12 Jan 2011
Dear Prayer Warrior,
Dr. Charles Stanley has written and preached for several years on Life Principles to Live By. Recently when we signed up to join him in 140 days of prayer for our Nation, his organization sent us a mouse pad that is inscribed with his 30 Life Principles to Live By. The first principle on this list is: “Our intimacy with God - His highest priority for our lives – determines the impact of our lives.”
If you were to take a survey in your church asking one question: what is the single thing that has the greatest influence on the impact of your life, how often would you get the answer: my intimacy with God?
God speaks over and over again about His desire for deep and authentic relationships with His children. He uses the name for Himself: Father. He uses marriage as a picture of His relationship with the people of God. He gives us clue after clue and yet we still insist on making our interaction with God primarily a doing thing. We want a formula. We look for an equation that will delineate our part and His part. Somehow we seem to have a gigantic appetite for form and function while we often harbor veiled antagonism or gross disinterest in the development of a deep authentic personal relationship with God.
Wait a minute someone might say: “I do not have antagonism against developing a deep personal relationship with God.” Well, then, just how active and intentional is our pursuit of an intimate relationship with God? It is clear from God’s word that He interacts with us based on how we relate to Him based on His standards, not the standards that we creatively invent.
Through His prophet Isaiah God spoke to His people of old:
Is such a fast as yours what I have chosen, a day for a man to humble himself with sorrow in his soul? [Is true fasting merely mechanical?] Is it only to bow down his head like a bulrush and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him [to indicate a condition of heart that he does not have]? Will you call this a fast and an acceptable day to the Lord? - Isaiah 58:5 (AMP)
In another place we find this characteristic of the Lord: “For the Lord sees not as man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” -1 Samuel 16:7b
Have you ever wondered what the Lord sees when He looks on your heart? Our heart is the key to the effectiveness of our prayers and an ”intimate with God heart” is the heart that prays rightly and receives answers abundantly.
God’s desires for our heart might be pictured by an intensely loved six year old son. When this obedient and seriously loved son requests anything from his father, his father will respond positively up to the extreme limits of his capabilities. It is similar with our loving heavenly Father. Like fathers here on this earth, He yearns for the son or daughter who is systematically seeking His face, who puts a very high priority of spending quality time daily with Him, and obeys Him out of their overflowing heart of love.
This is the kind of relationship with the God of heaven that brings breakthrough power to our prayers. This week we urge you to consider spending time seeking the face of God. Spend some quiet time listening for His still small voice. Ask Him how you might draw near to Him perhaps even in a new way. Then after seriously seeking His face, humbly ask God to bring us revival. Ask Him to bring His kingdom here on earth. Ask Him to cause His will to be done here on earth. Will you do this each day this week? Please do not rush, rather plan and set aside time, for if He is really our King, we will not push Him to the bottom of our priority list or to the back of the bus. Listen to Jesus:
“The first and principal one of all commands is: Hear, O Israel, The Lord our God is one Lord;
And you shall love the Lord your God out of and with your whole heart and out of and with all your soul (your life) and out of and with all your mind (with your faculty of thought and your moral understanding) and out of and with all your strength. This is the first and principal commandment.” -Mark 12:29-30 (AMP)
Oh Lord grant that we may grow deep in our love for You!