Faith Builds Intimacy!
Matthew 7: 21-29
Even though we have a special intimacy with God because of what Christ has done, we have to be careful that we do not rest in this intimacy. The intimacy is important, but God is most concerned with what we do with what He gives us. The intimacy is the frosting; the cake is to do His Will. True intimacy with God is not found in our feelings, works, or deeds, or the saying of creeds, or even having the right theology in mind. Rather, intimacy is a deep affection and knowledge of Christ that is generated by our real, heartfelt devotion, commitment, and trust, and is demonstrated by our willingness and the action of moving forward in our journey of faith.
· When we profess Christ as Lord, or make a public testimony, we are declaring that Jesus Christ has a hold on our life-from now through eternity-that transcends human understanding. We are no longer of this world, but belong to Him as His child-saved, and redeemed.
· Do you feel your faith is distant and cold? Do you desire to have more intimacy with Him? Then, seek His will! Seeking to do God's will is God's will. It is striving further into the depths of one's relationship with Christ, as LORD over all. By the surrender of our will (John 3:5; 29-30; Gal. 2:21-21), and the courage to make Him known to those around us (1 Cor. 8:2-3), we will gain closeness and more intimacy with Him!
· If your faith is not practiced, it will not last. That would also serve as a true sign that you never had it, or that you had not let it dive deep enough into you to create the transforming action from the fallen, sinful state, to redemption in the blood of the Lamb. These things are not up to our judgment. They are His. Your fruits will tell the true story to others around you.
· It is useless to call ourselves Christians unless we practice what He has taught us, which we are to believe and also teach.
· To achieve more intimacy with, and function for our Lord, we must be willing to take a look at ourselves to see where we are and on what foundation our lives are built. This passage tells us where we lay the foundation for our life. What is it that moves, stimulates, and inspires us? Will we be able to weather the storms of life, or will we be washed away? Is our life built on shifting sand, the ways of the world that distract us and lead us away from Him? Does everything we consider to be valuable and important just wash away from the stresses, chaos, misdirected deeds, and bad decisions of life-from SIN? Or, do we build on His foundation and from the precepts of His Word, where we remain steadfast and secure?
· When we build on the rock, we are securing a firm foundation with our obedience and trust in what Christ has done, as we put it in all aspects of our life. So, our motivation is based on who we are in Him. This is not done by our proclamations and speeches, it is manifested by taking the knowledge of our Lord and His work, and the relationship we have with Him so it becomes the transforming force to motivate us. If all we have is knowledge, we have nothing. If we do works in His name without the knowledge of who Christ is, we have nothing.
· To weather the storms of life and to please and glorify God we must be real, authentic Christians, whose lives are transformed and built on His foundation. As we will be tested in life in preparation for eternity, being only a "fair-weather" Christian, who has never struggled or who has never taken seriously his/her faith, may soon find out that he/she had neither faith nor a relationship with Christ as Lord! So, do you?
· To be His disciple means personal, passionate devotion that contains the humbleness to surrender one's will to Him, and the boldness to proclaim Him. This will result in a response of our love and gratitude, glued with the faith to make it real, and powered by the Holy Spirit so it is impacting upon you and flowing to others around you (Luke 14:26-27; 33; Rom. 5:5).
1. How are you devoted to our Lord?
2. If your faith is not practiced, it will not last. Why would this be so? How long do you think you can go before breakdown?
3. How can you take Jesus' sermon more seriously?
4. What more can you do to take to heart, in a deeper manner, the fact that your true treasure is the knowledge that God knows you, and that you can know Him?
5. How can you make the finding of God's will and rule the number one priority for your life? What is in the way of this?
6. Are you doing the Father's Will?
7. How can you be sure that you have built the right foundation in the right place so your life can withstand the storms?
8. What can you do to prepare for that knock/storm?
9. What do you need to do to approach Jesus with humility?
10. What do you need to do to be bolder in your faith?