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Friendship with the Lord

By Dr. Charles Stanley

Would you like to know God? Would you like to be sure that you’re following His will? If you are a believer, more than likely your answer is “yes.” But you may not know how. Even if you read your Bible faithfully, pray daily, tithe, and attend church regularly, you may sense that something is lacking in your relationship with Him.

Perhaps you believe God loves you. But have you experienced the depth of His affection in an intimate and personal way? Until you begin to understand His nature and character, a spiritual window shade will remain closed in your life. You may know right from wrong in certain areas, but it’s important to know why God wants you to live a certain way. Once you begin to understand the way the Lord thinks and operates, you will know Him better. You will be able to grasp that He loves you with an eternal love. And as your knowledge of God deepens, your desire to please Him will naturally increase.

What is required?

I believe the Father reveals Himself to those who hunger to know Him. Consider how Moses responded to the burning bush: he drew near to it and was eager to know the one true God. Later he prayed, “If I have found favor in Your sight, let me know Your ways that I may know You so that I may find favor in Your sight” (Ex. 33:13, emphasis added). It is obvious that Moses had one clear goal: to know his Creator, not simply know about Him. He wanted to relate to God on an intimate level—something much deeper than simply realizing that He exists. Moses’ quest to know the Lord led him to a relationship with the Almighty that changed his life forever.

In order to draw near to God, we must be willing to seek Him fervently, rather than pursuing solely our own comfort or ambitions. For example, David passionately sought the Lord and His ways. He wrote, “As the deer pants for water brooks, so my soul pants for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God” (Ps. 42:1-2). As a result, he became the person the Lord called “a man after my own heart” (Acts 13:22 NIV).

And consider Mary, the mother of our Savior—she made a sacrificial choice to surrender to God’s will. When the angel told Mary she would bear a child conceived of the Holy Spirit, she knew obedience would make her life difficult. Yet she replied, “May it be done to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38).

As Moses, David, and Mary discovered, getting to know God may include walking with Him through life’s darkest valleys. But in these times, we gain tremendous insight into the Father’s character. Some of the most important lessons I’ve learned have come as a result of inexpressible heartache. God could have spared me from disappointment, but that was not His will for my life. He had greater things He wanted to teach me, and they could be learned only through sorrow and suffering.

Should we pray for trouble? No. But when it does strike, I counsel people to ask God to reveal what He wants them to learn through the situation. He “causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8:28). And as we draw near to the Father, He will reveal “great and mighty things” to our hearts and minds (Jer. 33:3).

What about you?

Perhaps you’ve wondered, Where is God? What is He like? Can I know Him personally? Does He care about me? The good news is that the Lord is here, right now, right beside you. His presence is with you constantly. The Lord calls to you as He did to Moses—inviting you to draw near and learn of His ways so that you may know and experience the depths of His lovingkindness.

My desire is for you to pray, “Let me know Your ways that I may know You, so that I may find favor in Your sight” (Ex. 33:13). When you begin to understand God’s mind and the way He works, you suddenly have the right tools to live an abundant life—one that is full and complete. Beyond this, you will have the Holy Spirit abiding within you, and He delights in supplying you with knowledge, love, peace, joy, intimacy, and hope. You will never know all there is to know about the Father’s ways, but you will learn quickly that He is in control and willing to guide you at every turn.

Nothing is more valuable than knowing God. The world may entice you to search for wisdom in any number of ways, but there is only one Source of ultimate truth. He patiently waits to reveal Himself to you.

Adapted from "In Step with God" (2008).

 

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Copyright 2014 In Touch Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved. www.intouch.org. In Touch grants permission to print for personal use only.

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  • July 09, 2013 05:03 PM

    by

    I just wanted to thank you and your staff for working diligently in getting the word out there. I treasure my free magazines that come in every month and really admire Charles Stanley's form of teaching. I love God with all of my heart, mind, soul and spirit and have committed myself to getting to know His character on a daily basis. Nothing to me is more important. It is not easy but such a small contribution for my Savior who saved my life. God Bless you all.
  • July 08, 2013 03:02 AM

    by

    Thank you for this devotional. The Holy Spirit lives W/I you!
    Truly,
    Matthew
  • July 07, 2013 12:15 PM

    by

    Thank you Dr. Stanley and In Touch Ministries...truly a message for these troubling times in which we live. Encourages our focus to remain on that which is eternal!
  • July 07, 2013 10:20 AM

    by

    Your messages are always right on time.
  • July 07, 2013 08:54 AM

    by

    I appreciate you and thank you for each blessed devotional I receive from You every morning. They are a blessed and inspirational teaching for me and always meet a personal problem or question that I have at that certain moment.
  • July 07, 2013 07:48 AM

    by

    I thank you for this article I am struggling with a decision an been praying for guidance an a closer relationship with God.any advice I would appreciate.
  • July 07, 2013 07:00 AM

    by

    Dr. Stanley, you will never know this side of heaven the eternal impact you have had on my life. God has used you to guide me for over 25 years. Today I am living the abundant life because you said "yes" to all the ways God wanted to use you to impact the world, my world. Thank you! I greatly anticipate the day when we worship our Lord together in eternity. Thank you from the depths of my heart and beyond words.
  • July 06, 2013 06:26 AM

    by

    Good stuff It encourages to know when you are faced with situation to enquire from God since things don't just happen but for a reason.thank God and to DR Stanley as God uses people like you to share His truth .

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