Creflo Dollar - The Benefits of Knowing God
This morning, we're gonna continue with our series "the art of being alone with God", and this morning we're gonna talk about the benefits of knowing God, the benefits of an intimate relationship with God. Gonna talk to you this morning about how to exchange your knowledge about God for an intimate relationship with God. How do I exchange my knowledge about God for an intimate relationship with God? Most of life's problems are solved through an intimate relationship with God, learning how to practice the art of being alone with him.
It is this secret place. It is this thing that we do alone with God that empowers us, in a way, with benefits that sometimes religion just doesn't understand it enough to explain it to you. But I can promise you this: when you make a commitment to develop an intimate relationship with God, things that used to be a mystery will no longer be a mystery to you. It becomes difficult for you to have a problem having faith in God when you're spending time with him. It's very hard for you not to release the fruit of the Spirit when you're spending time with the fruit.
A lotta questions you have, had in times past will be answered by the intimacy that you develop with God, so let's exchange knowing about God for an intimate relationship with God and that means that we've got to understand that, you know, how important mechanics are to you, and they should be important to you: the mechanics of faith, the mechanics of prayer, the mechanics of confession. I'm glad that you know all of those things, but why know all of those mechanics and fail to get to know God? Why execute the mechanics of faith, confession, and prayer and you have no relationship with God? And all I'm saying is let's reevaluate things and let's put into proper priority and proper place the relationship with God, for being a Christian should not be about the things you know about God.
A lotta people debate about the things they know about God, for being a Christian should be about taking advantage of the opportunity to have intimate relationship with God, because if that's not the objective I don't know what we're doing anymore. If the objective is to come to church and let's just debate and talk and find out who knows more about God and let's just kinda boast on how long you pray and, you know, and all the things you've discovered, if that's all it is to it, then maybe we just all need to quit. It's gotta be much more than that, and it is. It is the opportunity for human beings who once had... there was enmity between you and God.
The opportunity because of the blood of Jesus and the opportunity because of salvation to be able to come before a loving God and to have intimate relationship with an invisible partner that you cannot see but you know he's there. The opportunity to finally know what it means when he says, "My sheep know my voice, and they hear me. I know them, and they know me". It goes from a cliché to an actual daily, one-on-one, intimate, deep relationship with the Father. That you no longer have to go in a booth to try to transfer your message to a man and let him take it to God. You now have a one-on-one relationship with the Creator of all heaven and Earth, and that is a part of this new covenant. Part of this new covenant says that "I will be your God, and you will be my people, and they will know me from the least to the greatest".
You have that opportunity to do that. I'd like to begin in Isaiah 64, verse 4, and we'll look at the King James and the Amplified, and then I wanna go to Isaiah 31:1, and we'll begin this today as we talk about these benefits that come from spending time with God. Isaiah 64:4 and then Isaiah 31, verses 1 through 3 both in the King and the Amplified here. So, no Christian can accomplish anything great for God without learning the art of being alone with God. There is something so amazing that happens when you choose to wait for the Lord. Now, I didn't say wait on God. That's a mistranslation that the entire church has bought. It's to wait for the Lord. When you wait for the Lord he'll renew your strength. You'll mount up with wings like an eagle. You'll run and not get tired when you wait for the Lord.
Waiting on the Lord is like when you go to a restaurant and you have a waiter or a waitress waiting or serving you, but we mistranslated that for years. I mean, by the context of the Scripture it is something that you do and there will be a result of what you do, and so to wait, in fact, the King James says "to wait upon the Lord," the Amplified says "to wait for the Lord," and religion says "to wait on the Lord". But we're talking about waiting for the Lord and what does it mean to wait for the Lord? It means you're looking to him. It means you go to him for consultation before any human aid is pursued.
Think of that now. Whatever situation life, that you might be in in life, to wait for the Lord means that you are going to him first. You're looking to him first. You go to him for consultation first and when you go to him to get his consultation... think about it. It really turns God on when you put him first, and you're saying before any human aid is pursued you pursue God first, and I'm telling you there are lots of Christians that it just doesn't happen. Things happen, and they pursue human aid first. They try to deal with it first. Don't even wink at God to try to figure out what he has to say about it and yet God tells us here in this Scripture, "I have prepared some things for those who will wait for me". He said, "There is some stuff you don't even know about that I'll do for the person who will come to me first, look to me first, wait on what I have to say and lead and guide them".
And I'll tell you what. I believe that's been reserved for us Christians, and I am excited about waiting for the Lord. I'm excited about no matter what happens in my life, "God, what do you say about this"? Somebody says, "Well, what do you do, you know, if you don't hear nothing"? Nothing, 'cause God gonna tell you two things. He gonna tell you to do something, number one. Number two, he'll tell you to do nothing, and you gotta figure out which one of those you're supposed to be doing.
Look what he says in Isaiah 64:4. Let's go ahead and begin. He says, "For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, besides thee, what he hath prepared," prepared, "for him," him who? "That waiteth for him". He says, "I've prepared some things for the guy who will look to me first before pursuing human aid or help". Now, let's see where I wanna gonna go look. Amplified. He says, "For from of old no one has heard nor perceived by the ear, nor has the eye seen a God besides you, who works and shows himself active".
How many of you want God working for you? How many of you want God showing his self active for you? He says he will work and show himself active, "On behalf of him who earnestly," what? "Waits for him". He's saying, "I will be active in the life of the person who has enough confidence to pursue me first, enough confidence to come to me and to receive what I have to say about this thing. Before you try to work it out yourself or look at anybody else," he says, "I'm ready to be active on behalf of that person who will wait for the Lord". Boy, that's powerful, man. That God's ready to go to work for the person who says, "I'm going to God first". Man, that turns him on. He says, "I am gonna be active for that person".
Now, I want you to think about it. In the last few situations that happened in your life have you even paused to even go to see what God has to say about it? Or are you so used to handling it on your own and handling according to the ways world's of handling it, and you don't even go to God. Well, what does the Scripture say about that if you choose to do that? Look at Isaiah 31. I'm gonna look at it in the King James, the Amplified, and The Message real quick. What if you keep choosing to do that? See, what you're saying is, "I am trusting these other things before I trust God". You're putting your faith and everything in these other things and not knowing that those other things are temporal. Those other things can fail you one day, and you keep going to them like they have a hundred percent proof that everything is gonna work the way it needs to work. And that's not so. It's just not so.
Look at this. Isaiah 6. Isaiah 31, verses 1. King James first. Let's check it out. "Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help". Look at where you're going for help. You're going down to Egypt, and they don't have straw to make brick. "And you stay on horses, and you trust in chariots because they are many," so you're trusting in chariots 'cause there's, like, a whole lot of 'em. "And you're trusting in the horsemen," because they are many, "because they are very strong; but they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek the Lord"! Verse 2, " Yet he also is wise, and will bring evil, and will not call back his words: but will arise against the house of the evildoers, and against the help of them that work iniquity". Verse 3, "Now the Egyptians are men, and not God; and their horses flesh, and not spirit. When the Lord shall stretch out his hand, both he that helpeth shall fall, and he that holpen shall fall down, and they all shall fail together".
Let's just go to The Message. Look at this in The Message, 1 through 3 in The Message. Now, the key is will you go to God? Look at what he says here. "Doom to those who go off to Egypt thinking that horses can help them, impressed by military mathematics, awed by sheer numbers of chariots and riders, and to the Holy of Israel, not even a glance, not so much as a prayer to God". Man, that's something. He says you go to the thing that looks impressive. You go to the thing 'cause it has great numbers, but he says when it comes to God not even a glance, not even a glance, not even a prayer. Wow! And there are lots of Christians that do that. You have financial problems. Not even a glance. Didn't even give a two-word prayer to God about your financial problems. You went to what the world is used to going to. Doctor say you're gonna die, oh, you didn't go to God, not even a glance to what God had to say about it, not even a prayer to what God had to say about it.
You went to the thing that was most impressive, and God is saying in verse 2, he says, "Still, he must be reckoned with, a most wise God who knows what he's doing". God says, "I know what I'm doing". Mm. "He can call down catastrophes. He's a God who does what he says. He intervenes in the work of those who do wrong, stands up against interference, evildoers". Verse 3, "Egyptians are mortal, not God, and their horses are flesh, not Spirit. When God gives the signal, helpers and helped alike will fall in a heap and share the same dirt grave". Get this, child of God. Get this. God is like, "Come to me. I will outdo every resource that you have gotten accustomed to going to. Those things will die one day, but not me. Those things will fail one day, but not me. Those systems will disappear one day, but not me. I am God, and I fail not". Boy, that's good news, isn't it? That's good news.
Now, for some they have been convinced that, you know, to do what I am suggesting today is a waste of time. "I hear you talking about spending time with God and developing an intimate relationship with God, but, Reverend, they're talking about putting me out this Friday". In some cases you might need to be put out of that thing. It's been hurting you for the last two years 'cause you've been trying to practice image. How many you know there is a difference between fantasy and vision from God? What happens is Satan uses fantasy. Fantasy is just perverted vision.
Satan uses fantasy to try to lead you away and to disrupt your focus for the vision that God's given you. God's given everybody in here a vision. You have a vision in life. That if you'll spend time focused on God, God will show you the steps to get to your vision in life, but what happens is Satan wants to interrupt that by producing fantasies in your life, and you get those fantasies by comparing yourself amongst yourself, and you start looking at other people and start paying attention to all these other images, especially through social media. And all of a sudden now you have given birth to fantasies and now you are wasting time trying to pursue fantasies, instead of having a good use of your time pursuing vision.
Some of you are fantasy motivated and fantasy is a waste of time. You're trying to pursue something that God never intended for you to be or to have, but because you've been looking at what somebody else is doing you call it your goal, heaven calls it a fantasy, and you have completely put your vision on hold. And 30 years go by, and you're still the same because you've been trying to pursue a fantasy, instead of understanding the steps that lead you to the vision that God has put on your life.
Most of your problems are fantasy driven. Using your money to try to do something that's a part of your fantasy. Mm-hmm. Yeah, buying clothes that can't even fit your 'cause that's a part of your fantasy. You ain't got the body shape for that. That's a part of your fantasy. You're looking at something you know good and well, you know, you're 340 trying to wear some skinny jeans. It's a part of your fantasy. Ha-ha, it's a part of your fantasy. You need to get them mom pop jeans, boy. They're part of your fantasy. Understand who you are and pursue the vision that God has on your life, and God says, "I'll help you with that". And the church said, "Amen". Is it a waste of time? Is it a waste of time for you to practice the art of being alone with God? Is it a waste of time for you to go in a closet or a room at home and close the door and enter into a secret place and talk to God and let him talk to you?
And is it possible that in that secret place that's where I can be clothed with anointing and clothed with wisdom that I don't even know I got clothed with? But while in that secret place you can't help but to get rubbed on. In that secret place... that anointing comes from that root word "to anoint," to rub on and to rub into, and there is an anointing released in that secret place as you practice the art of being alone with God. And you don't come out like you went in and publicly people begin to experience your private time with God, and this is what our Christianity should be.
Our Christianity should not be the acrobats of the mind trying to impress others with our knowledge about him, but it should be a multiplication of peace and grace because we've exchanged our knowledge about him for an intimate relationship with him and the intimate relationship with him will give us even greater knowledge about him. In fact, the first benefit of knowing God is revelation knowledge. The first benefit of knowing God is revelation knowledge. Go to Daniel chapter 11 and verse 32. The first benefit of knowing God is revelation knowledge.
Revelation knowledge is not knowledge that comes from Sunday school quarterlies or the obtaining of degrees from universities. Revelation knowledge is not knowledge that comes from going to seminary. That's what tickles me so much about dudes who've been to seminary and now they crown themselves as, "I know everything 'cause I have a doctorate from seminary". No, it's revelation knowledge, which is knowledge above natural knowledge, because this knowledge comes from God. It's exact knowledge.
It's the same knowledge that Peter in the book of Matthew, when Jesus asked the question, "Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am"? And he told 'em this is what they've heard. "Some say that you're Elijah. Some say you're this and that". And then, Jesus looked at the disciples and says, "Who do you say that I am"? And Simon opened his mouth without having the knowledge in his brain and said, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God". "Oops, what did I just say"? And Jesus said, "Flesh and blood hath not revealed this unto you, but my Father which is in heaven has revealed this unto you".
Praise God. And he says, "You no longer will be called Simon the Son of Jonah. You are now Peter because of that revelation. That knowledge that's come through you has made you more solid. It's made you more rocky," praise God? And then, he said, "And upon this rock," revelation knowledge, "I'm gonna build my church and the gates of hell shall not stand against it". It what? Revelation knowledge. Satan will not be able to stand against revealed knowledge, and God is saying, "When you get alone with me, I'm gonna give you something not even the devil gonna be able to overcome".
See, there's something about getting the Word of God. God wants you to get you in the bedroom where you can get a Word from God, an intimate place where you can get something from him. Yeah, I'm glad you know how to quote the entire book of Revelation, but do you have revelation of Revelation? 'Cause breakthrough won't come by memorizing. A breakthrough comes by spending intimate time with him and then he gives you something that will be tattooed on your spirit forever. Mm, mm, so the first benefit is revelation knowledge.
This is what happens when I spend time with God. I get revelation of a thing. What I just showed you about fantasy, that was revelation. That didn't come 'cause I was looking for it. Revelation just kinda shows up while you're spending time with him, and you're not spending time with him, you know, to get something. It's intimate time that you're spending with him 'cause you have a right to spend it with him. I'm not here to get nothing from you. I'm here 'cause you're here, and I wanna be with you, and I wanna fellowship with you, and I wanna tell you how awesome you are, and I wanna tell you how great you are, and I wanna thank you for what you did day before yesterday. I wanna thank you for how you woke me up this morning. I wanna thank you for helping me get through this. I wanna thank you that when I was in a ditch you got me up out of the ditch. I wanna thank you when depression was overwhelming me that joy showed up from somewhere and in the midst of that intimacy, intimacy, intimacy, which means you're not going in trying to hold a secret.
That's the place where you go before God and tell him stuff you don't tell everybody else. That's where you go to God and you got real stuff. "God, I am hurt. I am sad. I feel betrayed. Help me". And in those intimate moments where you let him into you and see, then he returns the favor and let you into him and see, and intimacy is shared one with another. That's not the place to go and be religious. That's not the place to go and practice your religion that you learned from cemetery school or seminary school. That's not the place to do that. This is the place where you go in, and it's home-grown, showing-up truth. "Lord, here it is. I am PO'd about what just happened, and I know I shouldn't have cussed them out like that". I apologize for all that truth. I thought I was with God by myself. That's intimacy.