Knowing God Better

The Valley of Dry Bones, Knowing God Better

Daily Spirit & Word: 784: Getting to Know God Better.

How to LIVE Forever, without being ‘RELIGIOUS’…

Ezekiel 37:13-14 (NIV)
13  Then you, my people, will know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves and bring you up from them.
14  I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the LORD have spoken, and I have done it, declares the LORD.’ “

Good morning my friends, over the years I’ve met many people who consider themselves to be Christians, but struggle to know God personally. These are lovely genuine and sincere people who’ve done everything, they think, that’s required to get to know God.

  • They’ve repented of their sins, but nothing seems to happen.
  • They’ve asked Jesus to come into their hearts, but nothing seems to have happened.
  • They’ve believed that Jesus has died upon the cross for their sins, but still nothing seems to have happened in their lives, they got no assurance that God is with them and that they are saved from their sins. So what’s missing?

It’s often a case of mistaken beliefs; or misbeliefs.

Some people think they’ve got to do something extra. So they try being even more religious: Praying more, reading their Bible more, attending lots-n-lots of worship. Then they’ll go running around trying all the latest ‘religious’ fads; fasting, all night prayers, revival meetings. They attend courses, and lectures and they’ll even try getting a degree in theology and all because they want to get to know God. They are hungering for the one thing that’s missing, they know something is missing and they know they need it.

My friends, if there was anything you could do to get to know God, then Jesus would not have had to die upon the Cross.

Assurance comes from God: He, Himself, Alone lets you know when you’ve become His child, when the Holy Spirit comes to take up residence in your life; i.e. You’ve been born again of God’s Holy Spirit. From the moment that happens, you won’t need anyone in this world to give you assurance that you are saved, that you are a child of God. You’ll not need to be religious any longer. You’ll be set free from the feeling of or need to be religious to be right with God.

In this little book of Ezekiel the Prophet of God tells us over 30 times: (in different ways) “My People Will KNOW that I AM The LORD” and How will they know it? Because as our verse tells us today: “I will PUT MY SPIRIT IN THEM” When God does that to a person, they KNOW HIM, they KNOW the LORD.

So often we settle for much less than God wants to give us, we stop short at being religious, when God wants us to be filled to overflowing with Himself in the person of the Holy Spirit. Once we understand that, then all of Jesus other teachings begin to make more sense. We’ll see that because of and with His indwelling power and help, all things become possible for those who believe and trust in and rely upon the Lord Jesus Christ.

Jesus, talking about the Holy Spirit, told the woman at the well about the FOUNTAIN within, welling up… LIVING WATER…  Awesome! John 4

So my friends, a word from the LORD today: It’s God who puts His Spirit in you. When He does, you will KNOW Him.

And when you worship, it will be IN SPIRIT and TRUTH… John 4.

How do I get God’s Holy Spirit?

Ask, Jesus tells us, “Ask and it shall be given unto you”… (Matthew 7:7, Luke 11:9)

Ask, Jesus tells us, “How much more with your Heavenly Father give the HOLY SPIRIT to those who ask HIM”… (Believe and Trust). (Luke 11:13).

If you’ve;

  • believed that Jesus died upon the Cross for your sins.
  • that He rose again from the dead,
  • that He ascended into Heaven,
  • that He commands all people to repent and believe that Good News,
  • that He wants you to receive Him as LORD of your life,
  • that you’ve turned from sin in repentance and trusted in His death upon the cross,
  • oh my friends, you are READY: Now ask, receive by faith the Holy Spirit that God the Father wants to give you.

Be assured, He will come: He will make Himself KNOWN in your life, you will KNOW God.

THE FRUIT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

When He comes, He’ll begin to produce the fruit of the Holy Spirit in your life;

  • LOVE (For God and others),
  • JOY (much more and deeper than simple happiness, it’s a deep and lasting JOY in the LORD),
  • PEACE (Fear begins to dwindle when you’ve got the Holy Spirit),
  • PATIENCE (You’ll experience a degree of tolerance with other people, with situations, with your own desires and wants, they’ll change and you’ll begin to want what God wants),
  • KINDNESS (You’ll find yourself wanting to be generous with your time, your money, your self),
  • GOODNESS (You’ll want to be morally good, all the old habitual sins will become distasteful for you. You’ll hate what you used to like),
  • FAITHFULNESS (You’ll love being faithful to your promises, and feel bad when you can’t keep them. You’ll be faithful to friends, family, church leaders and brothers and sisters in Christ),
  • GENTLENESS (You’ll discover and NEW gentleness and desire to show mercy to those who don’t even like you),
  • SELF-CONTROL (You’ll experience a NEW degree of POWER to say no to; anger, bitterness, rage, temptation, etc)

 

It’s God who does these things in you, it will be a Super-Natural-Spiritual FREEDOM….

It’s God who puts His Holy Spirit in you: He also gives wonderful amazing SPIRITUAL Gifts… Receive them!

My friends, who doens’t want the FRUIT of the HOLY SPIRIT?

Get to know God Better today, by receiving God, the HOLY SPIRIT by Asking Father God…

It’s not about being more religious, but calling out in FAITH, and believing the PROMISES of God.

Happy, Happy Day,

Don.

 

(NOTE: Go back and re-read Ezekiel chapters 28-39 and you’ll see just how much God wants His chosen people to know Him and how he’s going to do it through many different means, to bring them to the point and realisation; it’s through death to self and rising to new life in Christ Jesus in the POWER of the HOLY SPIRIT.)

 

Get Your Personal Revelation Of Jesus

Revelation Jesus Christ

Daily Spirit & Word: 688: “Don’t Be Afraid, It’s Me, Jesus”

You Need: “A Personal Revelation Of Jesus.”

Good morning my friends, well, it was a FALSE ALARM, Stephanie is still waiting and so are we, the baby didn’t come last night. Ahhh… It won’t be long though! You know that WAITING on something helps us to learn to be PATIENT.

Today we’re back with Revelation and John is describing the Vision that he had of Jesus. The words that John used to describe his vision of Jesus reveal that Lord in Heaven looks like: A King in Splendour, A High Priest and A Judge.

Revelation 1:12-18 (NIV)
12  I turned round to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands,
13  and among the lampstands was someone “like a son of man”, dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash round his chest.
14  His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire.
15  His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters.
16  In his right hand he held seven stars, and out of his mouth came a sharp double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.
17  When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last.
18  I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.

When John, who was “In The Spirit” heard the thunderous / trumpet like sound, he’s telling us what we’d all instinctively do; He turned to see who it was that was speaking so loudly. This is reminiscent of the rumbling thunderous sound that Moses and the People of Israel heard when the Lord was on the Mountain and Moses ascended to receive the Ten Commandments. Of course we know it was the SAME voice speaking. In contrast it’s different from the “Small Quiet Voice” King David heard.

The Seven Golden Lampstands: Remind us of the Tabernacle with it’s golden lampstand and Seven lamps that were meant to be lit every day by the Priest. Here in Revelation we’ll see that they represent Seven Churches, but even those churches are representative of every Church / Christian down through the ages. (See Also: Exodus 25:31-32, 37). You’ll note that the Lampstand in the Tabernacle on Earth was just one with seven lamps on top, this lampstand represented the Unity of the Tribes of Israel. However, in Heaven they are individual Lampstands and they represent Churches in Heaven. We are to keep shining our light for Jesus Christ in this world, our light is shining in Heaven too.

The Son of Man: “Someone “Like A SON of Man””… We know from both the Old Testament and Jesus own revelation in the Gospels that this is Jesus. He was God whilst he was on the Earth, but He looked just like everybody else, like the son of an ordinary man. i.e. John is telling us, though He looked like a human being, there was something very different about Him. We’ll see that too, because how many ordinary men do you see carrying Stars in their hands or having a sword coming out of their mouth and feet like molten hot metal or a face as bright as the sun in all it’s brilliance? Ezekiel 1:26 and Daniel 7:31. However, Jesus is in Heaven just like a human being. He’s like us but very different. He’s the same Jesus who walked and talked and touched unclean people to make them whole again. He’s the same Jesus who’s hands were pierced by nails. However, we’re going to see He’s also very different in Heaven.

The Dress of the Son of Man: “dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash round his chest.” Who else do we know who dresses like that? Of course it’s the High Priest and Kings. The Golden Sash is like the Priest’s Girdle which was worn high and under his breast. The Gold represents Royalty.

Jesus is not just sitting on a Throne in Heaven: He’s our Great Hight Priest and Our Advocate (Lawyer) with the Father (1 John 2:1) I read somewhere that, “In Heaven Jesus is doing more for us every day, than He did for us upon the Cross” I know that sounds strange, but Jesus is continually coming before the Father on your behalf. He’s the High Priest and His Sacrifice upon the Cross is a constant reminder in Heaven that He paid the price of all your sins. Now He pleads your cause with the Father. That’s how we can approach the Throne with boldness, we’re completely covered in the Righteousness of Christ.

White Hair and Blazing Eyes: Those eyes sound so scary don’t they. I’ve seen movies with creatures with blazing eyes, but the LORD’S blazing eyes are eyes that can SEE everything. He knows everything. His Holy Eyes are on FIRE.

NOTE: John is describing the whole person: His clothes, His movement (Amongst the Golden Lampstands) What Jesus is holding: Stars (He’s the Creator of the Universe and holds all things and keeps all things. Jesus continually keeps Creation in check. His maintenance of His Creation is continual). He describes his face, his hair, his eyes, his mouth… WOWzer! John wants you and me to know EXACTLY what he saw, and was instructed by the Lord Jesus Christ to write it down.

NOTE: Even though John falls down on his face, Jesus reaches out and touches him

Revelation 1:17-18.
17  When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. 18  I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.

Imagine how John must have felt, the same Jesus that he’d been with, ate with, listened to and watched upon the Earth is now Glorified and say those words to John “Do not be afraid”. It reminds me of Jesus words to the Disciples who were afraid when they saw Jesus walking upon the water, “Don’t be afraid, it’s me”… He’s saying the same thing to John here, “John, don’t be scared, it’s me, yes I’m different looking, but it’s me”…

He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me and talks with me along life’s narrow way.
He lives, He lives, salvation to impart!
You ask me how I know He lives?
He lives within my heart.

Jesus tells John “I AM the first and the last, I AM the Living One; I was dead, and behold I AM alive for ever and ever”…

WOWzer again! Jesus is ALIVE in Heaven: He’s not some ghost or spectre, He really is LIVING, ALIVE and today people on the Earth can truly know and experience the Living Christ.

It was awesome the first time I knew that Jesus was alive. It was before I was a Christian, before I ever submitted to Him as my Lord. It was 1984, I’d been attending church in order to get my child baptised. I didn’t want anything for myself, but if this God was real, I wanted the best for my child. I was shocked, frightened and startled to discover that Jesus Christ really is ALIVE and Knows all about me. I knew Jesus was alive, but it took me a long while to come to Him in Faith and Repentance and to receive Him as Lord of my life. It took about a month after my first revelation, but I knew Jesus was alive. When I received Him as my Lord, I was in no doubt whatsoever what I was doing. Peace and Joy flooded my being, when Jesus was in me, it was as if the whole earth had been renewed. I saw things in a very different way and appreciated the smell of wet mud, it was beautiful to me.

My friends, just like John, Paul, Peter and countless thousands of others, you too can MEET the Living One: The one who was dead and is ALIVE for ever and ever. When you get your own personal revelation, that you KNOW Jesus as Lord, Saviour, Master, Friend, you will NEVER doubt. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. My own faith sprang to life when I heard Jesus being preached, I KNEW He was alive and real long before I submitted to Him as Lord. Don’t leave it too long before you say to Jesus, “I know you died upon the Cross for my sins, I repent and ask forgiveness and receive You Jesus as my Lord”…

My friends, do you know that becoming a Christian today, as it has always been, is not about coming to church, getting baptised etc, it’s all about coming to Jesus Christ. Knowing that He’s alive and submitting to Him as Lord of your life. Then going to church will be your delight. Missing church is a heartache for someone who really KNOWS Jesus. Because, we KNOW that when we gather together with other brothers and sisters in God’s Family, Christ Jesus Himself comes into our midst in wonderful ways. When you KNOW HIM, you are in Him and He’s in you. So don’t get religious get Jesus. Turn now in repentance and faith and trust Jesus as your Saviour today.

Have a great day; The words that jump out to me today are “Don’t be afraid, it’s me, Jesus”…

Don.

P.S. I’m singing this great old Hymn now. It’s one that’s touched my life so many times. It’s OLD but brilliant.

He LIVES: “I Serve A Risen Saviour”.

I serve a risen Saviour
He’s in the world today.
I know that He is living,
Whatever men may say.
I see His hand of mercy;
I hear His voice of cheer;
And just the time I need Him
He’s always near.

Chorus:
He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me and talks with me along life’s narrow way.
He lives, He lives, salvation to impart!
You ask me how I know He lives?
He lives within my heart.

2

In all the world around me
I see His loving care,
And though my heart grows weary,
I never will despair;
I know that He is leading,
Through all the stormy blast;
The day of His appearing
Will come at last.

3

Rejoice, rejoice, O Christian,
Lift up your voice and sing
Eternal hallelujahs
To Jesus Christ the King!
The Hope of all who seek Him,
The Help of all who find,
None other is so loving,
So good and kind.

Who told you that you were naked?

Sin and Disobedience

Daily Spirit & Word: The Fall of Mankind into Sin.

“I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”
Good morning my friends, my holiday is over, I’m back at work, it’s been awesome to have a long break from my usual routine, but it’s also good to get back to ‘normal’. It’s early morning and I’m up with my Lord Jesus. You know something, I’ve been meeting with Him every single day of my holiday, because you cannot have a holiday from being a follower of Jesus.

Yesterday someone came around to my house and asked me this question; “How many times can you go away from the Lord before you finally and fully fall away?” It was a simple and honest question. When someone asks me a question like that, I know that it’s like a loaded-gun or an iceberg, there far more below the surface than above the water. Some people have said to me, “How can you fit 120 men inside one of those, referring to my Submarine?” Then I have to explain, “You know my friend, an Submarine is much like an iceberg, there’s far more beneath the water than there is above” If you could see a Submarine in a dry-dock then you’d realise what I mean, it’s an immense piece of exciting engineering which always reminds me of a whale.

My response was, “You only need to go away from the Lord ONCE before it becomes permanent.” His face fell immediately, because, as I’d guessed, he was looking for a way to excuse his life of sin. You see my friends, we cannot have a holiday away from the Lord once we’ve started upon the journey of faith with Jesus. Do you remember the Lord’s words on this subject?

Hand to the Plough:

Luke 9:62 “And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

But I’m going through Genesis at the moment and a phrase jumped out a me this morning:

Genesis 3:7-11 7  Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realised that they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. 
8  Then the man and his wife heard the sound (voice) of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden.
9  But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?” 
10  He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” 
11  And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree from which I commanded you not to eat?” 

Thankfully, those who’ve trusted in Christ Jesus have been SAVED:

Colossians 1:13-14 13  “For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14  in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”

When we come to Jesus who knows the end from the beginning, He knows your whole life, even before you gave in and trusted Him as your Saviour, so He knows those times that you’ll yield to temptation, that you’ll be weak and fall into sin. And He still gives you the blessings of the knowledge of forgiveness and a new heart to obey Him. What amazing grace and mercy.

Yes Jesus has ‘rescued’ you from the dominion of darkness: However, we still get those same, Adam like, feelings of separation when we sin. Remember how Adam and Eve, once they’d eaten the forbidden fruit, made coverings for themselves out of leaves and hid themselves in the garden of Eden. What was it that made them hide? They heard the voice of the Lord in the garden. The Lord was either singing or saying something out loud, and the voice of the Lord became a terror to them. They knew that they were naked; i.e. that the Lord could see what they’d done, it was open before Him who’s eyes see and know everything. It’s the same with anyone who sins, even just a little, the mere fact and act of disobedience has the exact same effect, we all want to run away and hide from God, from his presence, from His Holy voice. We don’t want to see Him, we don’t want to hear Him, we don’t want to be anywhere near Him, so we run away and hide and try our best to cover-up our shameful nakedness.

Asking that question, “How many times can we go away from God before it becomes permanent?” is like asking “How many times can I choose to sin and get away with it?” The answer is “NONE” You’ll never get away with it, God knows it all and He’s right there as a witness to every single act or thought of disobedience.

Alexander Maclaren has said it brilliantly: “These are still the two lies which wile us to sin: ‘It will do you no harm,’ and ‘You are cheating yourselves out of good by not doing it.’ Alexander Expositions of Holy Scripture – Genesis.

When God asked Adam, “Who told you that you were naked?” He KNEW that Adam and Eve had eaten and had received the knowledge of Good and Evil.

My friend related how he’d been feeling; that there was an emptiness, a barrenness, how God seemed distant, far away. Then he said something amazing, “You know, I know, that God has not moved away, it’s me”…

Temptation to sin: We’ve already lost the battle when we’re thinking to ourselves; “I wonder how many times I can do this and get away with it?”

Disobedience: Acting or Thinking sinfully; results in cutting us off from the Lord. Even after we’ve come to faith and trust in Jesus. Until we get right with Him again we’re separated from Him, we’re not walking with Him, we’re in the darkness and there is a feeling that we want to cover-up our shameful nakedness, to hide our inner-self from the Lord. There is no peace when we’re walking in the darkness. There is no joy in our hearts.

“Who told you that you were naked?”

When we choose to sin, afterwards it’s like the LORD is not there, as if our relationship has died, we’re cut-off from Him. We’ll also get fearful and want to run and hide from God, because we become aware that He can see right through us. 

When Temptations Come:

We’ve got a choice: We can listen to God’s voice, His witness within, our Conscience, that will be crying out to us; “This will lead to the death of your relationship with God”. Or we can reason with ourselves and con ourselves into believing; It’s not that bad, everyone else is doing it, everybody thinks it’s OK, it won’t do me any harm, why not enjoy yourself, you deserve it, you’ve earned the right to enjoy it”

But Moses Chose A Different Way:

Hebrews 11:25  “He chose to be ill-treated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time.”

When we choose to follow God’s WAY: It’s costly in terms of dying to self, in saying “No!” to the pleasures of sin for a season.

Hebrews 11:25  “Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;”

Yes we can enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season, but whilst we’re doing so, we’ll be doing it away from Jesus and it will be as if He’s dead to us, as if He’s not real, as if there is no God. The realisation will come to us that we’re NAKED and we’ll want to run and hide like Adam and Eve. But just like a dark-cloud hides the sun, the sun still continues to shine behind it’s dark lining; so God continues to reign and rule behind the darkness of our disobedience.

Just as God called out in the Garden of Eden for Adam: “Adam, Where are you?” He’s calling out to you and me today: “Where are you?”

  • Are you walking with the Lord?
  • Are you seeking to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season?

Have an awesome day with Jesus. Choose LIFE, JOY, PEACE and FELLOWSHIP with God today. It’s going to be FREEDOM and FOUNTAINS of LOVE flowing within.

Prayer: “Dear Lord Jesus, I pray today that when temptation comes, I’ll be listening to You in my heart. Help me to know that choosing to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season is like death to my relationship with You. This day Lord; I’m choosing LIFE and the joy that comes as I walk with You. Help me Lord! Amen.”

Don.