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Continuing Intimacy

By Pastor Alex Ruelo

Prayer and fasting is only one way to get closer to God. Everybody wants to go to heaven. That is also why people go to church on Sundays. But while your papers to your final destination are being processed, the question to ask is, “are you willing to change before going there?” Death is uncertain. And unless you will be like the criminal on Jesus’ side who accepted Him on his deathbed, you will still experience many trials and tribulations before you reach heaven. You will still be changed by God every single day. It is a process that will require great intimacy with the Lord as you take your journey.

You cannot expect receive or experience breakthroughs if you are not walking with God side by side. Changes are needed. Romans 12:1-3 says, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.” Each believer has different levels of faith. If you remember, there is a story in the Bible wherein Jesus’ disciples were trying to cast out a demon from a child. But they could not do it. When Jesus came, He was able to cast out the demon. So He asked His disciples, “Until when will I teach you how to do these things?”

You cannot think that you are better than who you really are. You need to give up. You need to give up thinking that you can do it on your own. You need to give up thinking that you do not need God. You need to give up and be fed up of yourself. If you want to be closer to God and continue your intimacy with Him, you need to depend on Him and give up on yourself thinking that you can do it on your own. Romans 12:1 says give your bodies to God as a living sacrifice. When you give your bodies to God, do you still have control over it? Can you tell God, this is only what I am willing to do? Of course not. You have no control over it any more. God wants to be involved in everything you do. If you want to be closer to God, you need to give up thinking that you can do things without Him.

Secondly, if you want to be closer to God, you need to own up. Believers are not close to God because of sin. Man died because of sin; he was alienated from his maker. But when man believed in God as his personal Lord and Savior, his dead spirit was made alive by Him. In the process, man still makes mistakes. The problem is when you do not own up to your mistakes and feel like everything is ok. Sometimes you blame it on others too. You need to own up to your mistakes and humble yourself too. Do not conform yourself to the world. Ba the change you want to see. Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Isaiah 59:2 says, “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.” You cannot pray when you have sin in your heart. You cannot speak God’s word when you have sin in your heart too. David says, in Psalms 51:1-4, “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge.” Everybody sins everyday. Nobody reaches God’s standards. Sins are like stains on your person. Every time you commit a sin, there is a stain that reminds you of your sin all the time. But God removes all the stains. He is not reminded of all the bad things that you have done. It is only man who judges himself and others of the sins that they have committed even in the past.when you ask God for forgiveness and own up to your sins, He removes the stains.

Lastly, you need to offer up to God. Romans 12:1 says, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.” Have you made deals with other people? There is always an exchange; a deal made. But when you offer yourself to God, know that you do not even own yourself. So it is a one way deal. Everything is God’s. So He can do whatever He wants with your body and your life. Isaiah 1:18 says, “Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” God’s only desire is for man to be closer to Him.

Joel 2:12-13 says, “Even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.” Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.” In this passage, God invites His people to tear their hearts. In the Old Testament, when people sin, they repent by tearing their clothes, pour ashes on their heads and the like. People see that they are repentant. But God is asking you to repent inside. You do not need to show and display to the world what and how you are feeling. And the people around you should not matter too. Repentance will be seen even if you do not say anything.

Worship inward too. You can jump and raise your hands when you worship but if your heart is not right with God, it is all in vain. Only the best worship should be offered to God. Only the best musicians should play for the Lord. Your voice should pierce the darkness for the Lord too. Lastly, change inside, not only on the outside. Change the way you think, your heart, your decisions, and even your way of life.

Change the way you worship. If you have to go back to how they used to worship thousand of years before, do it. Christians have become so lax nowadays just because they have accepted Jesus as their Savior. Nothing should have changed. It was faith that saved everyone. It is faith that saves them still. Before the world began, Jesus was already there. He is still here. Everything is the same. Psalms 34:18 says, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” God loves a broken heart. He is close to those who mourn. Why? Because Ezekiel 36:26 says, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” God will give them a new heart. And things will change. Give it all up to God. Own up to the sins you are keeping in your life. Allow God to use you again. And Hewill remove the stains.


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