Sunday’s message kicked my butt.
I know this Love that was referred to on Sunday. I’ve tasted it and been transformed by it. I know the wholeness that love brings. I’ve been on a raging sea of circumstance, freaked out by what I saw and convinced of my impending doom to have Christ miraculously change everything with one word, “Peace!"
It wasn’t that Sunday’s words wounded me. Instead, they wooed me. The message did not come across in a corrective manner, but rather in a "see what you’re missing?" manner. I needed Sunday’s message. I needed to hear a fresh about the God who desires intimacy more than works: that cares more about who I am than what I do.
Unfortunately, its all too easy to live without this kind of intimacy. Even though I know of it and value it, it can quickly become something I only talk about rather than live. And there is little that is more detrimental to my spiritual life than to live vicariously out of a past spiritual experience.
There are a number of valid reasons for this kind of intimacy to dissipate:
- Slowing down long enough to be with God is difficult. I have more to do that there are hours and energy to accomplish. So to take a block of time to simply “be” with God almost feels unproductive. And what will happen to the task list if I’m doing “nothing” but pursuing intimacy with God?
- Even planned times for intimacy can be sabotaged by seemingly pressing issues. There seems to be a never ending flow of minions designed to keep my mind spinning and my heart anxious.
- Living at 70% becomes acceptable. It’s all too easy to settle for much less than is possible. Thoughts roll through my head like, "Being with Love once or twice a week is getting me by”, "Yea, I know there is the possibility of so much more, but 70% is working” and “I could use more, but at least my current level of intimacy is keeping me from blowing it BIG TIME”.
- I must regularly be reminded of love. Because of being chronically fearful and forgetful, I need Love to take hold of me often. The gravitational pull of my thinking leads me to doubt and isolation. Intimacy with my Creator should be the most natural, free flowing part of my life - after all, I was created in His image and I am his son. Unfortunately, what “should be" is not.
"The Intimacy of Proximity" as Pastor Marty labeled it requires intentionality. It can't be forced, but it must be planned. It requires scheduled times for slowing down long enough to grasp Love and to be deliberate about being with the One who desires intimacy with us. It must be prioritized. It will seldom happen if it is near the bottom of the schedule. It is not urgent, but it is extremely important.
If you need a chance to reflect on Pastor Marty's sermon from Sunday, you can find it here.
- Pastor Zack Totten