Ever since my internship with LIHOP when I was 20 I have pursued a life of being "intimate" with God. I remember someone telling me a few years ago that they did not like the word "intimacy" because of the connotation that society has put on it. Now I'm not saying this person was wrong in that society has put a sexual or even negative connotation on the word, but it's time for Christians to voice and display the true definition. Intimacy simply means a close, familiar, and affectionate relationship. Children of God NEED an intimate relationship with their Creator, with their Savior, with their Daddy, with their Helper, Comforter, Counselor. Lacking intimacy in your relationship with Him produces many negative side effects. If you have been keeping up with my blogs than you know that God has given me several things that are "not optional". Intimacy is not one of the words, but I wanted to share something with you. Someone recently gave me a book to read titled "Wasted on Jesus, reaching for the Lover of your soul". In the first chapter there is this subtitle, "If we want to be intimate, we must learn to BE STILL"
Wow. As you know God told me I had to have daily times of being still. I even told you how these times have so made a difference in my life. As I read on in the book the author says, "In our quest for intimacy with God , we face two primary hindrances: external distractions and internal chaos"
I really like the line of thinking he takes from this point. He says that being still is necessary for intimacy, and external distractions and internal chaos are MAJOR hindrances to being still. It's easy to get rid of the external distractions. For instance, I put all of my electronics in my office, I go into the sanctuary, turn the lights on low, and shut the doors. External distractions are pretty much completely eliminated, however it seems that as soon as those external distractions are gone, there is internal chaos to deal with. I personally think that our culture has created a habit of using external distractions to keep us from dealing with internal chaos, so it makes sense that as soon as you get rid of all of those, it feels like a billion chaotic internal emotions and thoughts attack. Well, what's your first reaction? To run back to an external distraction. Perhaps this is where so many get discouraged in taking time to "be still and know He is God".
I personally went through a few days of this at first. The only thing that kept me determined to "be still" was that I knew that I knew God had said it wasn't optional. At first I felt like I lacked peace the most when I was "still", however after allowing the Holy Spirit to help discipline my mind and deal with my "internal chaos", I now find those times of being "still" when I am at most peace everyday. In fact as I said in an earlier blog, my heart longs for those moments!!
It makes sense that the enemy would try to keep Christians away from time of being still with God. In being still we are able to allow the Holy Spirit rid deep routed issues such as internal chaos, caused by wrong mindsets, hurts, insecurities, pain, and other internal issues. As we get still the Holy Spirit deals with those issues and we learn to truly enjoy the simple presence of God. This time cultivates intimacy with our Father God.
I think of a select group of people in my life that are my dearest friends. Those people I have no problem riding in the car with for 6 hours. We could talk back and forth for 6 hours or we could simply sit and enjoy each other's presence. It's not awkward, it's not weird, I'm not trying to rush out the door, I just enjoy their presence. Why should it not be so with the Lover of my Soul?
The enemy will try to convince us that time alone with God, time still, time just "waiting on God", is time wasted. He may even use beneficial things to convince you of this. "You could be "praying", you could be reading the Word, you could be in intercession, you could be out feeding the poor". You see all of those things are necessary, they are good, they are true, but being still is just as integral and necessary as any of those. I'm here to tell you that it is IMPORTANT that you make time to "be still" with God. Turn off your phone, turn off the music, and just be with Him. Get rid of all external and internal distractions and just focus on Jesus.
The truth is that these times of being still is so powerfully beneficial in cultivating intimacy with God that the enemy will say and do anything to keep you from it. He may try to busy you with other "religious" works and duties, he may get you to focus on other important parts of your walk, he may just try to make you so miserable at first from internal chaos that you give up, he may try to create crises after crises to keep you from making time for it, but I'm urging you to take time to be still and know He is God.
Be Blessed, J. Tate