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Chapter 6
Living With God

 

It was an effort, at first, to discipline myself to include God in my life. My habits had been well established, and they were very self-motivated. I praise the Lord that, over the years, I had come to the place where what the world offered did not have the same appeal that it once had. You see, I was one of those whom God wooed for a long time before I fell in love with Him. When I finally did, there developed within me a deep desire to be close to Him, and I did not want to wait for Heaven to experience it.

I read in the scriptures that God was anxious to reveal Himself to me, and that realization became very exciting. The desire to know Him intensified, and I began to seek Him with my whole being. As I did, my entire perspective on life changed, and he became the primary focus of my attention. And so it has been. Now, we converse continuously,

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and I enjoy His presence all the time.

As you might suspect, my old nature still screams constantly to be satisfied, but I have given myself to God because I want Him to control my will.

Romans 12:1,2, says,

"Therefore, I urge you, Brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - which is your spiritual worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - His good, pleasing and perfect will." (NIV)

May I paraphrase this wonderful truth for you? I believe the Holy Spirit has conveyed in this passage,

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"Since we are not going to Hell (He is talking to Christians), even though that is where we deserve to go, we should give our bodies to God for His purposes. As a living person, we are thus giving God control of our lives and this pleases Him. We worship Him by this act. We should no longer live as the people of the world do. Instead, we should become completely changed by reprogramming our minds with information, seen or heard, that pleases God. Then we will experience for ourselves, and accept with our wills, what God's will is - His good, pleasing, and perfect will."

When we give ourselves to God in this way, the Holy Spirit controls our wills, and we live in victory over our old natures and the passions of our bodies. Glory to God! What peace this brings, what joy, what release from the devastating bondage of sin.

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One of the most pleasurable experiences in human relationships is that of talking with each other. However, the privilege of conversation is so often taken for granted, and sometimes, it is even abused. The major problem, in almost all areas of communication, is that we fail to listen. We concentrate so much on what we want to say that others hardly get a chance to speak. When we do stop long enough for the other person to say something, we don't hear them, because we are thinking about what we want to say next. This problem is intensified when both persons insist on talking at the same time. And, communication is impossible when a group of people all talk simultaneously.

When we visit with people, we should always be as anxious to listen as we are to speak. This should especially be the case with those whom we love. So, when we visit with God, we must be sure to give Him plenty of time to talk to us.

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Without question, we are needy people, and God wants us to tell Him about all our needs. You should be confident of that. However, when we consider that we are conversing with God who knows everything, it behooves us to, again, give Him much opportunity to speak. We are not only discourteous, but, we are foolish if we don't.

Mary will always be remembered, by those who know their Bibles, as the lady who wanted to sit at the feet of Jesus to hear what He had to say. But, her sister Martha will be remembered as a lady who was distracted by all of the preparations that she "had to make". Oh, how often life's activities cause us to be distracted from visiting with God.

I have shared with a number of individuals the exciting truth that God wants to reveal Himself to us, and become our constant companion. The reactions have been mixed, but one attitude that I have seen bothers me. A number of people have conveyed that

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"They just don't have time to be always talking to God".

Certainly, there are reasons for this response. Obviously, the relationship that these persons have with God is, at best, limited. They may also be those who consider themselves to be very self-sufficient. Worse yet they may not be Christians, and so, probably don't believe that God is involved in the activities of people.

What a tragedy it is to miss the pleasure of enjoying God's presence. No "high", no thrill of any kind will ever exceed the exhilaration of being close to him!

We all know that not all of life consists of joy and pleasure. God knows that too. He realizes that we continuously face problems and that we have many needs. Because of His love, He stays by our side to assist us in everything that we face.

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Imagine that you are a scientist, and it is your responsibility to develop a new product for your company. Would you not accept direction and information from The Creator of the Universe?

Suppose that your job was to maintain extremely sophisticated equipment. Do you not believe that God could show you how to make the necessary repairs?

The author, Harold Hill, tells in his book, "How To Live Like a King's Kid", of a technical problem that he faced when a piece of heavy power equipment malfunctioned. Although consultants, and his own company's technicians worked on the problem for two weeks, they finally ran out of ideas and called him for help. Knowing that Jesus, The creator, was the best consultant in the business, Mr. Hill asked Him to reveal the solution. Jesus showed it to him, in such a way that he could see the problem, in his mind, as clearly as you would see a picture on a television screen.

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Reader, please realize, for your benefit, no matter what you do, or how brilliant your God given mind is, you need God's help, and you need it all the time. There is no limit to the impact that God's people would have on society if they would allow Him to direct the activities of their lives. And, the personal benefit they would receive from being close to Him would be more than they could ever dream of.

Oh, the thrill of knowing God and being with Him! Oh, the folly of those who reject Him!

There are many reasons why people develop relationships with others. However, God has made it very clear in His Word, there is only one that is based on righteousness; it is that we desire the highest good for the other person.

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This, of course, is His definition of love. He commands us to love others in Mark 12:30,31.

"'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' ..... 'Love your neighbor as your self.' There is no commandment greater than these." (NIV)

In all relationships, there is a sense in which we prove our love by our actions. God has proven His love for us, over and over, and He requires that we prove our love for Him. However, our relationship with Him is somewhat different from that which we have with others. For example, if I were to require my wife to obey my commands to prove her love for me, she would, justifiably, consider me to be very arrogant and self-centered. But, when God instructed us to keep His commandments, His motivation was

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totally selfless. He knew that we would benefit to obey them and that was His desire.

When God said we should not have other gods, He knew that anything, other than Himself, that we might allow to be our god, would bring ruin to our lives.

God said we should not make idols, because idols can not help us. They will rob us of His blessing.

God told us not to misuse His name, because He knew, if we did, it meant that we had lost our awesome respect for Him. As a result, we were trading His eternal, indescribable blessings for the decaying tinsel that the world offers. Furthermore, His name deserves our respect!

God said, "Remember the Sabbath Day by keeping it "set apart". He commanded this because He wanted us to have one day, each week, for rest, and to have special time to devote to Him. Even He rested on the seventh day. Obviously, if He thought it was

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important to set time aside in this manner, so should we. Furthermore, we can never devote too much time specifically to honor Him.

God said, "Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long......".

God told us not to commit murder, because He did not want you, or anyone else, to be killed.

God said, "Do not commit adultery", because He did not want people to be hurt by the unfaithfulness of their spouse.

God said, "Do not steal", because He did not want anyone to take our things.

God told us not to lie, because He knew that lying creates distrust between people.

God told us not to covet anyone's possessions, because He knew that coveting would make us unhappy.

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God guided the author of Hebrews to write in chapter eleven , verse six,

"Without faith, it is impossible to please God, ....." (NIV)

Solomon wrote in Proverbs, the third chapter, beginning with verse five,

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight (or, direct your paths)." (NIV)

Although we benefit by obeying God and trusting Him for our needs, we must always be motivated by our love for Him, never by selfish gain.

James, chapter four, verse three, says,"

"When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures." (NIV)

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We must remember, God knows our minds and hearts. He can detect even the slightest wrong motive. When we approach Him from a selfish perspective, He will not respond, and, rightfully so. Personally, if I had to choose between God's supernatural help and the incredible pleasure of being in His presence, without question, I would choose the latter.

If you are currently not enjoying God throughout each day of your life, begin now by making the commitment to seek Him with all your heart and soul. Seek Him in His written word. Seek Him in conversation with Him. As you seek Him, make the commitment to obey Him in all things, to love him with all your heart, soul, and mind. Also, determine to include Him in all of life's circumstances.

You may forget to include him, often at first. But, if you continue to seek His presence, depending on the Holy Spirit for inner power and discipline, soon a continuous relationship will be the norm. What a pleasure it will be! What a thrill it is to have Him near, to live with Him here on earth!

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