Intimacy with God

Dear friends,

I pray you are being blessed of the Lord. We are entering some difficult times. The dollar’s value is dropping causing prices to rise. Gas is racing toward four dollars a gallon. The threat of terrorism looms like a dark cloud, as we near an election that seems to be increasingly pivotal in the future of our nation. We could look at circumstances and become depressed. Take heart; God is not in heaven worrying or wringing His hands. He has not abdicated His throne. The glad tidings of the kingdom is that our God reigns and where He reigns there is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. The psalmist says that when the foundations be destroyed the Lord is still in His holy temple. It is a time when we need to press into Him, wait upon Him, and hear His voice. Yes, it is a time of crisis, but to those who know His voice it is a time of great opportunity. Today, I would like to share a few thoughts about intimacy with God.

Several years ago, I was preaching from Luke 6 and as I was preaching I saw there were several groups of people represented there. The Lord put in my spirit that there are levels of intimacy. As I pondered this idea I thought of some passages in the old testament. In Exodus the people would see Moses go out to the Tent of Meeting. They would see the cloud come down and they would worship from afar, but Joshua would go with him. When Moses left the tent Joshua remained. Is it any wonder that God chose him to replace Moses when Moses died. So many choose to worship from afar, but hearing is a matter of proximity. God does not usually speak in a shout, but a still small voice. He wants us to draw near. James says if we draw near to God, He’ll draw near to us. I believe that within Israel we see a shadow of the levels of intimacy.

Israel (Those who have become sons of Abraham by faith in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ).
Within Israel there was Judah and within Judah there was Jerusalem, the Holy city and within Jerusalem there was Mount Zion. On Mount Zion there was built David’s tabernacle and in David’s tabernacle there was no veil. The Ark of the Covenant which represented the presence and glory of God, could be accessed by those who were not high priests. It pointed to the tearing of the veil of the temple when Jesus died. It may very well have been that David wrote Psalms 91 in the shadow of the Ark of the Covenant. “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” Psalms 91:1

Now how does this relate to what the Lord showed in Luke 6?

First there was the crowd. Within that crowd there were some believers. They believed Jesus was the Messiah. Among those believers were some who had committed their lives to follow Christ and walk in obedience to His word. They were disciples. Within that group of disciples there were the twelve whom Jesus had chosen, eleven who were apostles. Within that group of apostles there were three that got very close to Jesus. These three, Peter, James, and John went with Him when He healed Jairus’ daughter. They were with Him on the Mount of Transfiguration. They went deeper into the garden the night of His arrest. Even within that group there was the one who on the night of the Last Supper had his head on Jesus’ chest. John called himself the disciple whom Jesus loved. It wasn’t that Jesus didn’t love the others; it was the fact that John knew he was loved and was so secure in that love that he could lay his head on Jesus’ chest. He was so close he could hear the very heartbeat of Jesus.

Friends, we are living in a time when we must hear the heartbeat of our Father. Hearing is a matter of proximity and I believe God speaks softly so we will have to get closer to hear. We must hear the voice of the Father. If we are hearing Him, crisis becomes opportunity, but before it comes as opportunity, it comes as a summons, our Father’s desire for us to draw near to Him. Oh, that we might all be able to say with John, “I am the disciple whom Jesus loved”, or with David, “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” The Father is calling to us, “Come.”

Friends, I pray the Lord will prosper you even as He prospered Isaac and provoked his enemies to jealousy, that you might live a life for which the only explanation is God. Be blessed.

In His love,

Herb Dean