In my last article I showed you that God is real and He can and wants to be intimate in your life, just as He has done in mine. I share this verse from the Book of James:
James 4:7-8; Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
This takes away the notion or any religious idea that God expects us only to be His subjective servants. Rather, He desires to draw us into an intimate relationship with Himself. But like I said; “the first move has to be ours.” We and only we determine how close of a relationship we have with God. So in this article I want to remove religious trappings and notions that hinder our relationship with God.
God is a Person
God is a person, a real living person. He is not “the force be with you” or some substance that is floating around out there, somewhere in the universe. He is a real living being! I want you to remember and take note of this: We are created in the image of God! We are the off-springs of God. This is important because the wonderful attributes that are in us, are from Him.
The ability to love, to communicate, our desire to have and be in a family, all the good that is in man is from God. Unfortunately, the overwhelming evil we possess is from our fallen nature. I point this out because we are created in His image – not vice-versa! We do not make God conform to our image! When we attempt this, we try to mold Him into our fallen nature. (Exodus 32)
My goal for this article is to take away all the religious trappings and make God’s reality so familiar and understandable that anyone can apply this to their life.
Once again God is a person! I repeat this so we can move to our first step! His name is not God, that is His title, such as Mr. President. If you met Barack Obama, you would not say good-morning Barack, you would say good-morning Mr. President.
My point is, and this is not trivial: in relationships there is always an introduction, either from yourself or from another person. The first thing you do is learn the name of your new acquaintance. So if you have never been introduced to God, let me have the pleasure in doing so… Yahweh or Jehovah (if you desire); this is my reader. Yahweh or Jehovah is God’s proper name. It is more personal and intimate than saying good morning Mr. God. Try saying it; good morning Jehovah, it is nice to meet you.
God takes this even further. God understands who we are and He knows our limitations. The first time we meet God can be very intimidating and overwhelming, Jehovah knows that. Therefore, He has supplied a solution to this intimidating introduction. When God first introduced Himself to Israel at Mount Sinai, that first introduction did not go so well. Israel could not deal with the over-whelming presence of Him. So God supplied us a solution so we would not freak out when He appeared:
His name is Jesus, Emanuel (God with us). God became a real breathing living man! In that human body dwelled Jehovah, Yahweh, our God. When we watch Jesus throughout the gospels, He manifests two magnificent and wonderful things: First: He is “Son of God” as I described above. (Do not get stuck on son, He is God) When we read the gospels we can see God in action. His likes and His dislikes. What He does and how He deals with various issues, His attitudes towards life.
Do you want to clear up your confusion and have an understandable way to decide what your doctrine should be? Simply read and do what Jesus said and did! He is Jehovah. Jesus would not do anything outside His nature. Just following Jesus would clear up most if not all denominational differences. In addition we would then know how to be perfect ambassadors to the nations. What did Jesus say and how did He handle issues on Earth? Various issues such as :
- Sin and the world
- Healing and sickness
- Holy Spirit and baptisms
- Cultural issues
We need to learn what Jesus did and said about every issue and make that our mission and purpose. We as the body of believers would be a lot further ahead in leading people to Christ if we followed Jesus and His teachings. This leads me to the next attribute of Jesus.
Second He is the “Son of Man,” He not only mirrored what God looks like but He also shows us what we, as Spirit-filled people of God should look like. Too many people write off what Jesus did because He was God, but I believe, and scripture shows that every miracle He did, He did as a man. He never used His own deity for the miracles. He did what His Father told Him to do and then relied on the power of the Holy Spirit to fulfill all the miracles he preformed.
This is all important; because if we want to get close to God, we have to see Him for who He is really is, not what the religious legalists portray Him to be. If you are involved in sexual sins and tend toward the wild side, read about how he dealt with the woman caught in adultery (John 8). If you have a business and are struggling with business integrity or at times feel low or down and out, then read about Matthew, his disciple (Matt. 9) and Zacchaeus (Luke 19). If you feel like an outcast and feel as though you do not fit in, read about the woman at the well (John 4). If you tend toward legalism and find yourself at times prideful because of your righteousness, read how Jesus dealt with those that demonstrated religious pride, the Pharisees and Saducees. They thought of themselves as special because of their positions and their education with regards to religious affairs. Jesus spoke of these people, the Pharisees and Saducees throughout the Gospels.
As a side note, you will find that these last two groups, the Pharisees and the Saducees, were the only people that Jesus did not shower with Mercy and Compassion. Jesus never condemned others because of their sexual lifestyle, corruption, divorces and or failures, but Jesus dealt with these religious people differently.
I say all this because no matter what situation you find yourself, good or bad you can always come to Jesus as you are. Nicodemus, the Pharisee came to Jesus seeking truth and found expectance in His presence. The woman caught in adultery most likely was dragged into the town circle naked or maybe with a blanket on her, however she also found acceptance with Jesus. She was never told by Jesus to go get dressed and cleaned up before I help you. Jesus probably looked at her lying there and reached out his hand and said; “who is here to condemn you”? No one and NEITHER DO I? GO AND SIN NO MORE!
So what is your excuse for not coming into His wonderful and loving presence?
With regards to relationships there are two parts to time, one being the time spent to get to know someone, the second covered later, is the actual time spent with someone after you get to know them. It is very hard to get to know someone if you never have time to be with that person. God is no different and in His case, it is even more difficult because you can’t see or hear him very well at first!
When we first meet a new person, what draws us to that person? It is usually because they are attractive or they have a great personality. Jehovah has both, but it take awhile to develop your spiritual senses. If you are not familiar with this, you have five human senses but you also have five spiritual senses. But unlike your natural ones, your spiritual senses have to be developed. I used this verse in the last article:
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Dennis Stauffer (Founder/President and writer of DSI Ministries/Hands In Action)
Gary Green (Editor for DSI Ministries)