They say opposites attract. My husband and I prove the truth of this statement daily! We are both thinkers, but that’s where the commonality ends. When I have an idea, I love to think about it – for hours, days, or even years. Mulling it over, figuring out the most efficient way to do it, waiting until the perfect time. If he’s had an idea, chances are he’s already purchased whatever is needed to make it happen now. My perfectionistic tendencies and desire for efficiency often keep me from just taking the first step.
This has been true in various seasons of my life related to rhythms too. It is true that there are some rhythms that fit best for certain people in certain seasons of life. And there are some rhythms better suited for certain personalities as well. Yet, there is also wisdom in just taking the first step and starting something!
Our need for intimacy with Jesus is greater than anything else. If we draw near to God, He promises to draw near to us (James 4:8). This promise is true even if we’re not doing it in the best way possible.
Jesus realized that His need for intimacy with the Father was greater than anything else. If this was true for Jesus, God in the flesh, how much more so for you and me!
Why did Jesus need intimacy?
Jesus needed to get His directions. There are numerous scriptures that give us a picture of how reliant Jesus was on the Father during His earthly ministry.
John 12:49 – For I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a commandment as to what to say and what to speak. (NASB)
John 5:19 – So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise.” (ESV)
Isaiah 50:4b-5 – Morning by morning he awakens; he awakens my ear to hear as those who are taught. The Lord God has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious; I turned not backward. (ESV)
If you keep reading in this passage in Isaiah you’ll see that it is speaking directly about Jesus. God awoke Him every morning. God opened His ears to hear His voice. There was no mistaking what He was to do or say or where He was to go. And Jesus, even though he was God Himself, submitted His will to what He was told.
Jesus needed fellowship and acceptance. From before the foundation of the world, Jesus was in perfect community with the Father and the Spirit. There was joy and delight and love that was endless. On earth, He encountered haters, skeptics, antagonists, critics and apathetic individuals. He was ridiculed, called names, thrown out of synagogues, rebuked and shunned.
Every day that He was on earth His soul took a beating. What better place to retreat to than the intimacy of fellowship that He had known and enjoyed from eternity? We aren’t privy to a lot of what He talked about with God but Psalm 62:5-8 comes to mind as I think about it.
For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him.
He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God.
Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us.
I imagine He poured out His heart to God. I imagine He felt the inexplicable love and security that comes from being known and welcomed with open arms. I imagine God was indeed His refuge too.
Jesus needed strengthening in His soul. Think of the night He was betrayed. Of all the things He could have done what did He choose? Time alone with the Father in the Garden of Gethsemane. He poured out His heart. He was in great anguish. His closest friends were of no help to Him. But God met Him there. God strengthened Him. He came away with His face set like a flint – determined to accomplish the greatest redemptive rescue in history.
You Need Intimacy
There are many reasons that you and I need intimacy with God, but let’s consider these same three.
You need to get your directions from God. Psalm 119 is my favorite chapter in the Bible. The first eight verses give a great picture of learning to listen to God’s voice and follow his directions.
You’re blessed when you stay on course, walking steadily on the road revealed by God.
You’re blessed when you follow his directions, doing your best to find him.
That’s right—you don’t go off on your own; you walk straight along the road he set.
You, God, prescribed the right way to live; now you expect us to live it.
Oh, that my steps might be steady, keeping to the course you set;
Then I’d never have any regrets in comparing my life with your counsel.
I thank you for speaking straight from your heart; I learn the pattern of your righteous ways.
I’m going to do what you tell me to do; don’t ever walk off and leave me.
There are blessings for those who seek and follow God and his ways. Not just physical or tangible blessings but the blessing of a growing intimacy with God and a greater understanding of His way and nature. By the end of this passage, you can almost hear the Psalmist begging God not to leave him. He had grown so accustomed to hearing His voice and following it that he would be lost and uncertain as to the next step in life if God wasn’t there speaking and leading.
This is what God wants for us too. He wants our ear bending to Him to hear His voice. He wants our will bending to His and following where He leads.
You needed fellowship and acceptance. It is part of the human condition for our souls to be bombarded every day. Our experiences are different, but the result is always the same – a soul that is in need of restoration.
You need to know that someone sees you and knows you. When you believe in Jesus, your identity becomes rooted in Him. You need to know that as you are seen and known, you are also accepted, just as you are. You can know that
God is your refuge.
God is your hope.
God is your rock.
God is your salvation.
You can pour out your heart to Him. You can trust Him to love you right where you are. You can trust Him to catch your tears and show you compassion. You can trust Him to draw near to you as you draw near to Him.
You need strengthening in your soul. What is God asking of you that seems too hard? What dream is he giving you that seems impossible? What trial are you in the midst of that seems it will never end? God can meet you there in that place. God can strengthen you. You can come away with your face set like a flint – determined to follow God into whatever He has for you.
So, what are you waiting for? Don’t wait until you can figure out the perfect rhythm for your life right now. Don’t wait for the perfect time to start. You’ll miss out on so much in the meantime!
Much of the time Jesus just slipped away. Away from the noise, away from the crowds. He poured out His heart, found His soul strengthened and knew what He should do next. You can do this too.
Find 10 minutes today and slip away. Pour out your heart. Ask God for one thing He wants from you. (It might not even be something to do!) And feel your soul being strengthened and your determination growing.
Then find 10 minutes the next day and the next day and the next… Maybe a rhythm will emerge. But even if it doesn’t, you will be drawing near to God and He will be drawing near to you. And that’s the point of it all!