The Anatomy of God (1/2) | Bayless Conley

The Anatomy of God (1/2) | Bayless Conley


There are many questions you are faced with
every day. We are all searching for answers that will make a real difference in our lives.
It’s hard to imagine that these answers might be right in front of us. Get ready to
discover answers in the Bible with Bayless Conley. Did you know the Bible speaks about God’s
anatomy? He has hands. He has eyes; He can see. He has a heart; He can feel, He has compassion.
I actually was intrigued as I was looking at the different descriptions of God, how
His eyes see and His ears hear, and His heart can be broken. And I began to just look at
all of the related Scriptures and I’ll tell you what, the Holy Spirit seemed to speak
to me so profoundly from these verses. And I went ahead and preached a message at our
church entitled “The Anatomy of God”. And I trust that God is going to speak to
you by His Holy Spirit as I share this word. And as you take the time to sit down together
with me to get into God’s Word and allow the time for God’s Word to get into you.
You know, one of the greatest problems in the church today is undigested theology. We’re
just in such a hurry, you know, to be here and to do this and to do that. My friend,
make an investment in your spiritual life. Take the time, grab a Bible if you have one,
and sit down together with me as we study the anatomy of God. I believe it’s going
to be a blessing to you. You know the longer you walk with God, the
more you discover about Him. And the amazing thing is it’s a never-ending journey; it’s
a never-ending process of discovery. And in a lot of ways I kind of feel like, you know,
in the first year I was saved, I knew everything. And the longer I walk, the more evident it
is how little I know. Uhm, someone described it once like you’re in the corner of a room
and, you know, it may be dark and you kind of can’t see, but you can feel the walls.
But as you move out towards the center of the room, you can no longer touch the walls.
And I think the more we walk with God, the more we realize how expansive He is, how multi-faceted
He is, how amazing beyond amazing beyond amazing He is. It just gets better and better and
better. And I want to speak to you today about God’s
anatomy, God’s anatomy. I want to talk to you about His eyes, His heart, His arms and
His hands, and about His face. “The Anatomy of God”. I want to talk beginning about the eyes of
God. And I want to quote a couple of verses to you. Proverbs 15:3, it says, “The eyes
of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and on the good.” That was a lesson that Janet and I tried to
imprint upon the hearts of our children when they were very young, that hey! It’s not
just about obeying when Mom and Dad can see you and doing the right thing when people’s
eyes are upon you because God’s eyes are always on you. You can’t go into any secret
place and do anything that He doesn’t know about. And so we would tell our kids, “Look,
even when Mom and Dad aren’t there and we can’t see you, you need to realize God is
always with you and He always sees.” In Jeremiah 23:24 the Lord says, “’Can
anyone hide himself in secret places so I shall not see Him?’ says the Lord. ‘Do
I not fill heaven and earth?’ says the Lord.” Look with me in Hebrews 4 and verse 13. “And
there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes
of Him to whom we must give account.” Now He doesn’t just see the bad; He sees
the good. In Matthew, chapter 6, Jesus said, “When we give, when we pray, and when we
fast in secret, our heavenly Father sees us and He rewards us openly.” And beyond that,
God not only sees what we do, He sees why we do what we do. His eyes are not just upon
our actions, but His eyes are upon our hearts. First Samuel 16:7 says, “The Lord doesn’t
see as man sees for man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart,”
meaning that if we mess things up, as we all sometimes do, but that was not our intent,
our heart was in a completely different place yet still we messed things up, God judges
us according to our hearts even if everyone else does not. The other side of that coin
is also true. If everyone applauds us and thinks we are so wonderful, God also sees
our hearts. And if our hearts were not right, He judges us accordingly. God sees down to
the very motive of our hearts. Look in verse 12. This is talking about Jesus,
the Living Word: For the word of God is living and powerful,
and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and
of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. He sees what we do, but He sees why we do
what we do. Not only that, not only are His eyes upon us wherever we are, not only does
He see our motivation, He sees our need. Mark this place, if you would, in your Bible…
we’ll come back to Hebrews… and look with me in the Book of Genesis, chapter 16. There
is an intriguing story here about Abraham and his wife, Sarah. They tried and tried,
but she could not conceive. And finally Sarah comes up with a plan. She says, “All right,
I can’t have a baby. But, Abraham, I have a very attractive young servant girl named
Hagar. She’s going to be a surrogate mother. I want you to have relations with her, and
then I’ll adopt the baby and we’ll have a baby through her, and it will be our child.”
And Abraham said nothing. Yeah, he immediately obeyed the voice of his wife. “Great plan,
Sarah.” And Hagar gets pregnant, and she also gets an attitude. And Sarah, interestingly
enough… you can read the account. She said, “Abraham, I blame all of this on you. It’s
your fault.” And Sarah began to treat Hagar very, very harshly. Now here’s this young
servant girl. She’s been thrown into circumstances beyond her control. This was not a thing of
her own creating. She’s being treated harshly, and she looks into her future and all she
sees is difficulty. All she sees is a very dark and bleak future. She’s confused, she’s
filled with conflict and turmoil, and she runs away into the wilderness. And God sends
an angel to her who brings comfort to her, brings direction to her in her time of distress
and conflict. And look how she responds, Genesis 16, verse 13: Then she called the name of the Lord who spoke
to her, You-Are-the-God-Who-Sees; for she said, “Have I also here seen Him who sees
me?” Therefore the well was called Beer Lahai Roi; observe, it is between Kadesh and
Bered. From that day forward, people referred to
that well as Beer Lahai Roi, which literally means “well of the Living One who sees me”.
More than anything else, Hagar was overwhelmed with the thought that God’s eyes were upon
her. She’s looked upon by others as sort of just a throw-away person, just a commodity
to be used… filled with conflict, filled with turmoil, realizing that her future doesn’t
look too bright. And suddenly God reveals Himself to her, comforts her, gives her guidance
for the future, and she’s astonished! She said, “You see me. You see my conflict.
You understand what’s happened.” She’s overwhelmed. You know, Janet and I were out in the Inland
Empire serving in a church there. I was an assistant pastor. And we knew we would eventually
come over here and begin a church. I had the conversation with the senior pastor. He agreed,
you know, that it was going to happen. But then I had no direction, and I began to get
antsy. In fact, it was far beyond that. I began to be filled with inner conflict and
turmoil. I began thinking, “Well, have I missed God?” You know, “Why don’t I
have any direction?” You know, “Have I missed God’s timing?” And I was almost
to the point that I was going to force things and make it happen on my own. Have you ever
been there? It’s like, “Things aren’t happening and so I’m just going to make
it happen and maybe God will show up.” And I literally was so conflicted inside and filled
with such turmoil, I didn’t know what to do. I’m thinking about, you know, my future;
I’m thinking about the calling of God on my life; I’m thinking, “If I miss God,
what do I do?” And Janet and I came to a meeting over here in Orange County. It was
actually John Osteen was going to be preaching, the father of Joel Osteen. Now John was a
great pastor and Bible teacher and a fiery advocate for world missions. The man loved
the world and wanted to get the gospel to the nations. And I so admired him. And we
came, and I’m excited, you know, going to get some good Bible teaching. We sit down,
there’s a large crowd in the auditorium, he says, “All right, everybody grab your
Bible; hold it up in the air.” We grabbed our Bibles, held it up. He says, “Okay,
put it under your seat. You’re not going to need it.”
I thought, “Oh, no! You’ve got to be kidding me.”
He said, “Go on. Put your Bibles under your seat.”
So I put my Bible under my chair, and I thought, “Oh, this is going to be good.”
And then he explained that he was going to be preaching from a particular paraphrased
version of the Bible and didn’t want people just comparing the differences rather than
listening to him. He wanted people to hear what he had to say.
And I thought, “Okay.” And from the moment he began to preach, it
was like the auditorium suddenly disappeared and I was the only one that was there. Every
word he spoke was like a burning coal cascading down from heaven into my spirit. It was so
astonishingly specific and tailor made for me, I was staggered. It was like God came
down from heaven. He answered every question that I had on my heart. He comforted me. He
gave me direction. And more than anything else I had this overwhelming sense, “God,
You see me. You see the conflict in my heart. You know what I’m thinking. Your eyes are
on me.” It was profound! You know, I was speaking in a little church
one time, and I preached and had given an invitation. I’m ready to dismiss, and I
felt like the Holy Spirit whispered two words to me: parking lot. I thought, “That is
stupid. Man, I’m not going to say that.” And this all happened within a split second,
and so I thought, “Okay, if I’m going to be a fool, I’m going to be a fool for
Jesus.” I said, “Folks, don’t go yet.” I said, “I feel like the Holy Spirit has
just spoken to me two words: parking lot. Does that mean anything to anyone?” It was
about as quiet as it is in here right now. Nobody budged. Nobody moved. I began to wilt.
I said it again: “Parking lot. Does that mean anything to anybody?” Nobody moved.
I’m feeling so ridiculous by this time. And I’m thinking, “Okay, just dismiss
the service.” You know, “Save face. Get out quickly.” But instead, I said it a third
time: “Parking lot. Does that mean anything to anyone?” Nobody budged. I said, “Okay,
folks, we’re just going to dismiss then. And then suddenly a man stood up in the back
row. I found out it was the first time he had ever been to that church before. No one
had ever seen him before. He stands up and he walks to the front. I said, “Parking
lot. Does that mean anything to you?” He said, “As a matter of fact, it does.”
He said, “I own a restaurant in town, and six months ago the city came and they tore
up the parking lot. They had to get to some pipes or whatever. They promised to fix it
right away, but they’ve never been back and never touched it. So I have a restaurant
with no parking. I’ve lost most of my clientele. My business is about to go under. Yes, parking
lot means something to me.” So I led the whole church. We prayed that
his parking lot would get fixed. The next morning at 6 a.m. the city showed up and fixed
his parking lot. He came back to the church and testified and told them what had happened.
I guarantee you that man had a sense, “God sees me.” And, my friend, He sees you. He sees the conflict
of your heart. He knows what’s going on. He’s aware of your circumstances. He knows
about your questions. He sees. He is looking upon you right now. But beyond that, And that brings us to the
next thing we want to talk about, that’s God’s heart. He not only sees, but His heart
yearns to do something. Look back in the Book of Hebrews with me, if you would… chapter
4 again. Hebrews 4 and verse 15. Hebrews 4:15, For we do not have a High Priest who cannot
sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without
sin. Now that word “sympathize”, the Greek
word doesn’t mean that just like, “Awwww.” It literally means to enter into the suffering
of another, to feel what they feel. I like the King James Version that says, “He is
touched with the feeling of our infirmities.” Listen: Jesus was not just some armored champion,
deflecting toy arrows, when it came to temptation. He felt the inner conflict and the pressure
that temptation brings. He gets it. He knows what it is to be human. He knows what it is
to be assailed with problems and pressure and conflict. Yet He never yielded to it.
But He identifies with us because of experience. Think about these verses. Ezekiel 6:9, God
says, “I was crushed by their adulterous hearts when they departed from Me.” What
kind of a God is this? “I was crushed! By their adulterous hearts.” In Judges 10, verse 16, it says, “His soul
could no longer endure the misery of Israel.” And He intervened. His soul could no longer
endure their misery! In Jeremiah 31 God said, “Yes, I’ve loved
you with an everlasting love. Therefore with loving kindness I’ve drawn you.” And speaking
of His people, calling them Ephraim, He says, “Yes, I earnestly remember him still. Therefore
my heart yearns for him. I will surely have mercy on him,” says the Lord. My friend, do not ever doubt God’s love
for you. He is love. Psalm 145, verses 8 and 9: “The Lord is gracious and full of compassion,
slow to anger and great in mercy. The Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are
over all His works.” You know, we have a fountain, a small fountain
that hangs on the wall near our house. It has an electric plug, and there’s a small
pump in it, and there are several bowls. And when the pump comes on… and it’s only
set to come on a few hours every day. The rest of the time it’s dormant. That water,
when the pump pumps, and it spills over the first lip, over the second lip, then it fills
bowl after bowl. Now just imagine that that fountain represents God and the water spilling
down represents God’s supply. It represents His mercy, His resource to meet your need.
And that pump represents His heart. But unlike the pump on our fountain that only comes on
at selected times, my friend, God’s heart is always on. His heart always yearns over
you. His heart is yearning over you now, desiring to bring mercy and rescue and help and comfort
and direction into your life. I think the greatest example we have of this is Jesus,
Himself. To watch Jesus in action shows us what God’s love is like. Jesus said, “If
you’ve seen Me, you have seen the Father.” And you read again and again Jesus was moved
with compassion. It’s a phrase you find in the Bible. And wherever you find it, it
wasn’t Him just saying, “Ah, I feel so bad for you.” His compassion always moved
Him to do something. He was moved with compassion. It caused Him to heal their sick. It caused
Him to meet physical, material needs. It caused Him to teach the multitudes. And it caused
Him to call people to prayer and to equip people to go out into the harvest field of
the world. But in no circumstance did He remain idle
or uninvolved, which brings us to the next thing we want to talk about: God’s arms
and His hands, which in Scripture represents the power of His Spirit. Habakkuk 3:4 said,
“He had rays flashing from His hand, and there His power was hidden.” Yes, God sees,
God grieves, and He cares. But He can also do something. It’s one thing to have a friend
who sympathizes with you, but it’s something altogether more when that friend not only
sympathizes but has the ability to help you in your distress and in your circumstance. Just look with me quickly at a couple of things
that the hand of God can do. Look with me, if you would, at Acts, chapter 11. Acts, the
eleventh chapter, and look at verse 20. When God stretches out His arm, when He extends
His hand, things happen. Acts 11, verse 20: But some of them were men from Cyprus and
Cyrene, who, when they had come to Antioch, spoke to the Hellenists, preaching the Lord
Jesus. And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number believed and turned to
the Lord. His hand can influence and anoint and persuade
men about the truth of the gospel. Through preaching or through whatever other means
are necessary, God’s hand can do remarkable things. I was reading a story of F. B. Meyer. He was
a great Bible scholar, great Bible teacher, and this would be more than a half a century
ago. He was on a ship, a cruise ship, and they found out he was there, and he was asked,
actually, by the captain of the ship to do a Bible lesson for anyone that wanted to attend.
He was quite well known. He agreed and in one of the ballrooms there people gathered,
and F. B. Meyer shared a Bible lesson. But there was an agnostic in the crowd that criticized
and said some very unkind things… didn’t just resist the message, but made it vocally
clear that he thought it was ridiculous. Well, later that afternoon the agnostic was walking
on the deck of the ship, and he recognized a woman that had been in the meeting. And
she obviously was one of those “Christians” because she seemed to be in agreement with
what F. B. Meyer had been teaching. And she was asleep in one of the deck chairs. And
her posture, she had her arms at her sides with both palms extended upwards as she was
sleeping. He thought, “I’m going to play a trick on her.” He went to his cabin, and
he got a couple of oranges. The agnostic came back and just very lightly laid an orange
in each of the woman’s upturned palms, and she never woke up, and he went away. He came
back a little time later, found her eating one of the oranges. He says, “Oh, enjoying
that orange, are you?” She says, “Oh, my Father is so good.”
He said, “Certainly your father is not still alive. I mean you’re pretty advanced in
age.” She said, “No, no. I mean my heavenly Father.”
She said, “I was seasick this afternoon, and I began praying and asking Him for an
orange, though I didn’t have any idea how He could get an orange to me.” She said,
“I must have fallen asleep while I was praying, and my Father didn’t see fit to give me
one orange. He saw fit to give me two oranges.” Before the ship reached port that agnostic
had given his heart to Christ. Listen: the hand of the Lord can do mighty things! Thank you for watching Answers with Bayless
Conley. Bayless will continue with part two of his message next week.
You know, one of the amazing things about God is that He will make Himself known to
hungry hearts. I believe if a person truly is searching for the knowledge of God, God
will move heaven and earth to bring the truth to that person. The Lord says in Scripture
“Seek for Me with all of your heart and when you look for Me with all of your heart,
I will be found by you”. I don’t think it’s a coincidence you are listening to
me right now. I know there are some people, you are solid believers you walk with the
Lord and you watch so that you can get fed; so that you can get encouraged… that’s
awesome we’re glad you’re with us and I hope you pray for us and I hope you support
the broadcast as well. But there’s also people that are watching right now, and this
may be you. You are hungering and thirsting for the truth. You’ve delved into a lot
of different, you know, spiritual practices because you have been looking for God; looking
for the reasons to why you are alive. Well my friend, God will show Himself strong in
your behalf. His hand, His arm as we were talking about, will bring revelation of who
He is. He still is a God that works miracles. He opens blind eyes; naturally and spiritual.
My friend, He can communicate with you in a way that you can understand it. If you’ll
just be honest and say, “God if you’re real? If Jesus Christ is your Son? If He really
is and if He is the only way into a relationship with You, show me.” You’ll find that God
will not be long in meeting you my friend. Call on His name today. You’ll never regret
it. We hope you enjoyed today’s message. Order
the full version of this teaching on CD, DVD or MP3 by using the contact details on screen
now. Our prayer for you is that you’ll continually
grow in the wisdom, faith and power that comes when we hear and apply God’s Word in our
daily lives. Why won’t anyone listen when I show them
what they’re doing wrong? Why won’t she believe and come to church
with me? I have tried so often… I try to be a good example, but it doesn’t
seem to make a difference. What am I doing wrong?
Learn to work with God’s Spirit instead of getting in His way. In Mr. Holy Spirit, Bayless Conley shows you
how to recognize and foster the Holy Spirit’s work so you can help make an impact in the
lives of others. Just use the information on screen. Order
your copy now. Thank you for watching Answers with Bayless
Conley. For more information and inspiration, visit AnswersBC.org.

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6 Comments

  1. I love the way God works! Oranges from an Agnostic, lol! That is so great. Amen brother.

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