Monday, September 8, 2008

Devotional: Drawing Close

How many of you have good friends?   We would all say that our friends are very important to our lives.   We all have friends.   The more time that you spend with them, the more you get to know them.   The more that you know them, the closer you are.

Friends are the people with whom I associate.   They are the ones who "I have knowledge of."   If my friend tells me that they are going to do something or that they will meet me somewhere at a certain time, then based on how well I know them, I can have confidence in what they have said.   My lack of faith or trust in them is based on my knowledge of them.   How many of you have a job?   Your employer asked you to fill out a job application.   Their faith or trust in you is based upon their knowledge of you.   Simply put, what you filled out on the application is what they are using to base their faith and trust in you.

Let's look at what was going on with Israel here in Hosea chapter 4:1.

"Hear the word of the Lord, ye children of Israel: for the Lord hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the Land."  

In this verse, God's people were falling away because they had forgotten the important issues, which were truth, mercy, and the knowledge of God.  

In the same way, friendship works with the same issues that are stated here in this verse.   Friendship is a commitment. It is trust, mercy, and knowledge.   Friendship is a mutual understanding of what each one likes and dislikes, loves and hates, good or bad.   It all comes from spending time together.

God's people were falling away because they forgot about the importance of their relationship with the Lord.   They weren't walking in the truth or mercy, nor growing in their knowledge of God.  

The most damaging thing in a person's life and in their relationship with others is having a sense of insecurity in regard to that relationship.   You can't have faith in someone you don't know.   I wouldn't leave my kids with just anybody.   If I don't feel good about my knowledge of someone then I won't be too sure if I can trust him. If I have witnessed a bad "track record", then my confidence in them will be lacking.   If someone has a lack of knowledge toward or about someone, they have no firm commitment to that relationship.   God wants you aware of His continual commitment in your life. He is faithful!

Hosea 4:6 says, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children."

People are destroyed for a lack of knowledge.   Knowledge of who?   The Lord.   People get whipped in the midst of tests and trials because they don't know the Deliver!   They don't know the Redeemer!   You can't trust in someone you don't know.   Do you know HIM?

The deeper you get in your knowledge of God, the stronger your faith will be.   Many think that we have to struggle to get faith when we have all been given the measure of faith.   Our job is to develop our faith by growing in our knowledge of God.   In fact, the struggle for you to "get faith" will be replaced by the realization that God is faithful and trustworthy.   When you know that, you will find that your faith will develop without a struggle.

When you know the Lord, you know what His Word says and you just simply believe it!   When you know the Lord, His Word will really remind you of just how faithful God truly is.    He is faithful and He is trustworthy!   Forever and always!

Turn back to Hosea 6:3.   " Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth."

My desire is to know the Lord.   I want to let those rains of His Spirit, truth, mercy, and the knowledge of Him possess and control my life.   He must be our first love above everything.

When you truly begin to press in to know the character of God, you will find that He can be relied upon and trusted.   He is more faithful and trustworthy than the rising of the sun each morning. But the responsibility of pressing in is yours and mine.   We must press into His word, fellowshipping with Him, and truly having a personal time with the Lord God.   When was the last time that you prayed in tongues for two minutes, three, four, or five minutes?   When did you last take at the least a half hour of reading the Word and personally worshipping the Lord with no one else there, just you and Him?

The obedience of Moses, the boldness of Elijah, the heartbeat of David, the faith of Abraham, all came because they had an intense and intimate relationship with the Lord.  

When you know someone, it's easy to have faith in them.   My wife and I are so in love.   It gets better and better every day!   Because of our time together, our likes and dislikes have become very much the same.   Sometimes we say the same things or we do the exact same thing at the same time without any verbal communication to each other. We enjoy each other. We take pleasure in each other as well. But all the power and glory of our relationship is only as good as the time that we spend together.   The more time we spend together, the richer and deeper our relationship becomes. The peace that we have is even evident to others because of the deep, intimate, and closeness of our relationship with each other.  

As you grow in the knowledge of the Lord, you will find your likes and dislikes will become more like His.   You will find yourself becoming His true habitation and you won't be looking for His visitation.   You will become His habitation, not just be looking for the goose bumps or the falling out service.   You're not looking for the visitation because you are His habitation. What a revelation and a true feeling that goes with you each and every day! Do you know Him like that? James 4:8 tells us to draw close to God and He will draw CLOSE to YOU!

Prayer: Father, I choose to draw close to You. I choose to yield to Your Word. I choose to obey Your Word. Thank You for loving me. I choose to make my meditation all about You.   Amen.