Have you felt the nudging and stirring of the Lord to pray more than usual lately? Have you heard the voice of the Holy Spirit calling you into a deeper relationship with Him?
It seems that the Lord calls me to prayer at some of the most inconvenient times (my perception of the matter). However, I am quickly learning that His call to intimacy is what I need more than anything else on the face of this earth.
Why does the church reject that which they so desperately need?
Luke chapter 10 gives us the account of Jesus paying a visit to Mary and Martha. Mary chose to sit at the feet of Jesus and receive the words of life proceeding forth from His mouth, while Martha proceeded to prepare a meal. Martha’s focus was on the natural, while Mary’s focus was on that which was spiritual. Jesus told Martha that the spiritual aspect of living was most needful. The natural things of life can sometimes distract us from receiving what we so desperately need from the Lord. We need Jesus! We need to hear what He has to say! We need the words of life that He has to impart to us. We are a people who desperately need a Holy Ghost deposit in our lives.
In John chapter 17, we read some of the last words that Jesus spoke to His disciples before His betrayal in the Garden of Gethsemane. In this particular chapter, the Lord mentions how He gave His disciples the words that the Father gave to Him.
John 17:8 – “For I have given to them the words which You have given Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came forth from You; and they have believed that You sent Me.”
Jesus had made a tremendous deposit into the lives of His disciples. One of His main objectives was to reproduce Himself in these twelve men. He imparted to them everything that He had to give. He held nothing back. He poured Himself into them because He knew that one day He would leave them and they would then be required to carry on the work of God’s kingdom.
Leaders should not burn themselves out by doing all the work all of the time. There are others within the body of Christ who need to be doing their part. Leaders should be training others to do what they are now doing. Five-fold ministers should be equipping the saints to do the work of the ministry. They should be reproducing themselves in those who are under their leadership so that someone will be able to continue the work when they pass on to glory. We must learn how to pass the baton on to the next generation of leaders that God is raising up in this day and hour.
Song of Solomon 2:8-9 – The voice of my beloved! Behold, he comes leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills. My beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag. Behold, he stands behind our wall; He is looking through the windows, gazing through the lattice.
Song of Solomon 2:10 – My beloved spoke, and said to me; “Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.”
The Lord is pictured as one skipping upon the hills and leaping upon the mountains. He’s definitely not having a bad day. He’s full of joy and gladness as He is looking forward to spending some intimate time with His bride. However, when He arrives at the place where she lives, He is stopped dead in His tracks by a wall with small windows in it. The wall completely surrounds His beloved. He desperately begins to call for His beloved through the small windows in the wall. “Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away with me.”
How many times has the Lord called us to Himself only to find that we have put up walls to keep Him out? So many of us are afraid of intimate relationships because we don’t want to be hurt. We’ve been there, done that. We are afraid to give ourselves completely to the Lord because of past hurts, past wounds, past relationships that have ended in disastrous ways.
The Lord wants us to find healing and deliverance in Him so that we can be made whole. He wants to tear down those walls that keep us separated from Him. He longs to be intimate with us so that He can reproduce Himself in us.
This call from the Lord to His bride was a call to intimacy. He wanted her to come away with Him. He wanted to romance her and cause her to skip on the hills with Him. He wanted her to leap upon the mountains with Him and receive the joy and the love that was in His heart for her.
Song of Solomon 5:5-6 – I arose to open for my beloved and my hands dripped with myrrh, my fingers with liquid myrrh, on the handles of the lock. I opened for my beloved, but my beloved had turned away and was gone.
She had waited too long to respond to the call from her beloved. She decided to respond when it was convenient for her. As a result of her lack of sensitivity, she missed her time of visitation. She missed her appointment with the One who loved her unconditionally.
How many times have we missed our appointments with God? How many times has He tugged on our hearts to spend some quality time with Him, yet we brushed Him off and continued to do our own thing. How many times has He called us to come away with Him to skip on the hills and leap upon the mountains?
It amazes me how so many Christians find such pleasure in spending a good portion of their time complaining, bickering, backbiting, gossiping and speaking negative words over those whom they don’t like within the body of Christ. Don’t we yet understand how much God hates this kind of carnality? Wouldn’t it be much better for us to spend that time in an intimate relationship with the Lord, receiving that which is needed to live a victorious Christian life for Him? I believe the church would have less internal problems today if we would learn to respond to the call to intimacy. The Spirit of God longs for His bride to be transformed into His image. He longs for His bride to be delivered from division and strife. He longs for us to become so close to Him, that we become one in the Spirit.
Are we putting God first in our lives? Are we really sold out to Him or are we just playing church, going through the motions of Christianity? Do we really want to be changed into His image? Do we really want to live for Jesus and make a difference in this world? If so, let’s respond to the call. Let’s get right with God and make Him our first priority. When we get our relationship right with God, everything else will fall into place.