Intimacy with God -- Insights from God’s Word
Who may ascend the hill of the Lord? Who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false. He will receive blessing from the Lord and vindication from God his Savior. Such is the generation of those who seek Him, who seek Your Face, O God of Jacob. - Psalm 24:3–6
''I am the good Shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me -- just as the Father knows me and I know the Father -- and I lay down my life for the sheep…'' - John 10:14–15
Intimacy with God - Transforming Power of Jesus
Prayer: Sweet Jesus, I come before You clothing myself with the garments of praise and salvation, knowing that whatever obstacles may lie in my path, they will be removed by my God who loves me. I recognized Your call this morning as You drew me in here, desiring to teach me more about You and Your ways. This oneness with You is a goal I unashamedly shoot for -- even though I often fall short.
I am amazed -- even to this day -- at how hard Your Holy Spirit works at drawing me close. The intimacy You desire to share with Your kids continues to astonish me -- yet with every fiber of my being I know that without that intimacy, I would never be able to stand firm and persevere. Today, My King, I hear Your cry as You seek to draw all of Your kids closer to You. So often we feel You are at a distance that we will never bridge -- yet today I know You desire that we should have a "moment by moment" sense of Your Presence within us.
Somehow I knew this morning that I needed to clothe myself in the "garments of praise and salvation", so that whatever barriers my own sin life had erected could be torn down. I know I often hide behind my own fears and my own agendas -- and You clearly want me to smash these fears and agendas so I can enjoy an open relationship with You that goes deeper than I can possibly imagine in my human flesh.
Your Word tells me that if I repent of my wrong attitudes and put on the garments of praise and salvation, You will knock down the barriers that have been erected between us. I also know I have to deal with Your holiness - so as I approach You, I come slowly, trembling as I come. This is far more than lip service for me, as over many years You have been refining and training me to see You as You are so I can be changed into a mirror image of Yourself. This isn’t easy -- and only You can do it -- but this journey has been worth whatever I have had to surrender as I drew closer.
On this day I only know that my surrender is vital. You will not force me, but You will convict me of my need. You have screamed in my ears for years about authenticity with You. You have been removing my masks, and You have been speaking to me loudly as I have gotten more real with You. I don’t know if I will ever be able to complete this in my lifetime, but I know that with every new day, I will clothe myself in praise -- rely on Your salvation -- and seek Your conviction for the areas of my inner life that are still cloudy.
Knowing Your love, my King, has been the defining moment of clarity for me. I have lived with a holy fear of my God for many years now -- and that fear has led me to a deeper understanding of Your love for me -- and has caused me to draw closer to You. I know that more than anything I ever DO for You -- any job or position of authority I could ever hold -- it is my love and dependence on You that has been the bullet You used to set me permanently free. You seem to always reveal Yourself to those who want You the most -- and this is not dependent on any job, ministry, or mission we might undertake.
You are coming for a Bride, my King, who is to be conformed to Your image. As Your Bride grows more and more like You, You are filling us with power to be used for Your purposes. I live and breathe 2 Corinthians 3:18 as I attempt to muddle through the often muddied waters of my life. I know that Your vision is available to me and that my surrender will result in a "God-breathed" vision that will stand on solid ground and will not be shaken by the winds that ravage against it. "And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit."
I pray You will fuel our lives with Your Holy Spirit’s presence so we can grow and mature every day. I boldly ask You to lead us from glory to glory -- resulting in lives that look like Ephesians 3:20–21. "Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." To You be all the honor and glory!
Intimacy with God – Making it Personal
Reflect: Jesus is our authority, our heritage, and our hope. We are being conformed day by day into His image -- if we are willing. I am confident we need to pursue intimacy with Him as our greatest treasure and trust Him for the results. As this prayer indicates we are to clothe ourselves with the garments of praise and salvation expecting God to respond and being willing to surrender and obey His leading. My challenge to you is the question, "How close to God do you really want to be?" Remember, He will not force you. I would encourage you to pray about the answer to this question -- and then ask God for His courage to live it out. Remember also that worship is the open pathway to His Throne Room and the power, wisdom, and strength that will flow from there. God is holy and we always know to hold that truth close to our hearts as it will effect the way we relate to Him.
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