I have been on a crazy journey to know God since I was 16 years old. Being a 3rd-generation Christian, I grew up in a pretty intense Christian environment. I was born to a recent seminary grad who had devoted his life to serving God. My father and mother faithfully served God as Bible college teachers, pastors, and missionaries. My three siblings and I followed along. Most of my days included family devotions, prayer, talk about God or Christian service, and church. I am thankful for these experiences that shaped my heart for God. They helped lead me to a Christian university, seminary, the pastorate, and ministry to others in various forms. However, along the way I also learned much that stymied my journey to know God. But, some powerful yet basic realities are helping me break through the barricades. I am sharing some of those realities as an encouragement for you to continue your quest to know God more intimately. (The first three are in the previous post.) Here are some biggies![featured-image single_newwindow=”false”]
4. Intimacy (communion) with God is best cultivated in prayer. There are dozens of “spiritual disciplines” promoted by various spiritual formation gurus. But, prayer trumps them all. Yet, when I speak of prayer, I’m not talking about the type of prayer of my upbringing (or yours). I’m talking about prayer that is learned from someone who prays. Prayer that includes set prayers, silence, and solitude. Prayer that is communion with God all day long. You will come to know the Triune God as you become this kind of pray-er. Make the prayer, “Lord, teach me to pray” a constant companion throughout your day. Even the most seasoned saint learns more about prayer every day. This is part of the mystery of God into which we enter as people learning to pray.
5. Intimacy (communion) with God is ultimately union with Jesus Christ. You can’t get any closer than being one. Oneness with the Father, in Jesus Christ, by the Holy Spirit is salvation. This reality challenges the notions that salvation is a purely legal, covenantal, or moral matter. Being in and with the Trinity in communion and oneness is the journey of the Christian. Knowing God is experiencing union with Him. There is no loftier dimension for the Christian. Visions, miracles, mystical experiences, or hearing God speak pale in comparison to real-time, “down-and-dirty” life in union with the Trinity. You are called to participate in Jesus’ communion with the Father (1 Corinthians 1.9). Do whatever it takes to see that happen. Contact me. We’ll start where you are and explore your journey in union with God together.
6. Intimacy (communion) with God is the lifeblood of ministry and life. Jesus teaches us that loving God and neighbor is the same experience since they both proceed from God’s love (which is perfectly expressed in the members of the Trinity). There is no dichotomy of “being” and “doing.” They are to be one indistinguishable experience. Actions are who you truly are. Who you are, in union with Christ, are your actions. Ministry is you. You are ministry. If you want your ministry to be better, you become better. If, for example, as a Christian leader you want to influence people to humility, Christlikeness, and love, then the priority of your life is to become humble, Christlike, and loving (which can only truly happen as you participate in the life of Christ, see #5). It is tempting to focus on helping others with their issues or struggles and think yours are insignificant. Repent. Give yourself to your relationship with God and see the difference it makes in your relationship with others.
These three biggies are helping navigate my way on my spiritual journey. I think they will help you, too.
Pause right now and give each of these realities a second look.
Which one resonates most deeply with you? Which one creates a struggle in you? Which one would you like to explore further?