Although our ministry has an emphasis on healing and miracles we understand that nothing, absolutely nothing can replace intimacy with God. The longer we are in ministry and deal with broken people we realize that the answer to almost all issues is intimacy with a living, loving God.
For very many in the Body of Christ, those who are already sincerely saved and love the Lord, intimacy is very elusive. It is the number one thing that the enemy will attempt to keep us from doing as a lifestyle. I asked the Lord; why is it that I have so much trouble coming to You, the very person that I so desperately need the most? He said, because of your rebellious, sin nature. I tell you, at times, I, (my sin nature) would rather do anything than come and be still before the Lord. We should not be surprised by that. I can read the bible, pray, pray in tongues, read Christian books, and busy myself in ministry to others, all the while ignoring God Himself.
So many of us are caught up in performance and really believe that our ministries and ministering to people is pleasing to the Lord. We believe that we can please God by what we do, instead of by who we are. We delude ourselves into thinking that, Oh, if I just pray enough or fast enough and go to church and minister to people and lead them to Jesus , that God is happy with us and that we are doing what He wants. Yes, He wants and expects us to do all of those things but they don’t mean a thing if the motive is wrong and they certainly can never replace true intimacy with God.
Can you imagine that if you never spend any real time with your spouse or your kids, alone with them, but you are always working, even for the Lord, that they would just except that is a real intimate relationship with them? Do you think they might feel a little neglected, or even resentful? Is hanging out with a group of people and communicating with your spouse, in the car or at church, or in doing ministry to people or even corporate worship, is that intimacy with your spouse, or with God? So why do we believe anything less of the Lord? Why is it so hard for us to see that intimacy is spending time away and alone with God, and only God? Nothing can be called intimacy, that is not, and nothing can replace intimacy with God, and nothing is more important, nothing.
So we are going to be putting a lot of emphasis on developing intimacy with the Lord in our ministry and in our posts. Jesus was serious when He said that we must lay down our own lives, pick up our cross and follow Him. He said we didn’t , we were not fit for His Kingdom. I mean no heaviness or condemnation here but I think it is important to get real and honest. Lately I have been contemplating how many lives I affected, or did not affect by my own rebelliousness and failure to enter into intimacy with God. Jesus said that He only said and did what He saw the Father do. He said that we would do what He did and greater works. The only reason I am not doing what He did and greater, is because I have not surrendered my life to Him in totality. Our level of authority will always mirror our level of surrender.
I don’t say that in the sense of I am a worm and no good and all that. I say that as recognizing the truth in where I am at and being honest about it. I want to change that aspect of my walk with God and learn to be wholly His in utter surrender. I want to be transformed into His image. Why? Because that is why Jesus died on the cross. That is what makes our Father happy and pleased with us. I want to be pleasing to God and to give Him the reward for His suffering that He deserves.
If we look at the condition of our own hearts, where we are truly at in our walk with God, and look at the condition of the church, or look at the condition of the world, if we are to be honest, what we see is very disturbing. Many cry about the lack of fellowship and unity in the Body of Christ. Take a good look at our own individual walks with God and it will not take long to see why we are not functioning as a whole Body. Why am I pointing that out? We deal with Christians daily who are so very broken, for many different reasons. I do not mean to sound harsh in any way or to sound judgmental or uncaring or uncompassionate, but I want to be real. The true reason for most of our brokenness, most of our problems, most of our apathy, most of our fears, most of our inner turmoil, is love of self.
People do things to us that we have no control over and life brings many issues and challenges that devastate us and leave much trauma behind. I understand that. The reasons for our brokenness are not necessarily our fault at all. So I want to rephrase that statement a bit. I realize that things happen to us as children and adults that we have no control over and that they can and will devastate us. What I am really trying to say is that as a blood bought child of God, we don’t have to stay in that devastation and we don’t have to let the past affect us any longer. Much of our inner turmoil is brought on my love of self and refusal to give up self to God. We refuse to pick up our cross daily and die to self.
The reason for lack of true fellowship and unity in the Body is simply due to love of self and lack of intimacy with God. Everywhere around us we see the results of lack of intimacy with God. If we have true intimacy with God and continue to relentlessly pursue Him, not just His gifts or blessings, we will bear fruit and carry the fruit of the Spirit, and in turn we will naturally, supernaturally walk in true unity, power and love. We will know who we really are by knowing who He really is.
Developing an intimate relationship with Holy Spirit will transform us, which will transform our families, which will transform our communities, which will transform the world. There is no other answer and there are no shortcuts. We must die to self. Are you willing to pick up your cross right now and to follow Christ? If you are sincere, than tell God right now. Its ok to let Him know how weak you are and how much you depend on Him.
I have failed God countless times and have fallen so short of His glory. I have sinned and have been so very selfish. I have come to realize that it is impossible to change myself through external works or by depending on my own strength or by fasting or through self discipline. None of this works in ridding ourselves of SELF. Flesh is a poor master of flesh. Only surrender to Him can kill the flesh and it is a very painful process. The pulling of self up by the roots is a bloody affair.
So we will be writing many more teachings about learning to die to self and learning how to walk in intimacy. Just to warn you. There are no formulas or ABCs or 1,2, 3s to intimacy. We are all individuals and we are all wired differently. But there is a way to start and start we will. Please make a quality decision today that you will give up your whole life to God, once and for all.