INTIMACY WITH GOD
In this issue:
Intimate Pursuits – What can we do in a spiritual drought?
Look for Linda’s new book - Words Aptly Spoken, arriving this summer! It’s about the Prophetic Prayer Journey to Iowa’s 99 county courthouses and correlates to the Iowa State Fair’s theme for 2009!
Mike and Linda Schreurs
Well I’d probably like to think that refers to me, but of course, it doesn’t. Yes, I hear the laughter! But laughter is good for the soul and we need more of it. It’s good medicine. It’s a prescription ordered by our Divine Physician through Proverbs 17:22, “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.”
During these hot, humid, mid summer days, let’s keep the good medicine flowing with fiery passion for our Lord Jesus. Let Revelation 3:16 grip us once again where our Lord tells us, “So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.”
Stay red hot for God! Keep your passion burning to a greater degree as you progress in your Christian walk. Do not let your troubles or worries put a damper on your love affair with the Savior of your soul. There’s no mountain high enough that you can’t cross with the Cross of Christ. It’s your tower of strength and you’ll find you can do anything through His Name. (Phil. 4:13) There’s no other way to stay healthy, happy, and hot for God, than to abide in Him. So turn up the heat!
Every born again believer in the Lord Jesus cannot stand still! You cannot stay in the same spiritual place where you were 10 years ago, a year ago, two weeks ago, or even yesterday. We must be ever pursuing greater spiritual intimacy with our Eternal King of Glory. We must model the passionate cry of King David of whom scripture says was a man after God’s own heart when he declares in Psalm 63, “O God, Thou art my God; I shall seek Thee earnestly; My soul thirsts for Thee, my flesh yearns for Thee, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.” (See 1 Sam. 13:14) Beloved friends, for the sake of our own souls, we must continue to carry this holy mandate into our every day life.
Recently I’ve been experiencing a spiritual place of ‘no water.’ Have you ever been there? You feel everything is mundane; all seems somewhat gray with no ‘color’ of insights, revelations or experiences in the Lord. There seems to be no spiritual breeze that caresses your soul. You feel dry, deflated, defeated - even lonely. But alas! There is more to our walk in God than these lazy, hazy days of summer slumps.
Go beyond fixed religious regimes
In such cases, there needs to be a cry in our heart to go beyond the norms, beyond the fixed regimes of past, familiar experienced Christianity and desire the Lord intimately beyond anything we’ve ever known. Surely there must be more. And there is! God cannot be exhausted, can He? No! He’s everlasting. What an astounding thought to know He’s given us an eternity to even begin to know the expanse of His glory! There’s an exciting promise given to us in Ephesians 3:20-21: “Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.” I don’t know about you, but my child-like imagination can make me think really big. To be sure, this amazing scripture ought to encourage and excite a dry soul!
When you or I are in a spiritual drought, let us purpose to remember there are no limits to the Lord’s power, glory, majesty, splendor, and victories beyond human imagination! How much of that have we really tapped into?! We must pray, seek, ask, knock – find. (Luke 11:9) Praise, worship, adore our wonderful Lord and you and I will find ourselves being lifted up from the miry clay.
Let’s not live by feelings alone because they can be fickle. Let us live by faith that God is exactly Who He says He is and He will do all He has said He will do. We can most certainly rise above and beyond the ‘norms’ of Christianity and experience those things which are not possible with man, but are with God. (Matt. 19:26)
We’ve been called to live according the Holy Spirit who resides within us. It’s glorious to know He can take a dry heart and cause feelings to emerge we never knew we had! Exuberant joy can erupt into wild and wonderful dancing as it did with King David. (2 Sam. 6:4) As Jesus used to say, “Have you not read…” Psalm 30:11? “Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing.” There is exuberant joy in the House of God and we are that house.
Another unexpected feeling that may flood your soul is holy laughter. After all, Psalm 2:4 says that He who sits in the heavens laughs. If the Lord can laugh, we can too! But you may be saying, “I can’t do that, because I’m surrounded by sorrow, heartache and pain.” Pardon me, but it’s time to grow up in Christ and be all He’s called you to be. Decide now, to ascend the hill of the Lord! (Ps. 24:3) To climb the hill of the Lord you have to keep moving up. You have to keep ascending. Don’t stop now, or ever.
You do not have the fortitude or strength to go on by your own nature. It’s done in and through Christ or it’s not done at all. Consider Habakkuk 3:17 that testifies to climbing higher even though our world may be falling apart. “Though the fig tree should not blossom, and there be no fruit on the vines, though the yield of the olive should fail, and the fields produce no food, thought the flock should be cut off from the fold, and there be no cattle in the stalls, yet I will exult in the Lord, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength, and He has made my feet like hinds’ feet, and makes me walk on my high places.” (My emphasis)
It’s time we go from dry to high! Are you ready? If so, let your pursuit of intimacy with God take over your life. Pray in this manner, “Everything within me wants to know You more, O Lord! Let my eyes know You more, my ears, my hands, my feet, my heart, my mind; my entire being wants to know you more – deeply and significantly. Let me rise from this dry, crusty earthiness I’ve been in. Let me rise to new heights in You. I am weary and thirsty…seeking now for deeper Living Waters to carry me through to the end. Amen.”
A natural desire
We must realize once we’ve fallen in love with our Savior, there will be a natural desire to know Him in ever increasing depths. Let’s not park on past experiences either in the flesh, or in the spirit. The Word of God tells us flesh gives birth to flesh, spirit gives birth to spirit. (John 3:6) Once we are born again, the Holy Spirit within us can override earthly, negative feelings causing us to rise up on eagle’s wings and fly to new heights of glory! “Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.” (Isa. 40:31. My emphasis). Isaiah 40:29 says the Lord will give strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might, He will increase power! Do you desire more power in your life? Then turn off the tiredness and weariness of your heart, mind soul and body. (Matt. 11:28) Turn on the Light residing with you and you will find your way. You will find joy. You will find new heights to look down from and then you’ll wonder, “Why was I so anxious? God is in control, not me.”
As your heart begins to experience this divine calmness, you can pray in this manner, “What joy to be in Your Presence, O King of glory! Here You are…right here with me – as always and forevermore! My Love, my Holy, Divine Love, I am deeply comforted by Your Presence and power which touches my entire existence. There’s no comfort like Thy comfort. You are the Eternal Self-Existent One and I bow before You. I love You! Thank You. Thank You. Thank You for loving me to such an eternal degree. I stand in utter awe of Thee. Holy! Holy! Holy!”
Through the power of the Holy Spirit, our hunger for more of God can become insatiable. That, my friend, is a beautiful thing! We can actually live in such a way as having no room for fickle feelings, dry times, trials or whatever else may try to hinder us from our divine pursuit of greater depths in the Lord our God. Distractions and droughts of life do come. There’s no denying that. However, instead of bemoaning spiritual dry times, let us press further, faster and deeper by panting for more of Jesus. Psalm 42 begins in this wonderful way: “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for Thee, O God.” Verse seven in that same chapter testifies: “Deep calls to deep.” Go for it!
How do you get there? I don’t have all the answers, but this I do know, God responds to wild hunger in His people! Love and passion for God propels us onward and upward into new heights of experiences of intimacy with our Beloved Holy One. Have you embraced with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, strength and being verse 18 in 2 Corinthians 3? Ponder it’s depths of propulsion, “But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.” Behold the exciting challenge in that verse! It enhances our hope in every circumstance of our lives by changing those things, so that glory and honor may be given unto God. It’s a testimony to the lost world who are trying to find their way. Let’s model it for them.
The next level and a final prayer
Finally, I want to encourage you in one more aspect along your intimate routes to God. You’re trials and heartaches are simply a school and a tool for the next level of where God is taking you - if you allow Him to do so. Our Lord Jesus suffered greatly in the wilderness, being tempted by the devil, being among wild beasts and knowing great thirst and hunger. (Mark 1; Luke 4) It was all a preparation for the next level of his ministry.
Do you want to go to the next level of new heights in God? Then begin by doing away with your little, mundane tokens of love. Let loose! Give Him everything.
God is not asking for tokens. He’s not asking for a quick ‘drive-thru’ with a verse or two from His Word each morning, nor a quick drive-thru of a Sunday service. He’s asking for a daily lifestyle of living in His Presence, being completely surrendered to His will and His ways. A wooden nickel or a metal token to go through a car wash only lasts for a short time. But walking with and in the Living Waters brings constant refreshing of spirit and strengthens us for each and every task of this life.
“Drench us O Lord! Soak us in Your presence and power. My heart adores You. My heart is in love with You. You are my ever constant joy in all circumstances. You hold me together for now and all eternity. Not one second slips away that You are not with me to the fullest. I take tremendous confidence in knowing You are on my side, and by my side, and in and through my being. Wow! Amen! Glory!”
(Ezkl. 47; John 4:10; John 7:38; Rev. 7:17)