INTIMACY WITH GOD DEPENDS ON OUR DEVOTION & COMMITTMENT TO JESUS, AND OUR TOTAL SURRENDER TO HIM
COL. 4:2 - DEVOTE YOURSELVES TO PRAYER, BEING WATCHFUL AND THANKFUL."
- The Greek word for devoted "proskartereo" is the strongest word in the Greek language for COMMITMENT. It means "latch on and refuse to let go" (love Jesus and follow Him, no matter the cost).
- Our DEVOTION and SURRENDER to God should be that way (as individuals & as a church) (the same word for devoted is used in Acts 1:14, 2:42 to describe the early church)
I CHRON. 22:19-"NOW DEVOTE YOUR HEART & SOUL TO SEEKING THE LORD"
I KINGS 8:61- "BUT YOUR HEARTS MUST BE FULLY COMMITTED TO THE LORD OUR GOD, TO LIVE BY HIS DECREES & OBEY HIS COMMANDS."
WE MUST SUBMIT ALL WE ARE, ALL WE HAVE, AND ALL WE DO TO JESUS:
GALATIANS 2:20- "I HAVE BEEN CRUCIFIED WITH CHRIST AND I NO LONGER LIVE, BUT CHRIST LIVES IN ME."
TO DIE TO SELF ONE MUST: - Die to your own Desires - Die to your own Rights - Die to your own Opinions & Views - Die to your Will & Ways - Die to your own Goals & Purposes - Die to your Self Efforts (pride) - Die to your own Preferences - Die to the World (Idols) - Die to Control & Ownership - Die to the World's Approval
LUKE 9:23- "IF ANYONE WOULD COME AFTER ME, HE MUST DENY HIMSELF AND TAKE UP HIS CROSS DAILY AND FOLLOW ME."
Let God change: your ways, habits, lifestyle, schedule, priorities, desires, focus, affections,...
"To fulfill God's perfect design for you requires your Total Surrender - Complete Abandonment of yourself to Him." - Oswald Chambers
"When we pray to be sanctified... are we prepared for what sanctification will cost ? It will be an intense narrowing of all our interests on earth, and an immense broadening of all our interests in God." - Oswald Chambers
JOHN 15:13-14- "GREATER LOVE HAS NO MAN THAN THIS, THAT HE LAY DOWN HIS LIFE FOR HIS FRIENDS. YOU ARE MY FRIENDS IF YOU DO WHAT I COMMAND."
DO WE WANT JESUS TO SAY THIS ABOUT US ?
REV. 3:14-19- "... YOU ARE NEITHER COLD NOR HOT. I WISH YOU WERE EITHER ONE OR THE OTHER..."
(The church of Laodicea was the wealthiest of the 7 churches in Revelation ; Does this represent the Church of America ? - Not much Love & Devotion & Passion for God)
GOD WANTS US TO EXPERIENCE THE FULLNESS AND THE JOY AND THE PLEASURE AND THE EXCITEMENT OF KNOWING HIM AND WALKING WITH HIM(PSALM 16:8-11)
"O the fullness, the pleasure, the sheer excitement of knowing God on earth."
- Jim Elliott
"Even the weakest saint can experience the power of the deity of the Son of God, when he is willing to "let go." But any effort to "hang on" to the least bit of our own power will only diminish the life of Jesus in us. We have to keep letting go, and slowly but surely, the great full life of God will invade us, penetrating every part. Then Jesus will have complete & effective dominion in us, and people will take notice that we have been with Him."
Someone once asked Dr. Bill Bright , founder of Campus Crusade For Christ, how did you know what God was calling you to do with your life ? I keep waiting to find my purpose, but feel so lost. Dr. Bright said "the most important way to know God's will is to totally surrender to the Lordship of Christ. Ask Him to guide your steps. You are in God's will if you are surrendered to Him. The God who created everything guides our steps. All He wants is surrender and he'll tell us what he wants us to do. Don't give much thought to what you will do in the future ... Surrender to Him now and he will guide you in the rest. I live by Philippians 2:13 "for it is God who works in you both to will and to act according to His good purpose." So as I walk in the Spirit I can know that God will guide my steps. For example, in 1951 my wife and I decided we wanted to be total servants to Jesus. We wrote out a contract and fully surrendered everything we owned or would own to Jesus. Approximately 24 hours later God gave me the vision we called Campus Crusade For Christ. I'm sure if there had been no surrender and contract with God there wouldhave been no vision. You can know God's will by full surrender to Christ, and by allowing the Holy Spirit to control you."