Life Principle 1: Our Intimacy With God

Our intimacy with God—His highest priority for our lives—determines the impact of our lives.

One of our greatest needs is to know we are loved. Each of us has to feel certain, deep down in our hearts, that someone loves us, cares for us, and has our best interests at heart.

That is how God designed us. He wants us to know He loves us with a passionate intensity too deep for words.

"Then God said, 'Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.'" —Genesis 1:26

God created human beings with fellowship in mind—first with Himself and then with others. But we cannot fully love one another until we have ourselves experienced the love of God. We experience His love when we willingly surrender to His call to be our Savior, Lord, and Friend.

There are at least three reasons God seeks our surrender:

  • He loves us and desires our fellowship and worship.

As long as we hold something back from God, we cannot know Him completely or fully experience His love. When we surrender to Him, we get all of Him.

  • He wants our service for Him to be effective and fruitful.

The more we know and love Jesus, the more effective our service will be. The closer we draw to God, the more impact our lives will have. The more energetically we nurture our relationship with the Lord, the greater the positive mark we will leave behind.

  • He waits for the freedom to bless us.

God is omnipotent, but He will not violate His own principles. He draws us to Himself so we can experience His love and forgiveness. He asks for our willing surrender so that He can give us the best blessings He has to offer.

So why do we resist? With all this in mind, why does anyone resist surrendering to God?

Pride is the key reason most people resist surrender. They think they know better than God and that they can handle their lives better than He can, so they keep Him at a distance.

Others do not surrender because they fear what God will do (or not do) for them. They think that if they give Him control, He’ll make them do exactly what will make them most miserable.

Still others refuse to surrender to Christ because they believe Satan’s lie, which tells them God is judgmental and will punish them for their mistakes.

God created human beings with fellowship in mind—first with Himself and then with others.

All of this is completely false! God always has our best in mind. He will refuse us no good thing when we gladly submit to His will (Rom. 8:32). He tells us, “‘I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope’” (Jer. 29:11).

It only makes sense to surrender to God, because when we do, we grow close to Him—His highest priority for us—and we begin to have an impact on our world.

Fulfill your destiny. Anne Graham Lotz once told an interviewer about the many trials she had faced in previous years, including her parents’ serious illnesses and her son’s battle with cancer. She finally came to the point where all she wanted was Jesus. “Just give me Jesus,” she declared.

Anne realized that if she had a personal, intimate relationship with the Savior of this universe, then whatever problems she faced, He would face them with her. He would bring a sweet resolve and a peace to her heart.

Is this the cry of your heart? Do you want to know the Savior and live in the fullness of His blessing each day? You can. David wrote, “They who seek the Lord shall not be in want of any good thing” (Ps. 34:10).

When you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior, He not only forgave you but also made you into a new creature. You were no longer standing at a distance from God but were then able to draw near to Him.

If you have drifted in your devotion to the Savior and feel as though you grow more distant each day in your relationship to Him, then pray that He will draw you near once more. He knows your weaknesses, and if you will tell Him you want Him to take control of your life, He will come to you in a mighty way and bring hope and light to your situation, no matter how dark and hopeless it may feel (Is. 55:6-7).

Adapted from The Charles F. Stanley Life Principles Bible, © 2009.

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26 Then God said, Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."

32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?

11 For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the LORD, `plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.

10 The young lions do lack and suffer hunger; But they who seek the LORD shall not be in want of any good thing.

6 Seek the LORD while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near.

7 Let the wicked forsake his way And the unrighteous man his thoughts; And let him return to the LORD, And He will have compassion on him, And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.

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