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Christ in the Word and Prayer

Jonathan Zita

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We pray "Christ in me" because we want to live transformed lives. But without reading the Word, we would not know what needs changing. And there is no other way of asking if we do not learn to pray. This session will provide you tools that will assist you in fostering a vibrant devotional life.

Presenter

Jonathan Zita

Associate Director, Review & Herald

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Conference

Recorded

  • August 14, 2015
    1:30 PM

Series

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I was asked to share a little bit more about Christ. In the word. And Christ in treasure and we call it devotional doing your devotional are doing devotional time right. And what does devotional time. And you guys can answer me so it's not a. What does devotional time for consist of. When you hear devotions because devotion is an interesting word it means to be devoted to right. But what does it usually mean in your mind. What do you hear. When you hear that. What is it. When I say devotion. I mean is it. Eating food. Is it sleeping. That watching T.V. What do you usually see in your mind when you hear that word. As a Christian studying the Bible. Anything else. Praying. Anything else. Singing. Very good. Anything else. Very good so separate yourself from the cares of this world and focusing on God right. So many of us. And I think this is what God wants us. You know by by prayer by studying God's word by singing these kind of things. It helps us to have that relationship with God But you remember we pastor book brother Robert Blake had talked about the century message and. If you have your Bibles let's look at a few verses here second Corinthians fivers nineteen. I want to. I want to focus on maybe something that we haven't focused on when we talk about spending time with God. Second Corinthians five. And I just want to look at verse nineteen. This is the whole purpose of the sanctuary message and. And it's also I believe the purpose. Even the devotional time that we spend with God Second Corinthians five first one thousand to wit that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself. Not imputing their trust trespasses on to them and have committed. Unto us the word of what reconciliation. Now. Then we are ambassadors for Christ as the God did beseech you buy us we pray you in Christ dead be you was reconciled to God I believe that the whole concept of the century message is to bring be reconciled with God. Because you remember how there was a sanction the Century see and your coming into the quarter. What happens is if this guy decides to walk right into the presence of God What happens to God. What happens not to God What happens to the guy. Dead right. But. But God wants to dwell with us. That's the whole purpose God was in heaven but he says make me a century that I can come. And I can tabernacle with you right. The whole purpose of the sanctuary. The whole purpose the salvation. Is that God can be reconciled with us right. That's why I says in those days in heaven. I will be your God and you will be my people. So the devotional time. It's a time where we can be used to be reconciled with God. However I think we all understand that devotional time is is to be able to develop that relationship with God I think most of us understand. It's not just about. OK. I need to read my Bible because that's the right thing to do I need to pray because that's the right thing to do know we kind of understand that the reason I read the Bible the reason I study is because I'm trying to develop a relationship with a person right which is Jesus Christ they meant. But why is it so difficult. Why is it so difficult to spend time with God in the morning. And that's what I want to focus on today. Because I'm telling you once you pass that difficulty. Then. It's a nice experience. It's a blessing. No you don't always have these Wow experiences. But I think it's important to understand why is it that when I get up. I may not always feel like praying. I may not always feel like studying the Bible. Why is it that I can go shopping so much quicker. I can go on Facebook so much quicker and so much enjoy it all then to be able to spend time in God's word and this is not you know. If you are resonating in this is something that you are experiencing in your mind. Trust me you're not the only person. All of you are not moving but most people in this room. It is a challenge. It's a challenge because we're tired because we're overworked There's different reasons I think we need to look at but I think it's important to look at the reasons why it is difficult for us to have devotions What are these things that are keeping us from enjoying this experience with got and once we deal with these factors. Then we don't need to focus so much on how right. I will talk a little bit about how at the end but I believe that there's a lot of workshops out there you can go on audio verse and hear converse sermons on how to study your Bible. And so the issue is not how to study the Bible there's a lot of stuff out there is just to point to get to the point that you want to study the Bible are you with me. Should it not be a joy. Should he not be a joy. So let's start by focusing not on how to have devotions. But how to design or to have devotions. Now if this concept of devotion is developed a relationship with Jesus Christ. I want you to understand why Also I'm not focusing on the how so much. And I will talk a little bit because you are all uniquely different. Do you know that. I don't know if you remember when Christ was born in the temple there was Simeon. And there was also another lady called. ANNA. Right. And if you read about Anna. And I was married before. And then she. I guess she was a widow I think it was it. But the Bible says that she was in the temple. All the time praising the Lord. Now for some of us when we look at that we see that's like. That's like fanaticism. You know like. Don't you go and do something with your life. You're just there. All the time praising God. I mean she literally says he was in the temple. All the time. She lived in the temple. Right I guess that was compartments or I don't know. I don't know and the Bible doesn't depict a lot but what I'm saying is that when I fell in love with my wife. Right. Now it's not so much I could read a book and. I want you to to see the relationship with my wife with the same thing I'm developing a relationship with God. Sometimes what we want to do with devotions we want to develop. Specifically exactly what you need to do in that relationship. It's as if you come and tell me OK John. You need to call your wife from nine o'clock to nine to or you're your girlfriend from nine to nine ten. And then after that you're going to study about how when you're going to get married. What's going to happen from nine ten to your list I mean so. But. But we all have different relationships right. So what we need to understand are the principles. And the way that God relates with me. Maybe a little bit different than the way he does with you right. But the concept is. Do I love Christ. Do I love to spend time with him. Do I study His word. Do I enjoy it and then. How does God lead me. Sometimes the way that I raise. I discipline one child will be different than the way I discipline my other child. Why. Because I choose. I believe I need to change they are. I mean I don't treat them. One more important than the other but they have different personalities they have different characters you understand right. So. To be to better understand this. I want to contain or this spiritual aspect with the physical world and I think that as we make comparisons it's going to be a little bit clearer in your mind. What we're focusing on is not so much how. But how to get the desire to study the Word of God how to get the desire to pray when I get up how. What are things that inhibit me from having this desire having this joy having this longing to spend time in God's or as well. The first thing I want to read. It's in it's in a book called prayer. I think it's also a step to Christ but a book called prayer from Illinois. Page twelve says prayer is the breath of the way of the soul. Purse the breath of the soul. It is the secret of spiritual power. No other means of grace can be substituted. And the health of the soul be preserved. Meaning you say well you know what I'm not going to pray I'm just going to read my Bible you can't substitute it right and still have the health of the what we're talking about health. Prayer brings the heart into immediate contact with the wellspring of life and strengthens the sign you and muscle. Of the religious experience. So in the physical world. Something that is essential to living is is something you're doing right now are you looking at me your. What are you doing right now. You're breathing. So in the spiritual world. The same is with the physical world the same is also with the spiritual world so we're going to liken prayer to what. Brit breath OK. And then the other one is the Word of God. Which is the Bible job twenty three twelve says I have esteem the word of his mouth more than my necessary frood So there's a likeness between food and God's word you've heard Matthew four four men shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God So once again there's a correlation between this concept of food. And the concept of God's Word and in John six if you can turn there with me. John six. We're looking at verse forty one. John six forty one. The Bible says the Jews then murmured at him at Jesus because he said. I am the bread which came down from heaven. Verse forty eight. Jesus again says. I am the bread of life verse fifty one. Again Jesus says. I am the bread of life verse. Fifty seven. As a living. Father has sent me and I live by the father so he that. Edith's me. Even he shall live by me. And it was a hard thing because people say what is this is this cannibalism and what Jesus what are you talking about and then he clarifies it in verse. Sixty three says it is a spirit that Quicken is the flesh profit is nothing. The words that I speak and to you. They are spirit and they are Was life. So there's a correlation here Jesus says. I am the bread of life. And you need to eat me. That's what he's saying. And then people are like what. And then they begin to understand that he was talking about a spiritual Kingdom. And that's when a lot of people start following Jesus. Because they wanted something real in a sense of freedom from the Romans. But they didn't want to change in their lives. And he saying no no you need to eat me. What. How do I eat you. Is the words that I speak. They are food. To you they will bring life. So the breath. In the physical world is what in the spiritual world prayer. And the food in the physical world is what in the spiritual world is the Word of God. Right. So these are the two most essential things to be able to live. And you know we won't have time today. But the water. Represents. You know we need we need breath. We need food. And we need water to survive survive in the water represents the Holy Spirit. So what's interesting is that these are. Essential to survival. Without bread or food without air. It's only a matter of time until we die. Right. Question What. When do you see the effect. More quickly. When I stop eating or when I stop breathing. And that you think about that a little bit. I want to start with food. I remember a few years ago. I was I was so sick. Remember I was so sick at throwing up a couple times and. I was living in a house not my house for somebody who's place. And I remember I was just lying on my bed. And I go downstairs. And I see a friend of mine and he's eating this food that I usually love to eat. Do you think I felt like eating. You know I mean just the sight of the food which I normally love made me want to do what to throw up. It's only when I became. Well again. That I decided you know. I want food. I'm hungry. Same with our children sometimes I get sick when they're sick they don't want to eat sometimes they'll spend a whole debate. Times a day and a half and you're think they're going to die. When you are sick. That is one way or one time. In the physical world. Where you don't desire food. Right. So that's the first Bert. Point I want to talk about. Meaning. Why is it that I don't desire. Devotional. Why is it out the Zire to go read my Bible. Why is it that I don't desire to be with to go and pray with God. Well the first reason may be because you're sick. Right. Because sickness. Removed from us. Appetite is that simple. Right. So in Mark chapter two if you can turn there with me. Mark Chapter two. We're looking at verse seventeen. The Bible says when Jesus heard it he saith unto them. They that are whole have no need of the physician. But they there are what. Sick. I came not to call the right just but who to repentance. Sinners So here Jesus puts a come. Comparison between the physicians. He says. I am the physician and then he come. Puts a comparison between sickness. And he correlates it with what was sin. Right. In second Chronicle seven fourteen that's another popular verse but I think it's very important to meditate on it says If my people who are called by mining. Show humble themselves. And Craik seek my face and turn from their wicked ways. Then will I hear from heaven will forgive their sins and will heal their what. So we want healing. But notice that healing only takes place after there is the seeking after God. And there's also a forsaking of sin propers twenty thirty. This one if you can turn there with me Proverbs twenty eight. And we're looking at verse thirteen. The Bible says He that covered his sins shall not prosper. But whoso confesses. And forsake it them shall have what. Mercy Mercy. So the question is is there is something in your life that you have enough surrendered yet. Now this may be a problem. Why you don't these are they may not be. But sometimes for some of us. You know God speaks to us. And God may speak to George on something that he doesn't speak to me. Maybe yet. Upon. Because he's at a different level has different experience. But God has spoken to me on something and I'm saying Well George does it. I took it and he's president of the C Y C. And I'm nobody right. So I'm OK. I can still do this right. And then sometimes we avoid says no but Lord. I'm faithful in this. And I'm faithful in this. And I'm faithful in this. And I'm faithful and this. And this someone maybe brings this to my attention sometimes going to say well I'm working on it. I'm not the one that can tell you what you are being convicted on. It is only God through His Holy Spirit. I only know for myself but I can tell you one thing that with God. It's all or nothing. Meaning in a sense that he wants all your heart. And if you'd have only ninety nine percent your heart he doesn't have all your heart. He has. It's all. It's all in the things so if God has convicted you on something. I am not saying that you will never fall. The Bible tells us. If we do fall we have an Advocate with the father. But what I am saying is that we need to make a choice to be able to give our wills to God and says Lord. I wanted to hold onto it that means. I still had my will and I was still be citing. I can't promise. What will happen tomorrow but for today. I give you my will and I surrender everything to you and you know that's why God want to be able to take control of your life and to be able to lead you to greater heights. So that is when true healing can start taking place. So if there's something that God has been convicting you on. And it could be anything it could be stubbornness it could be something on diet it could. You know these things are just a manifestation of. If our will is truly surrendered to him or not. But if God is trying to lead you up higher and he's convicted you on certain things and you're trying to argue with got into. And then you're wondering well but I don't understand why do I wake up and I just don't you know I'm. It's a struggle to spend time with God. These two can be related. Meaning. Why Jesus wants to have this loving relationship with you. He wants to draw you to him. And at the same time. You're saying yes. I want to have a relationship with you but don't tell me how to live in this area in my life. There's something that's wrong. You understand what I mean so it's important to be able to see if there is something that God is convicting me on. Then God ask us to confess. And in my mind to foresee. And then the power of God comes tomorrow I may still fall. But tomorrow when I get up. I confess. And I for sake from the beginning that I choose from now on with God's strength. I will never do this and go or go there anymore. Sickness. Another reason. In the physical world. That something that removes our appetite for some for a for good wholesome food is junk food is what the. Guys know what junk food is. Yes. There's junk food tastes good. But you know this something about junk food. You know you can have like this big thing of in come back we have this thing called Two teen. And you know especially if you're really hungry. You know some things you buy a big one and I'm telling you something about junk food something about junk food. Is that it tastes so good at the beginning. But if you keep eating junk food. You are SOL discussed it at the end. Are you with me. Meaning. You're eating it and it's so good in your eating in your tribe because you pay good money for the things you want to eat it on by the time you're all I.D.N.. Man it is so discussed right. Same thing with chips. Pringles all this stuff tastes so good. The first two third one. But by the time you had the bottom of the big stack you feel like throwing up this something about junk food. Catch this junk food. Takes away. Appetite for wholesome food. So the question is. You may have said well I've surrendered my heart to God. You know there's things that he has shown me and I have surrendered to him. Why do I still not desire you know when I get up in the morning to have devotion and. Why is it such a struggle. It may be a struggle because the question is What are you feeding yourself with. Are you feeding yourself with. I don't know. And what I'm saying. I'm not saying that you're feeding yourself necessarily with with bad things. But sometimes things that are just distracting. Sometimes you know I you know. I used to be able to sit and watch. You know in one show they have this show called Just For Laughs. You've heard of it or. I mean I could watch. Hours of that. You know and. And you laugh and whatever. But something that's interesting. And I didn't realize it before. Is that. I feel that this is just a separate compartment of my life. And I don't understand. And I didn't understand that this actually is in direct competition with my spiritual life meaning these things take away the desire for spiritual things are you with me. And many times we don't realize that we cause we think well you know it's just something funny some something innocent. You can spend a lot of time on You Tube or what kind of music aren't you listening to No it's all me love music. You know it doesn't talk about dues I know but it's all about love love love love. You know. OK. What kind of books you read what is not necessarily books that are bad. But where does it bring your mind. And then the question is what kind of racial has it applied in your life. Meaning I live I sing One him. And I listen to twenty thousand songs that talk nothing about God. I'm not saying that it's wrong to watch a nice documentary or whatever. But the problem is what is the racial. What is truly influencing your life. What are you. What is your main diet. About. Is it about junk food. Is it about you flip. Useless. Empty calories. Or is it. Wholesome food. The issue is this the more empty calories. Of this kind of food we eat. The less we have the desire for what is wholesome the less the wholesome becomes boring. Are you with me. What kind of friends do you associate with. Do you know that when you become surrendered to Christ or some friends you can't spend as much time with anymore. It's not because you don't love them. You do love them. But when you realize that you're so weak that they are influencing you the wrong way by the way the speak and everything and they're just dragging your mind down you have to limit the amount of time you spend with them. When I finish high school. You know. I stood I struggle. And I had a hard time witnessing to my friend it's only when I left. And then I started doing missionary work and so forth and I came back in visited. I felt I was able to have that kind of influence upon them. Instead of them having influence upon myself. So that's why. The question is. You may have surrendered. Your your your life to God. There may be so certain sins in your life that you surrender. Every day you confess you for sake. But the question is am I eating junk food and junk food. Is it taking away from my desire for wholesome whole wheat grain. Food spiritual food a mint. Now some of you will tell me or John you know. And what can I do you take away my music you take away my T.V. you take away you know you just took away my just for last. You took away everything I mean that it's so boring I have nothing I can do now I just. I want to read a quote from you this is from my character and personality five ninety nine. It is of little use to try to reform. Others by attacking. What we may regard as wrong habits. Such effort. Often results in more harm than good in his talk with the Samaritan woman. Instead of this perishing Jacob's well. Christ presented something better. So the concept is this. I'm not encouraging you guys. To change your habits. What I am encouraging you. Is to start seeking for something better. So for example if somebody says well. I want to eat healthier. So when you go and help them you don't say well you shouldn't need this and you know you should throw that away and then let me go to your Christian help you out because this is your whole kitchen needs to be cleaned up know what you do if you say well you know you have this thing called. Eggs and stuff and you know. OK. But you know that you can have the same effect. With flaxseed or whatever so what you're doing is and you know what this benefits the fact let me talk to you about it. So the concept is. You're not focusing on the bad things. You're focusing on trying to find an alternative. And friends people will always find an alternative you know that. And if you study this concept of of addictions. Many people will stop smoking. And just start eating more. You know meaning. There's that void. And the way they were able to fill it with addiction. And so when they do is a substitute a very bad addiction to something that is more socially acceptable. So what we want to do is we want to substitute something with what Christ as ask us for. So what i'm thing is. You may have things that you realize in your life this junk food I'm wasting my time my money my energy my strength on this. I encourage you. Instead of just saying you know let me stop stop stop stop stop what you're going to find out if you're going to stop stop stop stop stop until you get bored then you going to start star star star start carry with me. So what you need to do is you start studying Well you know I used to spend a lot of time watching this foolishness. What made me what can I start watching or doing. In the in. Instead of this. What is something that God wants me to do. And I'm telling you God with this spirit will inspire you on what you can do. And then you will start seeing that you. You know but it'll be much easier to free yourself with God's power from these addictive type out of this that we have that are not necessarily sin. But that may be in direct competition with growing spiritually. Especially in our desire. In our devotional life. The number three. The third thing I believe that. Removed from us. The desire for force. If you're to a things. I call it loneliness. If some of you have ever been single in a sense that you've lived on your own. Just last weekend I was talking to somebody lives on his own. And he doesn't eat much. You know there's this concept of about. Many people when they are alone. This just no motivation to eat. You know there's just you feel alone you just you know you just kind and then the food tastes. This is something about food and social and appetite just comes one or all together and we can all share and eat in the in the food taste better when others are there with human. And when you're alone is is kind of like. And I've experienced it I've had many friends I've experienced it. I'm not saying you're single. But you're living in a family. I'm saying you're on your own. In your own little apartment building. Little apartment somewhere. You go to school you come back home. And everybody has a family and everything and you're just just just you. You know. And so in those days. You eat out of principle. You don't eat out of the fun. Are you with me. Meaning. There's no fun there's no enjoyment in it. But one thing I've I've discovered. Is that if this is your situation. Meaning that if there was sins in your life. You know by God's grace. You don't hold onto it there's no cherished ins you decide not to cherish him you. You're asking God creates. Every day. And then you start looking at some distractions that may remove from you the desire for spiritual things and so you start replacing those. But if after that you still feel well why. I mean it's better. But I still sometimes trouble getting up not just because I'm tired it's just that desire for spiritual things. Sometimes what happens is that we're. You may be lonely. But there's a song Best says What a Friend We Have in Jesus. And I can guarantee you that when you meet somebody the first time you may not have that desire. You know to spend that much time with the individual just like my wife. But the more. I spend time with her before she was my wife the more that desire. Group. Right. So relationships. Don't happen in seconds right we spent all of our lives focusing upon the number one which is me. And so we cannot expect to fall in love with Jesus sometimes just like this the Holy Spirit is there in the Holy Spirit helps. But sometimes because especially those that have grown up in the church. We start taking Christ for granted. We've become also callous to a lot of terms in the Bible and stories because we've heard them so many times with they don't always speak to us as much and so what happens that it may take a little bit more time for the flame to be rekindled. It's almost like a marriage. That was kind of a marriage but that kind of went bad and now you're trying to rebuild it together. Persevered. Persevered. Get up and eat. Not necessarily because the food taste good but out of principle. Eat it because you want. Still to have that relationship with God. Plead for God Spirit and you will start seeing in your heart of claim that will start rekindling and regrew to a place that it is. You can truly see what a friend. I have in Jesus you know my. I remember some of you know my. My father was a pastor and. He was a pastor in a comeback. Area. And he would knock on doors a lot like the last. Was it. No I was the last. It was a chef I was a French one they had met somebody. Years before. The HAD NOT THAT IS door I couldn't remember. Can't believe they had remembered. My father coming to the door but from. You know members and even people telling me they say you know. Many times when he would come to the door. People would be really annoyed. And you know my dad very stubborn. So you know he would go and knock and try to have Bible studies and and and you know something. And if you were you gone and asked for bible studies you'll notice is not hard to sign people up. What is hard. Is when you come back the second and the third time and they realize that this guy serious. And I've done by Boruc I can tell you this is the truth out of fifty Bible study interest. If you get two or three. That will follow through you're doing extremely good right. And it's. It's amazing the first contact they're laughing with you they're so happy and the next contact. The kind of look at you in the third one they don't open the door right. So what happened is my dad would keep coming. And you know people tell me Mandy was so annoyed. You know but we let him in anyways. And my dad I don't know if you saw our. He just never realized I think he realized that he didn't care I don't know. But he would just come back anyways he couldn't get the vibes. You know like for me. I try to be more tactful I try to use all kinds of methods and one of the. And so if I says that whatever and I I go away. But he understood something that maybe I don't understand that yeah maybe they don't want to see me. But I also understand that unless they start understand some truths. They will never truly experience the freedom and the love of Jesus Christ in their lives. And so he kept coming and you know people will be annoyed but let him in. And then sometimes I would hear testimonies after they get baptized the share. How this guy just couldn't say no for an answer. So I want you to maybe think about that also there's this concept of perseverance. Perseverance and spending time in God's word. Even though you may not have that flame that kindled flame in you. But slowly as your faithful. The Holy Spirit will start something to do something in your life. Whereas before you couldn't care less and that was my experience as a teenager. I started. Faithfully reading my Bible. And I started reading a book called these are of each is. And I found it extremely boring. Extremely boring. I was falling asleep. All the time. But something happen. As I persevered. And as I keep praying for God to do something in my life. Adisa higher started to weaken and I actually started looking forward to reading the Bible and to reading these are beaches. And they came a point where when I got to the chapter called Calvary. That's when my heart was completely broken so I think that and I fell on the Rock Jesus Christ and this is an experience that we want to seek. We may not always have the feeling. But after we have done what we can to eat wholesome food. After we've done what we can to be able to surrender so that we can start getting healing and not have that sickness of sin that we hold onto in our lives. And after that. Persevered. God will do the rest in you. Well. I want to talk a little bit about prayer Now we talked about the eating aspect which is the food. And now we want to talk about the breathing aspect just a little bit in the book prayer page eight is says prayer is opening of the heart to God as to you what. A friend. Thank you as to a friend. When you pray. You have to think that I am talking to somebody. I know this may be a revolutionary concept. But you are talking to somebody. So at night when you're very very tired. And yours. Please be winners and in that are an amen. Is exactly the same thing you said the night before in the night before in the night before. You are talking to someone someone is actually listening. So it's think. You don't have to think about this amazing formula. And don't do it because you just have to do it. You're talking to somebody as to a friend is focusing it says prayer is the opening of the heart. And I want you to understand a concept. The friend aspect is linked to the opening of the heart is not the concept of the way you treat other friends. Meaning I don't. Not at this thing about yeah your men want to talk to got. It's just a guys. There's a reference there's a respect we need to have for God that I have to have above what I have for my friends. I love fire. Bank. You know like um. Campfires. And most of you love it to you come to the fire and you warm yourself in your. This is something about a warmth. About a fire in a fireplace in a home or fireplace a campfire. But yet. There is a fear. And a respect for that fire. There's a line. I'm not going to get so close that I'm going to burn me. I love the fire. But there's a respect. There's a limit to how close I get to the fire and the way that I interact with the fire. It is same thing with God. If you want to interesting study go back and study the three angels message and study why it doesn't say. Love got it says. Fear God. I believe that true fear includes love. But it's very interesting that in emphasizes this concept so. One thing it's important to understand. Prayer is not just to anybody I'm talking to. I am talking to God God is someone I should reverence. Is someone I should fear is someone I should love but is someone I should respect also. The second thing is that it's opening my heart. I don't need to say a set phrase like the Catholic do. Some of us are not very much higher than the Cathy because we say exactly the same thing. Right. I'm talking to somebody and I can open my heart to him talk to God. But friends. Friendship is a one way street. It's a what it's a two way street. And because of that. I need God to be able to talk to who to me. I talk to God in CA God needs to talk to me. What does. How does God talk to me through up. Through the Bible through nature. Three different ways divine providence and so but the number one way is the Word of God. So what I need to do now. I NEED TO TALK TO GOD. But I also need to hear God talk to me. The way that I hear talk to me the most specific way is to the Word of God where eight a second Joseph Joseph never had a Bible. So. So you only had half of the devotion time because all you could do was pray. Right. How do you do that the Joseph Heller Bible. Guys are not a trick question I know you're tired you just a. So he had oral tradition. But he didn't have anything physical right. It was in his mind. So when Joseph had devotions and he got up in the morning and he prayed. What did he do have very very very important. He meditated. He meditated on God. And what he had been. This friends. Is even more important than reading and studying your Bible. You need to study your Bible. You need to spend time in it because that's the way God speaks to you but the way that God speaks to you even more clearly more specific is the time where you read. And I encourage not to read a lot. Is better to read small. Instead of read a whole thing and ID any have no idea what you read read small. And then with God's Spirit. You meditate on what you have read. And how that applies to you. Friends. This is how God speaks to you. Some of you have said why I never heard God speak to me. Have you ever stopped long enough. After spending the time in God's word. To be able to listen to God's voice. When I don't have time because I knew what it's going to be a breakfast and I need to catch my bus and whatever I did I just read the Bible sometimes I read on the bus and I do. Well that's maybe why God. Why you can't hear God speak to you right. So let's talk about friendship. Friendship is a two way street. I want. I talk to God. I open my heart as to a friend. I realize that God is not just a buddy buddy God is God. He's someone to be worshiped to be feared. But yet. I can open the more secret things of my life to him. However unless that. I start hearing from God that friendship is going nowhere fast. So I need to pray. But I need to learn to hear the way I need to her and to hear. Learn to hear it. I hear his voice through the Word of God. But more specifically as I meditate on God's word and think. Lord. How does this apply to me. And friends. In those times. Is when you will hear God's Spirit in press in the impressing your heart. On certain things. Especially if we plead for God's Spirit. That's why I don't always. I mean I think it's good to listen to sermons we have audio verse it's a such a blessing. But let not overt and sermons. Be a substitute for you spending. Quiet time with God. Some of us are afraid to spend quiet time. You know that some of us are afraid of silence. And I know I've visited many homes and you hear the T.V. blaring. As anybody watching T.V.. Nobody has to be on that radio has to be. We need to have some kind of noise. Because I can't be alone with my thoughts. Friends you can be alone with God God is a source of strength of healing. Don't be afraid. Let him talk to you after you've read God's word. Meditate upon God's word and let him speak to you quietly. Plead for God's Spirit. Because the Holy Spirit that comforts us that teach us is the Holy Spirit that gives us the fruits. And the gift. Also. And then. If you can share whatever you've learned then that helps you to grill in Christ that's basically to century doctrine. You notice how there was a three apartments in the same though. The most holy place. One of them was the sharing. One of them was the. Eating the bread. And what was the other one. Incense were present what Definitely. Spend more time on be holding the character of Christ. I have so than seven the advantage that their devotion time. Is focused on current events. They know what the pope. When the pope's needs they know when he see that they are so in tune with what is happening. Right. It's OK to know these things right if you want to. But that that. What is the racial. What is the racial. They go through books like this about conspiracy theories and Jester woods and whatever. What is the racial. Meaning. I would rather you spend more time. Beholding the character of Christ. His method of working with people. His pure life. His Benevolence. That needs to take up the majority of not only your study. But of your meditation. And if you have time afterwards. You can focus on the poll I'm not saying you shouldn't know about current events these things are important. But this is not what our whole religion is all about our whole relations focuses on knowing Jesus Christ being reconciled to him. Well let's just recap. And then the schools. So we talked about briefly. Let's see if you guys were actually listening and devotional time when we think of devotions usually what does it consist of. Prayer and. And studying God's word and also singing which is a form of prayer also right. So we talk about maybe it's not so important just to focus on how to have devotion. But why is it that we don't want or we find it so hard to have devotions. So we did a correlation between the physical world. And the spiritual world. In the spiritual physical world. We breathe to be able to live. And so in the spiritual world what does breath. Equal to prayer. In the physical world we need to eat to live so what does the eating correlate to in the spiritual or what do we eat. The Word of God. And then we briefly talked about water I need water to survive. And so in the spiritual world it means what. Holy Spirit very good so you want to go home and study the. These concepts right. It will help you. I truly believe. So do I live longer without breath water or food. So the first thing I die from is what. Lack of air. The second thing is lack of and the third is lack of think on these things we talked about three things that may take away our desire or our appetite for wholesome air wholesome food right. The first thing we talked about was what sickness. When we are sick there's no desire to eat. There's no appetite. Sickness is equal to what. And I would save in more specifically cherish. Sin. Meaning since that we haven't surrendered. Or you may be our hope it's. It's basically our will. We have not fully surrendered to God. God may be speaking up on to us on certain levels. And maybe we even have grown in certain levels. But as long as we're holding to Swan think. Crisis and have our whole heart. That means we're still sick. We're still steeped in sin right. So God wants us to have healing. And so we need to surrender. Whatever it is confessed. And for seek and ask God to give you the strength to moral. Don't have to worry about tomorrow you may not have to give that all for ever listen. Don't worry about tomorrow. Today's today. Surrender your life to God. Today and tomorrow will take care of itself. The second thing that takes away to desire is what for wholesome foods junk food. Give me examples of junk food. No. DEMEA spiritual next lakes very good what else. And these are not this. Some are less. Not necessarily bad thing I'm not saying bad thing here right. Facebook may not necessarily a bad thing what else. Entertainment. Some are bad. And some are just just distracting. Any other thing could be could be tons of books. It could be. Is just. It could be anything to be honest with you that when you analyze your life you're realizing well this is my life this is a pie chart and this is taking way too much time is distracting me from God right. So these things. Junk food what it does. Is that something good in out of proportion. In my mind becomes junk food spiritually. These things. Direct competition. Mitt whether we realize it or not they take away our desire. In the long run for spiritual things what is the third thing we talked about that takes where desire. Loneliness. Sometimes when you are lonely We just don't feel like eating. That's just the bottom line. But in those times. Even though we can truly discover that Christ is a friend to us. We can have no better friend. We have. We can't expect to fall in love with somebody just like that. Love is based on knowledge. The more that we know Bob God the more we will love. We're not talking about. Sentimental ism. I'm talking about a love that is built. Deep on knowledge and that's the kind of love that God wants to give to have with us. So if I don't feel like eating. And I'm lonely. I still eat out of principle. And the more I do so the more I develop that relationship with Jesus Christ the more the food becomes tasty and wholesome right. So. We also talked about. We also talked about praying. Prayer is the opening of the heart to who to God Do I treat God just like my buddy buddy. No he's someone to be feared. Reverence. But however. Open your heart. Open your heart completely to him. However friend. Friendship is a two way street. That means. I can open my heart. I can talk to God because you just told me that I can't live long without breathing so that's the most important thing if I need to start with something today any a start with praying that I can still live. But I'm to develop a relationship. That way if I pray. I need to hear from God I hear from God Where. More specifically from the Word of God. I hear from nature and from testimonies and so forth but the clearer picture of crisis through His Word. So only by reading God's word. That's where I'm going to grow. Him and Him and no noise meant I need to do Also what. Meditate. I need to spend time meditating on God's Word and the more I spend time anything. Read less spend more time on meditation. The more I meditate. The more you will start experiencing God speaking to you. And sometimes. I'm not saying you'll be an audible voice. Voice in May be. But it's through the impression of His Holy Spirit. And as a spear impresses you. Then he can truly mauled fashion. Guide you. And then your relationship with Jesus Christ becomes sweeter and sweeter as a days go by him and. So it's very simple. If it's your dues Ayer. To focus on maybe eliminating or correcting the things that take away the desire for spiritual things. Instead of just focusing on. I need to my devotion I need to have a. What's the point of having your devotion. Is to be reconciled with God. What are some factors in your life. That need correcting with God's help with God's strength. So that when you wake up in the morning. Or your bout to retire at night. And you can't wait to talk to your heavenly Father. If it is your desire to try to seek God's help with these things. This then and this as God to help us. As he's been doing so. Thus far. Father. We to want to be reconciled with you. We realize that. So often we fail you. We go through the motions simply because we know it's a good thing to do that's what good Christians should do but sometimes we. We forget we're talking to somebody we forget sometimes even the whole purpose and the importance of spending time in your words to be able to hear your voice. And nor do we know that your words your voice have creative power you can create eight in us something. Whereas now there's just for it an emptiness without you. And so Lord we pray that you may help us to. To surrender. Everything. That is this something or somebody in this room that is is cherishing certain sins. That still holding on to their will. But they want to have that relationship with you and they don't. And now we realize that it is stopping us from even having desires for spiritual things please give us the strength. The ability your Grace to let go and allow you to take full control of our lives. We don't know what tomorrow will hold but for today. We surrender it all at your feet and father we realize also that. For some of us we've allowed a lot of this traction. A lot of junk food. And that is slowly and sometimes not so slowly taken away our desire for spiritual things. Father we realize now that some of these things. Are in competition directly with our desire to spend time with you in your word. And so Father right now. Help us to make that decision to cut. If needs be to limit. So that what we can focus on is on good wholesome food. And that you can really. Kindo in us or change our taste buds. So that we meet. Love the whole wheat. Way above the empty calories. Of this world and father for some of us is it's. We should need to develop that relationship with you sometimes of years of living for ourselves. We want something to be quick we want to be able to be in love with you all of us on it. And we realize that it may not happen that way right away. But help us to persevere. After doing what you've asked of us. By the help of your spirit. Help us to eat your words to breeze. To speak to you out of principle. Help us to plead for your Holy Spirit. As we read your word and as we meditate on it. Speak to our hearts father and changes. Day by day that we may reflect your character. I thank you Lord for loving us. So much. And for not giving up on. Thank you for the mercy. You pour upon us. Every day. Give us strength to follow you to this media was brought to you by audio a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio. And much more. If you would like to know more about audio version. Or you would like to listen to more servant leader visit. W W W dot. Audio verse. Dot org.

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