Likewise, when it comes to drawing closer to the Lord, we should start with old-fashioned enthusiasm. The next question is where does this passion come from? Most Christians will agree that Christ draws people to him, and if you have any thoughts about your spiritual life, it is proof that you are being energized by his grace.
One thing we can be sure of, whether we embrace Calvinist or Armenian theology, is that God created us so that He could have a close personal relationship with us.
The New Year is just a few weeks away and it is common to think about renewing our commitment to our Creator and making new resolutions that bring us peace and joy. So how do we intensify our awareness of his presence?
Fire in the Bible is often used to describe spiritual worship for the Lord. A raging fire in a heart for God describes stronger faith and excitement, while lukewarmness relates to discouragement, apathy, and defeat. Ask him to rekindle your embers.
An important nugget of wisdom is knowing that we can be as close to God as we want. Nothing prevents us from walking with Him except our resistance.
We have heard the passage from Romans 12: 2 which talks about not being conformed to the world but being transformed by the renewal of our minds. This means that we worship the things that we love, and until our minds change, we will not change our behavior. God’s warning that for anyone to advance with Him, we must make Him our highest priority.
There are levels of spiritual commitment and unfortunately it is common to live the way we want to use It as a back-up plan in case our arrangements don’t work out. This is not what God had in mind when He sent His Son to the cross to bring us back to Him.
Many do not understand what it means to surrender their will to God while others have no intention of yielding under His control. Whatever reasons or excuses people make for refusing Christ as their Lord and King, each person will be held responsible for the way they have lived. When it comes to our opportunities to choose who we will serve, He is either Lord of all or He is not our Lord at all.
I appreciate all of you who read this column every week and for the encouraging emails and cards. I spend much of my time studying and writing, and I appreciate the blessings of being able to share God’s word and my thoughts. I sincerely pray that the Lord will bring us all closer to him and I believe that he is ready to help anyone to enter the secret place of his presence if that is what he really wants.
I remember the old hymn “turn your eyes on Jesus” and I can honestly say that these words mean more to me now than ever before. As we continue to focus on what is really important in this life, we will notice how the things in this world will become eerily dark.
“I give up everything” is another compelling challenge and as I linger on this invitation, I realize how easy it is to sing but how difficult it is to live.
Let’s look at some practical actions we can take that will bring immediate improvement in our personal intimacy with God. Before we build we must have a plan and changing our way of life will require a new agenda.
Find a quiet place where you can read a certain part of the Bible each day. Start a prayer journal and during this meditation time share your deepest thoughts with him, ask him to fill you with his Spirit, and start thinking and praying for others.
Don’t be surprised if those around you start to think that you are weird. It’s a good thing because that’s exactly what He wanted. If you want to go even further, you can read about the power of fasting which increases your spiritual discernment and proves that you want to know it more than anything in the world.