agape, being born again, ecstasy, eros, experience, eyes of the heart, feeling, flesh, God's love, intimacy, Jesus Christ, joy, knowing God, Oswald Chambers, peace, prayer, relationship with God, spiritual power, the Kingdom of God
Instead of boring you to death with a new article written right from my blank mind, 😉 I decided to copy and paste two daily devotionals from Oswald Chambers that really hit home as for the consequences of being intimate with God. We will see and feel it in our own lives, and others will too, when all our thinking and doing eventually spring from being one with God as we abide in His love. If we are really as intimate with Jesus as Jesus was with His Father, the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-23) cannot be ignored, neither by us nor by anyone else, for it is written,
“A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.” (Mt 7:18-20 ESV)
Here’s the first devotional. I highlighted those passages which the impact of loving and knowing God can be linked to in bold letters.
INTIMATE WITH JESUS
Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip?” —John 14:9
These words were not spoken as a rebuke, nor even with surprise; Jesus was encouraging Philip to draw closer. Yet the last person we get intimate with is Jesus. Before Pentecost the disciples knew Jesus as the One who gave them power to conquer demons and to bring about a revival (see Luke 10:18-20). It was a wonderful intimacy, but there was a much closer intimacy to come: “…I have called you friends…” (John 15:15). True friendship is rare on earth. It means identifying with someone in thought, heart, and spirit. The whole experience of life is designed to enable us to enter into this closest relationship with Jesus Christ. We receive His blessings and know His Word, but do we really know Him?
Jesus said, “It is to your advantage that I go away…” (John 16:7). He left that relationship to lead them even closer. It is a joy to Jesus when a disciple takes time to walk more intimately with Him. The bearing of fruit is always shown in Scripture to be the visible result of an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ (see John 15:1-4).
Once we get intimate with Jesus we are never lonely and we never lack for understanding or compassion. We can continually pour out our hearts to Him without being perceived as overly emotional or pitiful. The Christian who is truly intimate with Jesus will never draw attention to himself but will only show the evidence of a life where Jesus is completely in control. This is the outcome of allowing Jesus to satisfy every area of life to its depth. The picture resulting from such a life is that of the strong, calm balance that our Lord gives to those who are intimate with Him.
If we have not yet come that far as it has been described above, God offers us His help to draw ever closer to Him and also helps us understand His guidance which is often scarcely perceptible unless we have become used to listen to Him continually. Here’s the second text in which Chambers refers to the problems we might face if we do not trust and love God as He desires us to do.
FRIENDSHIP WITH GOD
Shall I hide from Abraham what I am doing…? —Genesis 18:17
The Delights of His Friendship. Genesis 18 brings out the delight of true friendship with God, as compared with simply feeling His presence occasionally in prayer. This friendship means being so intimately in touch with God that you never even need to ask Him to show you His will. It is evidence of a level of intimacy which confirms that you are nearing the final stage of your discipline in the life of faith. When you have a right-standing relationship with God, you have a life of freedom, liberty, and delight; you are God’s will. And all of your commonsense decisions are actually His will for you, unless you sense a feeling of restraint brought on by a check in your spirit. You are free to make decisions in the light of a perfect and delightful friendship with God, knowing that if your decisions are wrong He will lovingly produce that sense of restraint. Once he does, you must stop immediately.
The Difficulties of His Friendship. Why did Abraham stop praying when he did? He stopped because he still was lacking the level of intimacy in his relationship with God, which would enable him boldly to continue on with the Lord in prayer until his desire was granted. Whenever we stop short of our true desire in prayer and say, “Well, I don’t know, maybe this is not God’s will,” then we still have another level to go. It shows that we are not as intimately acquainted with God as Jesus was, and as Jesus would have us to be— “…that they may be one just as We are one…” (John 17:22). Think of the last thing you prayed about— were you devoted to your desire or to God? Was your determination to get some gift of the Spirit for yourself or to get to God? “For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him” (Matthew 6:8). The reason for asking is so you may get to know God better. “Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4). We should keep praying to get a perfect understanding of God Himself.
I wholeheartedly agree with Oswald Chambers here. We need to seek God in prayer again and again, not only when we have the time and the desire to do so, but particularly when we have NO time and are in the midst of a trial, with no end in sight. Maybe, God will not change our circumstances (yet), however, He will redirect the eyes of our heart unto Himself. In doing so, we become more and more acquainted with living a peaceful and joyful life because our spirits may already dwell in heaven with God, right now, although we – in the flesh – still serve Him here on earth (cf. Gal 2:20).
“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” (Col 3:1-1 ESV)