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alone with God

It has been my desire and prayer for a while to draw closer to God. You ask, “Isn’t that every Christian’s desire?” It should be. But do we really act on that desire? Or do we just say it?

Yesterday one of the Bro’s at church testified to the same desire. He spoke how God told him, (and I paraphrase) “If that is what you want, do your part. Take more time to be with me. If you can spend hours online, you have time to spend with me. You want to draw closer, you read more, you pray more. I am here, you make the time to know me better.”

I too have heard God tell me this…take more time to spend with me. He said it again yesterday through testimony. I made a determination to put this into practice. Not to just say I want to draw closer, I need to read the Bible more, I need to pray more…but to do it. If I have to, I will make an appointment to spend the time with God. What I have done in the past is no longer enough for me. I desire a deeper relationship with God. To truly be one with Him and Him in me.

prayWhen I have prayed about the different things that I struggle with, the thought has come, if more time was spent in the Word and in Prayer, these “things” wouldn’t be such a trial. You would have more strength and a greater back bone to handle the temptations and situations presented by the enemy of souls. A benefit of drawing closer to God, is gaining the complete victory that has previously alluded me because of decisions I have made to please the flesh.

As I am structure or schedule oriented, I have made a plan. It will at least help get this started. While it may seem funny and one may think that it isn’t right to be so “organized” about it, but let the spirit move. Yes we need to be guided by the Holy Spirit, but God gave us a mind and free will. If this is how I am going to get my flesh under control and set time aside for God, then so be it. This is what I will do.

I am going to stBible-and-handsart a study in Romans. Read a little each day, pull out a nugget and meditate on it. I will also use one of the Streams in the Desert books as a supplemental reading. I want to specifically take time to pray for those at work and the day ahead before I walk in the door. This in addition to a morning prayer. I want to specifically pray and give thanks for my food. Yes I am faithful to be thankful. But sometimes I find myself just saying “Thanks for the food”. Again, there is nothing wrong with this. And I am not saying that there has to be a 10 min prayer at every meal, but I want to take more time and talk to God, not just at him. Not just out of form or repetition or habit, but to make a connection with him.

Since writing helps me process what I read and think, I shall share my journey. Starting with Romans 1.

Romans was written to Saints. To us. To those that are saved and living with out sin. Not to sinners. (Although there is good for them too)  Romans 1:7 reads “To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints…” The beautiful thing about the Bible is that it is current and applicable for us as saints just as it was to the Romans that Paul wrote to.

Paul starts his letter to the Romans with his commendations (vs 1-5), he testimony of where he came from. He follows this with a greeting and a desire to visit the saints (vs7-13). In this he mentions that he is looking forward to working with the saints to bring in a harvest. Ready to preach the gospel and not being ashamed of God’s work.

 

Paul is an exampannouncerle to us. Always ready to enter the work of God where needed. Always ready to speak of God. Not shrinking from duty or other opinions that might oppose God’s truth. Romans 1:16-17 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God to salvation to every one that believeth: to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.” Paul recognizes the power that is in the gospel and how it can change a soul and give life. This is what he wants to bring to those in and around Rome.

We too need to take this example, to not be ashamed, but to recognize the great power in God and the gospel, the good news about Christ and spread that to those around us. Whom have we spoken to about Christ recently? Have you shared what God has done form you? Have you said a word about Christ? Are you ashamed or are you willing to be lead by the spirit and speak of the gospel?

 

Each of us is different. We all have talents that are specific to us. As saints, we can and must have diversities among us. But in all of our differences, our spirit or what motivates us must be the same.

1 Corinthians 12

1. Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.

2. Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.

3. Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.

4. Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.

5. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.

6. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.

7. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.

8. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;

9. To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;

10. To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:

11. But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.

12. For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.

13. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

14. For the body is not one member, but many.

Just as diversities in gifts is important, so are we all important to the body. What is your gift? What are you bringing in order to edify the body?

When God saves us, we undergo metamorphous becoming a new creature, putting aside the old man with its habits, thoughts, and behaviors and acquiring new habits, thoughts and behaviors that are more becoming a child of God. Ephesians 4 verses 17 through 32 itemize what needs to be replaced.

THE OLD MAN

Ephesians 4:17 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, (After salvation we are to be different from what we once were and from those around us. We are to have control over our mind and thoughts. Those that walk in the “vanity of their minds” allow their mind and thoughts to go about unrestrained.)

Ephesians 4:18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: (A hard heart is the result of turning away from and ignoring the check or voice of God.)

Ephesians 4:19 Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. (When one is past feeling, they are past shame. Psalms 81:11-12 describes a people that refuse to hearken to the voice of God to the extent that he has turned them over to their selfish desires.)

Ephesians 4:20 But ye have not so learned Christ; (Christ was not our example in these actions. We didn’t learn how to behave this way from Jesus.)

Ephesians 4:21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:

Ephesians 4:22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; (Conversation is also to say the way of life or how one carries themselves. In salvation we need to put off the conduct or way of life that we used to live, the old habits, ideas, and behaviors of the old man, to become a…)

THE NEW MAN

Ephesians 4:23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; (Begin to think about live from a new perspective, Isaiah 55:8-9 tell us that God’s thoughts and ways are higher than ours, it is with God’s eyes that we begin to view the world.)

Ephesians 4:24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. (When we are born, we are made in Adam’s image (Genesis 5:3), when man was first created and when we get saved, God makes us in his image (Genesis 1:27). We are completely different.)

Ephesians 4:25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. (The new man considers others, not only putting them first but speaking always with an obligation to always present the truth and be clear in our communication instead of leaving choice details to be determined by the hearer causing confusion.)

Ephesians 4:26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: (It is ok to be angry, in fact we are going to be angry sometimes, but we can be so with out being carnal. When the new man becomes angry he is going to behave or react in a different manner than the old man would. By not letting the sun go down on our wrath, we are taking control over and care of the situation instead of the situation controlling us.)

Ephesians 4:27 Neither give place to the devil. (When we put the previous two scriptures and those following to practice, we are taking opportunities for the devil to work away. We are more careful to watch what is said and done and are more quick to resolve a situation before it gets out of hand, opening the door for the devil to take advantage.)

Ephesians 4:28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. (The new man is a hard worker not willing to mooch off of others, giving and assisting those that are less fortunate. He doesn’t have an attitude of all take and no give.)

Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. (All that is said should be for the good offering encouragement, grace, strength, wisdom and not fluff or hurtful words.)

Ephesians 4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. (If we are not faithful in the things that we have learned or feel a warning from God and don’t head it we will grieve the Holy Spirit. While we can grieve the Holy Spirit and still be saved, if we continue to cause grief we can loose our soul.)

Ephesians 4:31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: (The attributes that need to be discarded along with the old man when we receive salvation.)

Ephesians 4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. (The characteristics that we need to acquire along with the new man that we become after salvation.) KJV

As Christian’s let’s be careful to put off ALL of the old man and add ALL of the new man, God does not accept hybrids.

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