Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Love God Part 2

By Richard Spangler

     We were discussing Matthew 22:37 And Jesus replied, “To love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind.” And the fact that loving God is the key to everything in God. We see this again in Psalm 91 (Amplified Bible)

1HE WHO dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty [Whose power no foe can withstand].2I will say of the Lord*, He is my Refuge and my Fortress, my God; on Him I lean and rely, and in Him I [confidently] trust! 3For [then] He will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence.4[Then] He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings shall you trust and find refuge; His truth and His faithfulness are a shield and a buckler.5You shall not be afraid of the terror of the night, nor of the arrow (the evil plots and slanders of the wicked) that flies by day,6Nor of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor of the destruction and sudden death that surprise and lay waste at noonday.7A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand, but it shall not come near you.8Only a spectator shall you be [yourself inaccessible in the secret place of the Most High] as you witness the reward of the wicked.

9Because you have made the Lord your refuge, and the Most High your dwelling place*,10There shall no evil befall you, nor any plague or calamity come near your tent.11For He will give His angels [especial] charge over you to accompany and defend and preserve you in all your ways [of obedience and service].12They shall bear you up on their hands, lest you dash your foot against a stone.13You shall tread upon the lion and adder; the young lion and the serpent shall you trample underfoot.

14Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore* will I deliver him; I will set him on high, because he knows and understands My name [has a personal knowledge of My mercy, love, and kindness--trusts and relies on Me, knowing I will never forsake him, no, never].15He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.16With long life will I satisfy him and show him My salvation.

*boldness added for emphasis

We know this as the Psalm of God’s protection. We all like declaring God’s protection for us but it is easy to forget the keys to this protection. The first key is that our will is involved; we decide to agree with the Lord and make Him our refuge and our dwelling place then the psalmist says we gain the Lord’s protection. Then God responses in verse 14 stating “because he has set his love upon me therefore will I deliver him…” God’s key is our love for him and having a personal knowledge of him. When we decide (our will) to love the Lord and know him personally that we gain the protection we so easily declare.

  The devil knows this also, he knows if we declare without knowing the Lord personally, in an intimate loving relationship, that he (the devil) can just keep on attacking us. This why is many believers continue to be attacked, even when they declare the psalm over their lives. Then when we realize we need a closer relationship with the Lord, and decide to go for it with God, the devil uses life to distract us. There’s television, computers, cell phone and then there is finances and his stirring up our desire for more.

  This happened in my own life, when my two daughters were babies and there was always a need for extra money.  I started working a second job. I would go to work on my full time job at 5:30 a.m. get off at 2 p.m. and then be at the second by 3 p.m. and work to 10 or 11 p.m. This didn’t leave much time for a relationship with the Lord or so I thought. I did have breaks and down times while working but like most of us, I did not use them to build a relationship with God. Then, when I was not working it was family time or time for church or time for me (mostly sleeping). I was ignorantly happy but Father God wasn’t. He remembered my commitment to love him and to know him more. Then, it started, the Holy Spirit would wake me up at 1 a.m. or 2 a.m. and I spend a wonderful hour or two in the presence of God, experiencing his love and getting to know him. This happened every night for almost two weeks. It was great spiritually but physically I was exhausted. I finally, said to the Lord, “I love spending time with you, but Lord why are waking me up in the middle of the night when you know my schedule?” I heard the Lord say, “It’s the only time I can spend time with you.” After that I rearranged my schedule. I used my breaks and down times on my jobs to spend time with the Lord. Since that time, there have been no middle of night wake ups except to do intercession for someone and then after prayer I can go right back to sleep and wake up refreshed in the morning.

 I learned that spending time with Father God and it is the first and best thing in my life. Loving the Lord and getting to know Him in an intimate relationship is amazing.  Where ever I go, and whatever I am doing I can be in the manifest presence of Father God. Choosing to be in the presence of God also hides you in His presence, He becomes your refuge. The devil cannot come into the presence of God in fact he will to flee (James 4:9).

   This also means I can hear voice His voice and see when He wants to use me to minister to someone. My wife says, “It isn’t safe to take me anywhere because I almost always minister to someone.”   

Again, this comes from my willingness to Love and spend time with Him and build an intimate relationship with God. The good thing there is always more to learn and experience in God.