To establish a personal relationship with people in general, first and foremost would be to get to know the person. Try to recall how you established a close relationship with your spouse. More so when you want to establish a personal relationship with your Creator!
In Part 1, I quoted several verses. That was my way of getting to know my Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ who died for me or in my place and the Holy Spirit. Here is one of the verses which got me by the neck.
“I (Jesus) am the vine, you are the branches, he who abides in Me , and I in him, bears much fruit; for without me you can do nothing. John 15:5.
Before the year 2000, I was aware of above truth, but it was not in the front of my brain. It was somewhere at the back of my brain. Since I discovered the treasures in the Bible, that is, whatever Jesus says in the Bible, I try to remember it, write it down to remember it better and read it and say it every so often.
This book is a compilation of my discoveries, a compilation on how I got out of the dark ages. How I realized that all the wonders of my engineering and business books are miniscule or not worth comparing with the wisdom of the Creator, my Lord and Master.
Prayers or Conversations with Jesus.
A prayer is something of a conversation. When you ask your parents, spouse, or friends for something, you do not visit or call him/her and start asking what you need in the form of a prayer poem or verse. You simply talk, converse.
So, when you need something from Jesus, simply go to a quiet place and start your one-way conversation, for example:
“Heavenly Father, (or Abba Father), in the name of Jesus, - as you know I really need to get a job as soon as possible. You know I have been out of a job for several months now and Your money in my bank account is running out. Guide me where to look for the next job. I know you will supply the needs of my family and myself. I leave it up to You Abba Father (Daddy). In Jesus Name, thank You. Amen”
Here are some of the Lord’s declarations when He was visiting us more than 2000 years ago. Remember that He never changes. He was providing and healing before and He will provide and heal today.
Over the past ten years, I have come to know these saying during Sunday services and while attending Bible classes. I have come to TRUST the Lord completely, totally, without doubting. I know, this is easier said than done. You might even be rolling up your eyes now. But do not take my word on this. When you start talking to Jesus, He will enlighten you and soon your attitude will change.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding.
In all your ways, acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6
Read it word by word and line by line. Recite the four lines and eventually memorize it. This two verses is foundational for me. Take the word ‘Trust’. When do you start trusting someone? I believe the trust grows based on the number of times he/she accomplished what you asked the person to do. He/she has become very dependable and you therefore have come to trust the person totally.
And so with your trust with the Lord. One day I listed all the things I prayed for in earnest. The first time I really prayed for was to graduate the four year engineering course in four years. That was granted. Then I prayed hard that I pass the Government Board Examinations. This is a serious endeavor. It was not uncommon for candidates to have to take it two to three times to pass it. Thank God, I passed the first time.
I continued the list and realized that most if not all of my serious and valid requests from God, He granted. I suggest you try it. Make a list of the things you prayed hard for. Check those which were granted to you, or a better one was granted to you.
“Ask, and it will be given to you;
seek, and you will find;
knock, and it will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks receives,
and he who seeks finds, and to him
who knocks it will be opened.” Matthew 7:7-8
“And whatever things you ask in prayer,
believing, you will receive.” Matthew 21:22
The important aspect of above verses is our belief and again trust in God that what we asked for will be granted. Ask yourself. Why are you asking for this particular thing. Do you really need it. It is a good thing? Is it legal? If so, why would the Lord not grant it to you? He may not grant it instantly, but He will at the right time. It could be tomorrow or next week or next year. We simply have to leave it to Him. He is in control. He is all knowing. Trust Him. Believe in Him.
Here is a story about Joseph. Put yourself in his place. Would you have persevered like Joseph did? To be honest, I might have complained to the Lord, why all these?
Joseph the Hebrew - Growing Up
When Joseph was seventeen years old, he often tended his father’s, (Jacob), flocks with his half brothers. Joseph was second to the youngest of 12 brothers. Joseph, being the favorite son, often reported to his father some of the bad things his brothers were doing. (Sounds familiar even to this day). His brothers hated him because of their father’s partiality.
One night, Joseph had a dream and promptly reported the details to his brothers causing them to hate him even more. “Listen to this dream,” he announced. “We were out in the field tying up bundles of grain. My bundle stood up, and then your bundles all gathered around and bowed low before it!”
“So you are going to be our king, are you?” his brothers taunted. And they hated him all the more for his dream and what he had said.
Then Joseph had another dream and told his brothers about it. “Liston to this dream,” he said. “The sun, moon and eleven starts bowed low before me!”
This time Joseph told his father as well as his brothers, and his father rebuked him. “What do you mean?” his father asked. “will your mother, your brothers, and I actually come and bow before you?” But while his brothers were jealous of Joseph, his father gave it some thought and wondered what it all meant.
Soon after these two episodes, Joseph’s brothers went to pasture their father’s flocks at Sechem. When they had been gone for some time, Jacob said to Joseph, “Your brothers are over at Sechem with the flocks. “Go and see how your brothers and the flocks are getting along, “ Jacob said. “then come back and bring me word.”
Sold to a caravan of Ishmaelite traders en route to Egypt.
Joseph finally found where his brothers were and when they saw him still at a distance, made plans to kill him. They took Joseph’s multi-colored coat and threw him into a pit and planned to leave him there to die, but as providence would have it, a caravan of Ishmaelite traders was passing by en route to Egypt taking their spices, balm, and myrrh.
The brothers agreed to sell Joseph to the Ishmaelite traders instead of killing him and having his death in their conscience. What they did was to kill a goat and smeared his coat with the goat’s blood and planned to show the coat of Joseph with his supposed blood on it.
When their father found out what happened to Joseph he mourned deeply for his son for many days. “I will die in mourning for my son,” he would say and then begin to weep.
Meanwhile, in Egypt, the traders sold Joseph to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, king of Egypt. Potiphar was captain of the palace guard.
The Lord was with Joseph and blessed him greatly as he served in the home of his Egyptian master. Potiphar noticed this and realized that the Lord was with Joseph and Joseph gave Potiphar success in everything he did. Potiphar soon put Joseph in charge of his entire household and entrusted him with all his business dealings. With Joseph in charge, Potiphar did not have a worry in the word.
NOTE: (If we were betrayed and “sold” down the drain by someone how would we react? Are we going to be angry at God. Or ask Him to protect and guide us no matter what. Let’s think about that.)
Joseph was doing fine at Potiphars house. But it looks like God’s assignment for Joseph was just beginning. It so happen that Potiphar’s wife had an eye on the young and good looking Joseph. Observe what Joseph told Potaphar’s wife:
“Look”, he told her, “my master trusts me with everything in his entire household. No one here has more authority than I do! He has held back nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How could I ever do such a wicked thing? It would be a great sin against God.”
She however kept on pressuring Joseph and at one time, Joseph tore himself away from her, but as he did, his shirt came off. She was left holding it as Joseph ran from the house. (this is going to be a huge, humungous problem for Joseph).
And it did, Potiphar threw Joseph to jail !!! But somehow, Joseph remained faithful to the Lord. He kept himself aligned with God. He kept himself connected with God. Joseph kept himself attached to the Vine. (This is what we really need to impress in our minds!)
As before, the Lord was with Joseph and He granted Joseph favor with the chief jailer. Before long, the jailer put Joseph in charge of all the other prisoners and over everything that happened in the prison. The jailer had no more worries after that, because Joseph took care of everything.
(Note : this is the second person who had no more worries after he turned over things to a man who was aligned with the main Source. Let us consider that all the time.)
As it turned out, the Chief Cup Bearer and the Chief Baker who offended Pharaoh, (King of Egypt), were also in jail. In due course , Joseph interpreted their dreams. The chief cup bearer got his job back with the Pharaoh. But he forgot about the great favor he owed Joseph for two years. So Joseph just kept his trust in the Lord all this time.
Then one day, the Pharaoh had a dream. In fact the Pharaoh dreamt a similar dream one more time and he became concerned. The Pharaoh dreamt that he was standing on the bank of the Nile River. In his dream, seven fat, healthy looking cows suddenly came up out of the river and began grazing along its bank. Then seven other cows came up from the river, but these were very ugly and gaunt. These cows went over and stood beside the fat cows and ate the fat cows.
The Pharaoh was very concerned about his dreams and called for all the magicians and wise men of Egypt and told them about his dreams, but not one of them could suggest what they meant. Then the king’s cup-bearer remembered Joseph and related to the Pharaoh how Joseph interpreted his dream!
Joseph and the Pharaoh of Egypt.
The Pharaoh sent for Joseph at once. To make a long story short, Joseph interpreted the Pharaoh’s dream as follows: The seven fat cows and the seven plum heads of grain both represent seven years of prosperity. The seven thin, ugly cows and the seven withered heads of grain represent seven years of famine. This will happen just as I have described it, for God has shown you what he is about to do..
Joseph said “My suggestion is that you find the wisest man in Egypt and put him in charge of a nationwide program. Gather all the food and grain of these good years into the royal storehouses, and store it away so there will be food when the seven years of famine come” .
Pharaoh said, “who could do it better than Joseph? For he is a man who is obviously filled with the spirit of God.” Turning to Joseph , Pharaoh said, “since God has revealed the meaning of the dreams to you, you are the wisest man in the land. I hereby appoint you to direct this project.” . . . . .
”I hereby put you in charge of the entire land of Egypt.” Then Pharaoh placed his own signet ring on Joseph’s finger as a symbol of his authority. Pharaoh also gave Joseph the chariot of his second-in-command and wherever he went the command was shouted, “Kneel down!”
And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I am the king, but no one will move a hand or a foot in the entire land of Egypt without your approval.” Joseph was 30 years old!!!
And sure enough, for the next seven years there were bumper crops everywhere. During those years, Joseph took a portion of all the crops grown in Egypt and stored them in the government storehouses in nearby cities.
Let us stop here for a moment and contemplate on what has happened to Joseph. He was always faithful to the Lord and everything he did was successful because the Lord was with him. Joseph trusted and believed in the Lord completely.
After seven years, the granaries were filled to overflowing. There was so much grain like sand on the seashores that the people could not keep track of the amount.
Ref. Genesis, Ch. 39-41, the first of 66 books of the Bible, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., (New Living Translation)