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Tag Archives: intimacy

Are You Plugged in to Christ? #powerofGod

PlugI have been posting about how to walk in righteousness and the power of God.  It should be obvious by now that we must rest, remain, abide in Christ.  That’s the place we receive His power.  Once we have the power we need, we’re able to live righteously.

When I’m saved, I’m made righteous by an impartation from God.  He does this so that I can receive His power by the Holy Spirit who now resides in me.

By drawing upon that power I can now live righteously before Him.  Without the power of the Spirit, I have no hope of ever pleasing the Lord with a walk of righteousness.

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.  And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
2 Corinthians 3:17-18

I can’t make myself walk in righteousness.  My flesh will never be able to fix itself.  My only hope is in the power of the Spirit.

I want to sum up the truths that we’ve learned with an illustration the Lord gave me.  Think about a living room with a TV and a lamp.  There’s also an extension chord with a power strip on it plugged into an electrical outlet.

The extension cord will represent our relationship with Christ.  If the plug is attached to the outlet, we’re remaining in Christ, if not then we’re on our own.

The TV is the miraculous – healings, provision, etc.  The lamp is our righteousness – living rightly before God.  Both of these items must be powered by our relationship with the Lord.  They are both plugged into the power strip.

We’ve noticed that if the lamp works, then the TV works as well.  A life that has the miraculous in operation also is becoming more and more like Jesus.

We’ve also noticed that if the TV isn’t working, then the lamp isn’t either.  The TV and the lamp always work together, so we assume that it’s the lamp that’s running the TV.

This is why so many Christians assume that it’s the walk of righteousness that brings the power for the miraculous.  The fact is, that both are powered by the same plug – our relationship with Christ.

So, do we try to increase our intimacy with Christ?  No.  Instead we try to artificially power the lamp through the battery power of the law.  We preach that the people need to live right to see the miraculous.  We tell them that it’s because we’re not living up to the rules that the church has no power.

By doing this, we actually get the lamp to appear to be lit.  What we don’t realize is that it’s not the power of the Spirit that’s working, but our own self-righteousness powered by the law.  Since the power chord of our relationship is not plugged into Christ, the manifestation of God’s power through healing and miracles does not exist.  That’s when all of the excuses start as to why there are no healings, signs, or wonders in the church anymore.

In order for the power of God to flow into your life, you must be intimate in your relationship with Christ.  The flow of power does not depend upon how good you act.  It’s your intimacy with Christ that will bring about both the miraculous and the walk of righteousness that the Savior has called you to manifest.

Question: How intimate is your relationship to Christ?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

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Posted by on December 30, 2013 in Legalism, Power of God

 

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You Can Camp With God

In Scripture we read about how different men and women encountered God in the wilderness.  Did you know that this is still something we can experience today?  In this post I want to describe it to you.

The Bible is full of accounts of the people who met with God in the outdoors.  Here is one such encounter.

Jacob also went on his way, and the angels of God met him.  When Jacob saw them, he said, “This is the camp of God!”  So he named that place Mahanaim.
Genesis 32:1-2

The name Mahanaim means double camp.  Jacob acknowledged that there were two camps where he was staying.  There was his camp and the camp of God.  This is important because now that Christ has risen, we are in a “double kingdom.”  We live in the world, yet at the same time we are in the kingdom of God.

Wherever we go, whatever we do, we take this heavenly kingdom with us.  Whether we realize it or not, we have access to God’s kingdom at all times.  Our problem is usually the distractions that keep us from seeking the spiritual.

I just returned from a camping trip.  I spent a night, alone, in a nearby state park.  I set up my tent at a secluded site and settled in.

The purpose was to get alone with God for a while.  You might think that this sounds a little extreme.  Maybe it is, but I’ve found that I can hear from God better without all of the distractions in my familiar settings.

When God gets me by myself like this, He can (and does) get my undivided attention.  There are times He deals with me about things I may have been neglecting.  Sometimes it’s about God teaching me something new, or giving me insight into the Word.

This trip I can truly say that God showed up in the camp.  There were some things that He worked through with me and I received an “extreme makeover.”  Looking back, I wouldn’t have missed that time with the Lord for anything else.

If you read through the Gospels you’ll find that praying in the wilderness was a major part of the life of Christ.  I believe that this is one of the secrets of His intimacy with the Father.  I want to follow His example.

The good news is that this type of encounter with God is available to every one of us.  If you are able, I encourage you to give it a try.  Go out with a tent and other supplies. Bring your Bible and a notebook.  Then expect to meet with God.

I believe that He honors our desire to seek Him intimately.  The Lord loves the quality time we spend together.  Then He can deal with things that take time to work through.

I can truly say that spending alone time with God in the outdoors is an incredible blessing.

Question: Have you encountered God in the outdoors?  Could you share about it?

© Nick Zaccardi 2012

 
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Posted by on September 28, 2012 in Prayer, Times in the Wilderness

 

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Attitudes

Jonah 4:3-5
“Now, O LORD, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.”
But the LORD replied, “Have you any right to be angry?”
Jonah went out and sat down at a place east of the city.  There he made himself a shelter, sat in its shade and waited to see what would happen to the city.

If you haven’t noticed – sometimes our attitudes stink.  There are times when we are mad at God, just like Jonah.  He was upset because God was not going to destroy the city of Nineveh.

I have found the same things to be true in my experience.  God doesn’t always carry out my plans the way I want Him to.  He seems to never even consider my timetable.

Jonah found out how devastating it is when we desire God to do something that’s not in His will for our lives.  Jonah’s response was to run away to a lonely hillside.  Once there, he erected a shelter and waited.  In spite of his attitude, God met with him there.  Although the Lord didn’t say what Jonah wanted to hear, He was able to redirect some of Jonah’s thinking.

Maybe you have an attitude toward God about some things that have (or haven’t) happened in your life.  These could be bad news, life altering events or unfulfilled dreams.  Whatever they consist of, take them to the Lord.

Use your time in His presence to really wait before Him for an answer.  Spend some quality time before the Lord.  Let God redirect and refocus your life.  Only then can you overcome the problems of the past and make a fresh start.

 
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Posted by on July 30, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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Awesome God

I Kings 19:11-13a
The LORD said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.”
Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind.  After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake.  After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire.  And after the fire came a gentle whisper.  When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.

There are many natural disasters reported in the news these days.  There’s bad weather, mudslides, earthquakes, and forest fires, just to name a few.  No matter what part of the country you live in, you need to be prepared to handle the threatening situations that can occur.

Unfortunately, we tend to blame God for all the bad stuff in life.  A tornado wipes out a trailer park, so we call it “an act of God.”  We figure anything that powerful, like floods, earthquakes, and hurricanes must be His doing.

The simple truth is that these things are not the work of God.  He is not the God of death and destruction, but the God of love.  His desire is to win the hearts of men and women through His gift of salvation.  He wants relationship with His creation.

We should be listening for that “gentle whisper” that speaks to our heart.  He uses this method to draw us to Himself.  Instead of seeking Him in the destructive forces of nature – seek to hear Him in the stillness of a quiet place.

 
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Posted by on July 29, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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The Reflection of God

Exodus 34:29-30
When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the LORD.  When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, his face was radiant, and they were afraid to come near him.

Having spent time on a mountaintop with God, Moses’ face began to shine with a radiance like that of the sun.  It was so bright that it caused the Israelites to fear even being near him.  There was no doubt about it.  Moses was changed, inside and out.

When you spend quality, intimate, time with the Lord, people will begin to notice a change in you.  Your face will probably not begin to glow.  But just like Moses began to reflect the glory of God, your life will begin to reflect Christ in a new and more powerful way.  As a matter of fact, you may not notice the change as much as your family and friends will.

We all have areas in our lives that need change.  Sometimes we try to do it on our own.  Usually we fail – we are not strong enough.  Lasting change comes from a deep work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.  The kind of work that requires a freedom from distractions.  This means that you must have a “secret place” to get alone with Christ.

Spend some time with the Lord today.  Open up your life to Him so that He might work in you.  Yield your desires to the Lord that He might shed His transforming power upon your heart.  Let lasting change begin today.

 
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Posted by on July 19, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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The Mountain of the Lord’s Temple

Isaiah 2:2-3
In the last days the mountain of the LORD’s temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, and all nations will stream to it.
Many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob.  He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.”  The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

When the temple was established in Jerusalem, no gentile could ever enter it, no matter how devout they were.  Temple worship was the exclusive right of the nation of Israel.

Things are different now.  Because of what Christ has done, all nations may now enter the invisible, holy temple of God.  We can now climb the heights to His very presence.  What was formerly impossible is now accessible by grace.

It is now possible to sit at the feet of the Lord and allow Him to teach you His ways.  Even when the temple was open to Israel, only the priests had that privilege.  Now, because of the cross, we can all experience the move of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

Make that climb today, to the top, to the mountain of God’s temple.  Approach the majestic presence of the Creator of all things.  Worship at His feet, for He is worthy to receive it.  Wait on Him, for His Spirit to move upon your heart.  Lives are forever changed up on that mountain.  Let yours be one of them.

 
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Posted by on July 15, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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Come Down

II Kings 1:9-10
Then he sent to Elijah a captain with his company of fifty men.  The captain went up to Elijah, who was sitting on the top of a hill, and said to him, “Man of God, the king says, ‘Come down!'”
Elijah answered the captain, “If I am a man of God, may fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty men!”  Then fire fell from heaven and consumed the captain and his men.

There is a peace that comes from being on a mountaintop, or even a hilltop.  It seems easier to seek the Lord in these places.  The sights and sounds all combine together to make your spirit more open to God.  Elijah was in such a place.  He realized that the place of prayer was a place of power before God.

Sometimes, in our Christian walk, we experience a spiritual mountaintop.  It is a place where God gives us special clarity about what’s ahead.  It is an intimate place with the Lord and usually we don’t want it to end too quickly.

In this verse the king ordered Elijah to come down from his mountaintop.  He even sent a contingent of soldiers to move Elijah off of his God-given assignment.  Unfortunately for the captain and his men, the power of God worked to remove the distraction from the prophet’s path.

In our daily lives, it is the distractions of society that order us out of the presence of the Lord.  We need to learn to remain on the mountain (at least in our hearts).  If we can continue our focus on the Lord.  Then, even when we must leave the place of prayer, His peace still remains.

Take the time today to find that place of peace with the Lord.  Spend quality time in His presence, then continue to meditate upon Him throughout the day.

 
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Posted by on July 12, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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