Building A Place Of Intimacy

Ref. Scripture: Psalm 42

“As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee. Psalm 42:1

It is said that “Spiritual good is of a satisfying nature; and for that very reason, the soul that tastes and knows its nature will thirst after it; and a fullness of it, that it may be satisfied. And the more he experiences, and the more he knows this excellent, unparalleled, exquisite, and satisfying sweetness, the more earnestly he will hunger and thirst for more…”

This truth goes beyond the ordinary. It is the essence of building a place of intimacy with God. The most outstanding characteristic to any true ministry is how well it maintains a deep, abiding hunger and taste for the nearest of the presence of God. It must stand alone, above and beyond everything else.

The Psalmist David cried out and said, “But it is good for me to draw near to God” (Psalm 73:28). James also tells us, “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you” (James 4:8). Just like the deer pants for water, the soul must pant for the nearness of God. One of the biggest roadblocks to building a place of intimacy with our heavenly Father comes from the daily restraints of duty and sacrifice. A minister can often find himself so busily engaged in the activities of ministry that it preoccupies his time and attention.

One very important rule that must be observed is never exchange the preparation of the heart for preparation for ministry. So many pastors only spend time preparing a message, when they need to be preparing their heart, and there is nothing more needful in preparing the heart than panting after God’s heart. Being hungry and thirsty for God’s nearness must be constant.

Charles Spurgeon made this observation: “When a man pants after God, it is a secret life within which makes him do it: He would not long after God by nature. No man thirsts for God while he is left in his carnal [i.e., unconverted] state. The unrenewed man pants after anything sooner than he does God.” He went on to say, “It proves a renewed nature when you long after God; it is a work of grace in your soul, and you may be thankful for it.”  It is in this first statement that I think really holds the key to everything…”When a man pants after God, it is a secret life within which makes him do it.”

In our text we read: “As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.”  Drop down a few verses and you find this statement: “Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me” (Psalm 42:7). Suddenly, we have gone from the quiet resting place of a flowing brook to the noise of the waterspouts. If you’ll notice from the image, a waterspout is a funnel-shaped cloud that hovers over water. It’s usually non-tornadic due to the very low wind velocity, but it has been known to be violent at times. The Hebrew word for “waterspout” is TSINNUWR, and it actually means a water conduit.

What a beautiful expression of intimacy with God! When you drink of the waters of life you construct a water conduit where the clouds of heaven hover over you and stir up the winds of the Holy Spirit. By panting for his nearness suddenly things begin to build inwardly toward a spiritual encounter. Your hunger pipes down a divine, heavenly influence that penetrates deep within your soul. It is what pulls you into a place of intimate communion, being fed and nourished by the sweet, holy presence of God.

No wonder Solomon said, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life” (Pro. 4:23).  Or, as one translation reads, “…for out of it are the wellsprings of life.” As you begin to build a place of intimacy with God then the very life of God will begin to erupt. Isn’t this what Jesus taught us? “If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink….out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water”(John 7:37, 38). Your spiritual hunger and thirst will cause rivers to erupt inside you. That is where ministry is born – out of the overflow. Instead of just wanting to be stirred, your whole life lives with a constant stirring. The deeper your encounters, the more intense the appetite — until nothing will mean more to you than staying true to that secret life you hold in your heart. I challenge you to begin building a place of intimacy where the clouds of heaven can hover over your life, and where the waves and billows of his presence can become a conduit that refreshes your life daily, and where you live in a perpetual overflow.

PRAYER: Father I am so hungry to draw all I can from your presence. All I want is to be where you are. Deep within my heart I cry out for that deep place of knowing you, of being near you, and to be filled with your holy presence. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

CONFESSION: I have purposed in my heart to build a place of intimacy with my heavenly Father. My life belongs to him. He is the center of my life. I live only to please him. I will surround myself with things that build my relationship so that I am consumed with only him.

DEFINING MOMENTS… Hunger is a powerful thing. Many men have been driven to do extraordinary things because of the need to be satisfied. How fitting it is that we find ourselves hungry for the things of God. God can do extraordinary things through us if we will but seek him above everything else. Is there something deep within your heart that cries out for the living God? If you hunger, he will feed you. If you thirst, he will satisfy you. How desperate are you? There is nothing you need more than to make this your one aim in life. Posted from WordPress for Android

God Is Looking For Someone To Stand In The Gap

God said, “I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one”(Ezekiel22:30 NIV).

“Well, I guess the only thing left to do is pray about it.”How many times have I heard those words? How many times have they slipped past my lips? But what if we looked at prayer from a different perspective…God’s perspective? What if we viewed prayer as our first course of action rather than a last resort?

The Bible tells us in Isaiah 29:16, “You turn things upside down, as if the potter were thought to be like the clay! Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘You did not make me’? Can the pot say to the potter, ‘you know nothing’?”

God is the Master Potter, and He certainly doesn’t need you or me to tell Him how to shape and mold the people that we are praying for. Oh, we’d like to. That’s for sure.But God’s ultimate goal is for each lump of clay to be fashioned according to His design and for His purposes, not ours. “We are the clay, you are the potter,” Isaiah writes, “we are all the work of your hand” (Isaiah 64:8). I am. You are. Whoever you are praying for today is. God shapes and molds. You pray and intercede.

Regardless of where your marriage, your children, or your family fall on the continuum of terrific to tolerable to terrible, there is always room for improvement. Prayer can make a bad situation good and a good situation great.

James warns about the danger of praying with wrong motives (James 4:3). Check your desire to control at the door of the prayer closet and don’t let it in.

Ezekiel gives us a glimpse into the heart of God regarding prayer. Israel had sinned in every possible way, and her people were doomed for destruction. God said, “I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found none” (Ezekiel 22:30).

God looked for someone to pray, to intercede, to stand in the gap for Israel, but there was no one.Today God is looking for people who will stand in the gap for their husbands, children, friends, family, and nation. I’m so glad He has found such a man/woman in you.

Fay-Ann Swearing

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