Today I ask you to take a journey back in your mind to those first days as a brand-new believer in Jesus Christ. Remember when you would speak of Christ and it would ignite your heart with an exciting burst of zeal and delight? Remember when prayer was new and untried, and you felt its power as you communed with God. Remember when the Bible was that delicious book that you could not get away from filled with delectable insights you had never known before. Remember when spending time with Jesus was the highlight of your week. Remember when your devotion was consistent, fulfilling, enriching, deep. How are you today? Has your heart chilled? Have you fallen out of love? Is your spiritual life in need of some major changes?
Today, Christ invites you to deepen your life by deepening your relationship with him. You know - the kind of intimacy that doesn't require a stirring message from the pulpit; the kind of intimacy that doesn't depend upon a great worship event or concert, but simply exists as a natural part of your day-to-day walk with God. May I suggest that we need to slow our pace in order to recover our walk with him. God will not scream and shout over the noisy clamor of our lives. He expects us to seek quietness, where his still, small voice can be heard again.
As Paul says in First Timothy 4:7 "discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness." Or as the Message paraphrases it, "Exercise daily in God - no spiritual flabbiness, please! Paul adds in Philippians 3:10, "My determined purpose is that I may know him (meaning Christ)." Intimacy is knowing him. It is the result of a determined purpose to be inwardly naked yet unashamed before God, understanding the wonders of his person and the mystery of his will.
Bottom line, there can be no intimacy without being spiritually disciplined. People who are close to God cultivate a personal intimacy with him like a good gardener cultivates beautiful flowers. They talk to him. They share their dreams, ambitions, plans and ask for his opinion. They talk about their hurts and sorrows and the sins that seem to trip them up so easily. They search the Scriptures to know more about him pausing to hear his still small voice and to feel the touch of the Master’s hand. They lay aside everything that would keep them from doing his will or crowd their relationship with him. Christ is their passion. Is he yours? Are you consumed with the idea of knowing him more and pleasing him through obedience? Is it as important for you to cultivate your relationship with Jesus as it is with that boyfriend or girlfriend, that husband or wife, that child or grandchild?
Life never begins until it begins with Christ. And life is never really lived until you live in a disciplined, dynamic, devoted relationship with Christ Today Jesus invites you to take the time to really get to know him. No he isn't asking you to simply get to know about him. He wants you to take the time to feel the throb of his heart, to see the world through his eyes. He wants you to be devoted to his purposes and his plans. He wants you to feel the fire of his holiness as he removes the chill from your heart. Do you really want to know him?