HCC Monthly Harvest Seed
James 4:8a - Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.
John 15:4a - Abide in Me, and I in you.
As a pastor, I have grown concerned over the casualness with how we treat God. I am not talking about dressing down when we come to church. I am speaking of the same casualness that treats most relationships as disposable, take it or leave it. It is the way many people are now treating their spouses. The way we look at our phones and social media when we are actually sitting at a table or the same room with people that are actually there. By casual I mean we treat nothing as truly special. We walk through nice carpet without taking our shoes off, and walk over people or talk over people that really just want a little bit of face time and attention.
Intimacy is what we call the experience of really knowing and being known by another person.
At Harvest our Mission statement is “To know God and Make Him Known”. It is vital that we truly know God before we can introduce Him to others. There is a huge difference when I am introducing my children or my wife to people or a good friend than when I am trying to introduce someone I just met, barely know or just learned their name.
When we hear the word intimacy in our sin saturated culture all we think of is romance or sex. This is the shallow end of the pool and in truth has very little to do with true intimacy unless it involves a husband and wife. Intimacy is: closeness, it involves really knowing someone, familiarity, kindness, openness, transparency, attachment, warmth, togetherness, tenderness, respect and real communication, with or without words.
We frequently use spatial language when describing this experience. An intimate friend is someone we feel very close to; they know us at a deep level. If something happens that damages the intimacy with our friend, they feel distant from us. Or a person who doesn’t know us intimately knows us at a superficial level. True intimacy is not spatial but relational. We all know what it’s like to be sitting right next to a person with whom we feel distant and we can feel close to a person who is four thousand miles away.
When God invites us to draw near to Him it has nothing to do with actual distance and everything to do with relationship. Psalm 73:28 - But it is good for me to draw near to God. We have been asking ourselves many questions over the past few months. I want to ask you another one. Would you consider yourself to be intimate with God? A few weeks back I felt the Lord whisper in my spirit one word INTIMACY. God said, "Marvin, I want to be close to you and I want to be close to my people. Many are coming to Me, they are going to church, some are praying but they are rushing out of my presence. Tell them I long for intimacy. I know them, what I desire is for them to know Me. I want to answer their prayers but I want to spend time with them". Hebrews 11:5 (Amp) - By faith [that pleased God] Enoch was caught up and taken to heaven so that he would not have a glimpse of death; and he was not found because God had taken him; for even before he was taken [to heaven], he received the testimony [still on record] that he had walked with God and pleased Him.
All true faith is born out of intimacy with Christ. It is impossible to have faith that pleases God without intimacy with Him. Intimacy is a closeness that comes with a yearning for Him, a desire to walk and talk with Him. According to scripture it was Enoch’s intimacy that pleased God. Enoch is never mentioned doing one miracle; He never built an ark like His grandson Noah, who also had a testimony of walking with God.
When someone walks with you and is intimately involved, together you begin to think the same, you have a heart and a passion for the same things. You each maintain your individuality, but you also become like each other. Intimacy will make you like minded and like hearted. This is why we have the mind of Christ. To have someone’s mind is to know what they know and to know what they think.
Intimacy leads to fruitfulness John 15:5 - “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If we abide in Him we will bear fruit because without Him we are not capable of truly being fruitful by ourselves. Without God you can be creative and you can even be successful in the eyes of the world. But without a close walk with God there is no true fruitfulness.
I believe God is calling all of us to a deeper more meaningful, personal walk with Him. Let’s do that individually and as a church.
Remember you are loved.
Pastor Marvin & Dawn