December 1, 2006 – DWELLING FOREVER IN HIS PRESENCE!
After the Lord gave me the lesson entitled “We Require Intimacy with God,” I was asked “How do you obtain that closeness and intimacy with God?” Christ tells us that: Matthew 10:39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. We have to surrender “self” to make room for God’s rule and will in our hearts. The ideal surrender means we are no longer our own, instead we belong 100% to God. The wider we open the door of our heart, and the more room we make for God, the more of His presence we receive. The more we are thankful, pray, and seek His face, the more of His spirit we receive.
As we grow in the Lord, the Spirit leads us into a deeper walk with Him. Luke 6:38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. We each need to ask ourselves, “How much am I willing to give of myself that I might receive more and more of God?”
The first and greatest of all the commandments is: Mark 12:30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ Mark 12:31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Exodus 20:3 You shall have no other Gods before me. Remember that God is a jealous God, and we must love Him more than anyone or anything. We sometimes have Gods before Him and do not realize that we have idols (self, pleasure, worldliness, spouses, family, etc.), that we put before God. If you want to abide in His presence, God must be your first priority. When we put God first he brings Godly order into our relationships and our entire life.
The more we keep His commandments, the more He recognizes our love for Him. John 14:21 Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him. The world and its allurements constantly reach out to us, but we must decide to put God first before all things, and give total obedience to Him if we want His highest and best in our lives. When we give ourselves to God it requires the agreement of our mind, emotion, will, and our spirit. John 4:23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth. Our commitment to Christ is very much like a total commitment in marriage. It is very important to remember: John 14:23 Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. Our own disobedience is the only thing that can temporarily separate us from total fellowship with Christ. The second I realize I have grieved the Holy Spirit, I ask forgiveness, and then I can feel His love and Spirit enclose me.
David cried unto the Lord the following prayer after he grievously sinned: Psalms 51:10 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. 11 Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. As you read the Psalms of David you know that he was a man that knew, loved, and worshipped God with all of his heart. Keeping and expanding his relationship with God was uppermost in his heart. Psalms 34:1 I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips. God has a never ending supply of His spirit for us. Psalms 23:5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Is it worth giving up your entire self to receive the fullness of God? Yes, a thousand times over! We can have God’s greatest gift to man dwelling within us. When we invite Him into our hearts and totally commit to Him we have received the great mystery of God within us. When we give all to God we will experience the fullness of God. With the indwelling Christ we can know the glorious riches we have in Christ and we have the “Hope of Glory.” Colossians 1:27 To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Through our every trial, Christ will be there to comfort us. I have had privileges I was never born to experience by my own works. Miracles from the hands of the Lord have happened unexpectedly and “on time.” Most of all, I have fellowship with the Father, Christ, His beloved son, and the Holy Spirit. The rewards of total commitment are immense. The peace of knowing I completely belong to God and that He guards my future and every day of my life is beyond comprehension.