Joined: 20 Jul 2006
|Posted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 10:40 pm Post subject: INTIMACY WITH GOD
|INTIMACY WITH GOD
The Desired Destination
Intimacy with God should be a desired destination. Intimately knowing God not only for what He has done; but for whom He truly is and what He will do makes all the difference in the world. It gives you a personal endearing relationship that is encompassed with spiritual depth. Intimacy really can be quite liberating. God knows what is beyond the surface. It is important to know this because it will help you to have a genuine reverential respect for His Word and a desire to walk in His ways. When He becomes the center of your life it gives your life purpose. It also gives your life balance. Psalms 145 says “Everyday I will bless You and Your name forever and ever. Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised”You also realize that worship is not just something you attend. It is really how you live before Him each and everyday wherever you are.
Have you ever noticed right before you attend a “worship service” you can find a level of anxious banter; everyone in their little cluster groups chit chatting about some of everything? Once the service begins, it‘s as almost, as though all of that joy is hushed? A solemn subtle quietness is ushered in. Then its business as usual? I have often wondered if that same enthusiasm or vigor continued what a difference it would make in the overall tenor of the service. For some it’s really become just a social gathering. Is there anyone or anything more important than the Lord? Did you know that we do not go somewhere to experience His presence? There is absolutely no where you can go, nor is there nothing that He is not aware of. Perhaps if we reserved some of that enthusiasm for Him our “worship” would be different not only on Sunday but everyday. What if intimacy was the desired destination; how would that impact things differently?
The Word of God has a multiplicity of illustrations depicting the difference God’s presence can make. The city of Corinth was known for its depravity. The Church that was established in Corinth was surrounded by much carnality. True but sad some of the worst sins were found amongst the church members. It was on Paul’s second missionary journey that he further established the Church in Corinth. There was a worldly culture which was one of the most prevalent problems within the congregation. It was hard for a lot of the believers to depart from their old ways. This is one of the primary reasons why Paul wrote not only one but two epistles to the Church in Corinth. Paul’s intent was to correct some of their behavior. He desired that the members establish a close deeper personal and intimate relationship with the Lord. He knew that this would make all the difference in the world.
The scripture says “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” Many stop right here. But if you continue on you will find; “But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, Yes, the deep things of God…………..” God desires that we go deeper in His Word.It is here your understanding can be opened; here you will find intimacy. It is His Spirit He wants us to receive, not the spirit of the world; there is a huge difference. This is how you can know the things that “He has freely given us.” It is important to know what the works of the flesh are as well as the Fruit of His Spirit. God does not want any of us ignorant to His will nor His ways.
Paul was concerned because some of the “Church from Chloe’s household” had informed him that there were quarrels among them. Paul realized the need to address the conflict which hindered their spiritual growth. Listen closely to the rebuke, a call for repentance as well as exhortation at times he expresses. Paul’s sincere intent was to bring them closer to the Lord. The Church is supposed to cultivate a passion for living for the Lord! The Church was meant to stand for righteousness and be the light of the world. God uses whomever He pleases to fulfill the mission of His Church. According to the Word;”God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things that are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence.” I Corinthians 1; 27-29 Walking with the Lord is not a role to be played but a life to be lived! This is why Paul says “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.” God is so worthy of all our praise! It is really by and through the power of His Holy Spirit we can attain a deeper ever growing level of intimacy that will enhance your personal walk with Him.
Due to the mindset of many of the Corinthians it was difficult to break the many strongholds. Carnality and spiritual immaturity permeated their atmosphere. Today as well during a service, although emotions and energy may be high it can still be void of spiritual depth. God really does know where we are in our walk with Him.Paul’s concerns have been recorded as a permanent record. In His second letter to the Church in Corinth he continues to relay his sincere concerns to the struggling congregation due to both internal and external problems. This is why Paul’s ongoing desire was for their spiritual growth. Spiritual warfare was all about him. As a rebuttal and deterrent Paul’s credibility was questioned. Yet, Paul did not allow this to sidetrack his assignment. We too must remain focused when spiritual warfare presents itself. God in His own time will bring everything to the light. The victory is in the praise!
Having intimacy in your relationship with the Lord is one of the most important intangible things that you could possibly possess. God knows our place within the body of His Church! This will help you to know that God is a God of all comforts. That nothing comes your way that He is not aware of. God can, and is truly the only one, “who comforts us in all of our troubles, so that we can comfort those who are in trouble, with the comfort we ourselves have been comforted by God….” II Corinthians 1:4. Paul’s writing includes significant teaching on a plethora of issues relating to sin and righteousness. Paul addresses the congregation by stating that he was called by the will of God. This in it self caused much resistance. In I Corinthians he dealt with the diversity of sexual sins and what happens when God’s plan for marriage and family are disobeyed see 7:1-40. He addressed the fact how proper worship flows from us by sincerely acknowledging God’s place in our life see 3:16-23. The pure significance of partaking in the Lord’s Supper see 11:17-34. Paul continues in significant detail a discussion on the effectiveness of exercising spiritual gifts as to when and how they should be properly exercised or not? Harmony and order were desired whenever they assembled. Christ really does deserve to always be the “Mainstay” of all our worship!
God has bestowed upon us the blessing of His Holy Spirit to abide within and to assist us in living a life pleasing in His sight. You must ask for this infilling presence daily. I encourage you to take some time to get to really know the Lord intimately. His Word has cleansing power. Repent of any and all sin before it ferments. Commence to really delve deeply into the meat of His Word. We can be sure and confident that God’s Word is infallible. Exercise your faith and entrust your future to the Lord. I declare, no matter what comes your way God will see you through! Christ birth, life, death and resurrection has taken away the veil. Nothing stands between you and God but you and any unconfessed sin. The Word of God is able to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. We can go boldly before the throne of Grace! If you have not already, start from this day forward living a life of worship. I assure you, you will not only feel better and become healthier, but you will see more clearly! “Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the Word of God. On the contrary by setting forth the Truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the GOSPEL of the glory of Christ who is the image of God. For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ, as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus; sake……….” II Corinthians 4:1-5
When you are faced with the cares, ills, grief’s, trials and concerns of life know that God sees you as a treasure. He loves us so much that He sent Jesus to redeem us from the power of sin. This is why we need Him as Lord and Savior! Allow Him His place in your life! God is the same God yesterday, today and for evermore through everlasting. Intimacy with Him will help you to know that whenever; “We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed, we are perplexed, but not in despair, persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed-always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body…” You never have to loose heart with the Lord. Examine yourself to see whether you are in the faith? Ask Him to fill you with His presence each day and remain focused. God wants to perfect us! Simply meaning He wants to mature us and complete us! God wants you to experience His peace that surpasses the understanding of man. God is willing, ready and able to walk with you 24/7. Intimacy will help you to know that the Lord knows and can see the things you can’t see. To know He knows and will reveal all and everything you need to know in order to live and worship Him each and every day yields security. Intimacy with God should be your desired destination. Now step out on faith and really begin to put your hope and trust in Him! “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you…………” To God be the GLORY!
About the Author:
DeBorrah K. Ogans is a licensed Pastoral Counselor and ordained minister. She is certified through the Sarasota Academy of Christian Counseling in Creation Therapy and holds a Master’s Degree in Biblical Clinical Counseling. DeBorrah is a Co-Founder along with her husband Randall of "Alpha 7 Ministries". She is the author of a pre-marital guide “How Do I Love Thee: Things You Need To Know Before You Say I Do”, her second book is "Holy Matrimony: Now That You're Married".