enemies of intimacy #2

I’ve been considering this topic for quite some time now & as I’ve thought about it, in the context of having intimacy w God, i’ve noticed some things about myself (better to say that the Holy Spirit has shown me many areas that need adjustment to improve our intimacy together).  God has really shown me that when i isolate myself or get independent, these behaviors don’t cultivate an environment conducive to intimacy. Because of some of my mindsets, upbringing & poor decisions, along w other things, i notice myself withdraw & get very independent at various times & stages in my life.  Thanks to God, He’s shown me some of these things & i’ve repented of these behaviors.  With His help & insights, i’m not isolating & being as independent as i used to be in the past.

On a deeper level, God is dealing w me now, on why i’ve behaved in these ways.  I love that God addresses our surface behaviors first to get our attention & then digs in deeper because ultimately, our relationship w God isn’t just about surface actions but about our hearts interfacing in authenticity & vulnerability.

Do you see any surface behaviors that have been enemies to your intimacy w God?

enemies of intimacy

Since we’ve just celebrated Easter, i’ve been thinking of the purpose of Jesus’ incarnation, death & resurrection.  I believe that God’s ultimate purpose in sending Jesus to earth was to redeem humanity to Himself – so we can connect to Him (with His help, direction, etc) in a deep, meaningful & purposeful relationship.  Ultimately, that we can have an intimate relationship with the Triune God.  Now please don’t spin out on the word, “intimate”.  Unfortunately, our society has tainted this word & it can potentially have some overtones that can be a little tricky to manuever around.  For me, intimate means very close, but not always having a sexual connotation.  When I’m talking about an intimate relationship w God, obviously I’m not including the sexual overtones that our society can associate w this word. 

Given the objective of having an intimate relationship w God, i think its important for us to consider what could be enemies to that intimacy.  As such, over the next few days or so, I’m planning to blog on what I’ve found to be various enemies to intimacy.  I’d totally love / welcome your input not only w comments, but I’d also be happy to receive your insights on the various enemies you may have experienced to intimacy.  I’m really excited to dialogue w you to see what God wants to share w us!! 🙂

knowing God

knotI’ve been thinking alot about knowing God.  Some of my favorite verses on this objective are: Philip 3:6-10 & Jer 29:11.  I particularly like Jer 29:11 because it simplifies what’s important to achieve in life to one thing – knowing God.  In this journey of knowing God (actually, I honestly think that He pursues us more ardently than we could ever imagine), there are a few things that I’ve realized to be helpful while travelling:

*God is Triune:  God expresses Himself differently as God our Father, God the Son & God the Holy Spirit.  Knowing God is more than knowing information about Him.  Its relationship development in the fullest sense of the words.  I also believe that knowing God takes Him opening our eyes to His work & Him opening our ears to His voice & lastly Him sensitizing our heart to His presence.  Knowing God exceeds a mere cerebral exercise.

*Platforms / Contexts:  there are alot of platforms / contexts in our lives through which God expresses Himself, if we cooperate w His efforts. Some of these platforms / contexts include:  family, work, kids, friends, mate, etc.  What I’ve sensed God saying of late about these platforms is that they can be used by Him in my life to help me know Him better if I keep the right perspective.  More than that, He said that He will help me with that perspective thing because He wants me to know Him even more than I want to know Him.  How completely enchanting!!!

holy week

Sorry for the long delay in blogging.  Last week was a rough week – I caught the cold my kids had, we had TV taping & I had a few other plates I was trying to spin (I dropped a few plates). 

Here’s something interesting God spoke to me last week & perhaps you’ll find it helpful:  “don’t reject or diminish God’s provision because it doesn’t meet your expectations”. 

rejectedI’ve really mused on this idea, especially in light of the events of Jesus’ life leading up to His crucifixion.  Humanity rejected God’s provision of Jesus because He didn’t meet their expectations (along w many other reasons).  I see myself doing this as well.  For example, God will give me strength to go through a situation but not rescue me from it.  So because He doesn’t “rescue” me, I get bent out of shape w Him rather than being grateful for His strength.  How about the times when I’m not really happy w Reece (my husband) for whatever reason?  Or what about when my job isn’t going quite like I want it to? 

Please understand, I’m not saying that we should just bury our head in the sand & pretend that everything is always sunny w no rain.  However, I think that we can often be a gripey bunch of humans when we don’t get our way.  If things aren’t going as you’d wanted or planned, then look around for God because He’s probably doing things off the plot – praise Him!  Whew!

shortcuts

I’m all about shortcuts – if i can figure out a way to do something faster & easier, i’m a happy camper!  sometimes i even find myself taking silly risks just to see if a shortcut can work.  Invariably, my shortcuts don’t usually work & you think i’d have learned that lesson by now.  Maybe i’m a slow learner.  Maybe i’m a little bit like Esau who traded his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of lentils, just because he was hungry.  He exchanged an established position of blessing, prosperity, security & leadership for some food to eat & only to be hungry again in a few hours. 

Honestly, i think our society is alot like Esau at present.  We try to take lots of shortcuts, make quickie fix-its, take a panacea pill, do a fast fix to “make life better.”  The truth is, life occurs over the space of about 70-75 years & if we’re kingdom minded, we must look at our lives in a generational mindset w continuity & the purpose of growing the next generation to be stronger in God than we ever will be.  There are no shortcuts to integrity, to lasting fulfillment, intimacy w God, stepping into eternity on sure footing and more. 

Let’s not get seduced by a bowl of lentils, a temporary pleasure & miss the long-term blessing.

catching up

Last week, our family took spring break & we went skiing & snowboarding for the week.  Its really nice when you can take advantage of what’s local for vacations!  While on vacation, I had some really spectacular God times – seriously.  Riding the lift, while observing God’s beauty & extravagance was more than captivating.  I sensed God whispering to me & surrounding me w His immensity – while still experiencing His ever deeping love. 

This was an interesting experience for me because previous vacations haven’t had as much God intertwined in them.  Consequently, I’ve observed that my transition back into “regular” life, so far, seems to be much smoother & the continuity of being close w God through the vacation has only seemed to deepen my time w Him this morning.  I know that Monday morning will bring all of the challenges for Mondays, but somehow I feel less daunted to face Monday than I normally do – especially after a vacation. 

I pray that God would help you & me keep our eyes on Him, in vacation season, tax season, past Easter, in peak stress times, in chilled out moments & everything in between.

P.S.  I did an accidental flip on my snowboard, landed on my head & got up laughing!  Too much fun for a someone my age!  😉

keep your eyes & ears open

We’ve been on a family vacation this week & its been really refreshing.  Since we live in Denver, its very convenient to pop up to the mountains & go skiing / snowboarding as a family – a really nice interruption to the normal routine.  As I’ve been up here, I’ve been talking w God about some different frustrations, seeking Him about direction & absorbing, w His help, some of His grandeur in this spectacular scenery.  During one of my morning times w God, I read this verse that has SUPER encouraged me & I think it might just encourage you as well:

1 Cor 2:9-10,  eye has not see nor ear heard nor has it entered into the heart of man all that God has prepared for those who love Him.  For to us God revealed them  through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.

So, keep your eyes & ears open, keep your heart tender & stay in love w God.  He will show you things to come that you could never dream of on your own! 🙂