Day 45: The Secret Of Intimacy First

Oct 7, 2020

“One thing I have desired of the LORD, that will I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in His temple”—Psalm 27:4

“Intimacy with God must be our first priority before anything else, even before our works of service. The second commandment (loving others, which are our works of service) ‘is like’ the first commandment, according to Jesus, and yet Jesus clearly called it “second” (Matthew 22:39). It’s an extremely close second and difficult to separate from the first, and yet it is second. 

“It’s vitally important that we keep first things first. When our love for God gets our first and best attention, then we will function in the spiritual wholeness necessary to execute the second commandment. When our priorities become inverted and we begin placing more emphasis on loving others than loving God, we are headed for certain burnout. 

“The Holy Spirit is profoundly committed to restoring the first commandment to first place in our lives…It’s so important to be able to say, ‘This is who I am.’ I am not primarily a worker for God; I am first and foremost a lover of God. 

“The secret place must have top priority in our calendars and schedules because it is the place where the incubation of intimacy is facilitated. You can’t garner intimacy on the run. You must stop, pull up a table, lay out the bread and the cup, and dine with Him and He with you. 

“The Lord has many ways to bring us to proper priorities. In my case, He simply removed my ministry. Oh how it hurt!…He doesn’t remove everybody’s ministry in order to teach them this valuable lesson. In same cases, He simply starves out our fulfillment in our labors for Him. We’re still doing the same ministry, but it no longer fulfills us. The ministry becomes dry, dusty, lifeless, and laborious. We find ourselves dreading what once energized us. 

“He wants us addicted to the wine of His love (Song of Solomon 1:2), but it’s so easy to become addicted to the wine of ministry. Ministry can be intoxicating. There is a certain ‘high’ that happens when the grace of God flows through you and ministers to the bride. When her face lights up with the glory of God, you feel a sense of fulfillment and significance because God honored your obedience and blessed others… It’s not wrong to enjoy ministering to others, but it’s so easy for this to become the addictive wine that intoxicates and fulfills us, and the wine of His love takes second place to this ‘new wine’ we’ve tasted called ministry. 

“He wants us to be people of ‘one thing’: the passionate pursuit of His face.

“Paul said, “But one thing I do”—which was the pursuit of ‘the upward call of God in Christ Jesus’ (Philippians 3:13-14); Mary of Bethany discovered that, ‘One thing is needed,’ and Jesus added that she had ‘chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her’ (Luke 10:42). There’s only one thing that is really necessary, and that is to sit at Jesus’ feet and hear His words. David’s one thing was Paul’s one thing was Mary’s one thing. It’s the first commandment in first place, the pursuit of a loving relationship with our dazzling Bridegroom. 

“All of hell will militate against your becoming a man or woman of one thing. Circumstances will go haywire; your to-do list will mushroom; the demands on your life will escalate. Satan will employ whatever device will work—anything to keep you from becoming a person of one thing. Because if you find this attainment, you will become a passionate firebrand for God, set ablaze with fiery bridal passions for your Lord, and you will be a dangerous weapon in the hand of your God for endtime exploits. The greatest dimensions of kingdom power will be touched by those who are truly ignited and energized by their personal love relationship with the Lord Jesus. 

“…He is teaching me the secret of loving Him first and deriving my fulfillment and sense of success from the affections He gives me in the secret place. When I’m a success in His arms, the ministry can go well, or it can go not so well; I’m a success on the inside either way. Thus I am stabilized by the power of an inner life with God, rather than being jerked around emotionally by the vicissitudes of the ministry’s ups and downs. 

“In closing, look at Matthew 5:15, ‘Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.’ The Lord wants to set you ablaze with zeal for the face of Christ so that you might shine with the light of a relationship that enjoys intimacy first. If this fire of love is pure and bright, the Lord will set you on a lampstand so that you might give light to the entire household of faith. But if the light of your life isn’t pure—if it’s energized in part by the wine of ministry—then the Lord will place your light under a basket. Some of the most gifted ministries have been placed under a basket and been limited to a localized sphere of influence because the Lord was not willing to export the impurity of their love to the entire body of Christ.

 My Prayer

“Oh Lord, purify my heart and motives. May pursuing Your face be my singular most passionate pursuit in life. Deliver me from making the second commandment the first. I know I am called to serve and minister and love others—but Lord, help me never to be intoxicated with that, to the detriment of the true wine of intimacy with You. I confess that many times, the devil had succeeded to keep me chasing secondary things in place of seeking You first. I am sorry for succumbing to Satan’s ploys. Lord, let the desire for Your face consume me. I know that as I grow in this hunger and thirst, kingdom service will automatically blossom as You will open doors for further and farther ministry expressions. But Lord, keep my heart singularly focused on You and Your heart. As You purify my heart and motives, place me as Your light on Your lamp stand for all to see. As I grow in passion for You,  grant me victory over all of Satan’s deceptions and distractions. Intoxicate me by Your love and in Your love. Life is so short; may I spend it pursuing Your heart rather than pursuing the things of this world; no matter how good those things are. Oh, that I may grow in experiencing and beholding the beauty of Your face. That is my greatest heart desire. Help me dear Lord. In Your name I pray. Amen.”

The Challenge

Be ruthless with your calendar and your desires. Make pursuing Jesus your life-priority, and put everything else on a secondary scale. Do it now. Watch out to implement it daily.