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Increasing Internal Temperatures and Intimacy with Christ

I was excited when I settled on the topic that would be my focus for this year. It was confirmed through Hosea 6:3:

“Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord; His going out is sure as the dawn; He will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth.”

This is the cry of my heart this year, what I’ve been pressing into—developing a deeper “knowing” of the Lord; seeking a greater level of intimacy with Him.

When I found out this would be my focus for the year, I was picturing Mary in Luke 10 seated at Jesus’ feet soaking up His truth. You know, getting up every morning and singing “Kumbaya” with the Lord as He whispers sweet words of encouragement in my ears. But I’m almost halfway through the year, and I must confess, it has been an arduous climb.

I’m entering a season of life where I’m really being stretched: physically, emotionally, and even spiritually. I hate to admit it, but some of it is due to the age I’ve reached (sigh). It comes with its set of issues—sleepless nights, crazy temperature extremes (some nights my husband thinks I may internally combust), along with a middle-age weight battle.

I’ve also faced some personal challenges as I’ve walked through the loss of a good friend. On top of that, I’m watching many of my parent’s lifelong friends pass away, and my favorite aunts and uncles are nearing the century mark. It seems I’ve entered a season where so much that was once familiar is no longer.

But with every loss, with the dismantling of my maternal biological clock, and with the shifting of what once seemed solid, one thing has remained constant: my Father’s faithful presence. People are passing, relationships are changing, my body seems to be racing toward old age, and yet, He is the same.

While I love the idea of experiencing intimacy and resurrection power, the apostle Paul seems to have understood that resurrection power only came after the cross. His passionate cry in Philippians 3:7–9 to “know Christ” comes right before these words,

“and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death . . .” (v. 10).

The fellowship of Christ’s sufferings means that in order to experience real fellowship with Him (and this is where it gets a little uncomfortable), that will include suffering and being conformed to His death. Intimacy comes through the school of suffering.

The difficulties I’ve faced this year in no way compare to Paul’s suffering. My challenges have been a little more ordinary and maybe a little like the ones you face. I’m not putting my life on the line for the gospel as Paul did, and maybe you aren’t either, but in our daily lives we have the opportunity to spread the same message he did. If we’re pressing in to Christ in the midst of those challenges, you and I can live a life that communicates to others that there is no greater joy than knowing Christ.

If you look at Paul’s life, it’s obvious that his intimate relationship with God, the personal way God led Paul, and the powerful way God used him in advancing the gospel, came with and through suffering for the gospel.

Intimacy with God comes at a price. It is worth it, but anything this valuable is costly.

What lessons have you learned from pressing in to know Christ more intimately?

Originally posted 07.27.12 at www.truewoman.com.

3 Comments

  • Tambra Lucas

    I love your post today, I can so relate. It seems my time is getting shorter and shorter and my mind has been racing faster and faster, thinking Father I have so many things I need to get done and a short time to do them. I may have only 20 years or less left on this earth. I am thinking how did I get to almost 50 years of age so fast. I thought things would be much calmer at this age. I thought I would be debt free,I try to take care of health, and I now have all these body aches, and worries of those sick and dieing around me. My kids are growing up, my grandchildren are growing up, time is passing by so much faster it seems, and so I think, how do I get a handle on all this. How can I stop this clock and spend more time with my husband and children and grandchildren. And the guilt of not being everywhere and doing everything that I feel I should be able to do is hard. How can I be the Mary I so want to be?? I feel more like Martha most days. It all seems overwhelming, and then there is a peace that only He the Father can place in my heart. knowing Him is my peace and the power of His resurrection, gives me strength and the fellowship of His sufferings, helps me to stand. Phil 3:10
    I know my Lord has taken on way more than I could ever imagine. He has been through the ultimate school of suffering.
    And so I want to share in the sufferings with joy. And He always took time out to meet with the Father. I just want to press into Him more, to know Him more. Meet with Him more. I just want to learn His ways, and learn to be more like Him. And I am so thankful that He remains constant, and He is the same yesterday, today and forever. And I remind myself of the promise of His Word, that He is coming quickly. And it makes me keep singing over and over, He is more than amazing!! In the midst of all the passing away, the changing relationships and the clock rushing and it feels like I am running out of time. I want Him to find me caught up in Worshiping Him, in the midst of everything I want a shadow of intimacy with Him
    around me everywhere I am. Thank you ,dear sister love you!

  • Kimberly Wagner

    He IS more than amazing! So true, that the clock is rushing . . . it seems we’re quickly running out of time to do all for our Savior we hope to do before leaving this realm. That’s why Ephesians 5:15–16 encourages us to:

    “Be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil.”

    I SO agree with your statement:

    “I want Him to find me caught up in Worshiping Him, in the midst of everything . . .”

    I love that!

    No matter how busy or full our schedule–worshiping Him in the midst of it brings Him great glory and that is a wise and joyful use of our time!