INTIMACY WITH GOD JOURNAL
Opening - Blossoms of Celebrations.
Go Camping - Do whatever it takes.
Bubbles - Enjoy your God.
Mike & Linda Schreurs
Blossoms of Celebrations!
The above photo was taken recently at our company’s celebration of being in business 30 years. Strategic America, our Ad Agency, hit that significant milestone and we celebrated having a wonderful time with family, friends and business constituents. A lot of factors come into play in order to be in business that long. We’ve learned a lot of lessons along the way.
I get a chuckle out of the fact that there seems to be more birthdays, anniversaries, family reunions and celebrations in the summer months than in the winter ones. Certainly plants blossom in the warmth of the sun whether they are inside or outside. But it’s the fresh air and sunny breezes of those warmer months that cause such amazing growth.
It’s true spiritually as well. We will always need the Son of God to keep our hearts warm and tender giving us more and more growth. We will always need the fresh breezes of the Holy Spirit’s Pentecost power and Presence to cause acceleration in our walk with Him.
Dry, testy times come in a multitude of ways into our lives. Instead of whining and pining, if we’re willing to learn some strategic life lessons, it will cause greater growth and maturity in us. Isaiah 35:1-2a wonderfully states, “The wilderness and the desert will be glad, and the Arabah will rejoice and blossom; like the crocus it will blossom profusely and rejoice with rejoicing and shouts of joy.”
We need to learn along life’s path that God can do what man cannot! Complete submission to Him will bring forth His Son shine in and through us. Aaron’s dry rod in Numbers 17:8 was just like all the others. Nevertheless it was the only one that sprouted, budded, produced blossoms, and bore ripe almonds! Why? It was Aarons complete surrender to God and God alone.
This summer, celebrate your renewed commitment of love and surrender to Jesus. Look for fresh blossoms in your life!
For those of you who are followers of the Lord Jesus, it’s time to enjoy Him! Too many are making it difficult for themselves to enter into the peace and joy of who He is. After all, He is the Prince of Peace. (Isa. 9:6) Enter in. Enter into His heart where your peace of mind is found.
You know, studying God’s Word is wise and wonderful, but sometimes we just need the spontaneity of a child who simply wants to run up to Jesus, sit on His lap and enjoy His hugs! By all means, study till your heart’s content. But then, lay aside your studies, and enter into the joy of His Presence.
Of course the Lord God wants us to study His Word, to know it well and good for our instructions that we may prosper in our walk with Him. But have we taken time to enjoy all that He is and all we have in Him?
Wonderful. Counselor. The Door. Shepherd. Ancient of Days. Abba Father. Balm of Gilead. Architect and Builder. Beautiful. Chief Cornerstone. Creator. Deliverer. Exalted One. Everlasting. Grace. Fortress. Father of Lights. Faithful and True. High Priest. Friend of Sinners. Fountain of Life. Holy One of Israel. Helper. Infinite. Hope. Holy. Living Bread. Liberty. Lamb of God. Lovingkindness. Morning Star. Merciful. Mighty. Perfect. Prophet. Ransom. Righteous Judge. Risen Lord. Rock of Refuge. Ruler. Sanctuary. Sanctification. Shield. Song. Strength. Trustworthy. Truth. Uniter. Victory. Vine and Vinedresser. Wall of fire. Way. Yahweh. Zealous. Zion’s righteous King.
The divine attributes of our mighty King of kings and Lord of lords goes on and on! Have you considered these things? Have you ever soaked under any of these awesome characteristics of your God? If not, why not? Isn’t it time?
(*See Prayer Portions by Sylvia Gunter; P.O. Box 888014, Atlanta, Ga., 30356 USA – 365 Names, Titles and Attributes of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit).
It’s not about religion
It’s all about relationship. Many people have religion, but they don’t have intimacy with Jesus their Savior. They know about Him, they just don’t know Him. Many who call themselves Christians fall into this category. They tend to be lukewarm rarely experiencing on-going victories in their lives. They haven’t a clue as to the healing virtues of good, hearty, holy laughter to soothe their aching souls. (See May 2010 IWG Journal.) A good example of religion versus relationship is found in John 14:9. Jesus gently reprimands His disciple saying, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip?”
Poor Philip. He had been walking side by side with the Master for three years and yet had not entered into knowing the Lord’s divine heart on a personal level. He stood nearby seeing all that Jesus was doing but had not entered into that divine, holy relationship with Him. (John 3) Philip had participated in all the outward things that Christians do…feed the poor, help usher crowds, visit the sick, go on missions trips, etc. But he’d still not come to KNOW Jesus.
How many of you are there right now? How many pastors reading this may be where Philip was at that moment in time? How many have been in church for years and still have not come to know Jesus personally? It’s time to set things straight while you still have ‘time’ on your side.
Doing versus knowing
Scripture confirms this aspect of doing versus knowing in various passages. Matthew 7:21-23 is rather explicit when it talks about all the great things people did for Jesus, and yet – sadly, they knew Him not. Verse 23 is stark in it’s reality as Jesus clarifies this saying: “And then I will declare to them ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’” Wait a minute! I thought they WERE practicing the laws and all the church rules!
But it’s never been about what we can do for the Lord but how intimately we know Him. Even in Matthew 25 five virgins did not make it through the pearly gates. Jesus says, “Truly I say to you, I do not know you.” Wait a minute! I thought they were keeping watch for the Bridegroom! They were. But they’d not only fallen asleep, they hadn’t kept the fire of their relationship alive and growing. Sadly, they are dismissed from the doors of heaven. Is anyone listening?!
We simply cannot do good works for Jesus and expect a heavenly reward as some celebrities and dignitaries may think. We are warned about even using His marvelous Name and yet not coming into a vibrant, close relationship with Him. Otherwise, we lose everything! Read Acts 19 and tremble. It’s another example of doing but not knowing the Savior personally.
You cannot know Jesus by your pastor or by your friends. You can’t get a ride to heaven on someone else coattails! It’s not about doing, it’s about being in relationship with the lover of your soul!
It’s amazing to me how people will clamor, crowd in, camp overnight, or stand in line for hours to be first in line to get tickets to see their favorite rock band, movie star or some dignitary. But what about Jesus? Isn’t He worth that as well?!
Beloved saints, life is too short to be lukewarm. (Rev. 3:16) It’s time for radical, extravagant, love and commitment to the Lord. Get going! Stand in line to be prayed for. Become tenacious in your running hard after your God. Laugh with Him. Enjoy Him. Get to know His desires for you. Love Him. Adore Him. Camp out at a House of Prayer if you have to as some are doing in Kansas City and here in the Des Moines area at KHOP in Ankeny! (See Annc.)
Life is going to hit us in the gut every so often, but it’s what we do with that pain. “Use it or lose it” as they say. Use the pain for gain. Gain insight, knowledge and revelation in areas of your life you could not otherwise have learned. If you don’t, you’ll certainly forfeit valuable graduating degrees of victories in Christ Jesus. Learn to ascend higher and higher! (Ps. 24:3)
Joy on the horizon
Our glorious Lord endured the Cross because He could see the joy set before Him. It had to be hard to see through the veil from the natural realm into the spiritual realm with blood dripping down His face and everywhere else on His beautiful body. But He did! Through bloodshot eyes He saw joy on the horizon. Jesus knew what was coming. Resurrection. And it would astound the world! (Heb. 21:2) He could see beyond His pain. Can we? Or are you and I simply focused on the here and now and all we’re going through? It’s no secret that in this short life, we will have tribulation. (John 16:33) However, we must understand diligently that we also have a resurrection morning on the horizon. And it too will astound, not only ourselves, but those within our realm of influence. They will want what we have!
It is for the Lord’s glory! Through His own torture, He has bought our release from pain and suffering. The trial doesn’t have to last forever, unless we choose it. But if we’ll walk behind Him as a child, slipping our feet into His footsteps every bit of the way, He will lead us through to the same glorious ending. Resurrection! Victory! Power! Hallelujah!
Therefore, every pain, every trial that we yield to Jesus, results in victory. You can peer into your next hour, next day, next month and beyond to see that the Lord is still there with you. You’re not alone in your temptations and trials. There is a breakthrough ordained for you through the Blood of the Lamb of God. He said truthfully He would never leave you or forsake you. (Deut. 31:6; Heb. 13:5) Contrary feelings are deceptive. Denounce them quickly and move onward and upward in Christ Jesus your Redeemer. Arise and ascend! Enjoy the ride on Jesus’ back. He loves you so much!
Footnote: After writing this, I felt very strongly the Holy Spirit wants you to activate whatever may have spoken to you in this article. Take the things that were quickened to your spirit and begin praying even now about each one. I see breakthroughs! Thank you Lord! And if you’d be so kind, share your experience with us. We’d love to share your joy!
During these warm summer months, it’s a great time to practice being a ‘child of God.’ So I have an important summer-school assignment for all God’s children. Go buy yourself some soap bubbles in a bottle, find a good spot in a park or your backyard, and blow bubbles. Relax. Enjoy God’s creation – including you, whom He uniquely fashioned. Rejoice that He made you, saved you and loves you endlessly! “A joyful heart is good medicine….A cheerful heart has a continual feast.” (Prv. 17:22a; 15:15b)
There’s been a flood of revelation in my heart for months now that God desires His people to enjoy Him! He’s not some big old gruff of a guy sitting up in heaven with a big stick ready to slap our fingers or spank us at every turn in the rough road of life. No! He’s waiting for His kids to love on Him simply for WHO HE IS! Listen as He beckons: “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matt.11:28)
Have some fun!
We have little grandsons ages five, three, and one, who love blowing bubbles, chasing and catching them. Their little giggles are such joy to my heart as they race around the yard gleefully trying to touch them! Can you imagine the delight of God the Father when we actually enjoy just being with Him - not just for what He can do, but for all that He is?! Wow! I see a smile on His face already!
A few years back I spoke at a Women’s Conference in Florida. Imagine the surprise of everyone when I started the whole thing off by blowing bubbles from the pulpit! Truth be known, I was a bit uneasy doing that. Nevertheless, I was very confident the Lord had directed me to do so. He had a reason of course and here it is:
Lesson l: Bubbles burst quickly. I can’t give you a thing and if I could, it surely wouldn’t last. But what God can give you will last a lifetime and beyond. So look UP to Him and not another. Those who look to Him are radiant. (Ps. 34:5; Gen. 21:33; Dan. 4:3)
Lesson 2: Bubbles are fragile and beautiful. The Lord is kind, gentle and loving. He knows we are fragile human beings. He became one of us, so He knows! But all things become beautiful in His timing. (Eccl. 3:11; Ps. 27:4)
Lesson 3: Bubbles float! Life is easier with God in it. He didn’t promise us a rose garden. Or did He? No – only in the sense that he said in John 16:33 we’d have troubles, but to take courage because He has overcome the world. In His Name we do the same. The answer is also, Yes – because He did promise us the Rose Garden, for He is the sweetest fragrance of mankind. He is the Rose of Sharon. (Song of Songs 2:1; Eph. 5:2; 2 Cor.2-14-16) Following Him means there will be the sweet fragrance of His Spirit in your life. Extravagant bouquets of blessings can be yours!
Lesson 4: Bubbles are whimsical and care-free. Enjoy God like a child. Trust Him with everything. He will provide. He is your heavenly Father. He is joy! (Ps. 126:1-2; Ps. 9:10)
Lesson 5: Bubbles have prisms which are like tiny little rainbows. The rainbow, of course, represents all God’s promises to His children. He fulfils them. He fulfills His Word. Read all about it! Read His Word to know just how rich, deep and wide is your divine inheritance! (Ps. 16:6; Col. 3:24; 1 Pet. 1:4)
Lesson 6: Bubbles come in different sizes. Some are smaller, some larger. Seek all the days of your life to grow in your relationship with God. Don’t settle for less! Ephesians 3:14-21 is especially encouraging in this regard.