Friday, January 28, 2022

God is personal, wants to have a relationship with us | Lifestyles

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I was in a store this week and my bill was less than $5, so I decided to pay cash rather than put it on my credit card like I normally do (easier to keep track of expenses that way for me). My change was $1.01. The cashier randomly said “oh 100 and 1 are your lucky numbers”! I said something like I plan to live to 100 and I believe in the One true God. I don’t do the numbers thing (thinking about betting, etc.). 

She then repeated herself and said “you just watch for those two numbers.” You know that God can speak to you in many ways, so I tucked that conversation away until I could sit and process her comments. What came to my mind was to look up scriptures with those numbers.

I looked up Psalm 100:1 first. “Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands!” I certainly can agree with that one — “the joy of the Lord is my strength” and if there was ever a time to remain joyful, it is now! Psalm 16:11 says “You will show me the path of life. In Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 30:5b “Weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning.” 

The word for joy used there is a shout of rejoicing, shouting loud, cheering in triumph, singing. It is used elsewhere when the children of Israel were coming out of captivity. Each one of us was in captivity to sin and Jesus brought us out and turned our mourning into dancing! One more scripture (there are many more) comes to mind. Isaiah 12:3 “Therefore with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.” Joy is like the bucket that is lowered into the well to bring up the water below. It is the joy of the Lord that primes our well, our spirit, and brings up refreshment, cleansing and satisfaction.

The other scripture that I looked up was the only verse in the whole Bible that is verse 100. Psalm 119 is one of my favorite Psalms because it is packed with 176 verses about the Word of God! Psalm 119:100 says “I understand more than the ancients (elder, aged person), because I keep Your precepts.” It was just a confirmation to me to continue my life-long habit of spending time in the Word of God. I could never overstate the importance of putting the Word of God into your mind and heart on a regular basis. 

I see most everything through the lens of scripture and as I have stated before, sometimes the “facts” do not line up with the Truth, the Word of God. I am going to trust the Word of God over what I see going on with my natural eyes and ears. I think that is why I do not have fear tormenting me or causing me to do things contrary to the Word (and many times common sense). I trust the Lord and His faithfulness to me no matter what is going on in the natural.

God may speak further to me using those two numbers in the future but if this young cashier was used of the Lord for just what I was able to glean from those two verses, I would be grateful and encouraged.

I am so grateful that our God is personal and wants to have a relationship with each one of us. As I have stated before, spending time with someone is the way you get to know that person. I have heard different ministers talk about “hanging out with God.” Sounds too casual but the reality is He does want to be our friend. Abraham was a heathen who responded to Jehovah God and later was called “a friend of God.” Enoch “hung out” with God so much he finally just stayed with his Friend (“the Lord took him”). David took such delight in the Lord and composed many of the Psalms declaring the nature of God from the perspective of one who knew Him very well. 

If you read through the Bible, every author knew the Lord uniquely and the Lord spoke very plainly to and through each one of them. We are the benefactors of their intimacy but the Lord wants each one of us to cultivate our own personal relationship where we hear His voice and interact with Him.

I appreciate the word I hear from my pastor each Sunday morning and know that he has prayed about what the Lord wants to say through him. But we don’t want to be like the children of Israel who decided that God was not approachable to them personally and so they asked Moses to hear from God for them. “We will do what the Lord tells you we should do.” Sound familiar? I think a lot of the church looks to others — pastors, ministry leaders, books written for our edification — but we substitute them for our own personal relationship where we develop our ability to hear the Lord for ourselves.

In the times we are in and moving in to, not being able to hear the voice of the Lord clearly may be very costly. Now is the time to draw closer to Him and to take the time to fellowship with Him. While I believe we are at the beginning stages of the Third Great Awakening, we may also see evil escalate even more than it already has. There will be those who do not realize how costly their lack of hunger and desire for God really is until they make choices that are going to lead them in the wrong direction. To have to back track (repent) could cost a person the best and highest that God had planned and desired for them.

However, right now is the proper time to make Him your highest priority. Take a little extra time each day or during the week to set aside for Him. “Hang out” with Him, even if that sounds uncomfortable. He loves you and desires to spend personal time with you. You will never regret the investment you make in getting to know Him even better than you do right now.





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