God is right here, close enough to sharpen our countenance. We can pour our complaint before Him and He lets it happen. We cannot really comprehend all that He is about. But He hears and puts strength in us. Job 23:1-16; Proverbs 27:17
Speaker(s): Thomas Schaller
6:30 PM on 11/8/2020
P. Schaller –
Praise God! God is here. Where is God? He is here. Where is God? He’s here. Push your hand on your face and
push really hard. He’s closer than that. He’s in my heart and my spirit. How do you connect with
God? By faith, right? God is here. The presence of God. Isn’t that amazing. We were in Florida
and by faith we gathered. Have you ever gotten in a car and driven a long ways to meet God?
Anybody? I remember we were in Finland and drove to Paris to meet the Body of Christ there in
Paris. We sat in the back. It was amazing. Some of the brothers, do you know what happened In
Turkmenistan? There was a brother in Turkmenistan he owed a house. He sold the house and
rented a bus for one month to drive from Turkmenistan across the Caspian Sea, across
Azerbaijan to Turkey, across Turkey up to Bulgaria, up to Serbia and up to Hungary to go to our
Convention. It took two weeks one way.
When the women got there, they had to go to the Chinese market to buy new shoes because their feet had swollen from the bus ride. They were in our Convention and I have a picture of them in my office. It was amazing! They go to
Convention and then they go back, and they are held up at the border. I think that the bus cost
was $5000 and why did they go? Where is God? He’s really close. He’s not far from any of us.
He’s even in our hearts. Even in our mouth. God is not far from anyone of us. Isn’t that amazing.
The proverb I wanted to share is Proverbs 27:17. Have you ever looked at someone in the face and
you haven’t seen them for a while and how smart we are in reading someone’s face. When
someone is a friend, it just takes a second to recognize we’re friends. The value of Moses
speaking with God as a friend face to face in Exodus 33. What it does to us when Paul said I was glad
at the coming of Titus. When Titus came he told me. When Titus came I recognized.
When Titus came I had fellowship. Isn’t that awesome. Body life. Body life is when we discern. Those
people that traveled from Central Asia to Europe by bus by faith – I don’t know this is years ago,
but I would imagine it was something you wouldn’t forget. You would say wow! We went by
bus a long ways. In Europe, I remember we had Eurocon and some of the Finnish young guys
traveled through the Soviet Union to come to Budapest. We have so many stories about these
travels. It’s fun when I only have one reason to go there because I just believe God is here and
this is about God and the word of God and faith in God and the fellowship in God. This is what
Jesus said in Mark when he said who is my mother, my brother, my sister but they that hear the
Word of God and do it. Where? They that hear the Word and they do it. And God is here. The
presence of God. The presence of God. It’s amazing.
Then you start to hunger for that. You say I want to obey God. I want to believe God. I want to find God. I want to know God. He will satisfy me. He’s what I’m looking for in life. When Jesus met the woman at the well, remember when he met the woman at the well and they came to him and said he hasn’t had any food. They
came to him and said, master you should eat or however that text goes. I have meat to eat that
what? I have meat to eat that you don’t know of. Where is it? I don’t know of it. I don’t know
about it. What is it? How do I get it? Do you have it? Do you have it? Yeah, do you have it? Do
you know about it? There is always someone with us that will say I have it. It’s coming out of my
belly like a river of water in John 7. I have it. I know about it. I believe it. Even Nicodemus the
unbeliever came to Jesus and when did he visit Jesus? When did he go see Jesus? At night. Why
at night? It’s risky to meet Jesus in the day. If they see me meet Jesus but I will go at night.
I know master that thou art a teacher that came from God. Remember? Jesus went right in. He
goes, Nicodemus, verily, verily, I say to you, you must be born again. How are you born again?
Can you explain to me? I can’t really explain to you. This is the will of God to believe on the one
who He sent. That’s the Gospel. You step into it by faith. It’s not a machine that you control the
buttons and the whole – it’s not. God is not a machine. He’s a face. He’s a heart. He’s a mind.
When we have a friendship with God, he sharpens your countenance. You wake up and you say,
yeah, amen. Yeh, I believe. I was blind. Remember that in John 9? Who healed you? I don’t
know. I was blind. What do you mean? I was blind. I never saw him. I never saw anybody. I was
blind. But now I’m healed. How did you get it? How did you find God? I don’t know. He came to
me and said go wash in the pool. I was a blind man and went to the pool by faith and I found
God. I found God by faith.
I washed in the pool. Who healed you? I don’t know but I know this: I was blind but now I see. I was hungry and now I’m fed. I was dead and now I’m alive. I was a fool and now I’m wise. I was an unbeliever and now I’m a believer. This is our new life. Every year in Europe and I mean this is many, many years, we lived in Finland for 6 of them, Hungary 13 of them. Every year when I lived here in America, every year we get on a plane and get over
there, and every year it was the same story. Where is he? Where is God? You know. That was it.
It happened. Every year. Sometimes I was troubled in my heart. I remember living in Finland. I
have a question about the Word of God, and I remember it. I was troubled in my heart and I
said I have to go wherever it was. We were in Frankfurt, Germany. We were in Rome, Italy. I
don’t remember what year it was. We went all over. I said I have to meet Dr. Stevens and ask
him this question. I need to ask him this question. This thing is bothering me. I have a question
and I’m a pastor. I have a question about the faith.
I have a question that’s bothering me in my heart. I need to see him to ask him the question. I remember going to the conference and I didn’t have an opportunity the first night but I sat there on the Friday night of Convention as we
gathered in Jesus’ name and something about the countenance, something about the face,
something about the spirit of the meeting, something about the nature of God and I
remembered my question but I realized my question was really subject to the person. I have a
great text. Maybe this will be our message. Turn to Job 23. Maybe some of this you can identify
with. Job 23:1-2. Do you see it? Can anybody explain what that verse means? Do you know
what that verse means? I’ll put it in my words. My complaint is bitter. I am deeply troubled. I’ve
got questions. I got doubts. I’m hurting. I’m suffering. It’s causing me groaning. Vs. 3. I wish I
could find God. Do you know what would happen if I could find God?
I’d march right over to him and I’d ask him, I’d talk to him and he’d have to answer me. I wish I knew where God was. I’d give him a piece of my mind. I’d tell him about my pain and my suffering. I’d make my
complaint to God. If I could find God. What is God in heaven saying? I’m so glad that I don’t
meet him. I wish I could find God. Doesn’t that sound like the flesh of man. Let’s read it, the
whole chapter by the way. Vs. 3-4. Sometimes as pastors we are blessed to have distance
between us and you. Thank you Lord. I think P. Stevens was blessed to have a distance between
me and him at that Convention. Why? Because I had some issues. I had some questions. Even it
was so difficult, I don’t know if I could put it into words. I was upset. I was restless. I was
troubled in my heart. Isn’t that interesting. It is. I think so. What do you think? Does this mean anything to you guys? It does, doesn’t it? I mean come on. It’s real. Life is – people pick up the
phone and they go right up at it.
There is a lot of feeling in us as people. There is a lot of pain in
life. There is a lot to complain about. There are a lot of arguments. There are a lot of things we
don’t understand. We are people. Psalm 103, God remembers our frame, remembers that we
are? Dust. He remembers that we are dust and he knows our frame and he pities us like his
children. He pities us. He’s so patient. Thank you, Lord. He is so good. Vs. 4-5. Do you think
that’s true? I’m sorry because I don’t know what mood you folks are in. I know you are listening
to me. This is anointed of God. I believe that. I believe this is a very good message. I think some
of you are worried or troubled or something. I’m not angry at you. I’m just talking about a truth,
that it’s good for us as people to understand this. He said I would know the words that he
would answer me. Are these the words that God would answer me? And would I know them?
Would I know if God spoke to me – hey, here’s another question.
All throughout eternity, a billion years from now, will there be more words than these written? Will there be more words than these? Answer: No. You cannot add or take away. Heaven and earth will pass away but
nothing from this book. You mean billions of years if God has anything to say to us, it’s going to
be coming from here? Yes. Nothing more. But deeper, deeper, deeper, deeper. Deeper, deeper,
deeper. Deeper, deeper the heart of God. Forever and ever. Job said I want to find God. If I
found him, I would come to him and talk to him and he would speak back to me and I would
understand him. I don’t know about that. It’s a nice thing to say but I don’t know about that. I
mean theoretically we should all be saying that, but I don’t know what our capacity is. I don’t
know how much we can understand God. I don’t know how much we can receive his answers.
Almost like children and their parents. No you can’t have anymore ice cream.
I want more ice cream. No, you can’t have it. You don’t understand me right now, but you cannot have more ice
cream because there are two empty gallons in the kitchen right now and you’ll be on your third
gallon! You know what I’m saying? Okay. Vs. 5. Didn’t Jesus say that? Yes, he did. He did. He
said, how is it you don’t understand my words? Mark 7. How is it you don’t understand my
words? How much did the people understand Jesus when he was here on the earth? How much
did the disciples understand him at the Last Supper? I had a new thought about the Last Supper
the other day. I want to share it with you. Jesus said at the Last Supper, one of you will betray
me. What did the disciples say? Help me. Come on. You guys know that. What did the disciples
say? There’s a couple different answers. Is it I? Most of them said, is it I? Who said, Lord, who is
it? John said, Lord, who is it? Because he was more objective.
He had his head on the breast of Jesus. He said, Lord, who is it? He didn’t say, “is it I?” because I think he knew it wasn’t him. Lord, who is it? Tell me. You can tell me. It says in the gospel that Peter did the little body
language thing. Who is it? He told John. Peter sent a message to John. John’s close. Peter – who
is it? Who is it? He said, Lord, who is it? This is the point. What is it the disciples didn’t say?
They did not say, is it Judas? Is it Judas? Why didn’t they say that? Because they didn’t have a
clue. The guy that for three years has been an empty suit walking with them, the guy that was
not a believer, the guy that was in the group, it didn’t even occur to them that the man that
they knew they had been living with for three years, that guy was the one that would betray
Jesus. They didn’t discern it. I mean I’m reading into it, but I want to make a point about it. In a word, I think we’re pretty dumb. Would you turn to your neighbor and say that to them please!
I think we are pretty dumb! It’s like you guys don’t even know that. No. And besides Philip said,
show us the Father. Jesus said, Philip, have I been with you so long and you don’t know that? If
you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the Father. No, that’s how dumb I am Lord. I don’t know that, and
I don’t know who is going to betray you and besides I’m not feeling too good myself right now!
I’m a dollar short, a minute late. There is a curse on me. I have a sin nature. And I want to see
God. I want to find God. I’m going to tell him what is going on. He’s going to talk back to me and
I’m going to understand him. The point is we all struggle with this. We all struggle with it. The
good news is by God’s grace and for many of us we have been living this life of faith. I received
an email from Finland from one of the brothers I met 45 years ago. He reminded me he said
November 14, 1975 we met, and he said I was talking to another brother and we were just
rejoicing. We were rejoicing what God has done in our lives over 45 years. We were rejoicing
that this life is not in vain.
We were rejoicing what? Where is God? Where is God? He is here.
We found him. He sharpened our countenance. He made our face like a lion in Ecclesiastes. He
put some steel in our soul. He gave us a message in the café, in the cafeteria. Do you know
what? In a silver mine in Sweden, a silver mine way down underground there is a miners
cafeteria where they are living and their clothes and there is a cafeteria. We were able to go
down in that mine and preach the Gospel in that cafeteria in the bowels of the earth. Where is
God? He is where? Where is he? Have you found him? I have meat to eat you don’t know of.
That’s why you are getting drunk in the pub because you can’t find the meat that I am eating. If
you eat the meat and you find this, then it’s satisfying. That’s good. Amen. Go to the next verse.
Vs. 6. Would God plead against me with his great power? No, and Job got that right. I don’t
know about the other verse how it really goes but I know Job said, no, but he would put
strength in me.
God will not crush me. God will not walk away from me. By the way, I want to
say to all those that are sequestered at home or you are quarantining or those that are not
here. You don’t have confidence, or you don’t feel comfortable or whatever we want to ay
about it. It’s like relax. We love you. We’re on the same team. Relax. We are edified. We are
not judgmental. We are not awkward or difficult to be with. This is like God saying I would
understand you Job and I will not be against you. I would put strength in you. I would give you
grace. I would minister to you. I have words of kindness. I have words of patience. I would give
you the Gospel. I would save your soul. I am for you. I am not against you. I love the gentleness
of the ministry. I love it when I am in trouble just like I’m telling you about that European
experience where we went to the Conference and my question melted away in the presence of
I didn’t remember on the second or third day what the question was exactly. It kind of
melted away. How did it happen? I don’t know. Life is more than right and wrong. I love this
little thing that came to my mind some years ago. My mother pulls up to the church in a car and
sends someone in here to say come on out. Mom is here. Mom is here. Mom is here? What is
she? Mom is here. Just go to the car. I go to the car. She goes, get in the car. Where are we
going? What’s going on? It doesn’t matter. I’m your mother. I’m your mother. Get in the car.
Let’s go. I’m your mother. Get in the car. What’s the big deal? I am God. That’s all that matters
that he is God. That’s all that really matters. Where are we going? I don’t know. I am God. What is going to happen in my future? I do not know but I am God. This is good. Go to the next verse
please. Vs. 7. I do believe that is a very good message in itself that verse, but I want to go
quickly here and just get to some other points. Vs. 8.
Has that happened to you? I’ve been running around the house sometimes looking for God. I go forward and he is not there. I’m restless. I go down in the cellar by the hot water heater. I wait but he is not there. I go in the
back yard. I go for a walk. I haven’t found God. I go to my library. I pull out some books, but I
cannot find him. Where is he? This is what he is saying. And in your trials in life, this is what
happens. In a way, I’m glad we can’t find him because it humbles us. Have you ever had
someone you could go to complain to on a dime? Pick up the phone and it’s over. Have you
ever had somebody so accessible to you that you can just complain to them so easily? Thank
you, Lord. You are here. You made the world this way that we cannot trample on you like that.
We cannot be arrogant. We cannot just talk and talk and talk. We must humble ourselves
before you. Thank you, God. I cannot find you. Vs. 9-10.
He knows the way that I take. I want to get down on my face. I want to get really quiet before him and respect him. His ways are not my ways. He knows me. He knows I’m dumb. I don’t get it. He knows that. That’s the story of
my life. I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t get it. I’m hungry for him. I don’t know what’s going
on. I know so little. If any man thinks he knows, he knows nothing as he ought to. That means I
know all about this pulpit, but I have no idea why the pulpit is in the universe. I know all about a
dog, but I have no idea why God ever made dogs. I know what a thing is, but I don’t know why a
thing is. I don’t know what is happening. Job says to God in his heart he knows the way that I
will take. Vs. 10-15. That’s a good thing to fear him. I heard P. Luigi who passed away this
morning had his morning devotional. He was reading the Bible and he slumped over, and he
was gone. Passed into eternity.
The very eternity that we are living in tonight. The eternity that is here with us. The very presence of Almighty God. For now we see through a glass darkly but soon face to face. He knows the way that I will take. I walk over here, and I cannot find him. I go over there, and I cannot find him. I get a little bit upset. I wish I could meet him, and I would
talk to him and I would understand him. God would say, maybe that would happen but it’s very
possible that it wouldn’t because in order for you to know me, you have to be very broken and
very humble and fear me. If you fear me, that’s the beginning of your new life. If you fear me,
that’s the beginning of wisdom. If you fear me, you will understand this book not just one time
in your life, but you will understand this book as a way of life. It’s God’s words and thoughts and
his heart. Faith comes from hearing it and we grow in the faith and we live in the faith. I don’t
know why but when I went to that conference in Finland, this is a long time ago.
I must have been 27 years old or something. That would be 40 years ago or something but anyway. It was
okay. I didn’t have an answer, but I had an answer. I didn’t know really but I got to know. I
found love. Love passes knowledge. Peace passes understanding. Fellowship is more than – I
need my mother. That’s enough. If my mother is here, case is over. My mother is here. That’s
enough. I got her face. I got her heart. My mother. Isn’t that amazing. Well, this is not our
mother. This is our Father in heaven. Hallowed be his name. He cares for your down rising,
uprising, down sitting and knows the hairs on your head. He knows your thoughts afar off. He
knows everything in our mouth before we say it. He knows where we are, what’s going on, how we are going to live. Life and death is in the hand of God and he guides us, Psalm 48, even unto
death. And though we go through the valley of the shadow of death, we will not fear evil
because thou art with me.
Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Remember when Christian passed over on the river going to the Celestial City. I have to reread it to get it right because I’ve read it a few times. At different times, I get different ideas on it. They feel the bottom of the water. It’s like if you’ve walked over, you cross, you’re fording a river. And you can feel and then there is a little bit. You’re reaching and you can’t touch the bottom. This is when he is
crossing through death. He can’t feel the bottom of the river and that’s when you’re, oh, no!
I’m perishing! Oh no, death is overwhelming and then he feels the bottom and he goes over
and it was a lot easier than he thought it would be. I will fear no evil for thou art with me.
I’ll feel the bottom of the river when I pass through death because you are God. You’ll lead us,
Psalm 88. You’ll take care of us. That’s it. Not really because I want to read the rest of the
verses, but I’ll read them kind of briskly. Vs. 14-17. Because of the darkness, he makes my heart
soft. Because of the darkness, he troubled me. Because when I passed through the river of
death, I lost my footing. I was troubled. I was worried. I was feeling it. It was overwhelming me
but thou art with me and thy staff. I will find you. I will know you. That’s amazing.
Please enjoy these sermon notes from the messages preached at Greater Grace Church in Baltimore. These notes are provided to aid in your study and understanding of the Word. Note that these notes do not represent complete, word-for-word transcriptions. Also, they may contain omissions as well as some errors in spelling and structure, etc., as we attempt to provide them as soon as possible. Our hope is that these notes serve as a way to help you search and connect with messages on related subjects and passages. Thank you for your interest in the ministry of Greater Grace.