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Relationship with God (1 of 3)
The first step in living a lifestyle that overcomes temptation is a relationship with God. You were created by God to have a loving, intimate relationship with God. Out of that relationship we find our purpose in life and the power to live a fulfilled life. Many get this principle backwards. They try to find their purpose so that God will be pleased and accept them. However, God clearly says it is impossible to please God by our own efforts. Only by faith - trusting in God, can we please God. No man can please God by doing good deeds are living a religious lifestyle. Our goal is not to get to heaven and our goal is not to escape the flames of hell. Our goal is to have intimacy with God. After all, that is what heaven is. In heaven, we will have a face-to-face relationship with God. If loving God is not what we desire, then we really don't desire heaven anyway. If submitting to God makes us unhappy, heaven would be a miserable place. My goal and hope is to paint a clearer image of God so that we understand that our real desire is to know and love Him, and to give a better understanding of what it means to follow Him. If the joy of heaven is to know God, then we should understand that knowing Him is our source of joy here on earth.
The Bible tells us that the joy of the Lord is our strength. Knowing God is the source of our joy and the joy produced from our relationship with Him is our strength. Many people who begin in the faith will fade along the way. Many who listen to or read these messages will get excited about the hope of change, but will turn back when their desires become their most important treasure. This is not new to the time in which we live. Those around him abandoned Paul when the ministry became a sacrifice. In one of his letters to Timothy, Paul said, "Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world". 1 John 2:19 addresses the same problem, "They went out from us, but they were not of us; fo ...
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