Intimacy with God is important for standing unshaken in these uncertain end times is because it's the only thing that cannot be taken away from you. It's the only thing that cannot change.
First, we've all experienced change in relationships—people can disappoint us, hurt us, let us down, and make mistakes (no one is perfect). They can even "push our buttons," and then we end up dwelling on them all day. For example, someone speaks to me in a derogatory or frustrated tone which pushes my button, and then I'm angry, shut down, or feeling like a "bad girl" the rest of the day. When our mood or our happiness depends upon other people, we will always be going up and down like a roller coaster!
Second, our circumstances can change—my best laid out plans for the day continue to be interrupted, and so I'm dwelling on everything that I'm not getting done. As a result, I'm frustrated, stressed out, angry, and short with others. Perhaps I'm in a great mood until I hear that things look bad for my husband's company or that my daughter had a rough time at school. Then I end up feeling down, discouraged, negative, and fearful for the rest of the day.
God Never Changes
Whenever our mood or feelings are dependent upon anything other than God, that circumstance or person has become God to us and is on the throne of our lives. God always gently reminds me—"You've forgotten that I'm the only thing that can't change. Everything else in your life can change at any moment! You're looking for your happiness to be based upon everything going as you planned, or people responding the way you think they should, and this will never happen because only I cannot change!"
There is no variation or turning with Him! (See James 1:17.) "For I am the Lord, I do not change" (Mal. 3:6). Whenever I'm disappointed in a person, organization, or circumstance, God shows me that I was looking to them to be who only God can be or to do what only God can do!
Everything and anything can be taken away from us—jobs, religious freedoms, finances, health, relationships—except for our intimate relationship with God. Once we finally accept this fact, then we will not rely upon anything else but our intimacy with Him to determine our happiness, mood, joy, and emotions.
Intimacy Is Not an Option
As these end times become even more uncertain and most likely more difficult, intimacy with God will no longer be an option or a "nice to know" teaching for those hardcore Christians who have all the time in the world to do Bible studies, for the "super spiri- tual," or for women only! It simply won't be enough to have only "head knowledge" about God. It won't cut it to attend church just because it feels good and has a fun social environment. You are going to need moment by moment intimacy, true encounters with the person of Jesus, not just an intellectual belief in Him. Your very survival will depend upon it in these end times—spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically.
Practice for the Future
We're talking life or death here! He's giving you "practice" now in drawing close to Him so that you will be able to stand strong and unshaken as things continue to heat up even more. I believe very strongly that God really wants you to get this point now before it's too late, while there's still time to get it!
View the daily struggles in your lives as practices for the future. They are opportunities to focus on what you do know about God and His character. Otherwise, you will fall prey to the enemy during uncertain times. You will blame God for your circumstances, become fearful, stressed, frustrated, confused, angry, unforgiving—and look just like every- one else who is in the world. You will block God's light and His purposes through you.
Make it a habit when you wake up in the morning, starting now, to focus on that one thing you have to do that day—growing in intimacy with God. If you can do it now with the usual ups and downs of daily life, you'll be able to remain strong no matter how uncertain the times become in the future.
The preceding is an excerpt from Excerpt Part 2 from Jeanne Nigro's book, Unshaken: Standing Strong in Uncertain Times (Destiny Image, 2016).
Jeanne Nigro is a seasoned teacher, speaking at conferences, retreats, churches, congregations and professional organizations around the world, and through her television and radio programs, FACETS OF THE STONE. Her messages are relevant, practical and life-transforming whether she is bringing Old Testament truths to life, healing strongholds of the heart or preparing believers for Jesus' return. She is passionate about leading her audiences to experience greater intimacy with God, mobilizing them out of fear, stress, apathy and frustration and into action and purpose in these uncertain times. Her blogs are regularly featured with the Messianic Times, Messianic Jewish Alliance of America and charismamag.com. For more about Jeanne, visit jeannenigro.com.
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