Tuesday, August 28, 2007
The Possibility of Intimacy
Many years ago my Pastor(Paul De Jong)made a statement that has become a life theme for me: "The challenge of possibility lies in the challenge of intimacy". I was arrested in my seat and immediately I thought of Daniel 11:32 which says, "But those who know their God shall be strong and do great exploits...". If you represented it visually, it might look something like this:
How many amazing faith stories have you read or heard about? How many times have you thought "wow" - God never uses me like this! We often relegate stories of faith to "Superchristians" ...surely not us!
The whole key of doing great exploits is linked to being intimate with God. Its effortless really. Fall in love with God and learn to know his voice and stuff will happen!
There are 3 Keys to Knowing God
Ex 33:13 - Moses motivation was more of God in his life rather than the big name or ministry
God longs to be intimate with us...there are so many facets of him ... father ... saviour ... friend ... Lord ... (to knock a few sacred cows - MOTHER!!!) and ... the lover! One time I was at One Tree Hill in Auckland. I was sitting in one of the blown out craters with my ipod and a journal just needing some time out. It was a beautiful winter day and as I sat basking in the sun, alone with my journal, I had an overwhelming sense of God's presence. It was almost tangible - just wave after wave of his love washing over me. I became aware of his voice saying, "I am SO glad you are here Sarah. I can't think of anything I would rather do right now, than be here with you". This took me into a whole new 8 months of discovering God as my lover. The one who longed to be with me ... to have me to himself ... to walk with me and talk with me ... to love me. It was a wondrous thing. I have never loved or been loved like that.
As we press in to know him he will be found by us
Hosea 6:3; Jer 29:11
How much do we want to know God and at what cost? In Phil 3:10, Paul said that he wanted to know Christ and share in the fellowship of his sufferings. That personally challenges me.
Getting to Know God
It is very difficult to get to know someone if you don't spend time with them. God wants us to spending time with him and put him first in our lives. These both cost!
4 Results of Knowing God
The more we get to know God the more we get to love and fear him. Often this fear the Bible speaks about comes from the word which means to reverence him. One of the meanings of that is to so love someone, that you fear doing something that would cause them grief or hurt.
1. Known By God
1 Cor 8:3 - Those who love God are known by God. How cool is that!? The one who put the stars in the sky and calls them out by name, knows YOU! KNOWS you!
2. Pleasure To God
Ps 147:11 - The Lord delights in those who fear him. I love this word "delights". It makes me think of first time parents. Everything that baby does, they are in raptures about. "Did you see him? Did you? He just stepped!" "Did you see that? Did you? She's amazing. She just said her first word!" No kidding ... I have even heard parents drawing attention to some of the grosser things like - "Wow ... did you see that nappy? Did ya? That was something else!" God is like this with us. He looks and says to the great cloud of witnesses we have (see Hebrews) ... "Did ya see that? Did ya? Look at Amy. Did you see how she just did that? Wow ... she's amazing. She's mine." What a mind blowing concept to know that we can bring him pleasure.
1 Chron 28:9 - When we love and fear God we will want to serve him
"Living in the secure intimate place with Jesus brings forth an overcoming spirit that is mature in the things of God; a strong, militant spirit of faith that can break through anything. Faith that doesn't give up because deep down it doesn't want to ... its motivating force is a deep love of God..." (Stephen Bennett)
4. Prepared or "Equipped" For Great Exploits
1 Cor 2:16 We have the mind of Christ!
"In this place of intimacy we get the mind of Christ which brings our minds into right thinking, setting us free..." (Stephen Bennett)
1 Cor 6:17 We are united with God - one in Spirit
1 Cor 1:7 No spiritual gift lacking - study note states "gk indicates gifts of grace - a manifestation of his enabling us to minister..."
Watch out for the next post to find out how intimacy leads us to Great Exploits!