Tag Archives: Intimacy with God

The Bride of Christ: Growing in Intimacy with God

On Fridays at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, Mike Bickle recently began a series on the Bridegroom/Bride message throughout the Bible concerning us and Jesus. I have been tuning in to their online stream during this series as I seek to stay faithful to the assignments God has given me as an intercessory prayer missionary and messenger through worship, song and teaching.

This is such an important message, and in this post I wanted to share some of the points that stood out to me. If we neglect the pursuit of intimacy with God, we are missing the primary purpose of our faith and our lives. In connection with Him alone do we fully come alive!

What Is the Bridegroom Message?

In one sentence, the Bridegroom message is the call to intimacy with God by encountering His heart and love toward us, and to walk in partnership with Him. Continue reading

Why Do We Do What We Do

How often do we search our hearts with the help of the Holy Spirit, seeking to know why we do what we do? Take the time, ask Him to shine the Light of His refining torch into your soul.

The things we do, do we do them to fulfill a need within us or because of wanting to share the love of God with others? For most of us, the answer will be both at times.

Each of us has longings. We all ache at times and seek to numb the pain through activity. We all experience emptiness that fuels what we do as we desire to be filled.


Christ wants to fill the emptiness. He wants to satisfy the ravenous wants we have as human beings. But it requires that we face the pain of not numbing ourselves.

We have to surrender the mindless actions we often undertake, such as repeatedly checking Facebook, sleeping away the day, or binge-watching the next new TV series. It requires that we cease doing things, even serving people, to try to grab onto anything to make us feel whole.

How often do we engage in activity for the sake of self over truly giving form an overflow of God’s love? At the least, we all love imperfectly. Each of us will be perfected in His love season by season as we grow in relationship with the Lord.

So what is Jesus wanting to work within us?
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Results and Relationship: It’s Time to Abide

Recently I have embarked on another level of spiritual growth on the issue of being versus doing. God has shown me how often I was grading my relationship with Him based on how I feel or what I accomplish. Likewise, I have realized the Body of Christ as a whole tends to struggle with this issue.

As Christians we often declare that life with God is about relationship not religion. But we have often replaced relationship with another form of activity, one of seeking for results. Religion’s traditions, rituals and rules have been replaced with a striving to produce and see results.

In our quiet times with God, we often grade ourselves. Did we feel His presence tangibly, did we accomplish a lot in prayer or studying the Word? Often we do not even recognize we are viewing our time based on what we feel or accomplish ourselves.

We may even try Christian self-help strategies hoping for more answers to prayer. Yet life with God is primarily about friendship with Him, not getting our prayers answered. Prayers come as the fruit of that loving relationship.

In our congregations, we tend to base a successful outreach on how many people were saved or healed. Sometimes we even go after marketing strategies in attempts to get more results. But human methods will eventually fade.

At times we even view small churches as less than, or having something wrong. Nonetheless,  numbers and results we see are not necessarily an indicator of God’s approval or lack thereof.

God loves us before we accomplish anything. He is a God of relationship and love, not performance. Before Jesus had done any ministry, the Father’s declaration over Him was that He was well-pleased (Mark 1:11).

Numbers and results are not necessarily an indicator of God’s approval or the lack thereof. God loves us before we accomplish anything. He is a God of relationship and love, not performance.

It’s time for a 180. In John 15, Jesus said we would bear fruit (results) if we abide in Him (relationship). Only if we abide.

The Lord wants good fruit in our lives, but it cannot come unless we cultivate an ever deepening companionship with Him. And the fruit that comes through this friendship will alone be lasting.

This is the relationship Jesus opened up to us through His sacrifice on the Cross. This is the relationship we want others to enter into through our outreach. How can we tell them of their own need for relationship with the Creator if we ourselves are not truly pursuing it?

Abide in Christ, then fruit will come. Without abiding in Christ, we cannot truly know the heart of the King whose Kingdom we represent. Without abiding, we cannot rightly display the great love which He has for others.

May we set our hearts on knowing Jesus. We do not want to be hindered by our desire for results or to prove we are doing enough. May it be that we come to the place of knowing we are loved by God and rest in this truth.

As we love and obey the Father’s leadership, we can trust Him with the results. Let us choose to take Jesus at His Word, which He still proclaims to us today:

“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.” John 15:4 (NKJV)

Renewing Your Mind in God’s Word

The journey of renewing our minds is a process. It doesn’t occur in a moment or two. It takes consistent, daily moments with Jesus over time. Nonetheless, it is one of the most beautiful parts of our journey with Him.

How can we do our part in this? By spending time with Christ in worship, prayer, and meditating on His Word.

Renewing our minds with God’s Word helps us grow in faith, hope, love and all the fruit of His Spirit. As we spend time studying and meditating on His Word, we will experience transformation through His truth and by His Spirit.

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
Romans 12:1-2 (NKJV)

Father God loves to set us free from lies we believe and wrong mindsets we struggle with. He wants to transform our perspective concerning Him, ourselves and others. He even wants to help us not be led by our emotions when they are about to lead us astray.

Do you need peace in your life, freedom from fear and anxiety, an attitude adjustment, or other things?
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There Is More to Worship

There is greater meaning to living a life of worship than singing or meeting once in a while at a gathering. There is so much more to worship. We are called to exalt Jesus not simply through a word spoken or a song sung, but by the giving of our lives.

We are called to be devoted to the Lord as living sacrifices, pure and holy. This is a part of true worship in spirit and in truth (John 4:24).

“I appeal to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all…] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable…service and spiritual worship.”
(Romans 12:1 AMPC, emphasis added)

Making a decisive dedication is a lifetime choice of our free will. It is the devotion of all that we are and all that we have to the Lord. Thankfully, He first pours out His love upon us so that we long to do this because of love for Him. Every bridge is burned, every idol cast down. It is never looking back as we surrender our hearts and lives to our Bridegroom King.

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