Creflo Dollar - How to Have an Intimate Relationship with God - Part 2
Now, six keys to an intimate relationship with God. Number one. 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. An intimate relationship with God is when it seems like all hell has taken place in your life and instead of participating with all that drama, you turn to your relationship with God and you go into a quiet place just like Jesus would and you would talk to God. And you would be honest with him. And maybe you don't come with a lot of Scriptures. You go before him and you say things to him maybe nobody knows. "God, I'm hurting real bad, I wanna die". And you sit there and you pray in the Spirit and you just wait on him and then he speaks to you and he says simple stuff like, "Well, I love you and I have need of thee".
He'll say some things to you that will explode in your life and your Spirit. You're like, "Wow. I needed to hear that". That's a relationship with him. When you have a relationship with him, and not just know about him, he seems to guide you in your life. And I know a lot of people who know about God but they have no intimacy with him. That word "intimacy": "come into me and see". And when you come into God and see, you see his loving nature, you see his kindness, you see that he is for you and not against you. You see a God who's not trying to find different ways to make you look bad or to condemn you to hell, but you see a God who's doing everything he can to make your life amazing and awesome, and giving you the joy of living life because he's there with you.
Now, I know a lot of things have been said in church but I'm telling you right now, God wants to know you intimately and personally. And if you'll allow him to do that, you will begin to understand and see things like you've never seen before. A Christian is not just coming to church and doing the goody-goody things. A Christian is having this intimate relationship with God, even when you miss it and you go before God and say, "I messed that up royally". And he say, "Yeah, you did, but, you know, do this or do that. All is well with you". He's not gonna come and beat you up and condemn you for what you did. He's ready to go to the next level. He's ready to impart into you.
Sometimes, God'll take your biggest mistakes and use that as an amazing instruction to cause you to prosper and blossom in your future. And on the other hand, Satan will take that same mistake and use it to try to beat you down, beat you up, condemn you, and let you know that you're just not anything. I tell you, God's in love with you. God just doesn't, you know, have love; he is love. And he wants to release all that love upon you, if you will let him. And the day you get a revelation of his amazing love, everything changes. It's no longer, you know, "I went to church," or "I know five Scriptures," or "Oh, I went to cemetery... seminary school". It's none of those things. It's "I know him and, praise God, he knows me. He knows me".
And he speaks to you in a time just so unexpected. He shows up and he says something just like you need to hear it. And that comes with having a personal relationship with him. That's my prayer for this church, that it's not just a church full of people that come out of religious practice. But it's a bunch of people who have, in their lives, in their individual lives, they have a personal one-on-one relationship, even when they're not in the church building that they know God and he knows them, and they rejoice in the relationship that they have with him. That's my prayer for you, is that you get to know him intimately, not religiously, and not casually, but you know him for yourself, and he speaks to you and he talks to you.
And not knowing God, well, you could put your religious face on and, "Hey, brother, how you doin'"? "This is the day the Lord hath made and", "Dude, dude, go somewhere with that, man. Get a lollipop and then I'll talk to you tomorrow. I ain't got time for all that. Ain't got time for all that 'cause I know you ain't all what you think you are. You ain't all what you... if we dig deep enough we gonna find some..." Thank God for his, watch this, mercy. Thank God for his mercy.
Number two, the second key to an intimate relationship with God: Keep your mind stayed on God and walk in his presence. Keep your mind stayed on God and walk in his presence. I call it practicing the presence of God. Keep your mind stayed on God. I'll keep you in perfect peace. Look at Isaiah 26 and 3 in the NLT. Isaiah 26 and 3 in the NLT. There is something about the battle for your mind. There are a lot of things in this world that wants your attention. And sometimes, you even come to church with other stuff on your mind that you bought with you to church. And I thank God that if you'll get the Word and get God on your mind, it'll act as a shield to all those unnecessary things.
The Scripture says in the NLT: "You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, and whose thoughts are fixed on you"! So the level of my trust is gonna be based on my thoughts that are fixed on him. I want you to ask yourself this: "What am I thinking about the most of the time"? The thing that you're thinking about most of the time is where your thoughts are gonna be fixed. You know, worry is a negative way of meditating or thinking. It's meditating on the wrong thing. And if you allow your life to be distracted by the worries of the world and you start spending more time thinking about those things, then you're not thinking about the things of God. He says, "I'll keep you in perfect peace".
I don't know if many people understand what perfect peace is. I've had days where I've had perfect peace. The word "peace" is security in the midst of turmoil. That you can have peace in the middle of trouble when everybody else is freaking out, you're walking in peace. But that peace comes to those who trust him and that trust is all about thoughts that are fixed on him. So you can see the battle. Satan's got to get your thoughts off him and get it on other stuff. How are you gonna pay your rent? All your money's spent. A little bit to buy some food. Your baby need a pair of shoes. Look, you got a light bill due. You've even got a gas bill too. Telephone disconnect. Wait 'til your next paycheck. Paycheck bounce on you. What are you gonna do? There's all this stuff in the world, and you gotta figure out how to disconnect from all that stuff and you've gotta figure out a way to maintain your meditation on him.
You gotta think on him. I mean, you get up in the morning, there are things going on. You know, you got the same 24 hours in the day as I have and other people have. And you gotta make your mind up that I don't want my thoughts to be on that. I don't want my thoughts to be on that. I want my thinking to be on God. I want my thinking to be on his Word. I want my thinking to be on life. I want my thinking to be on his promises. I'm not saying ignore the things that go on. You may say, "This is going on, but I decide to believe God. But I decide to believe his Word". That's what you gotta do. Keep your mind stayed upon him and walk in his presence.
Psalm 16 and 11 says this. I want you to see this. Psalm 16 and 11: "Keep your mind stayed on him". Somebody says, "Is that possible"? Yeah, it is. Yes, it is, that throughout the day I'm spending time focusing my mind on something about him. That's why it's good to get up in the morning and pray or meditate in the Word and then, you know, at breakfast, meditate in the Word and pray, and at lunch meditate in the Word and pray, and take a little Scripture that you can put in your pocket and take with you throughout the day and look at it. And if you'll begin to do that, over the next 30 days until you build a habit of doing that, then you're gonna learn how to walk practicing the presence of the Holy Spirit, and things will begin to happen in your life that's not happening in everybody else's life because you're practicing the presence of the Holy Spirit.
They're practicing worry, they're practicing all the negativity of the world, and you're practicing the presence of the Holy Spirit. He says this: "Thou will shew me the path of life: in thy presence there's fulness of," what? And the Bible says: "The joy of the Lord is your," what? "Strength". So in his presence there's strength. In his presence, there's joy. There's a difference between joy and happiness. I'm not time, giggling all the time, ha, ha. Joy comes from what you know, and you know that in his presence there is strength. He says: "And at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore". So I need you as Christian people to make up in your mind, "Wait a minute. I have authority over what I choose to think. I have authority over what I allow to be in my mind".
You're gonna see a lot of things. You're gonna hear a lot of things. You'll turn the TV on and, dear God, here comes another variant. Get ready. Y'all need some more shots. The first two didn't get it. Get another one. Uh-oh, there's one behind that one. Oh no, I ain't living in that kind of fear. I'm gonna say the same God that helped me with the original will take me through the whole thing, hallelujah. I'm gon' stick with Jesus. I wanna walk in peace. Show me the path of life: "In thy presence there's fulness of joy. In thy presence".
Lord, show me how to live in your presence. Show me how to live in your presence, Lord. I know when I'm in the Word, I'm in your presence. I know that when I'm in prayer, I'm in your presence. "In your presence, there's fulness of joy and strength and at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore". I cannot afford to stay out of the Word. I can't afford to stay out of the presence of God. I can't afford to stay at home and miss church or not turn it on when I'm at home. I can't afford. I gotta get in the Word. Because the world is pumping a lot of word out there. A lot of word out there, full of fear. A bunch of word out there, full of fear. And I'm telling you in the name of Jesus, you just sometimes, some of y'all might have to turn it off for a minute just to get your stuff together. But I got to hear God's Word. I wanna hear God's Word on a daily basis. I wanna get in God's Word. I wanna stare at God's Word. I wanna get God's Word out of my mouth.
This is the daily life of a Christian that I live in God's Word. If you keep your mind stayed on him, he says, "I'll keep you in perfect peace". If you keep your mind stayed on the trouble, then he'll keep you in perfect worry. I'm not gonna walk in worry. I'm gonna walk in peace. But the way that happens is where's your mind located? What's up here? I ain't doing it. I don't wanna know who's saying what, when they say it, well, how they say it or who and who did that, and who pressing that, and that person, and that rap singer did that, and then they went over there. Who married what and they got a baby by who, and Mom and them did... I ain't got time for, I don't want any of all that. That's tomfoolery. I don't want to hear none of that tomfoolery. I wanna hear Jesus Christ and him crucified, dead, and buried, third day raised from the dead, coming back again to get me as I'm transformed into his image.
You've got to guard your mind. That's the access that determines what kind of life you're gonna live. "Well". Well, what? Always got them kind, "Well"... Well, what? See, it's easy for you to pretend, like, this is not a issue 'cause I don't go home with you. I don't see how miserable you are because you perfected phoniness in public. And you think people can't tell, but folks with a spiritual eye and spiritual discernment can look and say, "Something ain't right there. I don't know everything that's going on with you. All I know is something ain't right". And it ain't none of my business exactly what it is. But when there's no joy on your face, you sad all the time, I don't even wanna ask you how you're doing 'cause you always got some kind of drama report. "How you doin'?" "Well", "Oh, God".
Y'all understand what I'm saying, don't you? This is time for all that. This is time for us to begin to live this kind of life that I'm describing right now where you keep your mind upon him, where you practice the presence of God. You know what it means to practice the presence of God? I'm trying to keep him in my conscious thinking as much as possible. I just don't want to allow other things on the news and things that are going on in the world to enter my thinking. It'll come in. Ain't no sin for that, but I don't want that to become my major basis of my thought life every day.
I wanna challenge myself to practice the presence of God every day. How much of God can I keep in my thinking every day? How much of God can I keep on my mouth every day? I wanna practice his presence. Now, you're not perfect, you're not flawless, but I'm telling you in the time where it gets crazy, you need to practice the presence of God. I ain't gotta tell y'all, it's crazy out there. There are people who demon-possessed, don't even know they're demon-possessed. There's some of 'em, your cousins. They don't even know they're demon-possessed. They come up there, looking at you, and they staring in space. "Hey, Jethro, how you doin'"? "Why you ask me"? "Well, God-dawg, Jethro, you all right"? I dare you ask Jethro. "Jethro, how many demons you got in you"? "Six thousand". You know the mad man of Gadara? He had about 6000 demons in him.
Now, can you imagine them all talking at the same time? They were. You go look at the Scripture real carefully. They all tried to talk at the same time when Jesus was getting ready to cast 'em out. And they negotiated a deal: "Cast us in those swine". Well, at that time, ain't nobody eat swine. I don't even know why they in the field right now, 'cause ain't nobody gonna eat 'em. He said, "All right". He cast 'em in the swine, and the swine went and drowned themselves. Ladies and gentlemen, this is real. You're about to see the hand of God move like never before. It's gonna move through anointed people like yourself. It's not just gonna be at church. In fact, the majority of the miracles are gonna start happening on the outside of the church doors. They're gonna happen with you when you walkin' in the mall, and you see somebody.
You know that's the devil and you'll sit there and say, "Devil, come out," and they come out and they say, "What just happened"? See, but you gotta stop being scared. You gotta know that God wants to use you. You gotta stop thinking you gotta have a title in front of your name in order for God to use you. I prophesy that God uses you like you ain't never been used before. I prophesy that God starts using you when you didn't even mean for it to happen, but just 'cause you said it, he gonna do it just to let you know that I'm ready to use you if you're ready to be used. Somebody shout, "I'm ready to be used". See, the devil think he's winning. He think he's winning. And he laughing at us.
I decided this past week, I'm gonna start laughing back at him because he'll think you're winning. You don't understand that, bam, just like that, God can change the whole thing around. He delivered the children of Israel out of slavery and they all came out with the wealth of Egypt. I don't even think the Egyptians know what they were doing. I think they're walking around, "Here, you wanna take this with you? Here, you wanna take that? Here, here, here go two bags. Take all of that". They walked out with the wealth of Egypt. Somebody say, "Really"? Well, why do you think the Egyptians started pursuing them? They want their stuff back. I said, "They want their stuff back".
And I'm telling you right now, the devil is pursuing you. He wants to defeat you, he wants you not to understand about this God that we serve. And in this crazy time of all kinds of false gods and false preachings and all this stuff, see, the devil's trying to... he can't get rid of the truth. He's just trying to drown it. But there are still teachers and prophets and evangelists and pastors that know the truth of God's Word and you can't get rid of us. You can't shut us up, you can't knock us down. You try to kill us and we rise back up again.
"This is the day that the Lord hath made. We will rejoice". My goodness, my goodness, yeah. So I got my mind on him. I walk in his presence. I practice his presence. Every time I can give him glory, I'm practicing his presence. Every time I spend time in prayer, I'm practicing his presence. Every time I get in my Word and reading and I'm just like, thanking God for what I'm reading, I'm practicing his presence. Every time I listen to a tape and it's filling my ears and spirit up, I'm practicing his presence. Every time I turn on worship music or praise music, I'm practicing his presence, I'm building a shield around me. Oh, thine, O Lord, are a shield about me. You're the glory and the lifter up of my head. And all of a sudden, the devil gets upset and demon-possessed people get upset because they can't handle you practicing his presence.
Every time they come around you, you praise the Lord this, "Oh, I sing God that. Oh, glory to Jesus this". They can't handle you, they'd rather you curse and act like a fool. And you say, "I ain't doin' that no more". Why? 'Cause God's been too good to me. And that's what God is about to do. He's about to show his goodness towards you. You know how he's gonna change things in your life? Not by judging you and beating you up, but he's gonna show his goodness, hallelujah. God gonna be so good to you, you ain't gonna be able to stand it no more. With your hell-raising self, the goodness of God is about to come in your house and turn it all around.