Knowing God – Really!

‘When you seek me, you will find me, provided you seek for me wholeheartedly; and I will let you find me’ says Adonai.”

Jeremiah 29:13 (CJB)

Questions:  Do you want God in your life?  If so, why do you want God in your life?  Do you want to know God?

Questions:  Are any of the answers below inappropriate in that they carry an ulterior motive?  Do these answers show a selfish heart attitude?  Are there preset demands?

We cannot come to God wanting to know him with:

Ulterior motives

Selfish heart attitude

Preset demands

Christmas lists

We need to come to God with the heart attitude of just wanting to know Him – not because of what He can do for us, or what we want Him to do for us!  We should want fellowship with Him because of who He is and because we love Him and want to do things for him.

The correct answer is we should want to come to God to get closer to Him and establish a relationship with Him - because we love Him!

It is okay to want His help – if we gradually come closer to God and begin to love Him and want him for the right reasons.

It is okay to start off with the wrong reason if we end up with the right one.

However, we must have a teachable heart!

Someone who wants to “know God” needs to: begin to pray and asked God to put a desire to obey Him into their heart and to pray and asked for a righteous heart!  A person should also pray for a correct and right heart attitude and the desire to want to be like God in everything they do!

There is a story of a man who in search of God came to study at the feet of an old teacher.  The sage brought him to a river and led him out into the deep water.  Putting his hands on the young man’s head, he promptly pushed him under the water and continued to hold him there, until the student feeling he would surely drown, frantically fought the old teacher’s resistance.  In shock and confusion, the young man resurfaced.  His teacher looked in his eyes and said, “When you desire God as much as you wanted air, you will find him.”

What we are talking about in this teaching is not about what most people who come to church want: It is not about a faith that WE can control!  It is not about picking what we want to believe!  It is not about selective obedience!  The late David Wilkerson said, “For some believers the initial measure is all they ever desire.  They want enough of Jesus to escape judgment, to feel forgiven, to keep a good reputation, and to endure an hour of church each Sunday.  Such people are in maintenance mode.  And they give Jesus only the bare requirements.”

Charles Stanley said, “Just as you don’t want to be known for only the superficial details of who you appear to be, it’s not enough to know just enough about the Lord.  He wants us to learn how He thinks and feels, and He wants us to learn about what is important to him, and what his purposes are.”

Jesus’ Example: Listen to God!

Did Jesus receive direction in each situation of each day of his life from God?

Of course, He did!

He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.”  John 8:47 (NIV)

“Most Christians don’t listen to God.  They go to Him to talk!  Yet the Scriptures reveal that any person who was ever used of God learned to remain in His presence until hearing from Him.  When you are intimate with Jesus, do you receive direction from Him?  Does He tell you what do and when and how to do it?  Some Christians don’t believe God does this, but Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice . . . and they follow me”.  We are living in the same New Testament times as Paul and Peter.  We too, must allow His voice to come to us.”   (David Wilkerson)

Jesus’ Example: Walk in His steps!

Are we to follow the example that Jesus put before us and to walk in His steps?  Yes!

“To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example that you should follow in his steps”. I Peter 2:21 (NIV)

The Apostle Paul said: “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.”

I Corinthians 11:1 (NIV)

This is how we know we are IN Him: “Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.”  (I John 2:2b) (NIV)

Jesus’ Example: A Humble Attitude!

“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:  Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient …” (Philippians 2:1-8) (NIV)

Jesus’ Example: Do nothing on your own!

Jesus did nothing on his own!  He went to Father God for direction in all the issues and circumstances that faced him daily!

Jesus gave them this answer: “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. John 5:19 (NIV)

By myself I can do nothing;” John 5:30 (NIV)

“If anyone chooses to do God’s will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.  He who speaks on his own does so to gain honor for himself, but he who works for the honor of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him.”   John 7:18 (NIV)

“When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am the one I claim to be and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me.   The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him.”  Even as he spoke, many put their faith in him. John 8:28-29 (NIV)

The Wonderful Counselor: Regarding casting all our cares!

Once we give our cares to God we need to get still and quiet for Him to speak to us! Listening! By doing this we give God the opportunity to tell us what we need to do to assist Him in what needs to be done to work out the problem or issue!   God can and does work through us if He so desires in dealing with the cares we have brought and laid at His feet!

You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory.  Whom have I in heaven but you?  And earth has nothing I desire besides you.  My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

Psalm 73:24-26 (NIV)

“Since you are my rock and my fortress, for the sake of your name lead and guide me.” Psalm 31:3 (NIV)

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.  Psalm 32:3 (NIV)

Jesus’ Example: Working with and for God is the Ultimate Work!

“As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming when no one can work”. John 9:24 (NIV)

“Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”

Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe (trust) in the one he has sent.”

John 6:29 (NIV)

“For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done.”  Matthew 16:27 (NIV)

Going to God each day and listening to what God wants us to do that day is what Jesus did and that is the example he set for us.  However, listening takes time and the individual who wants to know God for the right reasons will be willing to take time to listen!

We Have to Do Something – Act!

But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.  You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.  You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless?  Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar?  You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did.  And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.  James 2:18-23 (NIV)

LIFE Tool: Faith proceeded by action is what it takes for God to have control in every area of your life.

If Something Is Bothering You - Go to God!  Pray and tell Him what is bothering you.  This is placing it at His feet!  Then say, “God, I trust you, and I believe you are going to handle this, and I know you can handle this.  However, Father, what is it that you want me to do in this situation? I am willing to do what you want me to do!

Life Tool - If you just stop at the point of laying something at God’s feet – in other words simply casting your cares on to God - it is going to be incomplete.  If the problem does not get fixed – whose fault is it?  It is certainly not God’s fault!

More on Casting our Cares

When we go to God and cast all our cares on Him, we must give God the opportunity to share with us any insight we might need to work with Him to fix the situation.  Plus, teach us how we can do better next time. We must ask Him if there is anything, He wants us to do.

Example:  if something is wrong at your job.

Is there anything that God wants you to pray in order that He has the freedom to move in the situation?

What can you do to allow God to have all the freedom He wants in the whole situation?

You would need to ask what your responsibility is in the situation.  Because it just cannot be God’s responsibility to do all the work!  We must ask ourselves, who is the servant here?

♥ Pearl:  If we continue to think God is in control and He alone is going to do all the clean-up and we do not have to do anything we will not change - we will continue to sin.

Pushing Through!

While you are in the process of whole heartedly getting to know God:  You are learning how God works, learning about yourself, being transformed by the renewing of your mind, learning to hear God’s voice in a split second, becoming unshakeable and stable in all your ways!

Most of all you are gaining an intimate loving relationship with Almighty God the creator and ruler of the universe!  All the while continuing: “…to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.”  Philippians 2:12c-13

Positive or Negative, What Motivates You?

See, the Word of God is alive!  It is at work and is sharper than any double-edged sword - it cuts right through to where the soul meets spirit and joints meet marrow, and it is quick to judge the inner reflections and attitudes of the heart.  Before God, nothing created is hidden, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must render account.”
Hebrews 4:12-13 (JNT)

Inappropriate motivators influence your thinking in ways that allow the Devil to have victory in your life.

Inappropriate Motivators

  1.  Jealousy
  2. Greed
  3. Fear
  4. Competition
  5. Experience (without wisdom from God)
  6. Perceived needs
  7. Control
  8. Attention/respect from others
  9. Anxiety
  10. Depression

Inappropriate motivators open doors for Satan to attack you because they draw you away from God’s protection by causing you to be drawn in a direction other than towards God.

Example:   Anything that appeals to you more than spending time with the Father, Satan can use to cause you to draw away from spending time with the Him.

The reason that “thing” (temptation) appeals to you is the inappropriate motivator.

According to Webster’s

Definition of “motive” according to Webster’s:  1. some inner drive, impulse, intention, etc.  That causes a person to do something or act in a certain way; incentive; goal.

Appropriate motivators influence your thinking in ways that allow God to have victory in your life.

10 Things that can motivate you towards God

1.   Reading examples from the written Word.  Stories of people and what God did for them.  How and why?  What did they have to do to reach God?  Was God faithful?

2.   Seeing a need to help others.  Wanting to help but wanting God to help you do it, right.  Wanting to really help not just appear to be helping.

3.   Recognizing a need for change in yourself and wanting God to have the freedom to do it.  (This can be a turning point towards a true salvation.)

4.   Remembering promises that you made to God and wanting to fulfill and complete those things for Him.  (Even a marriage vow is a promise to God.)

5.   Realizing God needs you to fulfill His purposes on this earth and having the desire to submit your life to Him on an everyday basis.  (When you give your life to God you don’t “take a day off.)

6.  Developing an interest in knowing God’s personal views on world issues and current news subjects.  (“O.K. I know how the world sees this, but how about you God?”)

7.   Having a desire to overcome obstacles.  Putting Faith to action.  (Do you react positively to a challenge or do you tend to bend over and wither?)

8.   Being intolerant to any evil.  Are you just sick of Satan having even one little foothold in your life?  Good!  Because you do not have to let him!  (Part of our job here is destroy the works of the Devil.  Are you more of a threat to him, than he is to you?)

9.   Hearing encouraging words directly from God.  When you are trying your best to follow God, He lets you know it.  (Note: this only works when you are really trying.  Not just “sometimes” or “somewhat” trying.)

10.  Knowing that God loves you and He loved you even before you knew Him.  What can you do to let God know you love Him too?

(Saying to God you love Him, wearing a Christian symbol and “bragging” about what God has done for you.  None of these things really tell God you love Him.)

Think about it - How can you tell God you love Him???

Appropriate motivators can increase your ability to hear and obey God, because they encourage you to keep your focus towards God.

To Know God is to Love God!

To love God is to know God, and to know God is to love God!  You cannot love God if you do not know him.  And you cannot know him if you do not love him!

There has got to be an edging toward – you learn to want him and desire him and you learn a little and you learn to love him a little more from what you learn and you learn a little more and it goes on and on!  One side never gets that much farther ahead of the other it is like two columns growing very, very, very much at the same time.

People are not like that because the more you learn about people it does not really affect your love for them or your hate for them.  It only effects your understanding.  You do begin to hate the world the more you understand people, but it is not the same thing as it is with God!

With God there is a direct correlation between your loving Him and you knowing Him!  But with people it is different and because we are taught to treat people with love unconditionally.  Why?  Because if it were the way it was with God then we would love people for the wrong reasons.  In other words, people are imperfect, they are mean, and they are selfish. There are very few people in this world that we really would like to love!  So, it has a completely different connection.  The more we get to know people the more we will not necessarily be able to love them. Nor the more we get to know them will be able to dislike them!  It really has nothing to do with it.  But, the more we know people - the more we understand their behavior. We get to where we can more effectively understand their behavior and can more effectively understand how they need God.  The more information we have about people does not affect our love or hate for them.  It is still our choice in how to treat them and it is still our choice how to feel about them.  We can get bitter or we can stay solid with God and keep an open perspective to see how God sees people.  That is, it!  You either do one or the other.  You either get bitter or you keep an open mind!

Jesus Movies

“When watching a movie regarding Jesus – if a person hasn’t taken the time to KNOW God – they will remain only knowing about Him - that is NOT enough!”

“There is a difference between knowing about someone and knowing that person intimately!”   R.T. Kendall

Lip service is. . .

not spending time with God each day,

not getting direction for each moment of your life,

not doing what God says,

and all the while still praising Him with your mouth!

(sw-h)

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