Ready to go – just waiting for God to reveal the destination. Been listening to the the audio of the Book, “The Insanity of Obedience” by Nik Ripken. A straight-to-the-core challenge.
Who doesn’t want intimacy with God? Many people doubt that it’s even possible, but not those of us who follow Jesus. He modeled a life of intimacy and asked us to do the same.
So, what is Jesus’ process for getting to intimacy? It’s probably not what you think.
The answer is in the book of Matthew. In chapter 4, we see Jesus spending 40 days in the desert. This is Jesus’ own Matthew 10 experience. He leaves everything to be led by the Holy Spirit. It’s the very thing he later asks of his disciples in Matthew 10. Jesus usually walks out what he asks of his disciples, leading by example.
We next see him in chapter 5 through 7 on a mountain laying out his program for living. It’s the upside down kingdom. Forgive your enemy. Turn the other cheek. It has to sound strange to his listeners. And usually this is as far in Jesus’ process as most pastors will go. They explain, but rarely model for us.
In Matthew 8 and 9, Jesus shows us a better way. He models for his disciples what it looks like to implement the program that he’d preached. He heals. He raises the dead. He casts out demons.
And then he sends them out in Matthew 10 (see my blog about it here). This is such an important Scripture for those who want intimacy with God, but feel stuck where we are. It really is amazing how Jesus sets his disciples up to rely completely on the Holy Spirit’s guidance and provision.
Jesus describes the process: First Abandon everything. This will probably lead you to experience trouble – prison and persecution. We call this stage Brokenness. But then there is a third stage – Dependence. As we turn to him, he cares for us. And that’s when we experience Intimacy.
And this cycle is iterative – as we keep walking it out over 3 to 10 years, we begin to walk in greater maturity and authority.
If we want to give what we hold most precious to our children, we will start by giving them a process that leads to intimacy. We will trust them with the necessary pain that comes with a journey that looks like the one Jesus took his disciples on. In so doing, we will say to them, “We believe in you. We will trust Jesus to care for you on your journey.”
For me, I experienced Matthew 10 first in going to help the refugees from the Cambodian killing fields in 1980. And 15 years later, God again showed me what Matthew 10 looks like when he invited me to Cuba.
It changed my life. God says “my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Cor. 12:9) But that remained an abstraction until I went on a journey where I could see that even though I had almost nothing and felt unprepared, God would show up and work through my weakness.
Have you ever gone on a Matthew 10 journey? Did it take you into greater intimacy? Jesus sent his disciples on it for a reason and he wants to send you and I today on similar journeys for the same reason.
YEEEAAAHHHH COME ON SETH!!! Break it down for us!!! So good!!!!!
This is what we all need, including the less fortunate amongst us in our communities!
God bless you Seth!
This is so powerful! Thank you for teaching and modeling what it looks like to live and love like Jesus does.
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