The Pursuit of Intimacy

My devotion today begs the question: What will pursuing intimacy with God cost you? In Philippians 3, Paul is writing a letter and he is just so happy! I’m pretty sure he is in jail, but he has this thick, rich joy in his heart. He has virtually no material possessions left – but he has a personal relationship with the Lord and he is just giddy about it! How many people do we know like that? Paul isn’t just some biblical figure – he was a real person who suffered greatly and he wrote these letters while in jail to the churches to tell them, ‘Hey! Life stinks sometimes! But Christ died for you! Follow Him and know Him and you won’t ever regret it!” I think if Paul were here today he would say to some of us “Your boss is not Jesus! Quit trying so hard to impress him and try harder to glorify HIM” or “Do you realize you spend more time studying books to decorate your house than you do the BIBLE? Remember, you can’t take it with you!”

Oftentimes, you’ll see when people are at their breaking point, they make significant changes. They see life differently. They make adjustments and move through. But why is it that so often we have to be AT that breaking point to do that? God has so much for us and so much to tell us and often we let it collect dust on the bookshelf until we don’t know what else to do. “Dr. Phil couldn’t help so I guess I’ll try Jesus.” Crisis Christianity is not the answer. Maybe short term it works for you but what about when life is happy again? Do we just thank Him and go on? That won’t leave us fulfilled.

I didn’t crack my Bible for a long time because I figured I just wouldn’t understand or be able to pull out from it something that made sense. Some people can listen to a passage, and tell you what it means to them and I’m just like, “How in the world did you get that?” and then I feel more or less embarrassed & incompetent that I can’t comprehend it like them. Now I’ve got the Message and it’s the only version I”ll read. The language and emotion are modern and its so interesting that I just love to read it! One of the verses from today’s reading says, “Compared to the high privilege of knowing Christ Jesus as my Master, firsthand, everything I once thought I had going for me is insignificant – dog dung. I’ve dumped it all in the trash so that I could embrace Christ and be embraced by Him.”

So many things in this life will vie for our attention. Its not that we can’t enjoy life – God wants us to enjoy it – but enjoy it with Him as your tour guide through life on earth. A relationship with Christ is a journey – not JUST a one time prayer or decision. When you GET that, you’ll worry less about the ‘thou shalt nots’ of being a Christian and more about knowing Christ personally & intimately. If you don’t have that you don’t know what you’re missing. Life looks differently through His filter and all you have to do is ask Him if you can take a look! Everything here will look like…well, dog dung.

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~ by hthr on April 27, 2006.

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