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To Know HimBeyond Religion Waits a Relationship That Will Change Your Life
By Copeland, Gloria
FaithWordsCopyright © 2008 Copeland, Gloria
All right reserved.
First Things First
During my years of walking with the Lord, He has taught me many wonderful things. He has taught me about faith and righteousness, healing and prosperity. He has taught me so many vital truths from His Word for which I am very grateful. And He’s teaching me more every day.
Yet, if you were to ask me to name the most important principle of Christian living that I’ve learned, I could answer you without hesitation.
It is the secret of maintaining a living connection with God.
Staying in daily communion with Him is, without question, the number one priority of the Christian life. It is the key that opens every door to this life and the next.
If we don’t really know God, it doesn’t matter how much information we have about Him. We can be full of knowledge about faith. We can understand how it comes, what it does and how to release it. We can study about love until we have memorized every love scripture in the Bible. We can know the steps to healing and prosperity backward and forward. But we won’t have the momentum to put those things into action unless we spend time with God and maintain a living connection with Him.
When all is said and done, it’s not what we know that counts; it’s what we actually do. And without vital, continual union with God, we won’t be spiritually strong enough to do what we know to do! As Philippians 2:12–13 says:
Therefore, my dear ones, as you have always obeyed [my suggestions], so now, not only [with the enthusiasm you would show] in my presence but much more because I am absent, work out (cultivate, carry out to the goal, and fully complete) your own salvation with reverence and awe and trembling (selfdistrust, with serious caution, tenderness of conscience, watchfulness against temptation, timidly shrinking from whatever might offend God and discredit the name of Christ). [Not in your own strength] for it is God who is all the while effectually at work in you [energizing and creating in you the power and desire], both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight. (amp)
It’s amazing how many Christians don’t realize that. They rush around trying to do things in their own strength. They run from one good thing to the next, trying to serve the Lord. But because they don’t maintain a living connection with God, they end up tired, frustrated and defeated.
They are like Martha on the day Jesus ministered in her home. Instead of sitting at Jesus’ feet and listening to Him teach the Word as her sister, Mary, was doing, Luke 10:40–42 says:
But Martha [overly occupied and too busy] was distracted with much serving; and she came up to Him and said, Lord, is it nothing to You that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me [to lend a hand and do her part along with me]! But the Lord replied to her by saying, Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things; There is need of only one. . . . Mary has chosen the good portion [that which is to her advantage], which shall not be taken away from her. (Luke 10:40–42, amp)
An Awesome Privilege
As you can see from Mary’s example, there is nothing complicated about establishing a living connection with Jesus. Even the newest believer can do it. Abiding with God is simply fellowshiping with Him. It’s staying in touch with Him. It’s talking to Him and listening to Him. It’s setting aside the distractions and demands of life and taking the time to commune with Him in His Word and in prayer.
Some people say, “Well, I’d like to do that, but my schedule just won’t permit it.”
Actually, I don’t believe they would say that if they realized what an awesome privilege it is to fellowship with Almighty God. If they had a genuine revelation of the fact that the Creator and Ruler of the entire universe has made Himself available to personally meet with them every day, they would change their schedules. They would find some way to make time for Him.
Think about what an amazing opportunity it is to personally commune with God. Adam and Eve had that opportunity in the Garden of Eden. God would come and walk with them in the cool of the day. But then they sinned and lost their ability to have that kind of contact with God. They died spiritually, so they were unable to respond to Him as they once had done.
When God came calling for them, instead of standing righteous and unashamed in His presence, they ran and hid because they were full of shame and condemnation.
What a loss! What a tragedy that was!
Because of their sin, for 4,000 years afterward, mankind was locked out of the presence of God. Even the Israelites—God’s special people—were unable to fellowship freely with Him. When they needed divine help or healing, they had to go to the priest. And though the priest had the anointing of God on him, even he couldn’t go boldly into God’s presence whenever he wanted. Only the high priest could go behind the thick veil of the temple into the Holy of Holies where the presence of God dwelt. And he could only go there once a year with great precaution and always with the blood of an animal to atone for his sin as well as for the sins of the people.
But hallelujah, when Jesus went to the cross for us, all that changed! He paid the price for our sins. He shed His own blood not just to atone for sin, but to remit it. His sacrifice of Himself for us restored man’s lost fellowship with God when we choose Him as our Lord and Savior.
Now as born-again believers, we “have full freedom and confidence to enter into the [Holy of] Holies [by the power and virtue] in the blood of Jesus” (Hebrews 10:19, amp). God is accessible to us once again. He has made us new creations and put His own Spirit inside us so that we ourselves can be temples of the living God. He has given us His righteousness so that instead of hiding from the presence of God, we can “come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).
My, what a privileged people we are! We can commune with Him any time of the day or night.
God has flung open to us the door of fellowship. He has said, “I’m here for you. Just draw near to Me and I’ll draw near to you. I’ll give you the wisdom you need. I’ll strengthen you and equip you and help you in every area of your life.”
Yet how many Christians are daily taking advantage of this wonderful privilege? Too few. They’re too busy with the affairs of life to take the time for Him.
“Well, Gloria,” you might say, “considering how much we have to do these days, that’s understandable.”
Is it? Think about it from another perspective for a moment, and I think you’ll change your mind.
Suppose you wake up one morning, walk into your kitchen and Jesus is sitting at the table. “Well, Jesus!” you would say with surprise. “I’m thrilled You came by. I’ve really been wanting to see You. I have some serious problems and I need Your help. I wish I had time to talk to You about them right now, but I have to run. I’m having lunch downtown and I have to take care of some business. Maybe we’ll have time to talk awhile when I come home tonight.”
When you arrive home, your son has a Little League game, so you rush out the door saying, “I’m sorry, Jesus. I have to go to the game right now. We’ll spend a few minutes together before I go to bed tonight, OK?”
But when you return from the Little League game, you are so tired. You think, I just need to watch a little television to relax. Then you fall asleep in front of the television, while Jesus continues to sit and wait for you at your kitchen table. Finally, the day has slipped completely away, and you have missed your opportunity to be with Him.
Of course, you probably think you would never do such a thing. If Jesus physically came to your house, you’d stop everything just to be with Him. Yet, when you understand how real the spirit realm is, when you fully realize that His precious Holy Spirit is right there inside you, waiting for you day after day, you’ll see that it’s just as foolish to neglect your daily fellowship with Him in the Word and in prayer as it would be to leave Jesus sitting alone at your kitchen table.
It is my prayer that as you read this book, the Holy Spirit will give you a deeper revelation of that truth and that He will strengthen you in your commitment to put first things first and make a living connection with Jesus every day.
I know from experience, it will forever change your life.
Excerpted from To Know Him by Copeland, Gloria Copyright © 2008 by Copeland, Gloria. Excerpted by permission.
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