November 10, 2006

The Wayfarer's Search for Intimacy

2006 1532 page14 capHIS STORY OF MY OWN SEARCH FOR God has no beginning, as such—and no ending. What it does have is a love for fellow pilgrims searching for their own purpose in life.
As I sat in my room wondering about my life, I began gently to caress the keys on my keyboard. And as I spoke to God, I said, “I hope and pray You know what You’re doing with me, a sinner—letting me write Your words of encouragement on paper for others to read.”
What I was hearing was “Try, don’t ever give up hope, always continue living for Me, for I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
I’ve tried in the past to write and have always faltered at the starting gate. Now I thought: Father, I’m going to see how far You take me. And I thought to myself: No sense squandering the precious little time the Lord gave me here on this earth. So I decided to try.
I don’t possess some great treasure trove of evangelistic words and thoughts. I only want to share a few words of comfort and joy with those who are struggling to live the Christian life.
This story is about relationship. Relationship between a person and their Father in heaven. But more than that, it’s about relationship and intimacy—intimacy with God.

Brings a Certain Calm

2006 1532 page14What a difference Jesus makes in our hurried and harried lives! What God did was make it possible for us to have intimacy with Him through His Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Jesus taught us to call God “Father.” And how sweet those words are to say! “Father.” Say it again and again. . . . “Father.” “Abba.” “Daddy.” It brings calmness, peacefulness, and a serenity you’ve never felt before. Saying “Father, I love You” means more than life in this busy world we live in.

In Jesus, God came very close to us. And what wonderful news He brought to us: that we don’t need another mediator! We can approach the throne of grace with our burdens, our hurts, and our fears, knowing that our Father in heaven will take care of us.
I think about Jesus—my lovely, precious Jesus—and how much His love really means to me. How good to sit at His feet and tell Him how much I love Him! Then to hear Him say how much He loves me and cares for me and how He would never leave me alone! Those words bring calm, joy, peace. Love comes over me, and it puts me in a restful mood.
Isn’t it wonderful to feel His arms embracing you, holding you, caressing you, and making you feel like a baby? It feels good knowing you will never be left alone. You feel so secure knowing that God really loves and cares for you.

As You Are

If we will come to Jesus in our weakened state, helpless and hurting, our loving and righteous Father will meet us a great way off and will throw His arms around us with the robe of grace and mercy and His all-encompassing love. When we come into His presence, He purifies and cleanses us of our sins and removes the rough edges from our character and makes us whole.

In our humanness we are constantly struggling to impress other pilgrims, always letting competition get in the way. But if we were to put Jesus first, it would be easy for us to empty ourselves of selfishness, pride, love of wanting to be first. And there’d be quietness in our souls. When our selfishness is given to the Holy Spirit, there is no anxiousness to be first, no desire to grab attention. All our desire is to put ourselves at the feet of our Savior. It’s the love of our selfish nature that destroys our peace. If we empty ourselves of our pride and live according to the will of the Father, our joy will grow to fullness.
The more we know of Jesus the more we want to be like Him—to the point of walking, talking, doing the things He did. Our characters begin to reflect His. Just as the wayfarer searches for water in a desert land and finds it, we who love Christ, who thirst for Him, will find Him who is the fountain of life.
Isaiah 53 foretells the coming of Jesus and the humbleness of His life: “Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; and when we see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him” (Isa. 53:1, 2, NKJV).*
Here was a man of no great beauty, by the world’s standards; but in the heavenly realm, this God-man was majestic. When Christ comes in His glory, the sinful and wicked of this world cannot stand to look upon Him. The light of His very presence is life to those who love Him and death to those who don’t. Now is the time to hide ourselves in Christ and experience the love of God.
While we look to God with new eyes, as our Redeemer, we also look at His purity and loveliness of character, desiring to be just like Him. I know as I clamor to be more intimate with the Father, His very voice affects me deeply through His Word. And through His Word I see His mercy, His goodness, and His grace. The beauty and truthfulness of the Word are constantly showing me how to trust Him, and how to know and obey His will.
If you desire to know and become a follower of Jesus Christ and don’t know how, follow the light in your heart that is set on love. Set your heart on the Word of God, for His very power and life dwell in His Word.
As we receive that Word in faith, He will give us power to obey. As we establish God’s Word in our heart, the character of Christ will be reflected in our character. All things that are not built on God’s Word will fall. So let’s keep reading the Word, for it’s the guide to everlasting glory in the name of Jesus.
*Texts credited to NKJV are from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Paul Meacham works for the U.S. federal government, and writes from Silver Spring, Maryland.