Sermon by Pastor Linda
DO YOU REALLY KNOW GOD
Today, I want to talk to you all about your personal relationship with God. Do you really know him or do you just know ofhim?
On that day when we must all stand before God and give account, many will come to the Lord honestly believing they have been saved...yet He will say to them, "Away from Me, I never knew you". They will fall back dumbfounded because they have thought all along they really knew God. What has happened in most of these cases is the carnal mind, upon hearing of or about the Lord, has made an evaluation; in essence saying, "this makes total sense, therefore I will say the right words and accept Jesus as my Savior." In fact, what they have accepted, is not the Lord, but the knowledge of the Lord.
You cannot come to the Lord because of a fear of Hell and/or an intellectual knowledge of Heaven, and accept Him as your Savior. In other words, you can only come to the Father through Jesus, the Son (who is the Living Word), and you can only come to Jesus by way of the Holy Spirit, (i.e.: Being led by the Holy Spirit.)
The way you can tell if you are truly saved is this: you will immediately, after accepting Christ as your Lord and Savior, have a deep and abiding hunger from the heart for the Word, (which IS Jesus). The thing that will cause you to have that hunger will be having had a taste of it. Once a person tastes the Word; the Living, anointed, pure Word, no matter how small that taste may be, they will have the hunger. This hunger will be in your spirit, not your mind. This hunger will NOT be for memorizing scripture verses, it will NOT be to gain knowledge or information about God. This hunger will be to know God! To have a personal relationship with God. The Bible tells us, 'the Word of God is living and alive; sharper than any double-edged sword. In order for a person to be born again they would have to receive that "Living Word" by the Holy Spirit.
Scripture also says, "how can one hear, unless one be sent..." We receive that living word from someone, (a messenger), who has already received a word or vision directly from God, which is carried in his or her spirit. If the one bringing the message does not have that living word in their spirit, then the word they are giving you is their own word. It will come from the carnal mind and more than likely contain spiritual truths or scriptural knowledge of God, but it will not be alive because it has been defiled by the carnal nature. It is only in your spirit that you can receive the living word or vision from God and have it bear fruit that will last.
Therefore, if the messenger is simply bringing the knowledge of God from his carnal mind, it will be a dead word, ministering only to the flesh, thus making everything desolate. As I have said, that word may indeed be mixed with inspiration, but it will also be filled with speculation and evaluation from the carnal mind (or intellect). This is an example of knowledge from the "Tree of Good and Evil" which seeks to justify the natural man, the old nature, the old self as being spiritual and therefore acceptable to God because of a knowledge of God.
But a pure word, a living word will instantly seek to kill off the old nature or, the old self. A pure, living word can only come from a vessel that God, through faith and suffering, has made able to receive within themselves that pure and living word. A man who has built his house on a foundation of sand can only teach others to do the same. That pure and living word, in order to convey the revelation of the Spirit, must come from one who has build their house on the Rock, which is Jesus. Ministering the Word of God from the carnal mind is what has created the system of religiosity we now have throughout the world. Religiosity brings desolation and death. It may look good on the outside and sound sensible to the intellect, but it is, in fact, the spiritual application of "the abomination of desolation standing in the Holy Place." We must be careful, because that is exactly how cults are formed. From the carnal mind and not the spirit of the living God.
1 Corinthians 15:31 says "I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily." What Paul means by that is that he checks himself daily and does not fall prey to sin; that he remains in a personal relationship with Christ.
God cannot look on sin; so our hearts must be pure...we must not have any sin in them; so Jesus can live in our hearts and forever be with us, be near us, loving, guiding and directing us.
So,the only way anyone can be truly saved; born again into the Kingdom of God, is to receive the New Birth, which comes through the incorruptible seed of the Word of God, not by the carnal mind. In John 3, Nicodemus asks Jesus about salvation. He replies in John 3:5-8..... "Jesus answered, 'I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and of the spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, you must be born again. The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear it's sound but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit."
So you see..... You must have a personal relationship with God, accept him into your heart...not just know about him with the carnal mind; but have him deep within your spirit.
There has to be a genuine connection between you and the Living Word, between you and the Lord, and not just a knowledge of Him.
So many christians get cold in their walk with the Lord. They slack off on the bible reading, are sporatic in their church attendance, and even their prayer life dwindles. Be careful in that, dear ones.... as staying in the word keeps us in tune with God. We must be fed spiritual food daily to keep alive just as our bodies need nourashment to keep it alive. Thus, our spiritual life needs daily nourashment too.
Dear heavenly Father...
Go with us today, remain in our hearts and walk with us daily in everything we say and do. Remain an active part of our daily walk; and help us never to wax cold. In Jesus' holy name....