20 Jul Secrets Of A Powerful Lifestyle
The quality of our lifestyle plays a major role in the way and manner in which we can minister the power of God. There is a connection between our lifestyle choice and the steady flow of God’s power in our lives. When we read about how many men and women of old walked in the power of God, we seldom see the quality of their obedience and the other prices they paid to experience the power flowing in their lives. Yes, they do have a calling and yes, God was willing to use them to fulfil His purposes, but they paid the price none the less. Our present lifestyle makes it almost impossible to pay any meaningful price.
We are so absorbed in many legitimate things that it seems ridiculous to think of adding any price to what we are already paying, just to make ends meet or keep up with the work. That is what makes this subject all the more important, we will always pay a price somewhere and somehow. When we fail to pay it spiritually, it takes it’s toll on us in many other areas and some price will still have to be paid. Knowing that there is a price to pay and a position to take, for the will of God to be done on earth, let us labour to know and to pay the right price for the right things to be done on earth. If we be willing and obedient, we shall eat the good of the land, the Bible says. ‘God is at work in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure.’ May God make us willing to be willing! May we be willing to fight to stay in the place of obedience to God, no matter the opposition! Our natural human tendency is to stay independent and free to do our own thing.
We want to have our way, do what we want and not answer to anyone. The rebellion in the unregenerated soul is so powerful; it tends to make a mockery of obedience to God or His authority-delegate.
In our study, we want to learn from the life of Elijah and the phrase that caught my attention is the one in 1 Kings 17, when He said ‘As the Lord God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew or rain these years, but according to my word.’ As I meditated on this phrase, some insights began to come out. I can see intimacy, transparency, consistency and authority. I can also see a man’s consecration and dedication, having God as his priority and enjoying deep communion with Him. The premise of our study is that the secret of God’s power in our lives is found in the lifestyle we cultivate.
HOW TO CULTIVATE INTIMACY WITH GOD
Intimacy implies familiarity, closeness, understanding, confidence and relationship. Someone called it ‘look into me and see’. This is one of our hearts’ longings in all relationships. We want it, are afraid of it, as it makes us vulnerable and yet it seems to hold many answers to the deep desires of our hearts. When attained, it needs to be maintained and the joy of it will make it worth all the effort we put into it.
To cultivate intimacy means acceptance for, measuring worth to, and getting to recognise fine and delicate details about the one you are getting intimate with. Naturally this should happen in both parties that are coming into intimacy. This happens when the sense of worth is heightened and proper investigation is going on to know the person at a deeper level. I am sure that God’s plan involves helping us cultivate this with a human being like us so we can value the quality He desires from us towards Himself. The more you know, the more value you place on the intimate one. There are things about us all that are only known to the ones we are intimate with. We are moved by whatever affects our intimate partner. Intimacy is a function of quality time spent together. This requires focus and intensity. Intimacy is to be enjoyed, not endured. It can only happen when love is flowing out a sense of deep appreciation, honour and understanding. When we direct our hearts and efforts towards God to cultivate intimacy with Him, we begin to see the deadness of religion without a personal relationship with God through the finished work of Calvary. It is not enough to have a salvation experience that is not leading us to pursue a meaningful and personal relationship with God through Christ. To have His presence, His power and see His purposes fulfilled, we need to be intimate with Him. ‘The secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him; and He will show them His covenant’ (Psalm 25:14). ‘I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you shall go: I will guide you with my eye’ (Psalms 32:8). To be guided with the eye implies a degree of intimacy to recognise any changes in the eye. This intimacy will help us navigate the way into God’s purposes for us. God Himself wants us to draw closer to Him and know the deep things in His heart for us, for His Kingdom and for Himself (James 4:6-10).
God and His Word are one (John 1:1-3). The Word becomes our access to intimate knowledge of God. Whenever the word is approached correctly, you can count on the Holy Spirit to help and guide us into intimacy with God. To be close to God must become a passion in our hearts for it to come to pass. It will take a disciplined life that set intimacy with God as a goal. Certain patterns must develop for this to be realised:
(A) Time in the Word: in reading, studying and meditation. This is coupled with investigation, internalisation and confession. Meditation implies thought, consideration, deliberation, contemplation, reflection and rumination. Psalms 1:1-3 paints a vivid picture of the position of one who meditates in the Word. This has to be consistent.
(B) Time in Prayer: Worship, supplication, intercession and petition are involved in this. Intercession implies intervention, mediation, and negotiation. Prayers can also be a time to receive instructions from the Lord.
(C Time in fellowship with the Lord: We take God’s instructions seriously and spend time with Him to know His mind concerning issues on earth and then just bless Him, enjoying fellowship with Him. You can simply bask in His presence.
Being consistent is the key to the flow of life and power. Most things get overcome in the face of our consistency in doing what makes for intimacy with God. It cannot be accomplished without the power of the Holy Spirit but the decision is ours to start with. The determination is ours also. To be consistent, we must take the responsibility to be so. I must take responsibility for where I am, where I am going and what I am becoming. God must be my priority over my feelings, comfort or convenience. The authority that I carry as a result of my yieldedness to God positions me to do things in His name and He will back me up as it is done according to his will. This is when prayer takes a new turn. The praying man has power with God as a result of the lifestyle cultivated. This stance or position is further enhanced by my readiness to obey instructions from God and His Word.
The Father has been waiting for us to bring our lives to the place where He can pour out His power on and through us to this dying world. His Son has paid the price to release it from heaven, someone needs to pay the price to release it on earth for others to enjoy. Will you be the one?