6/27/15 “The Desperate Need To Experience God” – Pastor Shane Idleman


Complete Sermon Notes

You can have all of your doctrines right—yet still not have the presence of God. —LEONARD RAVENHILL

Matt. 17 Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; 2 and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. 3 And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. 4 Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, let us make here three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” 5 While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!” 6 And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces and were greatly afraid. 7 But Jesus came and touched them and said, “Arise, and do not be afraid.” 8 When they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only.

Context 16:28 “Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.”

  • Synoptic gospels all have this stated before the “transfiguration”

Kingdom = Royalty; royal splendor – see His majesty; His greatness.

3 Separate Booths: Feast of Booths/Tabernacles – The Jews celebrated God’s provision and protection during the wilderness venture.

The Desperate Need to Experience God

A high mountain; a transfiguration – a bright cloud overshadowed them:

There is fear, apprehension, and uncertainty about deeper experiences with God.

  • Filled:And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit”… Ephesians 5:18

  • Anointed: The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed…Luke 4:18

  • God’s Glory N.T.: John 1:14: “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

O.T. – His presence becomes overpowering and overshadows everything else.

…Moses could not enter the tent of meeting because the cloud had settled on it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.

…and the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled the temple of God.

…In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple.

3 Groups of Christians:

  1. I want more “Lord, it is good for us to be here”

  2. I’m not sure – not willing to do what it takes to experience Him

  3. It’s pure emotionalism – without a damascus road encounter, they will never experience Him

A Mark of a Carnal Christian is NOT Pursuing God: everything flows from seeking His Presence

  • Most great moves of God began with seeking Him. You won’t experience Him powerfully if you don’t search…

Engulf: to sweep over (something) so as to surround or cover it completely.

  1. Nothing else matters – He is the priority.

  2. There is a deep conviction of sin; a deep desire for holiness.

  3. A renewed hunger and passion for God and the things of God.

Lets Recap How? Extended worship – times of heart-felt prayer – obedience to the point of dying to self – serving that costs us something [not convenient].

  • Our lack of spiritual disciplines remind me of a person who goes on a 50’ jog and expects to lose weight.

  • Its not about RULES and REGULATIONS – its about a heart saying, “Lord, it is good for us to be here.”

THE USA just made a decision to mock God. Sadly, this will not drive most Christians to the prayer closet, it will drive them to the movies. It will not cause them to re-prioritize their life around God, they’ll stay busy, carefree, and could careless.

“Shane, I don’t want to hear this.” Right, because you want something that does not exist –

Comfortable Christianity – WE ARE EITHER fighting the flesh or God

  • It’s often NOT until we say, “God, I don’t want this anymore. I’m desperate for more of You. I’m tired of being spiritually weak and biblically illiterate. I’m tired of loving the world and being bored in church. I’m tired of being miserable, depressed, and fearful…I feel like I’m dying inside…GOD I NEED YOU”


One of the difficult challenges with pastoring is witnessing the tragic results of people dying spiritually with living water just steps away. Although most can quote, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be filled,” many have never truly experienced it—very few are truly hungry and thirsty for God.