Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Good Evening to All!
By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. (Romans 5:2 KJV)
Through Him also we have [our] access (entrance, introduction) by faith into this grace (state of God's favor) in which we [firmly and safely] stand. And let us rejoice and exult in our hope of experiencing and enjoying the glory of God. (AMP. version)
We have two sides to our nature. We have our carnal or fleshly side, and we have our spiritual side. Everything in our spiritual lives is determined by our personal faith in God and our "personal relationship" with Him which also includes being able to hear His voice.
While I really enjoy this person's (of whom the book of devotionals which I glean from for ideas) ability to bring the spiritual into our practical everyday living, I disagree with them quite a bit. When I looked at the following statement at a glance, I almost agreed, but something nagged at me because it is Not as cut and dried as this person wants to make it seem. (I keep using the genderless pronouns to keep this person anonymous).
Anyway, They say that we can enjoy our relationship with God because Jesus' death on the Cross gives us free, unhindered access to our heavenly Father and our faith makes it possible for us to have an intimate, dynamic relationship with Him. While basically I agree with this premise, I feel that there is more to it.
Let me tell you what I feel according to God's Word is required of us to be able to have this precious unhindered access to God. Faith is a Very Big Thing because without faith it is IMPOSSIBLE to please God. The thing is that's not all. We must also have His Word in our hearts. We must study His Word so that we know when it is God speaking to us and not our carnal minds or even Satan himself. (He Loves to deceive us). We must love Him enough and care enough to read what He has to say.
To have unhindered access to God is to be able to come to His throne of Grace in prayer with confidence knowing your prayer will be answered. Yes, another example of faith, but to be able to do this we must get rid of our own "hang-ups such as bitterness, anger, distrust in others, any sin which we have committed we must make amends for and ask forgiveness first, then we can come to God with a clean and humble heart knowing nothing will get in the way of God hearing our prayers and answering them.
In Ephesians 3:12, it says in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him. The "chain references to this verse are Hebrews 10:19 which says: having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, (20) By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;....the second verse is 1 Peter 3:12 --for the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.
I researched the above scriptures to explain that faith alone is NOT enough. We must be righteous. In other words we must study His Word so that we know how to live for Him and love Him. We must get to know Him before we can have an intimate relationship with Him. I can sit and say prayers all day, and say I have faith that God will answer them, but if I don't have a relationship with Him or know Him how can I have true faith or trust in Him?
Before I can come to God with my prayers in confidence that they will be answered, I need to know that my heart is right and nothing will stand between my heart and God's ears.
As much as I would love to say "Just pray and believe God will answer. There is
more to it than that . Saying that all we need for complete access to God answering our prayers is faith, nothing being mentioned about an intimate relationship with Him is kind of like me going up to someone I barely know and saying I have faith that you're going to give me a hundred dollars. How far do you think I'll get? Now if I know the person and we have a relationship, they know me well enough to know that I will pay them back, and that I really need the money for an important reason, so if they have it, they will give it to me. Another example is even having a relationship, and having faith, if I have sins in my heart such as bitterness, or unforgiveness, these are things that God will see as a hindrance. In His Word it says that God will not forgive those who will not forgive others. Therefore, if you have these things in your heart, your prayers probably won't be answered until you repent from those sins by going to those who you have these feelings toward and asking forgiveness (even if the situation is not your fault, be the "bigger person.)
This person states that we as ordinary human beings have access to God at any time through prayer; we can hear His voice anytime we want or need to. We can approach Him boldly with out reservations, without fear and with complete freedom. This thought excites me. The key is knowing God's Word well enough that we can tell if the voice we hear telling us things in our spirit is His or someone else's. If what is being said does not line up with the Word of God, then we know it is not coming from God.
The wonderful gift of access to God because of Jesus' death is fantastic, but we must not take it for granted. We must remember what He did for us to be able to receive that gift. If we just give Him lip service, but don't make an effort to get to know Him and study His Word, then we will have to wonder if the response we will get on judgment day is depart from me ye workers of inequity for I never knew you.
May I say, Get to Know God. Pray and ask God for understanding and start reading His Word a little every night, even if it's just a chapter or two. We all have to start somewhere and God will reward you for it. Study, look up the reference verses. Carry on conversations with God. After all, He is a "friend that sticketh closer than a brother." Include Him in your day. Ask for His guidance. Ask Him to guide your steps. The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord. I guarantee, the more time you spend with God, the more time you will want to .
Good Night to All and May God Bless!