SERMON DATE AND TITLE:20110731 "Walking In God's Presence"

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          The numbers are staggering. 315 nations visited. 38,000 miles walked. 76 million steps putting over 16 billion pounds of weight on the feet of one Arthur Blessitt, the man who carried a cross 1.5 times around the world. "This wood," he says, caressing a pitted, dented, darkened beam, "is my friend."

Blessitt's Cross?

Length - 12 feet

Width - 6 feet

Thickness - 4 x 4 inches

Weight - 45 pounds

          A film entitled, "The Cross," directed by Matthew Crouch, gives Blessitt a platform with which to tell his story in his own words. Perhaps the plural "stories" is more accurate, because it's as if even Blessitt himself can't grasp the enormity of his endeavor. His mission from God, which began 40 years ago, can only be expressed through the thousands of people whom Blessitt encountered, each of whom made a lasting impression on his heart.

          As a fresh-faced, hopelessly conservative young man, Blessitt heard about the burgeoning hippie movement and headed straight to Southern California to win hearts for Christ. He began passing out tracts and preaching the gospel in Griffith Park, where his sincerity led him to be dubbed "The Minister of Sunset Strip." 

          I met him in 1967 at my So. Baptist Church in So. California. Blessitt built a vibrant ministry reaching out to the poor, the disenfranchised, and the criminal, but in 1968 everything changed, when he says God told him to pick up a cross—a physical cross—and carry it to the ends of the earth. Puzzled but amazed, he accepted the call, only to suffer a near-fatal aneurysm shortly thereafter. In the hospital, he was told that he should refrain from physical activity, so he figured he would have to give up his task. But then he had a profound realization: "The circumstances don't alter the call." Off he went.

Pastor Phil   <><<   http://www.blessitt.com/


July 31, 2011 - Sheepfold Ministries

Pastor Phil Roland



HEBREWS 11:8-19

"Nearly 3900 years ago Abraham left his home in Haran, that is now Turkey, and traveled to a Land about which he knew nothing. He only knew of God's Promise and His Provision."                                      Pastor Phil  <><<


I.  What is presence?

            A. Definitions

                        1. Communication ability

                        "Presence is the ability of a person or device to communicate                              with others and to display levels of availability."

                        2. Aura Surrounding Royalty

                        "The area immediately surrounding a great personage,                                          especially a sovereign."

                        3. Invisible Impact

                        "In a human sense, presence is the invisible impact of a

                        person, place or thing."

            B. Examples of Presence

                        1. Mt. Rushmore - Gutzum Borglum's massive work in So.                                               Dakota commemorating the lives of four men

                        2. Grand Canyon Rim in Arizona

                        3. Niagara Horseshoe Falls - Water cascades 167 feet

                        4. Godly Christian Men - David du Plessis, John Wimber

            C. Touched by God's Presence - Deeply moved by God's Presence

                        1. Our responses are many and varied

                        2. Like Moses, want to take off our shoes in a Holy Place

                        3. I have cried in that moment

                        4. Sometimes I have sung

                        5. Sometimes I have become quiet in the Presence

                        6. Occasionally overjoyed and almost giddy

                        7. Once I heard angels singing all around me

                        8. Like Peter, I have wanted to stay and never leave

Bible has much to say about Walking in God's Presence



            A. Enjoyed Fellowship w/God in the Cool of the Day- Genesis 3:8a

                        1. Good Communication

                                    a. Talking with one another

                                    b. Listening to one another

                        2. Conflict-Free Existence

                        3. Talk unashamedly with God daily

                        4. Adam and Eve were friends with God and felt His Presence




            B. Adam and Eve became Uncomfortable in God's Presence

                "And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in

            the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the

            presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden." Gen. 3:8 (NKJV)

                        1. Their Disobedience caused them to lose access to God

                        2. Their Son, Cain killed his brother and lost access as well

                        "And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the

                        land of Nod, on the east of Eden." Genesis 4:16  

                        3. Later, Jonah ran from God - Jonah 1:3                   

                        "But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the                             LORD, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to                                     Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go                                 with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD." Jonah 1:3

                                    a. Our Disobedience makes us run from God

                                    b. God doesn't run from us, we run from Him



            A. Enoch, Adam's Eighth Son Walked with God - Gen. 5:23-24 (NKJV)

            "So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. 24 And     Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him."

                        1. Enoch found how to please God by Walking in His Presence

                        "By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not                                          experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken

                        him away. For before he was taken, he was commended as one who

                        pleased God." Hebrews 11:5 (NIV)

                        2. Obeying God and Seeking Him in all his ways

            B. NOAH Walked with God - Genesis 6:9 (NKJV)
            "This is the genealogy of Noah. Noah was a just man, perfect in his   generations. Noah walked with God."

                        1. Perfect? Hebrew, "Taw-Meem" - Upright, Undefiled

                        With Integrity

                        2. Noah raised his family to Walk with God

            C. ABRAHAM WALKED BEFORE GOD - Genesis 17:1-2 (NKJV)
            "When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and            said to him, "I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless.
            2 And I will make My covenant between Me and you, and will multiply you     exceedingly."

                        1. Abraham became 'Father of a Multitude"

                        2. God made the covenantal Promise to Abraham


            "And he blessed Joseph, and said: "God, before whom my fathers

            Abraham and Isaac walked, The God who has fed me all my life long to this

            day,"   Genesis 48:15 (NKJV)


            E. DAVID WALKED BEFORE GOD - 1 Kings 9:4-5 (NKJV)
            "Now if you walk before Me as your father David walked, in integrity of         heart and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded     




            you, and if you keep My statutes and My judgments, 5 then I will establish     the throne of your kingdom over Israel forever, as I promised David your   father, saying, 'You shall not fail to have a man on the throne of Israel.'"  


            A. Isaiah says it clearly in Isaiah 33:15 (NKJV)
            "He who walks righteously and speaks uprightly, He who despises the gain             of oppressions, Who gestures with his hands, refusing bribes, Who stops        his ears from hearing of bloodshed, And shuts his eyes from seeing evil:"

                        1. Walk in Righteousness

                        2. Speak the truth

                        3. Resists Oppressors who mercilessly hurt the weak

                        4. Openly and privately refuse bribes

                        5. Refrains from plotting murder

                        6. Avoid the very sight of evil

            B. Micah describes Walking in God's Presence in Micah 6:8 (NKJV)
            "He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require            of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?"

            C. Paul describes the Walk as Agape -Ephesians 5:2 (NKJV)
            "And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an   offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma."

                        1. Simply stated, "Walk in Love" - Ephesians 5:2

                                "And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for

                        us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma."

                        2. CLOSING ILLUSTRATION, Entertaining Angels






Hebrews 11:8-19 (NIV)
8 By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.
9 By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise.
10 For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.
11 By faith Abraham, even though he was past age--and Sarah herself was barren--was enabled to become a father because he considered him faithful who had made the promise.
12 And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.
13 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth.
14 People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own.
15 If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return.
16 Instead, they were longing for a better country--a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.
17 By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had received the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son,
18 even though God had said to him, "It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned."
19 Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death.


It was fifty years ago, on a hot summer day, in the deep south. We lived on a dirt road, on a sand lot. We were, what was known as "dirt poor". I had been playing outside all morning in the sand.

Suddenly, I heard a sharp clanking sound behind me and looking over my shoulder, my eyes were drawn to a strange sight! Across the dirt road were two rows of men, dressed in black and white, striped, baggy uniforms. Their faces were covered with dust and sweat. They looked so weary, and they were chained together with huge, black, iron chains. Hanging from the end of each chained row was a big, black, iron ball.

They were, as polite people said in those days, a "Chain Gang," guarded by two, heavily armed, white guards. I stared at the prisoners as they settled uncomfortably down in the dirt, under the shade of some straggly trees. One of the guards walked towards me. Nodding as he passed, he went up to our front door and knocked. My mother appeared at the door, and I heard the guard ask if he could have permission to get water from the pump, in the backyard, so that "his men" could "have a drink". My mother agreed, but I saw a look of concern on her face, as she called me inside.

I stared through the window as each prisoner was unchained from the line, to hobble over to the pump and drink his fill from a small tin cup, while a guard watched vigilantly. It wasn't long before they were all chained back up again, with prisoners and guards retreating into the shade, away from an unrelenting sun. I heard my mother call me into the kitchen, and I entered, to see her bustling around with tins of tuna fish, mayonnaise, our last loaf of bread, and two, big, pitchers of lemonade. In what seemed "a blink of an eye", she had made a tray of sandwiches using all the tuna we were to have had for that night's supper.

My mother was smiling as she handed me one of the pitchers of lemonade, cautioning me to carry it "carefully" and to "not spill a drop." Then, lifting the tray in one hand and holding a pitcher in



her other hand, she marched me to the door, deftly opening it with her foot, and trotted me across the street. She approached the guards, flashing them with a brilliant smile.

"We had some leftovers from lunch," she said, "and I was wondering if we could share with you and your men."  

She smiled at each of the men, searching their dark eyes with her own eyes of "robin's egg blue." Everyone started to their feet. "Oh no!" she said. "Stay where you are! I'll just serve you!" Calling me to her side, she went from guard to guard, then from prisoner to prisoner, filling each tin cup with lemonade, and giving each man a sandwich.

It was very quiet, except for a "thank you, ma'am," and the clanking of the chains. Very soon we were at the end of the line, my mother's eyes softly scanning each face. The last prisoner was a big man, his dark skin pouring with sweat, and streaked with dust. Suddenly, his face broke into a wonderful smile, as he looked up into my mother's eyes, and he said, "Ma'am, I've wondered all my life if I'd ever see an angel, and now I have! Thank you!" Again, my mother's smile took in the whole group. "You're all welcome!" she said. "God bless you." Then we walked across to the house, with empty tray and pitchers, and back inside.

Soon, the men moved on, and I never saw them again. The only explanation my mother ever gave me, for that strange and wonderful day, was that I "remember, always, to entertain strangers, for by doing so, you may entertain angels, without knowing."

Then, with a mysterious smile, she went about the rest of the day. I don't remember what we ate for supper, that night. I just know it was served by an angel.

-- Author Unknown