It’s Wednesday. I am not sure about you but all week I have been thinking about Sunday’s message. If you weren’t there, we talked about Choosing Intimacy with God. (it’s up at www.paragonchurch.com or you can download it at iTunes).
On Sunday, I had a hard time with the message for whatever reason. Maybe you did too. It was about being open and vulnerable to God and being willing to let Him love you fully and loving him the same in return.
It seems like an easy thing to do – and we all know it is something that we should do, but do we do it? Do we choose to really KNOW God and allow him to really KNOW us? Do we choose intimacy?
This might help answer that question… Intimacy with God begins when we radically pursue Him with our whole heart. The book of James tells us that in chapter 4 vs 8 - Come close to God, and God will come close to you. That verse goes on to say Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.
Radically pursuing Him with our whole heart – all the time… not a part time thing. We can’t be pursuing all the things of the world and God.
Is our loyalty divided? Is my loyalty divided? Is that concept what makes it so difficult to be intimate with God? What are the things that come in the way? What are the things we are more intimate with than God… what do we know better and give more time to?
As I looked around, I see all sorts of things that get in the way – take more time – I know better. Much of it seems to revolve around technology… iPhone, computer (especially social media), TV, Radio, Video Games, and the list goes on. I would bet that those are things that get in the way for you too. But what are we to do? We NEED those things to survive… DON’T WE? I mean, twenty years ago, people were so lost without unlimited mobile to mobile minutes and texting, right? 40 years ago there were only 5 channels to turn to… oh the humanity! 70 years ago, people didn’t even have TV’s, just scratchy low quality (standard definition) radio broadcasts – how could you live in such a culture?
Can you imagine a day without Facebook, Twitter, emails, texts, or phone calls? A day without TV or your MP3 player or some other noise distraction? Even a couple of hours is hard, isn’t it? Honestly, it has become so difficult for some that Southwest and other airlines now offer free WiFi on select plane flights. Frontier has DirecTV built into their head rests.
And we wonder why it is hard to be intimate with God… it is because we are never pursuing him with our whole heart… we are never “still and know that He is God” – how do we get to the point where we can choose to be intimate with Him, without distraction.
Here is my challenge (to myself included)… Take time and fast (to take time to be without). Take a day a week – take a day a month – or you could even start small and just take an hour. Unplug from the world and plug into God. Don’t worry about everything else… yes you will survive. Do it in the morning when you wake up… do it before bed… do it at lunch… to start - unplug for an hour or two. Sit quietly (it may be the first time you have ever done that in your life). Pray to God. Listen to God. Read His Word (from the actual book, not your iPad). See what happens. Let that time grow into a special time between you and God.
Give it a shot. It may seem weird at first but I bet you will like it before long. So many people tell me that they never hear God… but how can you with all of the other “noise” in your life.