How can we better elevate our intimacy with God?
The Life of Mary
“Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village:and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus ‘feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful:and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”
How We Respect
What does it mean to respect something or someone??Respect is the condition of being honored (esteemed, respected or well regarded);? Something held in?respect, to esteem or hold in high stature.?Before we want to go somewhere we need to see the value of the place.? Before we ever desire to be? in close relationship someone we should have some kind of respect for the person. When we respect something or someone there is some quality that we recognize that makes us want to go there or get to know them.? If there is no respect there is no desire to spend time at a place or with a person.? The life of Mary reflects someone who values the Lord, realizing His words are of the utmost importance. She had a genuine intimacy with God. ?Because of her respect for the Lord, rather than her own works, she was tasting of that which was eternal.
Respecting the Wrong Things
People who live apart from Christ in the spirit of the world value, admire and respect a lot of things that God does not respect at all. Because of this they desire to be in different place and with people that hold no place of respect in God’s eyes.? So respect by itself is not a good thing.? It is only as good as where respect is put. What we hold in high honor, what we put a value on and what we respect determines where we will spend our time.
What God Respects: The Offering of Abel
“And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect.”
God respects it when we are bringing our very best to Him, not the leftovers.? Cain did not bring something his heart was connected to, but Abel gave the best.? When we realize Who God is we are going to realize that He is worthy of the very best that we can bring.? If we are bringing something that is not dear to our hearts then there is not much of a sacrifice to it. Our heart needs to be intimately connected with what we give to the Lord.
The Sacrifices of Saul
1 Samuel 15:22-23
“And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the?fat of rams.”
God is not looking for the multitude of sacrifices.? He wants us to do the one thing that He shows us to do. When God shows us what to do, that is all that is required.? It does not matter how big the sacrifice looks to the eyes of man if we neglect the one thing He has revealed?to us.
Where We Spend Our Time
Where we spend your time reveals what we value. Time is valuable. When we give our time to something it reveals what we appreciate.? Where we put our money shows what we think is important.? Where our treasure is, there our heart is as well. Why? Because our money is something we highly value.? It is the substance we have earned and worked for. Therefore we will only put our money into something we value.
Looking at things from this angle we can see how it is connected to our intimacy with God.? We will have no intimacy with God if we don’t value Him.? If we don’t see just how awesome and amazing God is we won’t take any time to be with Him.? On the other hand, to the degree that we respect God, to the same degree we will spend time with Him for we see that value of being with Him.? This works in all relationships as well.? We spend time with those we value, investing in those relationships.
How Respect Ties to Intimacy
Without respect there is no relationship and no intimacy.? Many want all the benefits of intimacy with God without really respecting God or spending time with Him. And there are benefits! God does not reward people He doesn’t know. Many would like to jump on the honeymoon cruise with God, but never got married. They never even went on a date!
We cannot expect God to do much in our lives if we have not seen how much He values us.? When we see how much value He puts on the relationship with us then we will respond with the same love and respect making time for Him.? Relationships take investment.? For us to make those investments we must see that value.? If you are struggling to find quality time with God, it may be that you need to see “the value” of investing in the relationship.
Building Our Respect of the Lord
Rather than blindly attempting to spend time with Him because it is the thing “to do”, work on seeing how valuable, amazing and important He is to your life.? Move out into deeper waters to discover how wonderful life with Him can be. What you see from a distance will be enough to give you motivation to be with Him.? As you taste of His goodness again and again there will be an insatiable need for more because of the wonder of His love and presence.
How can we better elevate our intimacy with God?