister-in-law I used to live here and Ben they now live there and yearly we spend like a week together as families get all the cousins together let him run around do their thing this year we showed up in newburgh and my sister-in-law she's awesome she's amazing person and she decided that she was gonna plan activity so she had stuff planned for every day like there was a jewelry making class there was like yeah so exciting there was a we did a massage class so that I could learn how to give my wife better back rubs that was can I just say that one turned out to be a little creepy that class did that was okay but then my favorite one that she planned was was a painting class and I was like all right we get to paint so she hired this artist who came up and was going to like teach us how to paint and so we did we got the paint brushes out and I was nervous it'd been awhile since I'd touched a paintbrush and and so I dove into it and I actually brought my painting with me today and here it is this is what I painted yeah those of you in the back probably appreciate this a whole lot more than those of you in the front because from a distance this looks awesome right but we painted and we're diving into it in fact I got really really into this I'm a little competitive I'm a little precise and so as we were doing this I got really into my clouds and I think I mean you can come I'll sign autographs and maybe sell you a print later but my clouds are awesome like I love my clouds in fact I spent three quarters of the class working on my clouds and then when she started hurting us along I was like no no you don't like this painting is a masterpiece right and so I kind of hurried the rest but um but I got done and I liked it like I was like this not bad right like I mean I couldn't do that but I mean this isn't bad right like so as I showed to you there's there's something that happens when we see pictures when you see a picture and you hear a story like this you can draw conclusions around something like this right in fact most of you probably already are drawing conclusions you look at a picture and you you make some assumptions you might make some assumptions about me you might make some assumptions about the nature of this picture in fact some of you maybe you're thinking to yourself well you know does Brad like the outdoors I do like the outdoors maybe what this picture is is a picture of one of my favorite places to hang out maybe this is a location that I particularly enjoy and so when I got the paint I painted this place I love to sit and look at or we took this class outside maybe this is the view that we had as we were taking the class maybe this is what i was looking at when we took the painting class that could possibly be it now let me tell you what the truth is the truth is that this is a painting of a painting that the person teaching the class was doing that person was painting a painting based on a picture that she brought with her of some other person's painting I have no idea where it is I have no idea who originally painted it in fact for all I know it could be the copy of a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy in fact not only that my whole family took the class so we have five pictures they all look exactly like this so it's not that special right but whenever we see pictures whenever we see a picture we have conclusions we draw now when we open up the Hebrew Scriptures and we begin to see things like The Book of Leviticus there are pictures that are being painted for us the Hebrew consciousness the eastern mind often spoke through pictures not words and so when we see pictures we have to start asking ourselves questions what's really going on here what's the story behind the story what is God really doing that's a little bit about art now a little bit about history as we dive into this book The Book of Leviticus is really interesting as I mentioned it's a book of rites and rituals and sacrifices it's the third book in the Old Testament if you're not familiar with the Bible um it's the third book as you open up in typical Bibles it's the third book you come to the third book of a group of writings that the Jews call the Torah now to understand where the Book of Leviticus falls is really helpful in understanding what's going on this very strange book the first book of the Old Testament is the book of Genesis which unpacks the origins of humanity in fact this book arrives in human hands sometime around 1500 BC so humanity had been here for a while when we get the book of Genesis so why did we get the book of Genesis well it tells a larger story this book of Genesis tells a story about a God who is not like other gods in fact at the time that the book of Genesis arrives on the scene people have been living for centuries and they've been worshipping all sorts of God there was a pantheon of gods that humanity was worshipping during this time and this book tells a story about a God who is unlike other gods not only that the book of Genesis unpacks this reality that there is a people who God desires to be unlike other people so we have a god who's not like other gods and a people who are not like other people so in the book of Genesis we see this story began we see characters like Abraham and his descendants as they begin to live in relationship with this God and begin to live out a life that's unlike other lives now the book of Genesis as it closes the people of Israel the people of Abraham these descendants they find themselves living in the land of Egypt when you move to the second book of the Old Testament the book of Exodus you see that they are caught in a particular set of circumstances in Egypt and now they're being removed from those for over four hundred and thirty years the people of Israel were enslaved in Egypt they'd gone down there to escape of famine but found themselves as slaves to the Pharaoh so now they're living in this culture for 430 years longer than we've been a nation ourselves these people had lived as slaves which means every generation after generation after generation all they knew all they knew were the Egyptian mythologies all they knew was that if you wanted to relate to God you did it the way that the Egyptians did it the only way they knew to live their life culturally with their customs was the way the Egyptians did it but they knew there was this hint of a God who was not like other gods and that they were a people who are not like other people and the story of Exodus is this beautiful story of their liberation from the land of Egypt they're liberated through miraculous circumstances they're released into the desert and you can go read the stories this beautiful story they're released into the desert and now they begin to interact with us God now they're starting to become these people and that's where the Book of Leviticus falls it's this instruction book that's handy to the people of Israel that says if you want to know this god this is how you do it if you want to be these people this is how you begin your journey so that's the context that we bring to Leviticus chapter one a god unlike other gods and a people who are unlike other people so if you have a Bible open up to Leviticus chapter one I know some of you just wrecked night now you're like he really is going to do this yes I am Leviticus chapter one and if you don't have a Bible no worry the words on the screen with me so you can follow their it says this verse 1 says the Lord called Moses and Moses traditionally is the one who we understand gave us these books Moses and spoke to him from the tent of meeting saying speak to the people of Israel and say to them when any one of you brings an offering to the Lord you shall bring your offering of livestock from the herd or from the flock now I mentioned the word offering I kind of emphasize that and it's mentioned two times here and I emphasize that on purpose the word offering has a nuance to it that's foreign in our culture when I say the word offering we think back to 1999 and cowboy hats here at Westside church or buckets being passed at a particular point in the service that's what we think of in our culture when we hear the word offering the Hebrew word for offering brings and nuance and understanding that's different than ours the hebrew word is the word carbon say that with me say Corbin core ban this word core band literally means to draw near it means to come close to it means to bring someone in close proximity to draw near so in other words as you read verse 2 of Leviticus chapter 1 you might read it this way if any of you wish to come near to me if any of you wish to draw near to me this is a God who is drawing near to them and he's saying if you would like to draw near to me this is how you do it and I want to know notice what he says if any of you if any of you and I love this i love that way back all the way back then God said anybody he didn't say if you're rich if you're poor if your middle class he didn't say if you grew up in this part of town or that part of town he didn't say if you were Jewish or not Jewish he just says if anyone and from day one God says anyone can draw close to me I am a God that you can know and I love that beautiful statement in verse two but here's the catch here's the catch when we understand who God is and we start to understand who he is and all of his brilliance and all of his wisdom as the creator of the universe there is at the same moment oftentimes for most humans the realization that we are not God right there's this realization that God is beyond our comprehension that he is holy and he's amazing and he's powerful and we began to recognize our own frailty in our own brokenness we begin to understand our own humanity honestly for me there are days I think I recognize this more than other days right are you with me on this like there are days when I know I'm more broken when there are things I've said to my daughters when there's ways I've acted towards my wife when there's things I've interacted with in my with my friends or coworkers and I walk away and I go man I know I'm broken right I know that there are days when I can feel my brokenness are you with me in this the Hebrews had words for that feeling the word that the Hebrews used to describe that feeling of brokenness is the word to may say that one with me to may two may means unholy there are days when we know that we are unholy the word for holy is teh whore and what we understand is that the Hebrew people understood that there was this distinction they knew that they were to may and there was a God who is teh hora God who is holy I am broken I'm messed up I make mistakes and so when people feel particularly to may when we have those days when we know who we are the idea of drawing near to this God could be very very difficult especially for these people because of our imperfection because of our brokenness because of this thing that we call sin drawing near to God can be difficult so God is saying this is how you draw near to me in those circumstances verse 3 if his offering is a burnt offering from the herd he shall offer a male without blemish he shall bring it to the entrance of the tent of meeting that he may be accepted before the Lord now you gotta go what's okay what's he talking about here you bring a male without defect you bring this me well one of the main points that were making here is that meat had to be brought to this offering you wonder well why why did you need to bring me because meat was a precious commodity not only was it a precious commodity but God's very specifically says bring a male without defect the male animals could reproduce and so they were valuable and you had to bring one without defect you're like what is that all about here's what it's all about if you had a three-legged sheep with like one I that went by the name of lucky right and God said bring me your offering you're like come on boy come on you know like you're dragging it in its like hobbling on three lei if that's what you bring what does that tell God about how serious you are about this relationship so the reason guys asking for this is not because God some sort of demanding God who wants this for himself he's asking for this and he's only satisfied with your best because he wants to know it cost you something he wants to know that this relationship this reuniting of you with your Creator that it's valuable to you he wants to know that you really want to know him that's what this is about next verse verse 4 says that so you bring this animal and it says that you shall lay your head on that hand on the head of the burnt offering and this shall be accepted for him to make and this is the first time we see this word in Leviticus the word atonement accepted for him to make atonement for him then he shall kill the bull before the Lord or the lamb depending on what you brought and Aaron's sons the priest shall bring the blood and throw the blood against the sides of the altar that's at the entrance of the tent of meeting I told you this was bloody and sort of strange so there's blood being spotted all over the place but I want you to get the picture here there is this tent area and then there's like a courtyard around this 10 and in this courtyard there is this altar that has been built and there's wood on it and this is where this sort of sacrifice is taking place and there's a priest who has gone through all sorts of rituals that that have prepared him for this moment to be an intermediary between you and God and so you would be coming in with your lamb or your bull and the priest is standing there and his job is to go in between you and God he's there to help you make your sacrifice that's the job of the priest the priest is there to help you with your brokenness to help you with your regrets to help alleviate that sense of tomato while you would come and you would place your hand on it and then we have this word given to us this word atonement the word atonement literally means to cover up atonement means to cover up and the idea that's being presented in these verses of Leviticus is that as a person laid their hands on this animal they were placing their sins their brokenness on the animal itself and there was an atonement in fact it's generally believed at that time that the people would pray a particular prayer and most historians think that some of the Psalms that we read were the literal prayers prayed by certain individuals as they confess their brokenness before God in this beautiful ceremony so you kind of wonder like this is really strange what's going on here why sacrifice an animal why the blood while of these things why does this need to happen if you fast-forward to Leviticus chapter 17 verse 10 you start to get a window into what's going on it says this it says if any one of the house of Israel or of the strangers who sojourn among them eats any blood I will set my face against that person who eats blood and will cut him off from among his people and you go wow God's got an issue with people who eat blood but then verse 11 tells you why I listen for the life of the flesh is in the blood and I've given it for you on the altar to make what atonement a covering for your souls for it is the blood that makes atonement a covering for life so this idea of atonement is thick and rich through these verses atonement means to cover up and this is what God's saying God's saying here's the deal this is how I've set this whole thing up you bring the animal into this place you lay your hands on in fact the Hebrew word for for laying your hands on the animal the Hebrew word literally is that you Dean you lean on the animal you bring the animal and you lean on the lam are you with me in this you lean on the lamb and that animal is getting what you deserve and you are not getting what you did deserve that's the picture of atonement there's this blood and there's this animal and some of you maybe if you're new to church and you were singing songs a little bit ago or at least listening to us sing songs and you saw songs we're singing about Bloods and lambs and all these different things I mean oftentimes I think about people coming into church he like what is this like who sings songs about lambs and blood like what is this stuff but then you see Leviticus and you realize where it all comes from the shedding of blood becomes a substitute for your own blood and I don't get what I deserve because I lean I'm leaning on the lam now what happens next is a little bit precise I want you to hear this verse 6 says then he shall lay flat or shall Flay the burnt offering and cut it into pieces and the sons of Aaron the priest shall put fire on the altar and arrange wood on the fire and Aaron's sons the priest shall arrange the pieces the head and the fat on the wood that is on the fire on the altar but its entrails and its legs he shall wash with water and the priest shall burn all of it on the altar why does he burn all of it he burns all of it because this has to do with the forgiveness of sins right and if you're dealing with the forgiveness of sins you want all of it burned like nobody ever said hey priest could you like burn half of it because I love living with like a latent sense of guilt and shame right nobody says that right so you burn all of it because this represents all of your brokenness so you burn all of the offering then I love this you burn it as a burnt offering of food offering with a pleasing aroma to the Lord do you know what that means it means that God loves the smell of a good barbecue that's what that means right what does it really mean it really means that God loves it when people come near to him he loves it when the when the God who was drawing near to you sees you drawing near to him he loves this now a question for you as you listen to Leviticus chapter one is God's specific about the rule and the system for approaching him he is isn't he I mean we don't see God saying listen I want you to draw near to me and I want you to do whatever feels good to you right you do whatever you want to do to draw near to be no God is being specific and whenever I seek God being specific in the scriptures it always causes me with my skeptical mind to ask questions and so then I wonder why is God being so specific let me give you a couple of reasons why why all of the detail involve with this first of all remember this is the God who is different than other gods and people at the time had rituals the the animal sacrifices that were reading about in Leviticus these sacrifices this type of behavior existed in humanity long before this moment all of the different people that lived throughout the world we're engaging in some sort of sacrificial system back sometimes I hear people say what God was so primitive you know why would God ask these people to do such primitive things no you need to understand this these are primitive people who are emerging out of a primitive culture and God is coming to them and he's saying I'm gonna speak to you about who I am but I'm going to do it in a language that you understand your primitive people so I will lead you out of these primitive ways in a way that makes sense to you so God is distinguishing himself from the other gods he's saying listen I'm not like the other gods I'm specific for a reason here's another reason why he's specific he cares about us all of these other people living in all exists a worship this pantheon of gods who were associated with the elements right gods that were associated with rain and fire and sun and the growth of farms and these gods were fickle these gods were constantly changing their minds this mythology was a mythology that was wrought with problems you never knew where you stood with any particular God at any particular time and so there were just brutal sacrifices constantly being made trying to appease the pantheon these sacrifice has even led to that led them to sacrifice their own children and so these people are living with this the sense of insecurity the sense of not knowing where they stand with God but this God the God of the Hebrews is a God who says this I want you to know where you stand with me God isn't specific for him he's specific for us because when these people made their sacrifices and walked away they could walk away in confidence they didn't walk away with worry and fear wondering when God would turn his back on them finally we see God being specific because these things are pointing towards the future we this this is beautiful when you see this this is amazing this is not the only time we see this in the Bible by the way if you go back to the book of Genesis the first book of the Old Testament Genesis chapter 3 we read about Adam and Eve sinning we see Adam and Eve they step outside of God's boundaries and they're cast outside of Eden and they're no longer pure perfect and now there's this moment when Adam Adam feels particularly to may he feels shame that's the word that he uses he felt shame he knew that he was broken and in verse 21 of Genesis chapter 3 right after they've done this listen to this it says the Lord God made for a demand for his wife garments of skins and clothed them what does clothing do it covers you doesn't it he covered their shame God covered their shame as soon as out of an eve sinned God took an animal in order to cover them and the skin covered their shame and if you were Adam and Eve and you were standing there in that moment and you watched as God took the life of this animal and gave you these skins in that moment you knew that that animal got what you deserved and you didn't get what you did fast-forward to the book of Exodus in the middle of the people of Israel being liberated from Egypt there's this scene in which God tells the people of Israel he says you as families I want you to I want you to kill a lamb and I want you to spread the blood of that lamb on the on the doorposts of your house and when when i come across the land of egypt my wrath will pass over you that's where we get the term Passover from and the celebration that feast that I will pass over you and your family will be spared and if you were a family who had done that you knew that as your family was spared it was spared because the lamb got what you deserved in the Book of Leviticus chapter 16 there's another sacrifice of another lamb the day of atonement and that sacrifice was made on behalf of an entire nation of people as you read the Old Testament you start to see that not only is is what we're looking at today the the first time an only time we see this but we also see a progression we see that in Genesis there was a covering for an individual we see an exodus there was a covering for a family in Leviticus we see that there's a covering for a nation but it doesn't stop there as we continue we see that there is another lamb and this time it isn't for an individual it's not for a family it's not for a nation but this time it's for all of humanity John chapter 1 Jesus comes into the world and he's the son of God and he walks the face of the earth and as Jesus is beginning his public ministry is around 30 years of age there's this individual named John the Baptist that he sort of preparing people to be the people who are unlike other people he's like calling people back to this and in this moment as he's baptizing people he sees Jesus and in John chapter 1 verse 29 we read these words the next day he saw Jesus coming toward him and he said behold the lamb of who the lamb of god this is God's lamb that he's bringing to the ceremony the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world see Leviticus is pointing to something and that something is Jesus if you turn over to Hebrews chapter 10 you start to see that all of these pieces come together and by the way maybe you start to see that this book is a story that tells one story as you see this but Hebrews chapter 10 is this Hebrews is a new testament book that unpacks a lot of the Jewishness of Judaism for people who are now following Jesus and in Hebrews chapter 10 verse 1 we read this it says for since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities it can never buy the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year make perfect those who what draw near right Corbin it can't make perfect those who draw near there this annual reminder of your brokenness but the writer of Hebrews saying it's impossible for that to ever make you perfect that's just a shadow it's just a shadow it's like my shadow you could observe some things if you watched my shadow if you looked at me long enough and you watched my mannerisms you could say things like well based on Brad's shadow he uses his hands too much when he talks right or you could watch my shadow and say maybe Brad should lose a few pounds going into the holidays right you could determine some things by looking at my shadow but if you walked up to somebody on the street and they said to you hey do you know Brad Williams and you said well I know is shadow really well what would they say well you don't really know Brad right a shadow a shadow what is God saying he's saying listen this system in Leviticus the system isn't the point the system isn't the end that the system is a shadow it's just a taste of the real thing and we get that as we move into verse 5 listen in Hebrews 10 5 it says consequently when Christ came into the world he said sacrifices and offerings you've not desired but a body you've prepared for me let me just take you back to that priest remember the priest who's standing there he's prepared himself he's there day after day day after day lam after lam bull after bulls sacrifice after sacrifice people confessing doing this all day long some of you think you've got really bad jobs the priest had a really lousy job right like this was a lousy mundane job right I want you to think about this every day just like moving on next person next person next person that helps us understand verse 11 of Hebrews 10 it says every priest stands daily at his service there's no chair there's no place to sit down there's no break room every priest stands all day long at his service offering repeatedly the same sacrifices which can never take away sins you get the sense that maybe the priest at the end of every day as he walked home thought to himself I wish someday there be one sacrifice that would get rid of all of this right verse 12 says this but when Christ a new kind of priest a new kind of intermediary a new person who's coming between you and God when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins he sat down at the right hand of God did you see what he's saying he sat down like the work was done this priest the priest Jesus he sat down and on the cross in John it says that Jesus last words as he hung on the cross for what it is finished did you know that when as the priest concluded his work at the end of every work day he would walk around the front of the altar at about three o'clock in the afternoon he would look at the people that had gathered there and he would say it is finished and he'd go home to begin again another day but when this priest said it's finished it really was and all of this raises a phenomenal question for us if you remember how this whole thing started it started with this idea if any of you wish to draw near to God here's what you do if any of you wish to have peace with God if any of you wish to be in connection with the one who created you it's a question and I think it leaves us with a question are you near to him are you near to him do you have peace with God what is the condition of your soul like where are you in life are you living in this place of connection and community with God the one who created you I think there's probably a good chance that there's a chunk of us in this room this morning that don't feel like we feel the opposite of close to God and maybe you feel the opposite of peace in your life maybe you just keep wondering like there's like like like there's something going on maybe there's this thing going on inside of your soul and you're like I can't quite put my finger on it I just feel off I just feel disjointed I just feel like my life is out of rhythm out of sync and I can't quite figure out why and what do you do when you feel that way in our culture we don't have a sacrificial system there are no shapes and bulls in fact if you try this you end up on the news right so in our culture when we don't feel peace and we feel disconnected and out of sorts what do we have we don't have a sacrificial system but we do have jobs don't we and we have relationships and we have recreation and we have degrees that we can pursue we have careers we have all of these things that we can throw ourselves out we have this this new ritualistic sacrifice of our own lives for all of these things and so we give ourselves to them over and over and over again hoping that someday one of these things will give us peace a connection or life we're just hoping that it will resolve this and we keep wondering when is it going to stop and what we see today in this text is that it actually does it actually does the answer to all of it is Jesus it's Jesus and I don't know where you are with Jesus I don't know I I don't know if you've been following him for years I don't know if you're here because you're curious I don't know if you're like disgruntled with Christians but you're still trying to be faithful to Jesus I don't know where I don't know where you're at with Jesus I I'm new here right I don't know how you came today I don't know what your approaches to Jesus all I know is this God is incredibly specific for thousands of years he's been pointing to this all i know is that jesus is your only hope jesus is my only hope and if I'm living with with this latent dissatisfaction in my life if I'm if I'm living with turmoil if I'm living with shame and guilt from my past if these things are lingering in my life if I am just dissatisfied and discontent the only conclusion is that those things are there because I'm failing to lean on the lam that's the picture that's being painted that's the story that's being told and so today for some of you this this might be caused for a return because you've been sacrificing sacrificing on this social sacrificial system you've been giving your time and your money and your energy to all these things hoping to solve this and maybe today's a day you just go man I know who Jesus is but yeah I've been living like a double life and maybe today you just come back and say I'm not leaning on you and all those feelings that Brad's describing that's me others of you maybe this is just an encouragement maybe today's that day we're like yeah I was looking over my shoulder kind of wondering and I'm going to keep going but I think there's the possibility that some of you today maybe for the first time jesus makes sense and for the first time you need to decide to lean on the lam for life amen would you stand with me may your eyes and may your hearts be opened to the God who is searching for you and may you draw near to Him as he draws near to you and may you with all of your life lean on the lam amen amen thanks so much for letting me be here today

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