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Sunday, 14 December 2014

How to Get Close To God, Pray and Walk with Him In These Last Days

 In these days of mass apostasy, persecutions, heresies, false teachings (using the twisting of scriptures method) and unscriptural false prophecies, it is vital that all individual born again believers learn how to get close to God and be instructed by God personally, in the same way that the great bible characters did  when they virtually single handedly served the Lord in times of apostasy or persecution such as David, Jeremiah, Daniel, Paul etc

This article follows on from my last 2 articles

God is NOW Sending Us a Last Warning that the Rapture of the Church, Followed By the Great Tribulation Is VERY Close at Hand. Strong Evidence Given

Rick Warren and Word of Faith's Full Apostasy Is Complete. Mystery Babylon Is Taking Even Greater Shape Before Our Eyes

which were illustrating how very close we are to the rapture and the Second Coming and the times of great tribulation on the Earth. Therefore, we need to rediscover or learn how to get close to God, now, so that we are ready. As Jesus said “watch and pray” and “when you see these things happening, look up for your redemption is drawing near”.

How to Get Close To God
A good starting point of how to get close to God, would be to read this article:

How To Study The Bible and Why. Learning How To Avoid Deception

There are 2 main ways of getting close to God. To have a relationship with anybody it is important to spend time in that person's presence either listening or talking to each other or just simply enjoying each other's presence. It is no different with God. He has chosen to
speak to us through His word and to listen to our prayers. We listen through reading/studying and meditating on the things He reveals to us through scripture - as discussed within the above article and we talk to Him through prayer.

Remember always that prayer is our way of communicating directly to God by talking to Him about the things that concern us. It is important to learn what things we should pray for by developing our knowledge of Him through what the Bible tells us about Him. The more we learn about Him, the more we learn about what things we should pray for and develop a "mind of God" ie a mind that thinks like God because we think according to the bible (Word of God). God has chosen to reveal who He is and His mind, in the scriptures.

With these things in mind, it is good to use Matthew 6:6-13 as a starting point when we pray. Don't just read out that prayer to God but use each phrase as an introduction to each aspect of prayer.

1. Adoration, Thanksgiving: It starts with spending time telling God that we acknowledge who He is and how great and wonderful He is: adoration and praise

2. Supplication: We then ask Him to take control of our lives, the lives of those we love and then gradually spread this request to the whole world " your kingdom come, your will be done, on Earth as it is in heaven". This should take up most of our time in prayer - not just asking vaguely for the kingdom to come but to make specific prayer requests that lead towards that bigger picture, such as asking God to change the mind and thinking of a political leader that they would introduce Godly changes or praying that the Holy Spirit would convict an unsaved loved one of righteousness, sin and judgement, so that they may be saved or for fellow believers that they may be filled with the knowledge of God in all spiritual wisdom and understanding. All these were using scripture verses to pray. By using scripture verses in our prayers it helps us attune ourselves to the things God wants us to pray for.

3. Confession & Personal Requests: We then pray for our own specific needs, then finally confess our failings asking God to help us overcome these specific temptations in the future and listing the things we need spiritual protection from.

So the order is, first focus on God, then focus on praying for the world then finally our own needs. When confessing sin, it is good to use psalm 51 as a guide in how to do this and when praying for the kingdom to come it is good to use John 17 as a guide to part of that area. It is good to see how those in the bible prayed, such as Daniel, David (psalms) Paul (in his letters) and of course, Jesus.

There is an acronym you can use "ACTS": Adoration, confession, thanksgiving and supplication, although not in that order. I would place it as Adoration, supplication, confession, thanksgiving, adoration. It starts with adoration and ends with adoration. During the time of adoration you can sing songs/hymns that are specifically prayer and praise songs that are directed to to Him, eg "I love you Lord and I lift my voice, to worship you ........" Songs are a good way to open your heart to God.

It is important, when you pray, that you can find a place where you can speak to God alone privately but audibly (doesn’t have to be loud) because there is power and release in speaking out verbally. It is very difficult to pour out your heart and soul to God if it is only in the mind. The psalmist said "come bless the Lord, all my soul and all that is within me". How can that be achieved unless it is verbal?

Prayer (particularly supplications and intercession) is a pouring out of your heart and soul and emotions to God. Paul said:

"do not worry about anything, but by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God and then the peace of God that passes all understanding, will keep your heart and mind in Christ Jesus" Philippians 4:6.

You have only got to read the psalms of David to see how he poured out his heart and soul to God.

Here is an article which deals with another aspect of our relationship with God which is meditation and praise. Regarding the meditation; it is not the emptying of the mind nor the TM type, but a simple thinking/focussing on the scripture you are reading and how it applies and what God is saying to you through it.

Fix Your Eyes Upon Jesus

Here are 2 other relevant articles which help point our minds towards God rather than be influenced by  "so called" men of God who actually confuse us in how to get close to God.

Prophetic Ministry In These Last Days. How to Recognise True And False Prophecies

In These days Of Apostasy and False Christianity, Should We Still Attend Apostate Churches?

How to Walk With God
Regarding walking with Him, the starting place would actually be exactly the same as above. It is impossible to know how to walk with Him UNTIL you have developed your close relationship with Him. That needs to be nurtured first. Only when we develop the mind of God through reading/studying/meditating upon the things we have read and prayer, will we know how to serve Him in obedience and be led by the Holy Spirit to discern His voice. Here is proof that this is the case:

Hebrews 5: 12-14 "though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil

This is telling us that it takes time to develop a listening ear to the Holy Spirit's leading and it comes by applying the things we learn from the bible into our daily lives. By constant application of the Word of God to our daily lives we develop the mind of Christ and the instincts of what God wants us to do.

The Holy Spirit will never contradict God’s Word the bible. However, we can easily be influenced by other sources, eg false teachers and satanic lies that sound very convincing, persuasive and plausible (because we are weak human beings susceptible to sin and deception).

Many have been convinced that the Holy Spirit has spoken to them or lead them in a certain direction, but it cannot be if they are led into unscriptural practice or a false representation of God. No matter how convinced you are or how much you want it to be true, it is always best/wise to have a humble attitude with an open and honest heart before God, toward all these things and even be determined to reject them if (after checking these things out) the whole bible’s overall teaching (in context) on these things, shows them to be false or in error.

As said, the Holy Spirit will NEVER reveal things to you that contradict the bible. God knows that we need a measuring device, standard or plumb-line to test our experiences with, so He chooses to speak to us, through the bible.

Jesus said that the Holy Spirit will lead us into all truth, John 16:13 and John told us that we need no man to teach us as the Holy Spirit will teach us all things 1 John 2:27. That means that the Holy Spirit will teach us when we read the Bible by illuminating the truth contained in the bible and helping us to understand what we are reading.

Jesus was speaking to the apostles who were to write the new testament, that the Holy Spirit would lead THEM into all truth and then John told us (at a time when large sections of scriptures were available) that it is the Holy Spirit who teaches us.

It doesn’t mean that we should not listen to pastors/teachers, but to understand that these things cannot be grasped unless the Holy Spirit helps and that our dependence should be upon the Holy Spirit to teach us direct from the scriptures rather than indirectly through a man, who is simply a channel to help/guide us, but the real teacher is the Holy Spirit. 

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