Proverbs 4 4-4-20

What are you willing to do to know that God is real? To sense His Presence? To feel His love and approval? Anything? Everything?

7 Though it cost you all you have…

Adam and Eve* were perfect. They had only one “temptation” to avoid, which really wasn’t a temptation until the serpent brought it to their attention. Their eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil doomed us to lives of misery. Why? Because we have the knowledge, but lack self-control. We have no power to go against the feelings that temptation brings and to choose righteously.

What we need is for God to come and live in our hearts, to tell us what is right and what is destructive, and to empower us to choose good over evil. WAIT!!! THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT JESUS ACCOMPLISHED WITH THE CROSS/GRAVE/RESURRECTION! His Presence in our lives is where we get our close communication, our sweet communion, with Him. It’s where we feel His love and approval; His Presence brings joy, peace and hope. We relish His mercy and His grace. Spending time recognizing His Presence in our hearts and lives makes us more and more like Him: humble, gentle, patient, kind, faithful, fair, righteous, and holy. It is THIS relationship that makes being a Christian worth it!

If you’ve never had it before, that close relationship with Jesus Christ, that sweetness of fellowship that comes from having Him in your heart, I urge you to give your life to Him today. Ask Him to convict you of sin–you’re probably going, “WHY?” His Presence in our lives is felt most when we feel the conviction of sin: the things in our lives that are destroying us and those around us (relationally if not literally). It is His conviction that prompts us to act when He wants us to; His conviction empowers us to choose rightly. But, it all begins with the conviction of present sin in our lives. Respond to His conviction; it is His way of loving you! Ask Jesus to come, live in your heart, forgive you of all your sin, and to rule and reign as LORD and King in your life. You’ll never regret it!

If you have, but it’s been a while, He is just a prayer away. In fact, knowing His peace–feeling it and understanding it–comes from being in His Presence. But, we cannot come to Him just any old way; we must come as He dictates. He is holy, therefore, we must come to Him wholly (get it?). We must climb up on the altar and die to ourselves in order to get to His lap, so to speak. In doing so, He pours on us His Pleasure! Know this: We must determine in our hearts to live for Him from now on; He knows when we are holding back. The man prayed, “I believe; help me overcome my unbelief.” Mark 9:24. It’s all part of the conviction we feel from the Spirit. We must learn to sense it, obey it, and live by it. Then all the things that come with salvation we enjoy every time we come to Him.

If you want to have it everyday, then come to Him the same way we did that first time: completely, wholly, and with abandon. The neat part is that the more often we do it, the easier it gets, the more rewarding it gets, and the more real it gets! Spending time with Him is as easy as turning around in our minds. It’s what is meant by “transforming our minds” in Romans 12:2, “the renewal of our minds” in Ephesians 4:23, and the “clothing of ourselves with the LORD Jesus Christ” in Romans 13:14. You may have noticed that I used three verses from the Bible; the Bible is where we learn to turn to Him, HOW to turn to Him, and WHY we need to turn to Him everyday, every hour–continuously.

May we use this “down time” to fire up our prayer life and Bible study. Answer His call to join Him. Don’t be afraid of conviction, because it’s how He communicates His desires to us. Look for it; ask for it; recognize it as His Participation in our lives.

Abba, I praise You for Your conviction in my heart and life. I recognize it as Your way of warning me, calling me, and empowering me to do Your will–WITH You and NOT for You. As I read Your Word and as I turn to You as often as I recognize Your voice of conviction, may I get better and better at it, and faster and faster at turning to You. When I do turn to You, You become SO REAL in my life! I’m addicted, LORD. I want MORE of You (I realize I have ALL of You in my heart, but I want to know and access as much of You as I can). Make it so today, LORD Jesus, Yeshua Ha’Machiach. Amen.

*Adam and Eve were real people who lived in a real Garden of Eden. They walked and talked with God, and were the Parents of all humanity. We’re looking at about 6500 years ago. Don’t believe me? Let’s talk.

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