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Faithlife

Knowing God Intimately # 2a

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You can never come to know God deeply with SHALLOW CONVERSATION or even by your prayer requests. Intimacy with Him requires much time spent alone with Him. The deepest working of the Holy Spirit comes during the time spent alone in His presence. When we set time aside for fellowship with God we’re entering into the richest experience of the Christian life. You were created for fellowship, fellowship with God. This is the only thing that will satisfy the desires of man.

     I. Every person has a void on the inside of them that only a relationship with God can fulfill.

              A. The World is always searching to find this fulfillment.

                        1. Many turn to drinking to satisfy this void, some turn to drugs, some turn to a wild life style, some gambling, cars, houses others money or power.

                                  b. The only way for them to find that fulfillment is in God through the Lord Jesus Christ.

              B. But even Christians can have a void.

                        1. They may know who God is. They know Jesus as Lord and Savior.

                        2. But they still feel a void on the inside of them.

                                  a. Maybe you feel that void on the inside, you might be thinking, “That this all there is to life, is this all there is to the Christian life.” Maybe you feel an emptiness on in inside.

                                  b. That emptiness and void is only going to be filled by an intimate relationship with God.

                                  c. We were created to fellowship with God. (1st Corinthians 1:9) Says, “God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.”

                                           i. (1JO 1:3) Says, “Truly our fellowship {is} with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.”

                        3. That fellowship with God is going to be much better and much deeper when you are set apart from all the things that clutter your mind.

                                  a. MATT 6:6.

                                           i. It may sometimes feel as though you must drag yourself into the presence of God.

                                           ii. Even when you are physically alone, your mind can be racing in many directions.

                                  b. When you set time aside to be alone with the Lord, it’s easy to waste that time with God by letting your mind wander.

                                           i. Jesus said to enter your closet (or chamber) and shut the door.

                                           ii. We need to shut the door of our mind to all the distractions that would draw our attention and bring your mind under control.

              C. You’ll find that worship is one of the greatest ways of being receptive to God.

                        1. Just begin to worship Him.

                                  a. When you FIRST enter into your prayer closet SING A SONG OF PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING to the Lord, IN ENGLISH OR IN THE SPIRIT. 1st CORINTHIANS 14:14-17 EPHESIANS 5:18-19.

                            b. Then enter into the holiest of Holies by singing a worshipful song (even if it’s a song you made up); speak to Him of your love and adoration, or begin to sing in the spirit.

                                  b. Soon you’ll find all those things that were cluttering your mind taking their rightful placeoutside the door of your inner chamber.

                        2. This is not the time for requests, but rather to simply enter into His presence, enjoying His fellowship, and to listen for His leadings. But it’s also a time of assurance. You have a knowing that God is near.

                                  a. It is in these times of closeness to God that you have the greatest understanding of His willingness to be involved in your life.

                                  b. And it’s in these times that you’ll gain a strength, a new confidence, an establishing of your emotions, and a deepening of your appreciation for all that He is.

                                           i. You’ll find that you can trust Him like never before, because you’ll know Him like never before.

     II. JER 17:7–8 This is a great description of one who has learned to put His trust in God. (True trust only comes from fellowship).

              A. Your time in your inner chamber causes your roots to reach deep into God.

                        1. Deep roots make strong, healthy trees.

                                  a. Most trees have as much under the ground in root systems as they do above the ground in branches and leaves.

                                  b. The ROOT represents your PRIVATE LIFE WITH GOD.

                                           i. The LEAVES are the PUBLIC LIFE that others see.

                                           ii. When a life of private fellowship is developed it will be evident as you minister and deal with people publicly. But it will also become evident by the level of joy that is in your life.

                                  c. Many Christians spend the majority of their time with God in public settings—either church, Bible studies, Prayer meetings.

                                           i. You need at least as much beneath the surface as you have above the surface.

                        2. Deep roots create stability and confidence when the storms come. (In Michigan)…

                                  a. When you have that stability there is a peace that goes along with it because you tapped into the source of strength.

                                           i. When everything in the Christian experience is above ground, there is very little stability.

                                           ii. And because of that they lack confidence in God and they’re so easily tossed back and forth.

                        3. It’s in the quiet times in His presence, worshiping, waiting, praising, and listening that you enter the highest level of prayer.

                                  a. These are the times that God will speak to you where you can hear Him, and He will show you His wisdom and His will.

                                  b. (PSA 81:13–16 Says from the NIV), “If my people would but listen to me, if Israel would follow my ways (Moffatt’s- live my life), how quickly would I subdue their enemies and turn my hand against their foes! Those who hate the Lord would cringe before him, and their punishment would last forever. But you would be fed with the finest of wheat; with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.”

                                           i. God clearly states what His people will experience if they listen! (Listening comes from fellowship).

                                           ii. Their enemies would be subdued, and God would supply them with the finest in life.

                                           iii. God offers His wisdom and His direction in our lives, but it only comes by listening. And we hear the best when we’re in His presence.

              B. In the N. T. we find many references where Jesus spent time alone to hear from His Father.

                        1. Jesus was always looking to His father for guidance, direction, and fellowship.

                                  a. Jesus said in (JOHN 5:19) “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.”

                                  b. The night before Jesus picked the 12 disciples; He went to the mountains to pray.

                                  c. Look at Luke 6:12–13.

                                           i. Why did Jesus go to the mountains to pray?

                                           ii. So He can be alone with God.

                                           iii. And so He could see what the Father’s will was.

                                           iv. So He could get the Father direction and guidance.

                        2. It’s the deep roots, which are produced, in private fellowship that brings the power.

     III. Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness. When He returned, He came in the power of the Spirit.

              A. He was led into a time of fasting and prayer before beginning His public ministry. He was led into a time of fellowship with God.

                        1. My amplified Bible has a direct link from this verse to a verse in the Old Testament about Moses.

                                  a. Moses is a type of Christ. He is known as the DELIVERER. Jesus is our deliverer.

                                  b. What Moses did in his walk with God, Jesus did much of the same. Moses was a type and shadow of Christ.

                                  c. When Jesus fasting 40 days and 40 nights more than likely he went without food AND WATER.

                                           i. Look at Exodus 34:28.

                        2. Jesus wasn’t led into wilderness so the Devil could take shots at Him. Oh, when you do something for God is guaranteed that the Devil will try to stop it, like he did with Jesus.

                                  a. But Jesus was there in the wilderness to complete His preparation for ministry.

                                           i. To stay in God presence. Then He returned in the power of the Spirit.

                        3. Only if all of us could learn this one truth. IF JESUS NEEDED TO GO INTO THE PRESENCE OF HIS FATHER TO BE RENEWED, FIND DIRECTION and TO BE EMPOWERED, how much more do we need to do this.

              B. In this verse that we just read (Exodus 34:29) Moses had been fasting 40 days. He was given the 10 commandments and was on his way down from mountain Sinai.

                        1. Let’s read it again EXO 34:29–30.

                                  a. Moses was in the presence of God for 40 days. There was a dramatic outward effect – an unconscious effect.

                                           i. Moses was not even aware of the shine of God’s glory on his face.

                                  b. (This will also happen to you.) [New birth people change on the outside.]

                                           i. You may not shine as Moses did, but through your communion and fellowship with God YOUR LIFE AND ATTITUDES will be greatly affected.

                                           ii. The change in your life will be just as impressive as the shine of God’s glory upon Moses. (Joy, peace, your attitudes, God’s power, and victory.)

              C. As you enter into God’s presence in worship and shut out the distractions of your mind, you step into the Holy of Holies.

                        1. That is the sanctuary of the Lord, and you enter in spirit to the place of nearness to God.

                        2. In the book of Ezekiel we find some priests who were faithful to minister unto God, so let’s turn there. Ezekiel 44:15-16.

 

                                  a. The sons of Zadok continued to enter the sanctuary even when others had abandoned God. (“Zadok” means “RIGHTEOUS” in the Hebrew).

                                  b. In the following Vs. they were told not to where anything into the inner court that may cause them to PERSPIRE.

                                           i. Then, when they went to the outer court to minister to the people, the CLOTHES they wore while ministering to God were LEFT BEHIND so they would not become contaminated.

                        3. When you come into His presents you know that Jesus has already gone before you to prepare the way.

                                  a. You can enter with complete confidence because He has GIVEN you His ROBE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS through your simple faith in Him.

                                  b. It’s NOT BY YOUR OWN PERSPIRATION, not even your work for God, that brings you near to Him, but only by your confidence in Jesus’ sacrifice and a willingness to enter.

                        4. He said, “They shall come near to me to minister to me.” This is service to God that can be done no other way.

                                  a. You must come before Him. You cannot serve Him from a distance.

                                  b. The OUTER COURT is where YOU APPROACH PEOPLE, (where you minister to people and do things for God in service) but the INNER COURT is where you APPROACH GOD.

                                  c. Many times we feel that all we do in the outer court (ministering and serving people) gives us a good excuse for not drawing near to God in the inner court.

                                           i. But WITHOUT CLOSENESS TO GOD through fellowship and through ministry to Him in your inner chamber, you’ll find that your WORK for God is simply DONE IN THE FLESH.

                        5. It seems that there is a lot of sweat in today’s ministries and little waiting quietly in the presence of God to obtain His counsel and wisdom.

                                  a. I want God to look at me and my service to Him and say as He did about the sons of Zadok, “He shall be my minister and shall stand before me.”

                                  b. Your input will determine your output. As you draw close to Him, His very presence will saturate you with His influence.

                                  c. He will put in you the things that He wants to flow through you.

                        2. Let’s begin to have that time alone with the Lord.

                                  a. God wants to USE YOU. He wants to FLOW THROUGH YOU. And He wants to BLESS YOU and MOVE IN YOUR LIVES, but it’s going to take that commitment on our part to press in to know Him. That’s when WE’LL BEGIN TO TRUST HIM AND RELY ON HIM like never before. And that’s when we’re to see the power of God moving in our lives.

WOLCC SUN A.M. 3/22/92 and Sunday, May 09, 1999 and Sunday, May 16, 1999 and Sunday, May 23, 1999. From Dennis Burke’s book called “Knowing God Intimately” pages 23 through 36.

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