Intimacy with God
Posted on 10/16/2011 by Rev. Benjamin R. Faust D.D.
TRANSCRIPT: (does not contain everything found in the audio above)
*** listen to the audio for introduction and prayer ***
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I LOVE TO BE IN YOUR PRESENCE
I love to be in your presence
with your people singing praises
I love to stand and rejoice
lift my hands and raise my voice
You set my feet to dancing
you fill my heart with song
You give me reason to rejoice,
WE BRING THE SACRIFICE OF PRAISE
We bring the sacrifice of praise
into the house of the Lord
We bring the sacrifice of praise
into the house of the Lord
And we offer up to you
the sacrifices of thanksgiving
And we offer up to you
the sacrifices of joy
FATHER I ADORE YOU
Father, I adore you
Lay my life before you
How I love you
*** listen to the audio for the message introduction ***
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for being with us in this place. Thank You for bringing us here for such a time a this. I ask that You would send Holy Spirit to speak to the hearts of those who are here. Let us all hear Your still small voice. In Jesus' name, Amen.
Today's fire-side chat is called "Intimacy With God." When you hear "Intimacy With God" what do you think of first? Well, just think about it a moment. Maybe write your answer in a note card to share during our fellowship time later.
When I think about "Intimacy With God," I think about time. I think about time because one way we become intimate with someone is we spend time with them.
Let's look at what intimacy means. In Webster's Dictionary, it means a close friendship or association. Dictionary.com says intimacy means 1.the state of being intimate. 2. a close, familiar, and usually affectionate or loving personal relationship with another person or group. 3. a close association with or detailed knowledge or deep understanding of a place, subject, period of history, etc.: an intimacy with Japan. 4. an act or expression serving as a token of familiarity, affection, or the like: to allow the intimacy of using first names. 5. an amorously familiar act; liberty. 6. sexual intercourse. 7. the quality of being comfortable, warm, or familiar: the intimacy of the room. 8. privacy, especially as suitable to the telling of a secret: in the intimacy of his studio.
I went to a ladies' retreat with my RL church Oct 7th and 8th, just about a week ago. One of the ladies who shared said this "the truest act of intimacy is to invite another person to look into your heart and mind." I'm going to say that again. "The truest act of intimacy is to invite another person to look into your heart and mind."
I believe this is what God wants us to do. He wants us to invite Him to look into our hearts and minds, but it doesn't stop there. He wants to invite us to look into His mind and heart as well.
You might be asking "How do I do this thing? How do I invite God to see into my mind and heart? How do I see into God's?"
I am going to share with you some verses in Scripture about people spending time with God. I think once we understand what James 4:8a, which says Draw near to God and He will draw near to you, once we know what that means we'll understand how we can be intimate with God.
When I think of being intimate with God, I think of a few people from the Bible. The first on is Jesus and how He would go off and be with His Father, showing us how to spend time with God.
Daniel is the next one. Let's look at Daniel chapter 6 starting at verse one.
And it reads It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom one hundred and twenty satraps, to be over the whole kingdom; 2 and over these, three governors, of whom Daniel was one, that the satraps might give account to them, so that the king would suffer no loss. 3 Then this Daniel distinguished himself above the governors and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king gave thought to setting him over the whole realm. 4 So the governors and satraps sought to find some charge against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find no charge or fault, because he was faithful; nor was there any error or fault found in him. 5 Then these men said, “We shall not find any charge against this Daniel unless we find it against him concerning the law of his God.” 6 So these governors and satraps thronged before the king, and said thus to him: “King Darius, live forever! 7 All the governors of the kingdom, the administrators and satraps, the counselors and advisors, have consulted together to establish a royal statute and to make a firm decree, that whoever petitions any god or man for thirty days, except you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions. 8 Now, O king, establish the decree and sign the writing, so that it cannot be changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which does not alter.” 9 Therefore King Darius signed the written decree. 10 Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days.
Even though Daniel knew the decree and what would happen if he prayed to God and not to King Darius, he prayed to His God! Three times daily! What intimacy he had with God which helped him when he was thrown into the lion's den!
Turn with me to Luke chapter 10 verse 38-42. Most, if not all, of you know this story.
And it reads Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’[k] feet and heard His word. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.” 41 And Jesus[l] answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. 42 But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”
Mary chose intimacy. She chose the 'good part, which will not be taken from her.'
I know we are all busy busy, but if we are too busy to spend time with God, we are TOO busy!
God wants companionship. Someone to spend time with Him. Someone where He can set the table with good things to eat or with tea or coffee and visit with you. He WANTS to spend time with you and He'll go to great lengths to do so.
Will you be relentless in your pursuit of Him, like you would be in your pursuit of the one your heart loves? Is God more important to you than anyone or anything? Or has He become second or third in your life?
God is a jealous God! He won't take second or third place. He wants first place.
When God knocks on your door, open it! He's calling you to Him.
In Song of Solomon chapter 3 verses 2-8 it says I sleep, but my heart is awake; It is the voice of my beloved! He knocks, saying, “ Open for me, my sister, my love, My dove, my perfect one; For my head is covered with dew, My locks with the drops of the night.” 3 I have taken off my robe; How can I put it on again? I have washed my feet; How can I defile them? 4 My beloved put his hand By the latch of the door, And my heart yearned for him. 5 I arose to open for my beloved, And my hands dripped with myrrh, My fingers with liquid myrrh, On the handles of the lock. 6 I opened for my beloved, But my beloved had turned away and was gone. My heart leaped up when he spoke. I sought him, but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no answer. 7 The watchmen who went about the city found me. They struck me, they wounded me; The keepers of the walls Took my veil away from me. 8 I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, If you find my beloved, That you tell him I am lovesick!
Are we as this one? Are we God's beloved and is He ours? Are we lovesick for Him?
The measure of importance and intimacy is spelled T-I-M-E! Time! Have you spent time with God today? Have you drawn close to Him?
I want to share a few things with you. I may have already shared these things before, but I want to do so again.
I love worshiping God. There have been times in worship that I have truly sensed God and at times I have seen a vision as I worshiped.
One time while I was in Second Life during Prayer Meeting, I was doing my thing, praying and singing. I felt God touch my cheek. It was such a wonderful feeling.
And that's the kind of thing He wants to do. He wants to touch us. He loves us SO much!
Intimacy with God is a choice. We choose to draw near to God and we choose to follow His will. Will you choose to be intimate with God? To share your mind and heart with Him?
I want to do one last thing before I close. I want to share two letters with you that I wrote at the ladies' retreat last week.
When I took the two pieces of paper at first, I didn't know I would be writing down two letters. I even started the first one with "Dear Daddy" but God had other plans. I scratched out "Daddy" and wrote "Princess." God had a letter He wanted to write to me. So, as the tears flowed I wrote...Dear Princess...
I love it when you come near to me. I love it when you let me near you. Thank you for drawing near to me, but I want more of you! I want to touch your face. I want you to touch mine.
I want you to know what I'm thinking. I want you to see me. I want you to know me intimately. I want to spend more time with you! Come and be with me! Don't wait! Come!
You are my beloved, my princess. Don't tell yourself you are ugly, a freak or weird. You aren't any of those things.
You are beautiful. You are beautiful! You are beautiful! And I made you just the way you are, my fair one.
I love your heart and how you worship me no matter what anyone else might say. I love you, my princess. I will always love you! Always!
The second letter was to Daddy God. and I wrote "Dear Daddy"...
I love You so much. I know that my actions might not show it always, but I do. I want to do better. I will do better. I will spend more time with You!
I want to feel Your touch, to know Your mind and heart. I want to share mine with You, too.
I want to be more intimate with You. Would You help me?
I love you, Daddy!
I think we all need to take some time to be intimate with God. To hear His voice, feel His touch, and to see His face.
If you know you want to be intimate with God, come and kneel at the altar. I truly believe God is calling our names and knocking at our door. Don't turn Him away.
As you come, I have a song I'd like to sing.
Have you seen my lover.
Have you seen Him here.
Walking down the street or anywhere.
All night long I've search
For the one that my heart loves
He is all I want.
He's all I need.
When I find Him I will not let go of Him.
When I find Him I will hold Him close
And not let go.
Jesus hold me close
Sometimes we have to find God because our Martha side wouldn't allow the Mary side out. God doesn't go far. He WANTS us to find Him!
If you need prayer or ministry, please instant message Ben or me. We'd be glad to help you in any way we can.
You are all free to go. We'll have our fellowship time after the service in the room to your left my right.
Please remember this time at the altar is important and refraining from all conversation would be appreciated. Please instant message or move out of the sanctuary for any and all chatting.
May God knock on your door. May you answer Him. May you grow more intimate with God.
May He give you peace and shower you with love.
Go with God and in His peace that passes all understanding.