My greatest desire is to know God better. It is my highest purpose in life. To know God closely and intimately is the ONE THING I seek more than any other thing.
Philippians 3:8 (Amplified Bible) – Yes, furthermore, I count everything as loss compared to the possession of the priceless privilege (the overwhelming preciousness, the surpassing worth, and supreme advantage) of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord and of progressively becoming more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him [of perceiving and recognizing and understanding Him more fully and clearly]. For His sake I have lost everything and consider it all to be mere rubbish (refuse, dregs), in order that I may win (gain) Christ (the Anointed One).
Psalms 27:4 (Amplified Bible) – One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek, inquire for, and [insistently] require: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord [in His presence] all the days of my life, to behold and gaze upon the beauty [the sweet attractiveness and the delightful loveliness] of the Lord and to meditate, consider, and inquire in His temple.
How can I do this? What steps I can follow that will take me to this goal? How can I know what He is like, what to expect from Him and from my times with Him? How do I approach Him? What do I say when I get there?
People have many experiences and have opinions as to how to get closer to God, but it isn’t from listening to others that I get to know God intimately. I want to experience the realty of His presence, but I don’t want to get into things that aren’t of God. I want to know the Word, but I don’t want it to be merely the letter of the Word. In knowing God, there is a mixture between knowing Him in His word and knowing Him in Spirit. Many get over-balanced on one side or the other.
God has given us His Word to know what He is like, but He is after a true and real, intimate relationship with each person He has created. I will have to get to know God personally for myself, and all true knowledge is based on the Word of God. All things must be measured by His Word. I don’t want just an intellectual knowledge of God, and there is danger of this if I only have the word and stay away from the Spirit. But on the other hand, if I depend only on knowing God through what I experience spiritually, there is great danger of being deceived and getting off a bit.
I must study the word for myself and approach God according to what I see there.
STUDY THE WORD
God has given us His Word to reveal Himself to us, and He sent His Son as the Word in the flesh to show us what He is like. (John 1:1)
Christ is the revelation of God. God made Himself a man in Christ so we can see Him and understand Him.
Hebrews 1:1-3 – God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power.
God spoke in the past in many portions and many ways. He has in these last days spoken to us completely and accurately in His Son. Jesus is the exact representation of His nature.
The Old Testament presents a partial picture of God, but the New Testament presents Him exactly and completely in Christ.
Colossians 1:15 (Amplified) — [Now] He is the exact likeness of the unseen God [the visible representation of the invisible]; He is the Firstborn of all creation.
Jesus is the visible image of the invisible God. He is the EXACT likeness of the unseen God. We can’t see God, but we see Jesus, and seeing Jesus is seeing God.
If there is a conflict between the Old Testament God and Jesus, realize that the Old Testament is a partial picture, but Jesus is the visible image of the invisible God, the exact representation of His person. Eliminate from your thinking any picture of God contrary to what you see in Jesus.
Look at what Jesus did, how He went about doing good and healing all (Acts 10:38), and know this is how He is to you and those around you that you see in need.
Renew your mind from a wrong picture to a right picture of what God is like by studying Jesus. He is the same today (Hebrews 13:8), the same toward you as you see Him in the Word. Whatever you see Him doing, saying, healing, providing; you can expect Him also to do for you and through you. Be willing to change what you have thought and believed to what you see and learn from the Word. Put aside any beliefs and traditions or what people have told you that is in contrast to what you see in Jesus.
Accept and appropriate what you see. The promises and truths of the Word of God are activated towards you only when mixed with faith. Purposely expect Him to act the same way towards you as you see Him in the Word – every day of your life, on every occasion. This opens the way for Him to reveal Himself to you.
PRAYER AND FELLOWSHIP
Spend time developing a relationship with God. Spend time in prayer and praise just being with Him. Practice His presence every moment of every day. Treat Him always as though He is with you – as He says He is.
Matthew 28:20 -Teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you, and behold, I am with you all the days (perpetually, uniformly, and on every occasion), to the [very] close and consummation of the age. Amen (so let it be).
He said He is with me all of my days, perpetually, uniformly and on every occasion. I can stake my life on this truth. I can believe it on purpose and act like I believe it every day of my life. This is putting faith in what God says, that that pleases God above anything else.
Ephesians 3:17 (Amplified) – May Christ through your faith [actually] dwell (settle down, abide, make His permanent home) in your hearts!
He is with me and will never leave or forsake me but it is through my faith that He actually dwells in me and makes His permanent home in my heart. He is always with me, but He becomes real to me through faith.
Attitudes to come to God in
Hebrews 11:6 – And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.
Come expecting Him to be a rewarder. This is a prerequisite; he who comes to God must believe… not only that He is but that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. He is a rewarder of you when you seek Him. Come to Him knowing you will find HIm, knowing that your time is not wasted in any way. Come to Him knowing you will be rewarded for your time. As Jesus said, the Father is there present in your secret times of prayer and will reward you. (Matthew 6:6)
Come with a sense of righteousness, knowing your full acceptance in His presence. He has brought you near and opened the door into His presence, and you are welcome at all times.
Isaiah 54:14 – In righteousness you will be established…
Become established (rooted and grounded) in the fact that you are in right standing with the God of the Universe! Come to know beyond doubt that GOD IS FOR YOU! And know that you are welcome in His presence every day on every occasion. Draw near boldly.
It is because of what He has done not because of what you have done or not done that you are welcome in His presence; you can draw near boldly at every time of need, any kind of need (Hebrews 4:14-16).
If you don’t let yourself go near enough to God to let Him help you because you feel guilty or inadequate or sin conscious, how can you ever receive His help to overcome the very things that make you feel unworthy in His presence? You can’t fix yourself or change yourself in the power of the flesh. He did all you need. It is by grace through faith. He did it; you receive it.
You must take His point of view and accept your acceptance in Christ and come to know beyond any doubt you are welcome with Him. You can come to Him and talk to Him about anything.
Don’t come degrading yourself. You are a new creation, His workmanship, and you have no business degrading God’s creation. He forgives what you have done; so follow His example and forgive yourself.
Don’t concentrate on your faith or lack of it; concentrate on Him, His love, His mercy, His provision and promises and on His desire to do good things for you. As you focus on the truth of who He is as you see in manifested in Jesus and the fact that He is like that toward you, the reality begins to dawn upon you.
Come with expectancy
Actually expect God to hear you when you pray and to answer you, to be towards you as He says He is, to act towards you as you see Jesus act in the New Testament. Visualize Him there listening and hearing and understanding and longing to help you – based on the scriptures. This is the faith that will release God’s power into your life and situation.
Matthew 6:6 – Pray to the Father who is unseen. HE IS there with you in your secret place of prayer! See Him actually there with you listening to you. He said it, so it is true.
Matthew 6:7 – He hears without complicated or religious words or perfect prayers. Talk to Him as a friend. Treat Him as if He were really there listening – because He says He is!
Matthew 6:8 – He knows what you need before you ask, and it isn’t up to you to say it just right. He knows what you need far better than you can express it to Him. And He can answer your heart even when you can’t express it correctly.
Hebrews 4:14-16 – He feels your pain; He understands and is touched with the feeling of your infirmities and invites you to come and boldly receive. Come boldly into His presence – even when you are in need of grace and mercy.
John 6:37 – He will not cast you out when you come. He actually likes you. He likes to spend time with you.
1 Peter 3:12 – He delights in your prayers.
Romans 10:12 – He is rich unto all who call upon Him. He has plenty of what you need and is willing to give it to you! You are certainly part of “all”.
Say to yourself, ‘He is here listening to me. He understands what I am trying to say. He is rich in mercy to me. He will help me. He will answer me.” As you speak, let your heart realize the truth of your words and become assured and comforted in His presence.
Hebrews 4:16 – Come with boldness and confidence.
Hebrews 10:22 – Draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith.
Know beyond doubt that He hears you when you pray, that He delights in your prayers, that He will and does answer you. Simply, put faith in these things He has said.
Then you will get results. Your prayers will be answered. You will come to know God and begin to have deeper fellowship than you ever thought possible. He can become more real even than the natural world around you.
Hebrews 12:28 – Draw near with reverence and awe.
What to do with your mind when you come.
Psalm 103:1 – Bless the Lord oh my soul… Make it do it. Offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving.
Romans 12:1 – …Present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable (it is something you can do with your mind and will) service (worship).
Psalm 103:2 -. . Forget not His benefits. . .
Use your mind and imagination when you come. You can visualize Him as anything He says He is. You can visualize Him doing anything you see Him doing in the Word; see Him doing it for you. You can purposely visualize Him fulfilling His promises to you. The results this will produce will amaze you.
Mark 11:24 – See Him answering your prayers when you pray just as Jesus said to do.
1 John 5:14-15 – Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.
See Him listening and answering your requests at the time of prayer. You can leave knowing you have the answer when you know what your pray is His will as shown in His word!
Visualize yourself before Him worshiping, acceptable in Christ, and Him enjoying your worship and listening to your prayers, delighting in you. Visualize Him as described in His glory, yet giving joyful attention to you.
He may be a great and glorious God, but He knows how many hairs are on your head and actually cares about the smallest details of your life. Take these truths to yourself, and put God’s own words back into His mouth. (2 Chronicles 20:6-12). Say about yourself and towards yourself the things that He has said in His Word.
What to do with your body when you come:
Romans 12:1 – Present your body as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God. This is your reasonable worship. Make your body hold still and concentrate on the Lord alone.
Find a comfortable position. If your knees ache or body parts fall asleep, you will not be concentrating on God.
The Bible speaks of standing, kneeling, lying prostrate, lying on your bed, dancing, raising your hands, clapping, shouting, and playing instruments – so the body position is not as important and your heart and mind and words. If you are in a position that is uncomfortable or painful, you will focusing on yourself and not God. But again, if you are too comfortable that you fall asleep, you might need to get up and walk around.
What to say when you come to God.
Just speak from your heart and tell God what He means to you and what is going on with you. Treat Him as if He cares and listens as He has said He does; treat Him as if He were your good friend listening as you talk over things happening in your life.
You can speak in tongues. (1 Corinthians 14:17; Acts 10:46; 2:10; Romans 8:26, 27 – Doing this, you give thanks well, praise God, declare His wonders, express your deepest longings and pray His perfect will.)
But don’t limit your prayer time only to this kind of prayer. Your mind isn’t involved as it is when you pray in your known language. (1 Corinthians 14:13-14) God hears you, but sometimes you need to hear you to get your whole being involved and get into faith.
Listen to anointed, scriptural worship music; sing and think about the words as you sing them. A great key to entering His presence is getting your mind involved, focusing on Him. Come before Him with singing.
While reading the Bible, keep a notebook of words and expressions that say what you would like to say to God and use them in prayer and worship. This increases your praise and worship vocabulary. Learn from the word not from how others around you are praying. People can pray in the weirdest ways that they heard someone else do, but it is many times far from the truth in the word.
Take note of what worshipers in the Bible said as words of worship and use them. There is endless worship going on around the Throne of God, and you can join in. Even if you say the same thing over and over as they do, God accepts and receives you.
Keys I Have Learned in Approaching God
Meeting His love with faith, with expectation of His goodness towards me, opens the door to it flowing into my life. This is the door to the power flow. This is where you find all of the ability to live as you know you should. This is where you will find all of the answers you are seeking and the knowledge and wisdom you need to live effectively. This is where you meet with the power and reality of the living God.
Faith in his mercy releases it to me. Faith in His promises makes them effective in my life. Truly expecting from my heart God to be in my own daily personal experience as good as He says He is, as He has shown in Christ He is – this is the key to living and enjoying an abundant, fruitful life.
This is the essence of the Gospel: He has already given all I could possibly need; I merely receive; I merely take it and with full-hearted assurance expect it to be there when needed and act accordingly.
He hears me when I pray and gives me the things I have been seeking. It gets through to me though my faith, my trust and quiet, full-hearted expectation. So if there is a problem in the expectation, the answers to my prayers are hindered – and I go without my needs being met.
I believe He is there when I pray because He says He is. I believe He hears and answers me when I pray because He has promised to. I can do these things based on His Word alone; no feelings or experiences are needed. I go away in faith knowing I now have the things I desire when I pray. This is the way that the Lord works in meeting my needs. And this is how it will always be, because this is the essence of the Gospel. God has given all we can ever need in Jesus, and we take it for ourselves through our faith. The one who God has made righteous is designed to LIVE by faith.
If you take these ideas and thoughts and implement them into your life, before long you will know God more personally and intimately than you ever thought possible.