Faith starts with God’s creation.
The Bible is very emphatic that our world is not here by accident. It was created by God. And God didn’t create our world by reforming something from the past. There was nothing and then He “spoke” this world into existence.
God who . . . calls into being that which does not exist. —Romans 4:17
From the very first chapter in Genesis we see the first six days beginning with God said and the creations appeared. In the beginning was the Word, —John 1:1 God’s Word is: for our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. —1 Thessalonians 1:5 What an awesome God in which to place our faith!
God said . . . —Genesis 1:3, 6, 9, 14, 20, 24, 26
Through God’s Word our world was formed and now exists.
For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. —1 Corinthians 1:18
If he called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken) —John 10:35
For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. —Hebrews 4:12
All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. —John 1:3
In the beginning was the Word, —John 1:1
God’s Word is:
for our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. —1 Thessalonians 1:5
What an awesome God in which to place our faith!
Concerning a reference you made to Paul’s intimacy with Jesus, many Christ followers desire this intimacy! I do! But how???
I have been a believer since childhood and a committed Christ-follower all of my life. I have a wife and adult children who also follow Christ. I have enjoyed the “good things” and the “sufferings.”
But I do not sense an intimacy with Christ. I thrill at reading the Scripture, and I thoroughly enjoy my pastor’s sermons and usually benefit from them. I love Christian music (at least the conservative traditional music) and most of my friends are believers. I witness aggressively and faithfully . . . but I have no sense of what you call “intimacy.”
I am currently going through a deep valley of depression, and I need the intimacy of Christ that you and other Christians allude to. No hype, just genuine intimacy with my Lord! Can you describe this intimacy?
You have described a situation with which many, many Christians struggle. And some have said that it was “depression” that drove them to seek after the Lord in a deeper way, so it is quite possible that God is using this difficult time you are going through to draw you closer, more intimately, to Him. We suggest you also get advice on this from others like your pastor and/or spiritually strong men.
Without consultation, plans are frustrated,
But with many counselors they succeed. —Proverbs 15:22
Men like Paul and David reached a point where they loved God so much that they needed nothing else to be happy. Asaph wrote in Psalm 73:25,
Whom have I in heaven but Thee?
And besides Thee, I desire nothing on earth.
my soul pants for thee, O God. —Psalm 42:1
Those verses sum up the basic biblical definition of intimacy—being so aware of being loved, guided, protected, and comforted by Jesus Christ that no matter what happens in this life, we can say “It’s OK, I know God is in control.”
But your question is HOW do you become more intimate with God; how do you feel loved, guided, protected and comforted? We believe it is through a close personal examination of Scripture on a daily basis. You want to know Him as well as he knows you.
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. —James 4:8
When you spend consistent quiet time with your loving creator, you learn of His attributes—including His incredible agape love for you. This love is so incredible it can’t be described.
Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift! —2 Corinthians 9:15
God’s true love stands in stark contrast to your adversary, Satan—a bald-faced liar.
You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. —John 8:44
Satan has been very successful in distorting our perception of who God really is. Satan works hard at making us fearful or uncomfortable with God, afraid of His displeasure, uncertain about how much He really loves us, unable to meet what we think are His standards, and the list goes on. All those concepts are lies from Satan. The Devil knows that we can never really entrust ourselves and be intimate with a God of whom we are afraid. But when we delve into Scripture, we learn:
Perfect love casts out fear. —1 John 4:18
Thy consolations delight my soul. —Psalms 94:19
Since knowing God through scriptural understanding is the key to intimacy, we would encourage you to take some quality time away from your family and work and closet yourself up to pray and earnestly study God’s Word.
Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. —1 Corinthians 7:5
We suggest beginning in Psalms 139, 103, 71, 23, and John’s letters. But, of course, God may have you look elsewhere. Regardless of where you end up meditating in Scripture, be ready to listen—especially to those verses pertaining to God’s love.
One of the obstacles that Satan throws at us is a vague uncertainty about whether God really loves us. The only way to be intimate with someone is to believe that they won’t hurt you—that they really love you and have your best interests at heart. We’re not talking about intellectual ascent, but rather a deep conviction in your heart that you are totally forgiven, loved, and treasured.
How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand
When I awake, I am still with You. —Psalm 139:17-18
It has been said that until you are convinced that God loves you, you can never move forward in your Christian life, no matter how much you “do” or “learn.” So also search the Scriptures for verses where God states His love for you. You can meditate on them while asking God to make them real to you.
And I shall lift up my hands to Your commandments,
Which I love;
And I will meditate on Your statutes. —Psalm 119:48
May the arrogant be ashamed, for they subvert me with a lie;
But I shall meditate on Your precepts. —Psalm 119:78
My eyes anticipate the night watches,
That I may meditate on Your word. —Psalm 119:148
Be ready to make yourself totally vulnerable to Him and the conviction that comes through studying His word. Be willing to be laid bare before Him in total honesty. Tell Him you want your life to be about Him, not about you.
If you can’t honestly say that you want what God desires, then take a step back and tell Him you at least want to want what He desires. Then commit yourself to constantly “practicing the presence” of Him—knowing that every moment, He is closer to you than your own breath.
The secret [Heb.-“intimacy”] of the Lord is for those who fear [reverence] Him, and He will make them know His covenant. —Psalm 25:14
We’ll pray that through your desire, commitment, and action to know God better, you’ll begin to see God as He really is. Then, a deep, deep love can develop between the two of you. Building on that foundation, you should also commit to “daily” study in the Word.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness. —Lamentations 3:23
This will help keep you Christ-centered.
For additional information on this subject, we have a great presentation entitled Drugs and Depression in the Last Days.
You can download and watch this DVD for free from the Compass Digital Store by clicking on the title below—no credit/debit card needed.
Drugs and Depression in the Last Days – Paul Van Noy
Enter GML as the coupon code and the DVD will be free.
Or you can order this DVD to be mailed to you also by clicking the title above and choosing that option or by calling 800-977-2177.
New Compass book:
STEEL ON STEEL!______________________________
By Bill Perkins
Edge of the envelope Bible studies to steel your mind with God’s truth!
Click here to see eye-popping chapters and ordering info.
Compass International, Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit ministry. Our mission is to be used by the Holy Spirit to spread the good news of Jesus Christ and to provide resources for maturing Christians. For more information on Compass, over 200 eye-opening Bible studies on tape and DVD, future Bible conferences and awesome Israel mission trips, please visit our web site at www.compass.org. or call 800-977-2177 for a catalog.Misc. Information
Good Morning Lord! is sent out every Monday-Friday and is copyrighted by Compass International, Inc. There are approximately 300 studies that rotate each year. Any portion of GML e-mails may be forwarded without permission as long as the contact/subscription information is included.
To subscribe or un-subscribe to Good Morning Lord!, go to www.compass.org homepage and click on the “GOOD MORNING LORD!” logo at the bottom.
Scripture taken from the New American Standard Bible, copyright The Lockman Foundation 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977. Used by permission.
Answers to questions in GML are intended to be supplementary and in the spirit of Proverbs 11:14, 15:22, and 26:26, which calls for believers to seek counsel from more than one person. Therefore, it is not recommended that any decision be based solely on GML’s answer, but rather it be considered one of several counselors when determining a course of action.Compass International, Inc. www.compass.org