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How close does God allow us to walk with Him?

Does He still talk to us in our spirit man or only and strictly through scripture?

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I know the verse that says draw near to God and He will draw near to you, but how do we draw near to God?

1Pe 2:1-25 NIV84  Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind.  (2)  Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation,  (3)  now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.  (4)  As you come to him, the living Stone--rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him-- (5)  you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.  (6)  For in Scripture it says: "See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame."  (7)  Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe, "The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone,"  (8)  and, "A stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall." They stumble because they disobey the message--which is also what they were destined for.  (9)  But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.  (10)  Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.  (11)  Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul.  (12)  Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.  (13)  Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority,  (14)  or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right.  (15)  For it is God's will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men.  (16)  Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God.  (17)  Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.  (18)  Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh.  (19)  For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God.  (20)  But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God.  (21)  To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.  (22)  "He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth."  (23)  When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.  (24)  He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.  (25)  For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

Hebrews 10:22 says, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. ESV

What you've quoted seems to align more with the sanctification process. I believe a true heart in full assurance of faith must come first. I asked the question with other readers in mind just as much as what I have, myself, been wondering or have wondered.

I am not following your response. Please clarify.

Being living stones that are being built up into a spiritual house involves the Master Builder working on us, changing us, fitting us together, which is a lifelong process of growing and being transformed, taking off the old, putting on the new. Yet, though we are not yet perfect, but are being perfected, we still are able to draw near to God and approach the throne of grace through Christ and our position in Him. As we learn to walk in the Spirit and subdue the flesh, we also draw nearer to God, experientially, and, at times, we might backslide. At such times, confession and repentance is a drawing near to God, too.

Yes, and thanks for clarifying.

We all are experiencing mind renewal where bad attitudes and wrong beliefs are gradually being transformed as we see more and more of the truth and repent, realizing when and where we have been wrong. 

I think I've shared this with you before but will confess one of my own patterns.

I have a wrong thinking pattern that begins with fear and anxiety (angst, or fretting). Thoughts and feelings aren't sinful unless they are sinfully acted upon, and I have acted upon them. 

I used to only associate envy with being jealous of someone's material possessions or looks or abilities, but I now see that it's envy when we think God deals unfairly by letting the wicked get something they want at our expense and wondering why the wicked get away with their wickedness and even appear to be blessed and to prosper.

In Psalm 73, Asaph is very aggravated and what he feels is envy because he is suffering and is righteous. Also, in the story found in Matthew 20:1-16, the reaction of some of his workers was anger growing out of envy.

I don't envy people for intelligence or looks or money or possessions, but, for me, I have envied how others are treated better than I am. 

I have thoughts that other people and things are more important to God than I am, and then I think God loves others more than he does me and I'm not worth much to him in comparison, and he will leave me. That is envious thinking. 

To rid ourselves of the things mentioned in 1 Peter 2 is something that must be battled daily, dying to self day by day.

Understood. If I had used one word instead of the passage I posted it would have been "Surrender" and yes, surrender is a moment in time and an ongoing battle moment by moment over the course of a lifetime.

I get devotions from OurPrayer.org.  I received this one this morning.  It is nearly identical to a time for me.  For I pulled up AAG on my phone, not knowing what to do, driving through a haze of tears and yelling on my way to work.  I saw Chris in the chat room and PM'd him "CALL ME!"  He did so immediately and helped me to calm down and put things into perspective.  I think that even when we're at a state where we cannot hear God, or even aren't sure of how to distinguish His voice from all the other chatter in our minds, He provides a way.  He made sure someone was here that would answer the call...or make the call. 

Another thing is I have developed a deep appreciation for the skies and other parts of nature that I never had cared about before.  And many of the devotions I get like this are often EXACTLY a word to what I'm dealing with at that particular time.  Some days it's almost spooky what comes in.  So I know that God is speaking to me through these devotions, His Word, others, and I'm sure even internally even when it can get lost in the raging cacophony of thoughts.  

A Prayer for Perspective

But if you forget about yourself and look to me, you’ll find both yourself and me.” Matthew 10:39 (MSG)

I gripped the steering wheel of my vehicle as I flew down the highway. Mile after mile of gray wooden fence posts supporting strands of barbed wire flashed past. The road wound through large ranches with cattle grazing in the grassy meadows. The scenery looked peaceful, but I wasn’t. I churned like a volcano ready to erupt.

I’d been involved in a situation where I’d been repeatedly wronged and was driving to calm down. I shook my head and raised my voice. “But, God, I...”  On and on I ranted about my upsetting situation and then I slapped the steeringwheel and yelled, “I’m finished!”

Finally I grew quiet. Only the humming of the tires on the road broke the silence.

It’s really not about what you want, I heard.  It’s about what I want to do through you. When you talk about I, I, I, each one of those I’s is like those miles of fence posts. When you rant and rave, you’re stringing barbed wire between us. You’ve been fencing Me out.

Tears streamed down my face. “Oh, God, I’m so sorry. What do You want me to do?”

Stay and be a witness for Me.

So I stayed.

My situation didn’t change. But I took control of my thoughts; I refused to let them lead me down the dark road of rage. Trusting the Lord and obeying Him despite my own desires brought me more joy than I ever could have imagined.

Lord, nudge me when I start putting I’s where there should be Yous. Amen.

By Rebecca Ondov

Dear Seek

 

I can so very much relate to your statement about slapping the steering wheel and saying 'I'm finished'.  I have just gone through several months of frustrating self condemnation and listening to satan and the flesh so intently that I entered a phase of depression that I was beginning to see no way out of.

 

Last Wednesday as I arrived home from work I just sat in my driveway and didn't even unfasten my seat belt. I just didn't care about anything anymore. after sitting there for awhile I finally told God that we needed to have a real serious talk and I asked Him to  shut the devil and his helper's mouths for just a few minutes so that we could had a heart to heart talk.

 

I told Him that I was just too tired to fight anymore and I needed an answer to a lot of things. I told Him that whatever I've got I give to whatever or whoever He wants me to give it to if that's the problem. Then I told Him I'd just do whatever He wanted irregardless of how unqualified I was to handle it. And believe me , I feel qualified to do absolutely nothing. I told Him that I just can't , or maybe don't want to, take another step or do another thing unless  could hear from Him about something,anything.

 

Then I just said out loud, "so what do you want?" His presence just seemed to fill my soul to overflowing and the answer , I don't mean an audible answer or anything like that, was that I had just given Him what He wanted. And that was that I had sincerely offered Him everything . Including any hint of any idea that I could do anything right unless I was totally dependent on Him to accomplish it through me.

 

I had been studying 1 Peter 5:7, Phil.4:6-7 , Matt.11:28 and several other scripture areas that concerned Ggiving God everything and especialy all out my worries and concerns. He was telling me to give Him ALL of them. Keep none of my concerns and worries ebcause they were His to deal with and not mine. He let me know that as long as I was occupied with thinking or worrying about them I was not in the spiritual condition to help myself let alone anyone else.

 

Actually in 1Peter 5 the bible declares the act of 'casting all of our cares on Him' as being a very important part of 'submiting ourselves under the mighty hand of God'. He has restored me to the land of the living and has my eternal gratitude for that. I know that that sounds a little melodramatic but it is truly how I feel about it .

 

Anyway , I've rambled too long so I'll close.

God bless you as you surrender and submit to Him.

"...several months of frustrating self condemnation and listening to satan and the flesh so intently that I entered a phase of depression that I was beginning to see no way out of."

This is something I'm painfully familiar with. It's encouraging to know I'm not the only one who experiences this (maybe that's selfish), and what blessing has come out of it for you. It's nice when other Christians are real about their low points, not only the high ones. 

This is vey beneficial Jenny.. The psalms are also such an encouraging place to read.

We read of the struggles, fears, anxieties etc....Then they cry out to God, God delivers them, and they praise Him.  This is also about 'us' written in the psalms. :-)  A broken humanity realizing their need for God---It's a beautiful thing.

Blessings, Carla

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