1/3 MORE INTIMACY: Building Intimacy With God
The beauty of walking with Christ is that there is always more to learn and always more to grow in. 2 Corinthians 5:5 tells us that He is constantly shaping and fashioning us to be more like Him!
This week Susie is sharing with More Precious three truths we want to grow 'MORE' in. To kick us off, we're looking at 'intimacy.'
MP Team x
If there is one word I think defines the relationship between God and His children, it is intimacy. The Gospel is a story of God drawing us into closer, intimate relationship with Him.
The Father desires intimacy. Jesus reveals this as he simplifies our life goals into two commands of love. To love the Lord your God and to love our neighbours as ourselves (Matthew 22:37-39 and Luke 10:27). From the beginning, God’s desire has been relationship, a shared state of love. He signed on the dotted line in blood and adopted us into His family which expressed His love for us.
This adoption is the Father lavishing His love upon you (1 John 3:1). He has gifted you with sonship and there is nothing that can separate you from His love (Romans 8:39). You are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14), designed for relationship, formed in His image (Genesis 1:27) and made for connection.
Four weeks ago kneeling on the carpet, voices around me sang, rejoicing in the wonders of Jesus, and I wept. Tears rolled down my cheeks as I found myself repeating the same cry, “May I live my life, every day, from the same heart posture as Mary. May I never move from your feet. May I never move from your feet.” Jesus' words to Martha in Luke 10:38-42 were echoing in my thoughts.
Instead of doing things to alter what was happening externally, Mary knew Jesus was speaking words to change her internally. She started living from the inside out, not the outside in. She chose present over perfect, intimacy over arrangements and eliminated the distractions for the One.
Martha, preoccupied with preparation (verse 40) and 'worried and upset about many things', had forgotten that 'only one thing is needed.'
“…only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better. And it will not be taken away from her.”
It's intimacy. I was blown away by Mary’s passion, courage, audacity and therefore hunger. What possessed her to sit at the feet of Jesus, considered only by culture to be a Jewish teacher of the law.
What propelled her to posture herself as a learner?
We know that at the time of Jesus, women held a different position in society and were considered more equal to a possession than a person. When Jesus addresses the Pharisees question about divorcing a woman, “for any and every reason” (Matthew 19:1-12), the disciples' response was to conclude it was better to not marry than to be attached to one woman for life. An influential rabbi at the time, Rabbi Eliezer taught the dangers of teaching the Torah to women, suggesting it was better for the law to be burned than entrusted to a woman.
Yet, here we see Mary listening at the feet of Jesus, learning, posturing herself on a more equal footing with men. Jesus doesn’t just let her sit there, but he validates her choice, her value and her heart.
As I knelt and prayed that morning, my heart's cry was met with His love. I became washed in a tender, life-changing love and His desire to love me. The Hebrew word 'Giyl' for 'rejoice' in Zephaniah 3:17 actually means 'rejoice over, spin around, be glad'. I could only ask Him that I would never cease to sit at His feet, that I would never forget the reality of his rejoicing love, and to daily live from the intimacy he offers.
Jesus didn’t order Martha to stop what she was doing and he doesn’t command her to sit at his feet. Instead, through his honour of Mary’s choice, there is an invitation to intimacy with Him.
This is an intimacy that values our minds, our thoughts and our heart.
Jesus desires friendship (John 15:15) and calls us his bride (Ephesians 5:23). In Ephesians 3:14-21 Paul prays for the saints, the beloved, the precious ones, to “know this love that surpasses knowledge.”, the love that we only know because he first loved us (1 John 4:19). God desires for us to know and experience 'beyond understanding' His love for us.
The Gospel is an invitation to more intimacy.
Today may you know His love as you sit at his feet, whatever this looks like for you. May you see Jesus' eyes as they look at you and may you hear how He sees you. May this overflow in you so you love others beyond words into action. May you have a revelation of a love that surpasses understanding. May you hear His invitation for more intimacy.
The MP team have put together a collection of worship songs at the end of the next three posts which tie into the truths explored in this post. We love reflecting on and singing these words as we ponder how He sees us in His Word.
Susie Moore is from Donaghadee, Northern Ireland. She studied education and taught for one year in Bangor and Clough. In 2007 she flew to Nepal to teach in an international school for 8 months and was privileged to teach there for 8 years. Susie is currently in her third year studying at ministry school in California. She is passionate to see Jesus in the nations and people operating in freedom and truth.