Posts Tagged ‘intimacy’

Luke 13:24
“Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able.”

What if the gate is so narrow that we go through just one at a time? Could this scripture be an indicator of God’s desire for intimacy? Is it possible when trying to enter with the crowd we’ll hear, “I do not know you?” Jesus came to invite us into a one of a kind, my love is perfect for you relationship, don’t miss it like so many in His day by clinging to religion others insist you follow.

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The theology of blessings diminishes God. It puts man in charge. If I do this, think that or adhere to this set of rules and behaviors God will be obligated to bless me. Intimacy with God and those He’s placed around us suffers immensely when we allow this principle in our lives. Keeping up the facade of God’s special blessing will wear you out. We are not in control!

Why…

Posted: November 21, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

is it so much easier to share Jesus with the masses than with the individual?

Trust is earned through intimacy.

Yesterday’s difficulties, mistakes or poor decisions don’t have to rule today. It’s a brand new day full of opportunity and new challenges. Don’t let the weight of the past drag you down. Give your regrets to God and trust Him enough to leave them with Him. Each time you take them back for yourself you’re excluding Him from helping and living in the past. He is the God of right now and this is the very time He wants to spend with you.

One beautiful summer morning a young man awoke early excited to spend some time alone with God. Their time together was out of the ordinary, truly a quiet time not filled with a list of requests but with a heartfelt desire to hear from and join with each other. The young man wanted nothing more than to take his lead from The Lord. God impressed on Him to go into the kitchen and make some sandwiches to take around to homeless folks selling newspapers on street corners around town. He took ten sandwiches and nervously headed out for the day’s adventure.

The young man drove to a busy intersection not far from his house, parked the car nearby and asked God to do something incredible. He got out of the car with a small cooler containing ten sandwiches and ten bottles of water then walked over to an older man with a stack of papers under his arm. The young man introduced himself, offered a sandwich and told the man what brought him there today. The man was fascinated and the two of them exchanged stories for more than twenty minutes. At the end of the conversation the man said he’d asked God just this morning to unquestionably reveal Himself.

Across the intersection was a middle aged woman also selling papers so the young man took her a sandwich and water too. He was still uneasy but very encouraged by the time he’d had with the first man. He once again asked God to stay close and do something amazing. The young man’s time with the woman though different was just as special as the time he’d spent with the older man.

This went on for the rest of the day. The young man had eight more encounters each unique and extraordinary. He was just as moved and heartened through each of the conversations as they had been. Because he was out of his comfort zone, the young man had relied on God for everything that day and upon reflection marveled, eleven lives were touched by a loving, living God and there could be no question that he’d heard from Him.

The next morning was beautiful again; the young man woke up early and went straight to the kitchen to make twenty five sandwiches. He then grabbed a bigger cooler from the garage, put some water and the sandwiches in it and returned to the corner where he’d started yesterday. The folks there were happy to see him; they exchanged hugs, got their sandwiches and briefly reminisced about the day before. He revisited everyone from the previous day and found fifteen additional folks to hand out water and sandwiches to, all were very appreciative.

That night at a gathering of friends the young man told the story from the first day. His friends were touched and had some great ideas about how to do it better. One friend knew someone with a bakery that might be willing to donate bread. And another friend offered to come by in the morning to help make more sandwiches. Each day for the next two weeks the number of sandwiches the young man and his friends made increased. Word spread about the sandwiches, the homeless people and the ministry that took place that first day. Before long they were making over a thousand sandwiches a day, two vans had been donated and when the young man was invited to tell his story people began to send support.

Soon the young man and his friends were able to hire some staff to make and deliver sandwiches. The young man needed to spend his time more efficiently raising awareness and money. The story of the lives that were touched that first day continued to be compelling and a great many people were moved by how clearly he’d heard from God.

But here’s a question for us to ponder, am I racing through life fulfilling the duty God called me to or am I fully engaged in what He’s calling me to join Him in today?

The misunderstanding for the young man in this parable is that he thought God had called him to make sandwiches. It was never about sandwiches; it was always about loving people. That’s what He’s calling us to, daily. Some days there may be sandwiches other days something else. But the most important thing is to take our lead from God. That first day was miraculous because The Lord was leading and the young man was clinging to Him. I wonder what astonishing thing God had for the young man on the second day?

I came across this term today and love what it communicates. J. Rufus Moseley used the word firsthander to describe himself since many in his day labeled him a mystic (an effective way to invalidate the intimacy he encouraged others to seek with The Lord). While the strategy may have been successful among much of “orthodoxy”, it doesn’t hinder those that discover you can have a firsthand, one of a kind relationship with your creator. In fact isn’t that exactly what Jesus taught?

Just when darkness seems to have its way, God’s brilliance bursts through. Time after time He proves His love in His attention to the details of our lives. It’s not in the blanket blessings that fall on us all where intimacy is realized; it’s when we become aware of how much He desires to be a part of every little moment. God’s love for you is absolutely unique as He has never loved someone in the same way He loves you. Look for Him to continually prove it.

We’re all called to the ministry of persons, individuals, families and small groups of folks we can know intimately, care deeply for and do life with, that’s the great commandment. We really mess things up when we decide to minister to people, large groups that we can plug into the system or run through our programs. Too often the great commission of going into the entire world subverts the commandment to love because we assume the enormity of the world is on our shoulders, so we must do it big, when all God’s asking for, is us to help Him one person at a time.

“To glorify the name of the Lord Jesus would be enough for any ransomed sinner, but to be told (2Thess. 1:11, 12) that in the very glorifying of Jesus he himself would be glorified in Him – well, that is just too overwhelmingly good.” – E. Stanley Jones

That’s grace, we were made to live in Him, with Him, about Him and for Him, not for His benefit but because together (He in us, us in Him) was and is the entire goal. It’s the very thing the world desperately seeks and we must be willing to share in word and deed.

Blaming God for the difficulties in our life is never productive. Inviting Him in and seeking His guidance always is.