When searching to purchase another home the familiar saying about the importance of “location, location, location” is often referenced. In my research and study for the devotional Climbing Prayer Mountain a question I was asked was “What would be the key factors to develop Intimacy with God?” The first thought that came to mind was time, time, and time!
The person on earth I’m most intimate with is my wife Patty. The reason why is I have spent an incredible amount of time with her going way back to the first time she caught my eye at the tender age of 4. Developing intimacy is more than just hanging out together, to grow in an intimate relationship there are a few other things you must do as well. In growing in my intimacy with Father God I have found 3 vital truths that I must spend timing doing listening, looking, and obediently loving. Today we will look at the first one:
Time Listening: The Jewish people declare the Shema, (Dt. 6:4-9), 3 times a day which begins with;
“Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one.”
Intimacy starts with “hearing.” Our Father is always speaking to you and His number one desire is for you to listen. Once you begin to hear His voice no other voice will come close to satisfying your soul. How the enemy knows this and therefore bombards your world with the noise of twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Snap chat, the talking heads of media as well as a host of demonic internal lies shelling your mind daily. The warfare for your ears is intensifying at a horrific speed in our technology culture. Maybe it would be good for us recite the Shema three times a day as well. These words remind us that we need to hear from the most important voice of the universe, the voice of Our Heavenly Father.
Several years ago I was stuck in traffic on the 91 Freeway in Southern California, ugh! I was heading to the beach to spend the day in prayer and was more than frustrated, even a little upset at God. I felt the nudge to pick up my Bible and turn to Psalm 46, which I read that morning before heading out. To redeem the time I started to memorize it and got stuck on verse 10, “Be still and know that I am God.” How ironic, I’m on one of the busiest freeways in the US, stuck in traffic, it’s extremely noisy, and I hear the Father say to me, “my son you need to learn to be still and really take time to know me in the midst of your crazy busy world.”
Since hearing the Father’s voice that day, not at the beach but on the 91, I’m attempting to “shut up and listen” more. I’ve found the Father has a lot to say and that He is God and I’m not. I have found out I need to have more time in His Word just to get to know Him better, not to prepare for sermons, bible studies, or blogs, but to really get to know Him and delight in His loving voice. Listening can be hard work. It means daily dying to self, saying no to other voices even good ones, and trying to keep my ADD mind focused on Him and not million other distractions. Yet, even though I feel like an infant with the art of listening, I’m starting to learn that there is One Amazing, Loving Father God, and I’m not Him, praise the LORD!