Cultivating Intimacy

Shots of my back garden#1 pic link

A relationship takes work. It has been fun to look back on the highlights of relationships with family and friends, but any relationship that brings me joy or produces fruit is the result of deliberate investment.

A relationship is like a garden. If it is to thrive it must be watered regularly. Special care must be given, taking into account the seasons as well as any unpredictable weather. New seeds must be sown and weeds must be pulled. Similarly, to keep the magic of love alive we must understand its seasons and nurture love’s special needs.

– John Gray, Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus

Enjoying intimacy with our Father is no different. It requires sacrifice. Oswald Chambers says this: “The great privilege of discipleship is that I can commit myself under the banner of His Cross, and that means death to sin. You must get alone with Jesus and either decide to tell Him that you do not want sin to die out in you, or that at any cost you want to be identified with His death.

But the delight in reaching intimacy is great. “Friendship means being so intimately in touch with God that you never even need to ask Him to show you His will… When you have a right-standing relationship with God, you have a life of freedom, liberty, and delight; you are God’s will.”

We can begin to deepen this friendship by looking at what God told Martha in Luke 10. When Jesus came to visit their house, her sister Mary simply sat at Jesus’ feet to hear what he had to say. Martha complained that Mary wasn’t helping with the preparations, and Jesus responded, “but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken away from her.” (v. 42). Tending to our relationship must start with committing time to the Lord each day. Schedule that time, even on your calendar if necessary.

Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.

Proverbs 3:9-10

God wants the best we can give, including our time. The “firstfruits” of my day are my mornings. I try to set aside time for the word and prayer to start my day in peace and joy. Unfortunately, I don’t get to sit down and read every single morning- at the very least I commune with my Father throughout the day by reading prayers posted around the bathroom mirror, a verse of the day updated on my phone, the Long to Love email, and listening to worship in the car. Those are great extras, but nothing cultivates intimacy like sitting still at the Lord’s feet. And I can do a better job at committing my best time to the Lord.

Elizabeth started this blog as a way to awaken our hearts to pray and cultivate deeper love relationships with God. That first prayer is a great reminder of the power of seeking the Lord- our lives will be transformed!

Lord for six months, may I seek to learn what it means to love you. I want to love your word, your voice, your presence, your laws, your discipline, your power—I want to love and cherish every part of who you are. Lord, may I wait expectantly as you begin to transform my life by my willingness to wholeheartedly seek to love you with an unabandoned love.