Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. (John 15:4)
To be a real servant of Christ you must have intimacy, a close personal relationship with him. He must be the most important thing in your life. In his sermon on the mount, Jesus said we must seek first the kingdom of God. Guess who the king is. To bear fruit of the spirit, intimacy is key.
For intimacy, Spending time is the most important thing
Think about it. If you’re in a relationship with someone what’s the thing you want most from them? I don’t know about you but I want their time and attention. Love equals time. In fact, love and intimacy is a moment by moment choice to protect and provide for someone. It’s also a few other things.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no account of wrongs. Love takes no pleasure in evil but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)
I have known couples who think it’s cool to be together technically but want to hang out with friends separately. Time and time again I’ve seen these precarious situations end badly. I’ve had a few of my own.
The fact is if you love someone you want to spend your time with them and if you don’t want intimacy with them it might be a good idea to ask yourself if you really love them or not. I can’t say this enough Love equals time.
God loves you and wants to spend as much time with you as you’re willing to spend with him. Even when you are not paying any attention to him he is completely thinking about you. As a matter of fact, you’re on his mind every second of every day.
Earning a Place in Heaven
When I first became a Christian I thought it basically meant I needed to love God and go to church every Sunday. So I simply went to church as a ritual thing to do. It was about religion. Following the rules so to speak. I believed to do this would gain favor with God and secure me a place in Heaven. I didn’t realize that God wanted intimacy and an actual relationship with me.
As time went on I began to realize that something wasn’t right. I struggled way too much with sin. I loved God but nothing was really different in my life. I kept hearing people talk about the peace of God that passes all understanding, but it just wasn’t happening for me.
The devil told me, “God doesn’t really love you ’cause you’re not holy enough. You need to do more. You need to work harder.” I asked the pastor of the church I was in at the time and what I was told was, “Come to more of our meetings and bible studies.” But when I got there it always sounded so unrelatable to my life and situation, to the things I personally struggled with.
After years of living like this, my belief in God began to wane. For a time I even fell away from him and quit going to church at all. My thinking was that if I couldn’t have what other Christians had then at least if I lived in sin I would be free to do what I want without all the guilt.
There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end, it leads to death. (Proverbs 14:12)
Here’s the thing God does love me just like he loves you. He didn’t let me go far before the Holy Spirit began to work in my heart. I missed church and I missed the very idea of intimacy with God being in my life. I would wake in the early morning crying because I felt so lost without him.
The devil had convinced me that Christianity wasn’t right for me so I began to search for him in other forms of religion. Some seemed to point in his direction but there was always that critical point in my belief that it all centered around Jesus and his death and resurrection. I couldn’t escape it. New Age religion taught me that all roads lead to God and I agree. The problem is when you get to him there is a door and that door is Jesus.
Next week we continue with, “The Relationship God Wants to Have With You”. We’ll talk about what God is really after and exactly how you can have a tremendous love affair with the God of the universe.
If you like this and would like to be notified of upcoming articles from Tansa Ministries, please join our mailing list and don’t forget to share with your friends. Also please feel free to leave a comment with any questions you would like to hear us talk about. See you next week on Tansa Express and remember God loves you just the way you are!