Straight Talk, by Joyce Meyer

Up Close and Personal

When Jesus died on the cross, He opened the way for us to get personal with almighty God.
Ask any believer if spending regular quality time with God is a challenge, and he or she will almost always say yes. We manage to make time for lots of other things--entertainment, work, school and church events--but we find it difficult to spend daily time in fellowship with God by praying, worshiping and reading His Word.

I too experienced this difficulty until God taught me a valuable lesson on crisis management. I used to spend time with God once in a while or when my life was in big trouble. Then the Lord told me to seek Him continuously, or diligently. Eventually I learned that if I ever wanted to stop living from one emergency to the next, I needed to seek God every day as if I were in desperate need of Him--even during times of tremendous prosperity and blessing.

It's true--God will always rescue us and get us out of trouble when we come to Him. But if we want constant victory, we need to take God out of our "emergency only" box and invite Him into our everyday lives.

God wants us to get personal with Him. He proves this by the fact that He lives within us.

When Jesus died on the cross, He opened the way for us to get personal with almighty God. If God had wanted only some distant, businesslike or professional association, He would have kept His distance. He might have visited on occasion, but He certainly would not have come to take up permanent residence in our houses.

What an awesome thought! Just reflect on it: God is our personal friend!

Satan despises our fellowship with God. He knows how strong we are if we commune regularly with the Lord, and he fights to destroy our relationship with God with all his might. One of his more cunning weapons is distraction. He knows if we become sidetracked by the cares of the world that, more than likely, we will begin to neglect our time with God.

According to James 4:4, when we pay too much attention to the things of this world, God looks upon us as an unfaithful wife who is having an illicit affair and is breaking her marriage vow to Him. To keep us faithful and in close fellowship and communion with Him, sometimes God removes things from our lives that are separating us from Him.

If we allow a job to come between us and God, we may lose it. If money separates us from Him, then we may have to learn that we are better off poor than separated from God. If our friends take first place in our lives, we may find ourselves suddenly very lonely.

Lonely people usually get very close to God. It is amazing how well we get to know someone when that person is all we have!

I went through a period of extreme loneliness in my life. I had my family, but I had lost all my friends.

It seemed to me that God was purposely separating me from everyone I liked and enjoyed being with, and I did not understand it at all. Later I realized that I depended too much on those friends. I was moved by what they thought and did. God wanted me to be led by His Spirit, not by my friends.

Many people fail to realize that they never receive the things they want because they don't really put God first in their lives, as we are commanded to do in Matthew 6:33: "'But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you'" (NKJV).

Get up close and personal with God. Remember: You don't have to go far to find Him. Just close your eyes for a moment, and in the quietness of your heart you will discover Him. His Holy Spirit is always there waiting for you.

Don't leave Him alone without any attention from you. Make Him glad that He is living in you. Make Him feel welcome and at home. Make Him comfortable. Share everything with Him because He has come to share everything with you.

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