Intimacy with God means emulating Jesus, which means observing how He lived and what He taught. It means soaking in the truth and then applying it to our lives. Consider the following words of our Lord and Saviour, and the implications for our lives:
But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (NKJV; Matthew 20:25-28).
Let’s break this down so we don’t miss the significance:
If you want to be great? Be a servant.
If you want to be first? Be a slave.
If you want to follow Christ? Lay down your life to bring others into God’s sheep fold.
The closer you want to get to God’s heart, the more He will ask of you. How close do you want to get to Jesus? Are you prepared to: lay down your comfort, security, dreams and even loved ones to take up your cross to follow Him?
The pioneering missionaries of old understood this. They packed up their lives, including their own coffin, walked onto a boat, waved farewell to loved ones and sailed away, often without surety of ongoing provision, to take the Gospel to the world. They gave up their life to ransom a few through the sharing of the Gospel.
God is in a season of refining my heart still further. All selfish ambition must go. All care of my reputation in the world must go. All hold of worldly goods must be cast aside. Any hope for security must be set aside.
How close do you want to get to your Saviour’s heart? I am far from being a slave or giving over my whole self, but it is the prayer of my heart that I shall be made willing.
But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ.Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but onewhich are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind (NKJV; Philippians 3:7-15a).