Creflo Dollar - How to Have an Intimate Relationship with God - Part 1
I am convinced that his presence in our life makes the difference in everything that we do.
Father, I thank you that you will speak through my vocal cords, that you will think through my mind, that you will share insights of even what so many may be going through and that we may tap into it together that you may make the difference and something will be said that'll make the difference. And we praise you for it now, Jesus's name, and everybody said "Amen".
If you have your Bibles, go with me to 2 Peter chapter 1 and verse 3, and I wanna read this in the NLT and The Passion translation. We're still talking about experiencing the presence of God, but today's focus is gonna be on the keys to an intimate relationship with God. Today I wanna be as extremely practical as I can so that in those moments where you're being challenged in life and you're just kind of wondering what in the world is going on in the world that you will at least have some six points that can kind of help you to get into the presence of God. But there are some keys to an intimate relationship with God. Last week we really talked about intimacy and what that was all about.
And I believe this is what God wants and has always wanted more than anything, that we don't just get on the mechanics, but we want a intimate relationship with God. We learn the mechanics of how Christianity works. We learn the mechanics of how faith works. We learn the mechanics of confession, giving and receiving, and all those things. We learn all of these things to do and many times we try to put them in practice without knowing God. And if you have the wrong knowledge about God, you're not going to receive all things and so it's one thing to know the mechanics of Christianity, but Christianity is all about knowing God. It's not going to church and being able to quote the Greek and Hebrew of something. It's having a personal, one-on-one relationship between you and God.
I was praying this morning and, as I was praying in the Spirit, didn't wanna stop because there were so many things going on that I didn't know about and I know that by praying in the Holy Spirit that's the perfect prayer and it covers all the things you don't know about, and I just kept going for quite some time. And I said to the Lord, I said, "I know that things were accomplished here," and he began to talk to me. He said, "Is this prayer you just prayed answered because you feel something"? I said, "No". "Is this prayer that you just prayed, does it need emotional accompaniment"? I said, "No". I said, "This prayer that I prayed in tongues only needs faith, and faith in you". And he says, "That's right. Do not be moved by how you feel. Do not be moved by what you see". 'Cause some mornings you get up and you didn't feel nothing. I gotta be honest with you. I asked the Lord, I said, "Where the chill bump"? He said, "Are these prayers accomplished because of your chill bumps, or because you believe me"?
See, what I'm saying is it takes a personal relationship with God to instruct you even beyond just your knowledge about him, that he will take the knowledge that you learned about him and he'll take you and make it personal, give you a personal experience with this, and that's what I want. I don't wanna go around just a biblical head of knowledge. I wanna know him. I wanna know him every day. I wanna know him when I get up. I wanna know that I'm never alone, even when I am alone. I don't have a sense that I'm alone because I have him. I wanna walk with him. I want him to talk to me, and I want him, you know, I wanna talk to him and I want him to talk back to me. I don't wanna be just the one, you know, just talking all the time.
Prayer's not a monologue, it's a dialogue. It should be you talking and hearing him at the same time. That's what this should be like. It shouldn't be a church where a bunch of people come in because it's just the traditional thing to do. "I've paid my dues for the week". It should be something personal, something that you have personally with God and he has with you. And in the most unusual times, you hear a word spoken to you by him. That's what I want, a time where the things that used to bother you don't bother you like they used to, because it just doesn't matter. It's garbage now, 'cause you have a personal relationship with God. And you're not pursuing validation from people.
Sometimes, you're pursuing validation from people you don't even know, and you let people you don't even know hurt your feelings. And there is an opportunity as a Christian that we have, glory to God, to have a personal relationship with God. I don't know how long I'm gonna be on the earth. I'm pushing for 100. Depends on how crazy it get on the way there. But, man, I am so glad that I am not like I used to be. I know you can say the same thing. You're not where you wanna be, but thank God you're not what you used to be. And most of that comes because I decided not to just stick with the mechanics of Christianity, but to actually get to know him personally and to have a personal relationship with him.
Look at what the scripture's saying in the NLT and then the TPT, 2 Peter chapter 1 and 3. He says, "By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life". Now, that means God has already, past tense, given us everything that we need to live a godly life. "We have received all of this," how? "By coming to know him," wow. By coming to know him, I receive everything that I need for a godly life. I tell you, man, I'm not perfect and you're not perfect, but I have a relationship with him. And wherever I'm missing it, that relationship with him will straighten all of that out. God didn't come to condemn the world and I don't think any preacher should condemn people. I think our attitude needs to always be what can I do, what can I say, how can I minister something to rescue you out of your situation, but not to beat you down because of your situation? And that's the difference. He says all these things were made ready because of your coming to know him.
Have you come to know him? Or are you just stuck with knowing about him? Have you come to know him? Have you come to know him in the worst situations in your life, and there will be challenging situations that are coming up these next few years. But it's something different when you know God in the midst of those challenging situations. You can meet people who are really being tormented and you're thinking, "God, wow, I have peace". And you'll start thanking God for the little things when you see people going through the other things, amen? I thank God I have peace. And all of a sudden, maybe you didn't get the pizza you wanted but, man, there was some peanut butter and jelly sandwich in there and the end of the bread, and you folded that bad boy up and you ate it and you said, "Lord, I'm gonna give you praise for this peanut butter and jelly", we got to learn that it is necessary for this intimate relationship with God. I want to know him.
Then he goes on and he says, "We received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence". Now look at this same verse of scripture in the TPT, The Passion translation. I love this translation. He says, "Everything we could ever need for life," everything you could ever need for life, "and godliness has already been deposited in us by his divine power". You know, the Christian view is whatever you need, let's beg God for it and then he'll give it to us right away. But the reality is God has already done everything he's ever gonna do for your life. It's already been made available. It's already been deposited.
Now it takes faith for you to take possession of what's already done. So you spend a lot of time, "Oh," you know, "God, do this, God, do that. God, give me that. God, make that happen". And God's like, "It's already done". And it's probably a big letdown in heaven when it's, like, "Man, you don't really believe I did it. I've already done it. All I need you to do is reach out with your faith, take possession of this, and start walking in thanksgiving for what I have already done. I need you to look at every need in your life, every situation in your life, even some rough times that are going on in your life, and you gotta believe that it is already done. Stop spending so much time dwelling in your past, 'cause it's the past". And God's got some stuff for your present day and your future day, but you've got to disconnect all of the cords from your past, and that's what the devil majors in, constantly every day, wants to put you in remembrance of what you did.
Notice, the devil's not talking to you about what you're gonna do in the future. He's not talking to you about a good future. He talking to you, he dwells in the past, and he wants company in the past. And he keeps wanna remind you, you ain't nothing but old dirty dawg. You're just a dirty dog, you're dirty, ha, ha, you know? And you can't buy that. You can't buy that. Satan works with condemnation, fear. He walks with the issue of guilt. That's what he works with. And he wants to get you guilty, he wants to make you condemned. He wants you to stay in your past and keep bringing up the regrets that you may... and they're in your past. Let me let you in on something. Ain't nothing you can do about what you already did. You can't go back there. Ain't nobody got no time machine you can borrow. "If I could". Well, you can't.
So you might as well go forward and say, "Lord, I recognize what I've done in my past. Let me take the wisdom from that mess and use it in my future". But don't stay in your past. Unhook the cord from your past and let's go forward, let's go forward. No more guilt, no more condemnation, no more shame. That's what Satan wants you to dwell in, the shame and the guilt and the condemnation and the regret. He wants to keep you there. It's time to leave that place and come to this place where God wants you. "He's already", I love this, "He has already been, everything that you need for godliness and life has already been deposited in us by his divine power. For all this was lavished," you know, that's a luxury word right there. "All this has been lavished upon us through the rich," oh, watch this, ha, ha, ha. Oh my God, please get this. "For all this was lavished upon us through the rich experience," watch this, "of knowing him".
By knowing him, you have a rich experience, glory be to God. A rich experience of everything you'll need in life just comes by knowing him. Not just knowing about him, but by knowing him. And so now I'm asking you to step away from your religious games and church-playing stuff and just have a relationship with God. And if you should miss it or mess up, know he'll never leave you nor forsake you, and hop back in the saddle and continue to walk in your relationship with God. And somebody said, "I missed it a third time". Well, the saddle is still there for a third time. Hop back in the saddle and keep going and if you ain't doing nothing but missing it and fixing it and missing it and fixing it and when you see Jesus, he'll say, "C'mon in. I thank God that you kept fixing it when you missed it. And now, we're gonna end that drama in your life and it's just gonna be fixed in the name of Jesus". But don't you dare quit, don't you dare give up. Don't you let somebody make you feel bad and condemn you for what you did like they ain't got no issues.
Isn't it amazing how people with issues wanna condemn people who have issues and they got issues themselves? Especially those who try to act like they ain't got no issue. Everybody in the house got a issue. Everybody, ha, ha, ha, ha. Man, God is for you. Say out loud, "God's for me". He's not the one against you. He's for you. He's cheering you on. And so if you should miss the mark, God's the one that says, "C'mon, get on up," and you're like, "No, God, I gotta sit here for a while. Can't believe I did that". "Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Believe it, you did it. C'mon". "No, Lord, I'm just, I'm tired. I'm", Oh, Lord. God's like, "Listen. Let's go. There's a really awesome space if you'll keep moving forward". But you just wanna just squat right in the middle of your mess-up.
"I just don't know, Lord. Oh, God. I ain't no good, Jesus". Well, he already know that. That's why Jesus died for you. Wasn't none of us no good. None of us were no good. You've got to get a revelation of moving forward. Say "moving forward". You've gotta get a revelation of stepping away from that place. You're not flawless, you're not perfect, but be perfect in moving forward. Be perfect in going forward. Don't sit and wallow in the middle of your mess. Just recognize, "Okay, messed up here, learned a lesson, let me go on and do what I need to do. God, help me. God, forgive". God's not sitting on you saying, "And you know I'm gonna get you for that, boy. You've got two hours. You're going to hell for that. You know ain't no way in the world you're going to heaven after what you did. You are hell bound, yes, you are".
That's the devil talking to you. You mixing the voices up. God is on the other side and you have fallen and saying, "I have fallen and I can't get up". And God's like, "C'mon, you can get up". And you're like, "No, I can't, Jesus. I can't. I can't believe I did that". He said, "I can believe it. Believe it. You believe it, you did it. C'mon, let's get up". "Ah, no, no, Lord Jesus. Help me, Jesus". He like, "Okay, stop it. Come on. All you need to do is walk away from that place. Just come, come out. This is so much better here. You're gonna be blown away when you get here, c'mon". And then you're like, "No, no, Lord". He's, "Oh God". So he comes over and he says, "C'mon, let me help you". "No, Jesus, no".
Jesus try to help you and you're telling him no. And he trying to get you up to escort you to the next place. And when you get to this next place, you now see the mercy of God. What is the mercy of God? Mercy is when you don't deserve something, you get it anyway. How many y'all say, "I need the mercy of God"? I want the mercy of God. I want the mercy of God in my life. I don't wanna get so arrogant to think, "Well, you know, the reason why I have what I have is because of what I have done". No, you ain't no good. Without Jesus, you ain't no good. I need Jesus every second, minute, hour, day, month, year, I need Jesus. 'Cause while you might not do an outward sin, you sure got some stuff going on up here ain't nobody knowing about.
You've got a booth in the back in the corner in the dark, and God is, like, saying, "Just trust me. Just trust me. Receive me. You're not going to heaven because of your good works. You ain't never gonna be good enough. C'mon, c'mon, trust me. I am your way in. I'm your way out. I'm your way up. I'm your healing, I'm your deliverance. I'm everything you'll ever need. Come, let's walk together. Come and go with me to my Father's house, to my Father's house. There's peace in my Father's house. There's deliverance in my Father's house. There's prosperity in my Father's house. You're not perfect but with me", hallelujah, he'll go ahead and give you a path.
He don't expect for you to show up nowhere without me, but with me you can do all things through Christ which strengthens you. Ooh, Jesus. I done preach myself happy. That ain't nowhere in my notes. I just done preached myself happy, because I'm rejoicing in a God that we will soon see. And I am not, you know, I don't wanna see God knowing I half did it the last, you know, few years. I'm excited, yeah, I think it's the time for the body of Christ to give it all they got right now, to go for it. Don't be doing things so somebody can be your friend. Be friendly, but, you know, you've gotta decide whether you wanna be my friend. That's up to you, 'cause I got a friend that sticketh closer than any brother. Y'all felt that? Y'all felt that? A friend that sticketh closer than any brother.
And that's where I am right now, boy. I'm not moved by what I see. I'm not moved by what I hear. I'm not trying to do things to impress people or make 'em like me or love me or none of that kind of stuff. I got my eyes set on a glorious destination, glory to God, hallelujah, where we can praise him forevermore, amen. And some says, "I don't believe in that destination". You're gonna die one day. You'll see. You're gonna die one day, just as sure you're gonna die one a day, and just make sure you believe in Jesus before you leave this planet. 'Cause once you leave, that's it.
Whatever condition you were in when you die, that's gonna determine your destination. Make Jesus your Lord today. Make Jesus your Savior today. Invite him into your heart today and say, "Lord, come into my heart. Be my Lord and my Savior today". That's all it takes. It don't take a long prayer. "Lord, I believe". That's good enough, boy. "Lord, come into my heart. Save me". That's good enough, right there. But if you playin' around with this thing in your mind, "Well, this particular church don't believe that". "Well, I went to seminary school, didn't believe that". "Well, you know, I'm a preacher and I don't think it's that simple".
Whatever! It don't matter what you are. Make Jesus the Lord of your life so you can get to heaven and if you wanna debate, you'll be able to debate right there with him, but I'm gonna tell you, he gonna shut you down real quick, boy. You're gonna find yourself on your face, "Lord Jesus, I didn't know it was this good". He said, "I was trying to tell you. I tried to tell you through Creflo there, but you weren't listening to what was going on". You know what I'm gonna say over your life right now today? You are blessed, right now. Right now.
Somebody say, "What that mean"? You're empowered to prosper. I just declared something over your... I don't know what's going on in your life. I don't know what's going on at home. I don't know what's going on in your relationship. I don't wanna know none of that. All I know now is I declare that the blessing of the Lord be on you. The blessing of the Lord be on your family. The blessing of the Lord be on your finances. The blessing of the Lord be on the vision that he has given you. You are blessed! All right, I guess I better go ahead and preach the sermon today. Somebody say, "You ain't start preaching yet"? No. "Well, how long you gonna preach"? I stop when the clock stop. You good.
Now, six keys to an intimate relationship with God. Six keys to an intimate relationship with God. Number one, substitute the knowledge you have about God for intimate relationship with God. Substitute the knowledge you have about God with a intimate relationship with God. So, as Christians, we have some knowledge about God and that's nothing bad, but that's the starting point. That's entering into the door. God wants you to get into the bedroom where there's intimacy. So we've gotta substitute just the knowledge we have about God, don't just be satisfied by having a head full of knowledge about God, okay? And then you can debate about God and you went to seminary school and you have some things about God. I have no problem with that. That good, because it starts there. But I need you to move to the next phase where you have an intimate relationship with him. And a lot of Christians, they know about God but they don't have an intimate relationship with God. An intimate relationship with God is where you're talking to him and he's talking to you. An intimate relationship with God is where you have given him the authority to speak into your life and to be obeyed.