Deuteronomy 4:29-31 Amplified Bible
29 But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul. 30 When you are in distress and tribulation and all these things come on you, in the latter days you will return to the Lord your God and listen to His voice. 31 For the Lord your God is a merciful and compassionate God; He will not fail you, nor destroy you, nor forget the covenant with your fathers which He swore to them.
The Word of God for the Children of God.
Adeste Fidelis! Venite Adoremus! Dominum.
Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Amen.
“I can’t stand Sundays!”
The woman holding her newborn son shouted deep into the church angrily.
She rose from her pew and shared that on Sundays she often felt so lonely and empty because many of her friends were busy with families and ball games.
She was a single woman, new to the church saying she was not a member there.
She is unhappy about her situation and asked the congregation for prayer.
The congregation surrounded her, her young child and laid hands upon them.
Together, they prayed for a good fifteen minutes.
Following the service, she sat down, met privately with the Pastor and his wife.
She said she was separated, divorce papers had been filed with the courthouse.
The father of the child was caught being unfaithful.
she confessed that she felt her sense of intimacy had been badly betrayed.
She had tried dating in the past several weeks but didn’t find the “right” man.
She also went to a few churches but felt they weren’t “loving” enough either.
In their response to the woman,
the Pastor and his wife suggested perhaps she shouldn’t focus mainly on searching for the right man, or seeking even the right “loving” congregation.
The Bible teaches that everyone’s main concern should be about seeking the first love of the Lord first – cultivating and growing in their intimacy with God.
That’s the first step on our journey to a loving and secure peace and happiness.
In our passage from Deuteronomy for today we hear a call to earnestly seek the Lord with all of your heart and all of your soul.
This prophetic word was originally spoken to God’s people who would come to repeatedly betray the love of the Lord and be scattered in exile many years later.
The call is followed by a promise that those who are earnest in their search will find the Lord.
Please note that the act of earnestly seeking the intimate love of God is more than just taking a few or several first steps or a phase in our spiritual growth.
Rather, it is a lifelong quest.
The continued search for God, leading to the deepening experience of his love, is the foundation of securing our inner peace in the only One who never betrays.
Growing Intimacy in Your Relationships.
Psalm 63:1-3 Amplified Bible
The Thirsting Soul Satisfied in God.
A Psalm of David; when he was in the wilderness of Judah.
63 O God, You are my God; with deepest longing I will seek You;
My [a]soul [my life, my very self] thirsts for You, my flesh longs and sighs for You,
In a dry and weary land where there is no water.
So I have gazed upon You in the sanctuary,
To see Your power and Your glory.
Because Your lovingkindness is better than life,
My lips shall praise You.
Intimacy is something that each of our souls deeply desires.
Intimacy is defined as close familiarity or friendship; closeness.
Intimacy in marriage includes physical acts of intimacy, but we yearn for intimacy in every close relationship we have in our lives.
Our longing for closeness is a part of our created design.
In Psalm 63 it is articulated this way,
“O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory. Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.”
We long to be and remain close to God our Creator! [Psalm 139, Romans 8:35-39]
We long to be close to God, our Great Shepherd! [Psalm 23]
We long to be close to our Savior, the Resurrected Jesus! [John 21:15-17]
We were created by God for relationships.
Yet, we all know how difficult it is to create safe spaces for true intimacy in our lives.
Humans are imperfect, and we so easily hurt each other.
Hurt, disappointment, insecurity, and grief lead to walls going up in our hearts.
Only God is made of perfect love that we can trust with our whole hearts.
Nonetheless, we need each other and can’t give up on the work of tearing down the walls and trying again to build safe, long-lasting, and close relationships.
Intimacy requires a commitment to forgiveness.
Intimacy requires a radical commitment to forgiveness.
Please note that forgiveness does not mean you are called to remain present in an abusive or unhealthy relationship.
Forgiveness is a daily requirement to remain close to other very flawed humans.
Guess what, you need to be forgiven that much too because you bring just as much selfishness and brokenness to your home each day too!
It is so easy to see the ways one’s spouse lacks empathy, love, and kindness, but while we are worried about pointing out their failures, the question needs to be asked of ourselves: exactly what size plank am I missing that is in my own eye?
I have to lay down my right to be right if I want to feel close to this person who is my spouse, my life-long soulmate and embrace a life of radical forgiveness.
Unity is the foundation to an intimate relationship.
1 Corinthians 1:4-10 Amplified Bible
4 I thank my God always for you because of the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus, 5 so that in everything you were [exceedingly] enriched in Him, in all speech [empowered by the spiritual gifts] and in all knowledge [with insight into the faith]. 6 In this way our testimony about Christ was confirmed and established in you, 7 so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift [which comes from the Holy Spirit], as you eagerly wait [with confident trust] for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ [when He returns]. 8 And He will also confirm you to the end [keeping you strong and free of any accusation, so that you will be] blameless and beyond reproach in the day [of the return] of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God is faithful [He is reliable, trustworthy and ever true to His promise—He can be depended on], and through Him you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
10 But I urge you, believers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you be in full agreement in what you say, and that there be no divisions or factions among you, but that you be perfectly united in your way of thinking and in your judgment [about matters of the faith].
1 Corinthians 1:10 instructs, “I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.”
God communicates with us that we are to relate with, interact with our brothers and sisters in Christ with a whole and earnest heart and soul which seeks unity.
He likens us to a body, each of us different in our skills, gifts, and uses but we all work together towards one mission which is to keep the body alive!
We do not have to see eye-to-eye on every issue in our relationships to live in unity, but we do have to be humble enough not to let divisions grow among us.
Intimacy with God and each other is built when we earnestly seek to spend much quality time together.
Psalm 24:5-7 Amplified Bible
He shall receive a blessing from the Lord,
And righteousness from the God of his salvation.
This is the generation (description) of those who diligently seek Him and require Him as their greatest need,
Who seek Your face, even [as did] Jacob. Selah.
Lift up your heads, O gates,
And be lifted up, ancient doors,
That the King of glory may come in.
Psalm 27 Amplified Bible
A Psalm of Fearless Trust in God.
A Psalm of David.
27 The Lord is my light and my salvation—
Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the refuge and fortress of my life—
Whom shall I dread?
When the wicked came against me to eat up my flesh,
My adversaries and my enemies, they stumbled and fell.
Though an army encamp against me,
My heart will not fear;
Though war arise against me,
Even in this I am confident.
One thing I have asked of the Lord, and that I will seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord [in His presence] all the days of my life,
To gaze upon the beauty [the delightful loveliness and majestic grandeur] of the Lord
And to meditate in His temple.
For in the day of trouble He will hide me in His shelter;
In the secret place of His tent He will hide me;
He will lift me up on a rock.
And now my head will be lifted up above my enemies around me,
In His tent I will offer sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord.
Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud;
Be gracious and compassionate to me and answer me.
When You said, “Seek My face [in prayer, require My presence as your greatest need],” my heart said to You,
“Your face, O Lord, I will seek [on the authority of Your word].”
Do not hide Your face from me,
Do not turn Your servant away in anger;
You have been my help;
Do not abandon me nor [a]leave me,
O God of my salvation!
Although my father and my mother have abandoned me,
Yet the Lord will take me up [adopt me as His child].
Teach me Your way, O Lord,
And lead me on a level path
Because of my enemies [who lie in wait].
Do not give me up to the will of my adversaries,
For false witnesses have come against me;
They breathe out violence.
I would have despaired had I not believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living.
Wait for and confidently expect the Lord;
Be strong and let your heart take courage;
Yes, wait for and confidently expect the Lord.
Building intimacy requires time spent sharing the same space with open ears and having an open heart ready to connect.
One tip for time together is to commit to making some of this time screen-free time – time for family bible study, family devotions, family prayer sessions.
When we seriously want to really hear our spouse, friends, family members, or children’s hearts, we have to deliberately, intentionally, remove distractions such as our phones, video game boxes, our televisions, so we can fully engage.
We grow closer to God, Jesus, Holy Spirit and in our personal relationships as, when we are intentional about being present with each other when we interact.
Intersecting Faith and Life.
Habakkuk 3:17-19 Amplified Bible
Though the fig tree does not blossom
And there is no fruit on the vines,
Though the yield of the olive fails
And the fields produce no food,
Though the flock is cut off from the fold
And there are no cattle in the stalls,
Yet I will [choose to] rejoice in the Lord;
I will [choose to] shout in exultation in the [victorious] God of my salvation!
The Lord God is my strength [my source of courage, my invincible army];
He has made my feet [steady and sure] like hinds’ feet
And makes me walk [forward with spiritual confidence] on my [a]high places [of challenge and responsibility].
For the choir director, on my stringed instruments.
What connections, relationships do you feel covenanted and called upon by God to be a bit more considered and intentional about cultivating more intimacy in?
What is one way you can push yourself to be more present and available in this relationship in the coming weeks, as we move closer to celebrating our Easter?
Are there things that you need to release to the Lord and forgive before moving forward?
Carve out some family time, time with friends, write out a prayer of forgiveness and share them, allow God to start healing the broken relationships in your life.
In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,
Let us Pray,
139 1-6 God, investigate my life;
get all the facts firsthand.
I’m an open book to you;
even from a distant sight.
You know everything I’m going to say
before I start the first sentence.
I look behind me and you’re there,
then up ahead and you’re there, too—
your reassuring presence, coming and going.
This is too much, too wonderful—
I can’t take it all in!
7-12 Is there anyplace I can go to avoid your Spirit?
to be out of your sight?
If I climb to the sky, you’re there!
If I go underground, you’re there!
If I flew on morning’s wings
to the far western horizon,
You’d find me in a minute—
you’re already there waiting!
Then I said to myself, “Oh, he even sees me in the dark!
At night I’m immersed in the light!”
It’s a fact: darkness isn’t dark to you;
night and day, darkness and light, they’re all the same to you.
13-16 Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
you formed me in my mother’s womb.
I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking!
Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
I worship in adoration—what a creation!
You know me inside and out,
you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
before I’d even lived one day.
17-22 Your thoughts—how rare, how beautiful!
God, I’ll never comprehend them!
I couldn’t even begin to count them—
any more than I could count the sand of the sea.
Oh, let me rise in the morning and live always with you!
Father, Son and Holy Spirit, guide us and lead us, shepherd us to you in faith, obedience, and love. Guide us each day, teach us to be fully committed to you.
Adeste Fidelis! Venite Adoremus! Dominum
Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Amen.