Developing a Personal Relationship with God

Baptisms

The Bible speaks and teaches of more than one baptism. In fact it speaks of three baptisms. In

Hebrews 6v2, says, “of the doctrine of baptisms” = meaning plural = more than one.

  1. Baptism into the Body of Christ.

You are baptised into the Body of Christ by the Holy Spirit when you are born again.

Ephesians 4v4-5

There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; (5) one Lord, one faith, one baptism.

  1. Baptism in Water

You are baptised by full immersion in water. (not sprinkling or spraying). This is an instruction from Jesus.

Water baptism does not make you a born again child of God. Only receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and personal Saviour makes you a child of God.

Water baptism does not make you a member of a church.

Matthew 28v19

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

  1. Baptism in the Holy Spirit

You are baptised by Jesus in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues.

Matthew 3v11

I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

Mark 16v17

And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues.

Acts 2v4

And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Who is God?

God is a Spirit. There is one true God who has a plural nature – the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The Bible does not teach that there are three Gods, but upholds the doctrine of the Trinity – one God who reveals Himself in three persons – equal in power and glory.

Matthew 28v19

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

What do the Scriptures tell us about God the Father?

Matthew 7v11

If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!

God is a loving Father who wants to give good things to His children. He is saying natural fathers “know”. It is in them to give good things to their children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to you as you ask Him.

How can you expect your heavenly Father to help you if you think that He is causing all the trouble in your life? God is not your problem.

John 4v23-24

But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. (24) God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.

The Father is seeking those who will worship Him. Why? Because when He finds them, He knows that worship will not change Him but it will change you.

Hebrews 12v9

Furthermore, we have ha human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live?

Our natural fathers are “fathers of our flesh” but God the Father is the “Father of spirits”. We are spirit beings, therefore God is our Father.

Hebrews 12v5-11

And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons:

“My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him;

6 For whom the LORD loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.”

7 If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten?

8 But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons.

9 Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live?

10 For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness.

11 Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

Our natural fathers disciplined us and corrected us, how much more must we submit when our heavenly Father corrects us.

What do the Scriptures tell us about Jesus, the Son?

John 8v12

Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”

Jesus is the Light of the world. If we follow Jesus, we will not walk in darkness.

John 10v14

I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own.

Jesus is the good Shepherd. He is not the bad shepherd. He cares for His sheep. He cares for His own. A shepherd feeds; leads and protects the sheep.

Hebrews 13v8

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Jesus does not change. He remains the same. He can be trusted.

Galatians 3v13

Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”)

Jesus is our Redeemer. He became a curse for us. He has redeemed us from the curse of the law.

What do the Scriptures tell us about the Holy Spirit?

1 Corinthians 3v16

Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?

Your body is the temple of God and the Holy Spirit lives in you. You are a spirit, you have a soul and you live in a body.

John 16v13-14

However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.

He is the Spirit of truth who guides us into all truth.

Romans 8v14; 16

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.

Getting to Know Him

If order to get to know someone, you must spend time with them. And in order to get to know God and His voice, you must spend time with Him in prayer and in His Word.

Matthew 6v33

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

You must learn to put God first, not second or when you have time. Seek first.

Listen! Don’t organise your prayer time around the things you must do, organise the things you must do around your prayer time.

Otherwise you will always have an excuse as to why you don’t have time to pray.

Colossians 3v1-2

If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.

Seek those things which are above. Make it a lifestyle to seek God every day. An example of someone who set her heart on the things of God was Mary.

Luke 10v38-42

Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.”

41 And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. 42 But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”

Mary made a choice to sit at Jesus’ feet and hear His Word. You are as close to God as you choose to be. If you feel far from God, then guess who moved?

Psalm 119v2

Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, who seek Him with the whole heart!

You will be blessed when you seek God with your whole heart.

Jeremiah 29v13

And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.

Matthew 5v6

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.

Ask God to make you hungry and thirsty for Him. Ask Him to make you hungry for more of His Word, to make you thirsty for more of His Spirit.

2 Chronicles 16v9

For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.

God is looking for those whose hearts are loyal, devoted to Him.

What are the results of seeking God?

2 Chronicles 7v14

If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

You will receive forgiveness and healing.

Proverbs 8v17

I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently will find me.

The result of seeking God is that you will find Him.

Hebrews 11v6

But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

God rewards those who seek Him.

Prayer – How to talk with God

There are some attitudes which we should have in prayer.

Psalm 5v1-3

Give ear to my words, O LORD, Consider my meditation. 2 Give heed to the voice of my cry, My King and my God, For to You I will pray. 3 My voice You shall hear in the morning, O LORD; In the morning I will direct it to You, And I will look up.

Learn to spend time with God first thing in the morning. Pray before your day starts and expect God to speak to your heart.

Psalm 55v17

Evening and morning and at noon I will pray, and cry aloud, and He shall hear my voice.

Psalm 62v8

Trust in Him at all times, you people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.

Psalm 63v1

O God, You are my God; early will I seek You; my soul thirsts for You; my flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water.

When should we pray?

1 Thessalonians 5v17

Pray without ceasing.

It means that God is always with you and that you can pray anywhere. Don’t limit it to only one specific place.

Philippians 4v6-7 NLT

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

Instead of sitting and worrying about it, pray about it. Give it to God. Make it known to Him. When you feeling anxious and worried, that is when you pray.

1 Peter 5v7

Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

Give all your cares, worries and anxieties to the Lord. He will fix it for you.

Mark 1v35

Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed.

Oswald Chambers

Unless in the first waking moment of the day you learn to fling the door wide back and let God in, you will work on a wrong level all day; but swing the door wide open and pray to your Father in secret, and every public thing will be stamped with the presence of God.

God has promised to answer prayer

Jeremiah 33v3

Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.

If we call, He will answer. His line will not be engaged. He is a present help in times of trouble.

Matthew 7v7-11

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!

God gives good things to His children. He has promised to answer us when we pray. Take authority over satan and take what belongs to you. Your heavenly Father is not withholding any good thing from you.

Hebrews 4v16

Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

God is encouraging us to come boldly. Don’t be scared. Don’t be afraid. He is waiting for you to come and receive mercy, grace and help in your time of need.

Conditions to answered prayer

John 16v23-24

And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. 24 Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.

In order to receive answers to your prayers, you must ask in the name of Jesus.

John 15v7

If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.

Notice the word “if”. When you abide in God and His words abide in you, then whatever you ask, will be given to you.

Abiding in God will cause your desires to come in line with His desires for your life.

Mark 11v24

Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.

As soon as you said “Amen” to your prayer, that is when you must believe that you received the answer to your prayer.

This is also the time that you kick doubt out of your life and say, “Doubt I resist you in the name of

Jesus, I refuse to doubt. I am a believer, I am not a doubter.”

Verse 25

And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.

You cannot hold onto un-forgiveness and expect your prayer of faith to be answered. Walking in forgiveness is paramount to seeing your prayers answered.

1 John 5v14-15

Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.

We must ask according to His will. His Word is His will. If it’s in the Word, then it’s His will.

James 4v2-3 Living Bible

You want what you don’t have, so you kill to get it. You long for what others have, and can’t afford it, so you start a fight to take it away from them. And yet the reason you don’t have what you want is that you don’t ask God for it. 3 And even when you do ask you don’t get it because your whole aim is wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.

God knows that if certain things are given to us, it can do us more harm than good. It will destroy us and draw us away from Him.

So God wants us to have nice things but He wants us to walk more accurately before Him so that we can handle every blessing that comes into our hands.

Always pray this prayer: “God, before you put something in my hand, first do something with my heart.”

For whom should we pray?

1 Timothy 2v1-4

Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

We should pray for those in authority. We must pray for all men because He desires all men to be saved.

Ephesians 6v18

Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.

We must pray for the saints. We must pray for one another.

Matthew 9v36-38

But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. 37 Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. 38 Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”

We must pray and continue to ask God to send labourers, so that we can bring in the harvest of souls.

Luke 6v28

Bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you.

We should pray for people who hurt us, who persecute us.

How to hear from God?

God leads us by the inward witness in our spirit. Learn to look to the inside, your spirit to hear God’s voice speaking to you.

God also uses His Word to speak and confirm His direction in your life.

He also uses people who can speak and confirm something that God is saying to you.

He can use prophecy. But if people prophesy over you, it should always be confirmation, not revelation.

John 10v2-5

But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep

follow him, for they know his voice. 5 Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.

We follow the voice of our Good Shepherd.

Worship is one of the best ways to prepare our hearts to hear from God.

1 Samuel 16v14-16; 23

But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and a distressing spirit from the LORD troubled him. 15 And Saul’s servants said to him, “Surely, a distressing spirit from God is troubling you. 16 Let our master now command your servants, who are before you, to seek out a man who is a skillful player on the harp. And it shall be that he will play it with his hand when the distressing spirit from God is upon you, and you shall be well.”

(23) And so it was, whenever the spirit from God was upon Saul, that David would take a harp and play it with his hand. Then Saul would become refreshed and well, and the distressing spirit would depart from him.

Pastor Lester Holland