I have heard many a man state his heart’s desire to be closer, nearer and more intimate with the Lord. Actually, I am such a man. There is a hunger and an expressed yearning to make a meaningful connection with our God. And on the other side, I have heard Martha articulate, “God has a burning passion to have men who will love Him. That He has an ache in His heart for men to seek, pursue and love Him.” So where is the disconnect? Is God coy?
If I am hungering to be with my God, and God is eager to receive my love . . . why aren’t there more lovesick men out there, engaged in deep, intimate fellowship with their God? Why do I hear more from those wanting and less from those experiencing?
I don’t for a second believe that God is maliciously trying to frustrate men. I do believe that the Creator of the Universe is looking for one thing, and we men are to do the same. But do we? We convey our desire for more of God, but what does that really mean?
I know that we have incredible responsibilities laid on our hearts and minds. We have families we have to support, coworkers who rely on our performance, and people who look to us for many things. The catch-22 here is that often God has placed us in these positions. These positions require our undivided attention and focus to accomplish the tasks at hand.
So back to the dilemma: I want God, God wants me and I am seemingly prevented from getting to Him because of the responsibilities I’ve been given. There must be a piece missing in this puzzle. Does God want me to leave everything, in a Cast Away-type scenario? Is the only way for me to have a relationship with God is to abandon my family, job, responsibilities and life, and go live in a cell at an abbey or on a deserted island in the Pacific? No!
I previously alluded to ONE THING. And the entire universe pivots on this one thing. God looks to it and we must as well. It is the place of intimate relationship with God, the place where desires are met with fulfillment. So what is that one thing? Him! He is the one thing. And He is looking for those who will seek Him as the ONE THING.
You might say, “Okay John, you just stated that I have assumed God-given responsibilities. And these things require my focus and participation to be handled. And that I am not to go live like Tom Hanks in a 2 and a half hour and long FedEx commercial (my description of the movie Cast Away). So what’s up?”
As I have been stating in many ways since this blog started: God is the source of life. But He is also the source of fellowship. He doesn’t want us to run at our responsibilities and carry them for Him. He wants to carry them in us. And this is where we will have intimate fellowship. Crazy, right? The very thing I saw as my block to relationship is my place of fellowship.
I am wondering if the reason more men are not experiencing the love affair with Jesus is because we believe He will only be satisfied in a quiet room where we are solely looking at Him. If this is the mandate to fellowship, we are sunk.
God has to be sought as the ONE THING, but not in one place or under one circumstance. If He is Lord of our LIFE, then guess what? He wants to be our life and the life we live. He is every moment! He is not compartmentalized into a specific time. He doesn’t relegate us to do work time, family time, leisure time and then join us for quiet time, if we can make the time. No, He is our FULLNESS of time.
I wonder if some of the reason there are more frustrated seekers out there than satisfied partakers is because we just don’t understand that He really wants to be our ONE THING and to live our lives.
“There is only one thing worth being concerned about.
Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”
This post is amazingly what my husband and I have been going thru for years. He is a very resposible person, which I am learning to be by Gods’ grace. I always thought of myself as Mary and him as Martha…from the bible…I was the love sick worshipper and him the staunch legalist and Pharisee who read the word and went about his work… who tried to quelch my love affair with Christ…He has had those very precious times now with the Lord in His presence and loves it…I am learning there are jobs to be done and not just… Read more »
I hear you Pearl. For me part of my journey has been about letting go of my fear and expectations of myself and my husband as to what each of our spiritual intimacy should look like and learning that it is not doing but being but that I still have to do. ?? It is just from a place of rest and not out of fear.
Amen Tina…I have a deep need to spend not only quality time , but also great quantitys of time just being with Hymn…He created this deep capacity with in me as He has given me such an insatiable hunger for Him …I have tried unsuccefully to fill that void…but He is as He has told me…”ALL I NEED” I am so glad…thank you
Oh my, you put the finger on the wound, John! I once saw that God was besides me… when watching TV. Not doing anything spiritual beyond watching a film. I saw it with so much clarity. He never sees Himself as separated from us. He sees Himself JOINED to us. We see at all the times ourselves separated from Him, BUT AMAZINGLY, He does NOT! He is ALWAYS with us. This He said IS TRUE!: “I am with you all the days ( perpetually, uniformly, and on every occasion), to the [very] close and consummation of the age.” Mat 28:20… Read more »
Christ in us, in the moment as Bro Lawerence shares.
Thank you so much John. I think I’ve got it! I too have hungered for a more intimate relationship with God and I feel I do have it. Just last week I was housecleaning and said, “I love my life”. Not that I don’t have issues, or things on my heart before God, but because His presence (joy in my heart) has been so real. However, I do sometimes suffer from the religious guilt of not spending enough quiet time with the Lord. Like when I relax by playing a game on the computer and the fragrance of his presence… Read more »
Chaching! This brings more clarity to the shift of seasons that is occurring in my life. For me intimacy is increasing as I get up out of my quiet room looking solely at Him. As I go about my day in surrender and rest He is doing His work in my heart and through me, bringing life to the seeds that were planned in my time of breaking up the fallow ground and having the seed of His Word planted in my heart. He knows us all male and female and “shows us the path of life”. Ps. 25 Thanks!
Tina your experience of intimacy with Jesus seems to be much like mine. John this post is possibly a continuation of your thoughts from The ABC’s of Not I But Christ. Perhaps this Life is like a rose continuing to bloom, unfolding one petal at a time until His fragrant aroma is released in us. He Is All in All.
Irene it is not until I start learning from the teachings of Martha and others here at Shulamite that I have even found the path that will lead to intimacy. Intimacy has been an enigma. Vulnerability=death…which is true but cannot be found by the path of fear and self-effort. Becoming a child, understanding the way of the cross and personal repentance, getting out of my head, untangling the lies etc. It feels that my journey has just begun.
This is intriguing, would you please elaborate more-how does this look in our day to day life. Even though you seem to be talking to men, as a woman, I too am frustrated by all the talk about “intimacy” with God, but it seems so elusive.
I have a follow up post on Wednesday. Let me know if it helps to clarify. If not I will work on further posts. Though I directed it toward men, you are quite right it is not singularly a male issue. It is a human issue. Thank you for commenting Jeanne!