Staying Close to God

Posted on January 20, 2012 by


We have all gone through periods in our Christian life where we felt a distance between us and God. In our world today we are so consumed with preoccupation it is almost impossible for us to sit still, much less to be able to still our minds enough for prayer. There is one thing that all of us want, regardless of whether we realize it or not, and that is to be in the presence of God. To be with God is heaven and to be separated from God is hell. None of us want to go to hell. So in one way or another every single person on this earth tries to attain a relationship with God and this includes the people who don’t even believe there is one because it is instilled in the core of our being.

If you are like me, if I am not talking to someone I am general talking to myself. Our mind runs a continual conversation even while we are asleep. Before I surrendered my life to Jesus Christ all my thoughts were on worldly passions. I constantly filled my mind with ways I could please myself. When I gave over my personal ambitions I slowly and methodically turned my thoughts over to pleasing others and when I wasn’t tending to other peoples needs I was concerning myself with their well being. Intercessory prayer is only one way in many we can address God our Father.

God is constantly trying to speak to us. He does this primarily through the Bible, however many times when He is trying to speak to us, we are not listening. In our lighting fast world it is difficult for us to go to a quiet room, close the door, get down on our knees, close our eyes and pray. So I have adopted a new approach. I call it high speed prayer. Your eyes are open, you are moving about your daily routine and in your mind you are running a continual conversation with God. Now mind you I said conversation. I speak to Him and in turn He speaks to me. There are some requirements you have to meet to attain this marvelous relationship. If you do not pay attention to your conscience it will harden your heart towards God, it will destroy your peace of mind and the voice of God will depart from you. Give Him everything.  Hold back nothing because nothing is what you will have in the end without Him. Surrender your entire life, your will, your emotions and your possessions. All you are doing is giving back to Him what is already His anyway. This is the only way God can regenerate us through the Holy Spirit.  He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by  the Holy Spirit.

But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared,  he saved us,not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirsaccording to the hope of eternal life.Titus 3:4-7 ESV

Let us face it together, the time already past is sufficient for you to have carried out the desires of this life, having already pursued the course of worldliness it is time for you to set a new course of righteousness.

For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
and his ears are open to their prayer.
But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” I Peter 3:12 ESV

The person that does right in the eyes of God, their prayers are answered.  God will count you worthy of your calling and fulfill every good desire you have in prayer through faith because a person that does what is right lives by faith and everything on this earth that is not faith separates us from God. Now as wonderful as all this sounds it does not happen overnight.  It is a gradual process that happens over time according to each one’s ability. You are already blanketed by the sacrificial blood of Jesus Christ. Your sins have been completely blotted out for eternity. This is the process for daily, hourly, by the minute fellowship with God.

So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. Romans 10:17 ESV

We are not born with faith. It is not something that falls out of the sky and into our head. There is absolutely nothing magical or mystical about it. It is earned through diligent Bible study. Sure if you sit in church every Sunday and listen to the sermon you will receive faint glimpses of faith, but to receive a faith which creates a constant communion with God requires a craving, I mean almost an addiction for the secrets that lie in wait,  hidden in the Word of God.

You and I have two natures: an old nature and a new nature. The new nature will not sin. It never sins but it has a desire for God and for the things of God. That old nature will sin, and it is because of it that a believer does sin. We know that the law was provided to us by God and is spiritual in nature, but we are born in this world in the flesh and we are a prisoner to sin. We do things that we do not understand and we do not practice what we would like to do.  We know what is right, we agree with the law, but many times we do the very thing we hate. It is very important for you to understand that we are no longer the one doing what we ourselves disapprove of, but it is sin which dwells inside of us. I know there is nothing good inside of me, that is my flesh. I am willing to do good but the doing of good is not there.  In my heart I want to do what is right, but I am constantly practicing the very thing I don’t want to do. I know this concept is difficult to understand, but if I am doing the very thing I don’t want to do, I am no longer doing it, but sin which dwells inside.

When you surrender everything to Christ you are accepting the principle that evil is present in you, but you joyfully concur with the law of God in your inner person. We see a different law in the members of our body, waging a war against the law of our mind and making us a prisoner of the law of sin which our body is made for. It is an amazing thing, we have to surrender to become free, we have to give ourselves away to gain control through Jesus Christ.

For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. Romans 8:13 ESV

So set your mind on the spiritual things  that are in heaven and don’t concern yourself with the things of this earth. Consider the members of this earthly body dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire and greed. Put also aside all anger, wrath, malice, slander and filthy speech. Stop lying to one another since all these things are found only on this earth. Your citizenship is of heaven, of which these things are not done. Practice these things now so you will be prepared for your future. Have a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Forgive one another and forget what people have done to you so that God will forgive you. Have love in your heart for all you come in contact with and let the peace of Jesus Christ rule over your thoughts.

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus,giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17 ESV

Sin has a domino effect. If we continue to let it build up inside of us it will cause us to turn away from God. This is the second thing we need to pray about, the things we do that we know

God does not approve . We need to have a daily conversation with Him about the times we lose control and give into lies, lust and anger. This releases the burden we carry and keeps us close to God. I knew a famous preacher who, if his heart gave way to hatred or lust or any other sin for that matter, he would stop in the middle of the street if he had to and ask God for forgiveness. It was that important to him to stay close to God.

 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand;  do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:5-6 ESV

Eight hundred million people go to bed every day without eating any food whatsoever. Five hundred million of them are children. If you make ten thousand dollars per year, you make more money than eighty-five percent of the population of earth. If you make fifty thousand dollars a year you make more money than ninety-nine percent of the population of this planet. Regardless of your situation here in the United States of American, you really don’t have anything to complain about. The third part of prayer is thanksgiving. Take the time to thank God for everything. This means so much to Him. It tells Him you appreciate all the blessings He has bestowed upon you. Blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the Lord your God. Blessings are on the head of who that do what is right, and a faithful person will receive many blessings.   Here is a list of seven basic principles to getting our Heavenly Father to receive and respond to our prayers. Read them very carefully and apply them to your next conversation with God. I know there are a lot of things going on in your life and these 7 steps will help you share your concerns with God.

1.) And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.” Mathew 21:22

Do not try to solve your own problems without God’s guidance.

2.) If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.John 14:14 You receive an audience in heaven by using the name that is above every name, the name of Jesus Christ.

3.)  And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.  And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him. 1 John 5:14-15  God’s will is clearly stated in the Bible and His will is consistent with His word.

4.) And Jesus answered them, “Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain,‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen. Matthew 21:21 Faith starts out before we even pray. Faith creates an environment where miracles are the only possible result.

5.) Be specific with your prayer request so that when your prayer is answered, you will know God sent it.

6.) If I had cherished iniquity in my heart,
the Lord would not have listened. Psalms 66:18  If we have

unconfessed sin God will not hear our prayer.

7.) The Bible says, and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors. Matthew 6:12 God will only forgive your

sins as you forgive those who have sinned against you.

A Christian who does not prayer is weak and is powerless to spiritually change the outcome of events around them. When we don’t have a healthy prayer strategy it causes a heavy load to build up inside of us until we are carrying this heavy burden. This burden becomes so great you stop being your true self. I have seen countless Christian people stop going to Church because they can’t bear the consciousness of their burden while they sit in the pew singing and listening to God’s word. They just can’t take it. One of my favorite songs is,

What a friend we have in Jesus, All our sins and grief’s to bear! All because we do not carry, Everything to God in prayer! Oh, what peace we often forfeit, Oh, what needless pain we bear, All because we do not carry, Every thing to God in prayer!

Pray to the Lord so that you will receive wisdom and instruction. To be able to perceive  the words of understanding.. To be able to be taught  wise behavior, righteousness, justice and equity; To be able to think before you act and have good judgment. Pray for the ability  to increase your learning through  life and to be able to accept a wise person’s advice. Pray for all these things in Jesus Christ’s name.

Fasting is primarily an extension of prayer  and is mentioned eleven times in the Bible. When we go without eating it intensifies our prayer life. Fasting should be taken on slowly and with caution. Some of the adverse symptoms are dizziness and headaches, However I have found it a rewarding experience. An easy fast to try that I have enjoyed many times is the fast that Daniel. I take this terminology  and use it to go without meat and sweets for weeks. It simply becomes a diet that you will need to plan ahead for. Complete fasting has some remarkable stories in the Bible where Jesus and Moses went forty days without eating. There have been modern day stories of men accomplishing this feat but I do not believe it is for the average person. In Mathews Jesus tells us that if we had the faith of a mustard seed we could simply move a mountain by speaking to it. He continues and says, “the casting out of demons takes fasting and prayer”. David says, “fasting humbles and improves his soul.” In the Bible one of the synonyms for fasting is the afflicting of the soul. The apostles fasted when they sought out the Lord for direction, however we are never commanded in the New Testament to fast. My recommendation is go from one evening meal to the next evening meal. Allow yourself to drink plenty of water. Set aside a special day so you will have plenty of time for Bible study and prayer.  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. Colossians 3:15  I may be one of the worst singers on this planet, but for some reason I love to sing. I know that when I am in heaven I will have a beautiful singing voice. Maybe that is why I like practicing so much now. I like to start the day off singing. Just as soon as I hit the shower I burst out in song. That may be too much information for you but the Bible says,

“ I will sing to the LORD,
because he has dealt bountifully with me.” Psalms 13:6

Psalms also says, “God inhabits the praises of His people.” When we sing worship songs to God, He is there so close to us He just may be singing along with us.

image Even though we can get God to accommodate our schedule we still need to take time out to accommodate Him. A daily private time is a sanctuary away from the crazy lifestyles we live today. We need to have a place where there is absolute privacy, a place where we will not be disturbed  so we can put all of our attention into a concise Bible research and study plan. We begin that time with prayer, “Dear Heavenly Father open my ears that I might hear, open my eyes so I might see and

understand your word and know it is true. Lord, empty me, fill me with your Spirit, enlighten my mind and help me to speak the words I ought to speak and leave unspoken the words I should not speak. Remove from me, Lord the thoughts that are an enemy to You. Guide me, counsel me in Your ways because I know all things are possible through you. In Christ Jesus name I pray, Amen. I like to take a personal approach to Bible study. I am in a relationship with God just like I am any other person. I am anxious to know what He is about, what He likes and dislikes and how I can do more things to please Him. He is my Father, my Friend, my Comforter and my Strength. It is very important for me to develop a relationship with Him because I love Him and I want Him to love me.
Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation— if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.1 Peter 2:2-3

So I study the Bible  to show myself approved before God, a good worker that needs not be ashamed because I read the Word of Truth.

We absorb about one third of what we read, but  if we read and then think about what we have read during the day , then share what we have read with someone else we absorb about three quarters of what we read. Meditation is a simple process of thinking about a word or words. Concentrating only on what we have chosen to meditate on. Every time something else pops into our mind, we remove it and go back to our meditation. I do not want you to get this confused with eastern religion meditation where you are giving an oem. We are not interested in anything that  man can give us. The Bible says that when we meet Jesus Christ, He Himself will give us our oem of meditation. I am talking about concentration on a particular Bible verse until we have it memorized or until it becomes a part of us so that we will be able to quote it when we share our testimony with another person. Bible study should benefit not only us but it should benefit the people we come in contact with on a daily basis.  We are obligated by God to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ to every person we meet through our actions and our words. We do that by developing our own ministry. It is a very sad state of affairs that only two percent  of the people that are regular church members have developed their own call to Christ. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. Romans 8:30 Before this world was ever created God knew you. I also believe, although it is not scriptural, that you knew God. He has chosen you not only to be a part of His personal family, He has chosen you to represent Him while you are on this earth. He has set you apart from all others and He looks at you just as if you have never sinned. Being chosen by God is a tremendous responsibility that none of us are able to live up to. However there is no closer  fellowship with God than developing a life – changing relationship  with Him through Jesus Christ.

 So when we preach that Christ was crucified, the Jews are offended and the Gentiles say it’s all nonsense.  But to those called by God to salvation, both Jews and Gentiles, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God.  This foolish plan of God is wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God’s weakness is stronger than the greatest of human strength.  Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you. Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful.  God chose things despised by the world,things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important.   As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God.  God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin. Therefore, as the Scriptures say, “If you want to boast, boast only about the LORD.” 1 Cor. 1:23-31 NLT

It is amazing to me that God takes the weak things of this life and makes them a great service unto Himself.  I am an excellent example. I have no  formal training and my education is limited. Jesus Christ has taken me, remolded me into something He could use and through me He has shared His plan of salvation with hundreds of people.  Now He has done this many times through my own reluctant behavior. I look at my own ability and decide it is impossible for me to accomplish the task He has requested. On the opposite side of the spectrum I have used my own ability to try to convert people to the saving grace of Jesus Christ and have failed miserably.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Cor.12:9-10

I am in a contest with God. I try my hardest to out give Him. It is a contest that is impossible for me to win, because the more I give to others the more He gives to me. It is an amazing concept that few people ever experience. They never let go of their own needs  to open their eyes to the needs of others. Prosperity is the law of giving. God created this world where it is impossible to gain without giving and there is no way on this earth for you to  receive God’s abundance until you surrender your entire Life to Jesus Christ.

You shall remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth,that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day.  Deuteronomy 8:18

God wants to bless you with gifts that are beyond your imagination. The more difficult the gift is to give the greater the blessing you will receive. So give generously of your time, your money and your heart because there is no greater joy on this earth. Need I remind you that God has given us the greatest gift of all, His Son Jesus.

Life is a word we arrange on a page, a picture we place in an album or a laugh we share with a friend. It is given that once we are born we are destined to die. Time quickly passes us by. Every second of every moment has its value. We have no guarantee of life tomorrow, so seize life’s fleeting moments today.

Everything we see with our eyes is based on the outer realm of a created reality. Everything we see with our heart is of the inner realm of the unknown. It is a space without time or distance yet it is more vast than all the known universe. This is the realm where God roams freely with our spirit . Where God can have a relationship with us up close because our spirit is sinless. If you can say, “ Jesus Christ is Lord.” Then the Voice of Truth resides within you.

We have this hope based on the fact of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. We are troubled on every side but we are not distressed even through our outer realm or physical side of our persona is dying . All along our inner realm or spiritual side renews itself from day to day always growing forward.

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

We continue our voyage through the inner realm of life in search of peace, happiness and joy. It is amazing how many successful people I have met who have no joy, happiness or inner peace. They have accomplished many things in the physical world, but without knowing their divine purpose they have this emptiness inside of them that can not be filled with worldly things. That emptiness can only be filled with a personal relationship with Jesus Christ through Bible study and prayer.

We must always guard our heart, we must never give up hope because those who keep the faith until the end will be saved.  Our spiritual life does not begin until we look inside of our self  and decide to be a winner for Christ. Perseverance is a personal decision we all have to make. All that we are, all we create, all that we say, all those we love, all that we have, all we ever hope to be is a result of the death of Jesus Christ on the cross.

As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. I Peter 2:4-5

He waits on us to surrender the control of our mind so He can lead us into a new level of consciousness. He enlightens us by His grace in our  faith through what He tells us in His written Word. He restores us to a fellowship we once had with Him before the universe was created.  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,  just as He chose us in

Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,  having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,  to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,  to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. Ephesians 1:3-6

He placed us here so we could have the opportunity to choose our own destiny. So with free will we can take the sojourn of least resistance or we can choose the path of righteousness. It is easily described by the shape of a funnel. The road to total separation from God is big and broad and leads to the narrow spout of the funnel where in the end we fall off into hell. The path to heaven starts out with the funnel in reverse, it is narrow and low. You have to get down on your knees and crawl like a baby until you come to the opening where all of creation is there before you.

When Christ is in our heart we have the secret to Divine power.  When we listen to Christ every moment  we have the secret to knowledge. When we walk in Christ’s footsteps we have the secret to faith. When we read our Bible daily we have the secret to Christian growth. When we love Jesus Christ with all our heart we have unspeakable joy and we are full of His glory.

Dear Heavenly Father, “ I surrender all resistance in my soul.

Please enter my mind at will and speak the Words of life to me. Remove me from the world of the lost so that Your love will fill my heart with unspeakable joy.”

A new dawn has come; it is early morning in your life. All the things that were in your past are gone. You are a new creation. Designed, developed and molded into a servant leader of

God. You have need of absolutely nothing save your Bible and the faith that it delivers through the power of the Holy Spirit that resides inside of you. Let your light shine forth by your

actions and your words to all others you come into fellowship with and may your blessings be many. One day I know I will see you shining like a star when we are all free from sin again.

I accept Jesus Christ as my sin – bearer and I trust God to forgive my sin because Jesus Christ died in my place; I accept him as my risen Savior who ever lives to make intercession for me, and I trust Him to keep me from day to day, and I accept Him as my Lord and King to whom I surrender the absolute control of my thoughts and my life.

R. A. Torey

My Dilution

All power honor and glory go to my Father in Heaven and to my King and Savior Jesus Christ. I shall never forget my Comforter and my Councilor the Holy Spirit of God.

Through Him I have received this hope of life after life. That He should choose such a simple means to save me by grace through faith. It requires no physical exertion at all. Simply to believe on His name.

As I walk up this road less traveled, alone always in my thoughts. I think my way through existence never needing to “talk” because He is always with me. He watches over and guides me as I would a child.

He provides for me all that is needed and even further beyond any preconceived idea of what being blessed by Him might be like. He bestows upon me more than I would have ever asked and blesses everyone who is around me.

My notions of His existence are obscured by my ability to reason and my understanding of His magnificence is limited to a few pages of a book I have read many times. I ask for more, I want to see more but I am limited by the consciousness He has given me.

I struggle daily with the relationships that I have with  other people around me. I am never satisfied with the life I continually make for myself. I am always falling short of the watermark He provides for me.

I am so jealous of Him and if it were my choice I would keep Him to myself, never sharing Him with others because of the way they treat Him with such disregard and disdain even though this is not His way.

However He stands firm, always the same. He is forever so predictable. He never changes for anyone. He overlooks everything that I do regardless of the consequences to others. He always forgive. Every morning with Him is anew, a fresh start like my life has just begun and every morning that turns into day I do the same things I’ve done in the past. I spend half my life pulling away from Him and the other half trying to get closer.

Here I am torn in two. Part of me lives for myself and part of me lives for Him. Never obtaining a full grasp of either. Always in a struggle with myself. So here I sit in my dilution. Waiting for my turn to go to Heaven.