Summary: Message 4 in our series exploring the foundational elements of a healthy walk. This message continues fleshing out the elements of the "C" continually cultivating a dynamic relationship with God. The focus of this message is drawing near to God.
Chico Alliance Church
Pastor David Welch
“CPR for a Healthy Walk
Part Four – Draw Near to God
REVIEW / INTRODUCTION
God created us to live in community. Community with Him, community with each other.
The deeper our community with Him, the more meaningful our community with each other. Just as there are principles regarding community with each other, so there are unchangeable principles related to our communion with God.
Violation of relationship principles severely affects those relationships.
Fail to spend time.
Fail to cultivate intimacy.
Fail to communicate affirmation.
Fail to express love.
Fail to demonstrate value.
Fail to keep commitments.
Fail to cherish.
When we fail to understand and implement principles that build intimacy, there can be no intimacy. These basic principles apply to our relationship with God and others.
For the past two weeks we have touched on spiritual CPR for the fleshly heart in hopes to restore a spiritual focus that transforms every part of our life. These are nothing more than universal principles of relationship. In regard to our relationship with God and restoring a spiritual focus in our life they may be broken down into at least three categories.
Cleave to Christ and continually cultivate a dynamic relationship with Him.
Persistently pursue and maintain meaningful connection with the community of saints.
Resolutely resist the world, the flesh and the devil.
I. Cleave and continually cultivate Relationship with Christ
A. Humbly Connect to Christ
B. Gratefully consecrate (present) your members to His service.
C. Continually renew our thinking or perception
1. Renewed thinking brings transformed living
Perception inspires belief which produces behavior.
2. We need a renewed perception regarding Christ.
3. We need a renewed perception of ourselves
4. We need a renewed perception of the schemes of the evil one
5. We need a renewed perception of this fallen world
The rest of Romans 12 indicates what that might look like.
We are instructed to allow the transformation of our life by the renewal of our perception in order that we might demonstrate what the perfect will of God is. What is the will of God? Look at the rest of Rom 12 for a brief overview.
• Don’t think more highly that you ought to think but have sound judgment.
• Exercise spiritual gifts according to the faith granted by God to each individual.
• Let love be without hypocrisy by:
• Abhorring what is evil.
• Clinging to what is good.
• Devoting yourselves to one another in brother love, warm affection, companionship.
• Giving preference to one another in honor
• Not lagging behind in diligence
• Being fervent in spirit
• serving the Lord
• Rejoicing in hope
• Persevering in tribulation
• Devoting to prayer
• Contributing to the needs of the saints
• Practicing hospitality
• Blessing those who persecute you
• Rejoicing with those who rejoice
• Weeping with those who weep
• Being of the same perception toward one another.
• Not being haughty in our thinking
• Associating with the lowly
• Not being wise in our own estimation
• Never paying back evil for evil
• Respecting what is right in the sight of all men.
• Being at peace with all men as far as possible
• Never taking your own revenge but leaving room for God’s wrath.
• Serving your enemy
• Not being overcome with evil but overcoming evil with good.
• Being in subjection to governing authorities
• Living purely
It is Christ in us, the hope of Glory. As we allow the indwelling spirit of Christ to live through us, these things will become as true of us as they are of Him. Be transformed from the inside out by the renewing our minds. There are some key verses we would do well to memorize. James 4:7-10; John 15:4-5; Romans 12:1-2
These passages affirm the key elements regarding our relationship with God.
James exposed the flesh for the selfish entity that it is and how much it opposes dependent relationship with God. He expressed how much God jealously longs for a faithful relationship with His creation and is not willing to share loyalty with the world.
But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, "GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE." Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. James 4:6-8
The word used here is just a common every day word used widely in the Gospels with the simple meaning “to come closer”. James calls for a humble submission to God as God. Next he calls us to resist the Devil and all that he stands for. Then He encourages us to come close to God as our heavenly Father.