To have this “life” we were speaking of in yesterday’s blog one must cultivate an intimate relationship with the giver of life – Jesus Himself. To have a daily and deep intimacy with Jesus you must be intentional. It will never happen by accident. Wishing and hoping does not work. Planning and organizing does. One must be determined and desire this intimacy more than anything else. And, the goal must be a daily intimacy with Him who is life – a daily relationship that has depth and that realizes how dependent we are on Him for “everything that pertains unto life and godliness.”
This means that there are a number of steps each leader (and every disciple) must take:
1> Separate yourself from the everyday scramble of life. Schedule some time each day in your calendar for a meeting with Jesus. Just as you schedule time for coffee with a friend or spouse – schedule time daily to be with God.
To note: If you are a leader who teaches you must separate your time in the Word to find teaching content from your time in the Word of God for personal spiritual feeding. If a good teaching idea pops up as your feed your own soul, take a minute and write it down somewhere (a separate sermon notebook or journal) so you don’t forget it – but then come back to your personal time with the Lord and His Word.
2> You will need a journal to write in (paper or electronic) so you can record what Jesus is saying to you personally. When you hear Him speak to you – this is God speaking so write down what He is saying. If it is God then it is important, in fact, vital to your spiritual life. This way you have a record of it and can review it later. It will also help you in the long run to actually trace the steps you have taken to follow Him.
3> Learn to listen to Him first and then respond to what He is saying. This is what I call prophetic prayer. He speaks first and we respond. After all, He is God and so has the right to speak first. To accomplish this you will need to:
Learn to be still. The Bible states, “Be still and know that I am God.” This means being physically still on the outside but also still on the inside. That means recording your thoughts as they wander … because as you write them down on a piece of paper your mind realizes that it does not need to continue to remind you of this event, phone call, appointment… and you thus clear your mind of such clutter in the first few minutes as you “still” yourself. The same is true for your emotions – these too need to be still.
Learn to be silent. This, again, is silent on the outside and the inside. Turn off the praise and worship music. Turn off the noise on the inside. Do whatever it takes to be seriously “silent.”
Learn to have solitude. You need to be alone and not in the line of activity within the home or office. In other words, find a place where you will not be bothered or interrupted in your intimate time with Jesus. If this means rising early before everyone else in the household or getting to the church office hours before others arrive, then do it! You need to be alone. And, right, your time worshipping and praying in the car does not count towards an intimate time with Jesus.
Learn to fellowship with the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 13:14 (in the Russian Bible it is 2 Corinthians 13:13) states that we are to have “fellowship with the Holy Spirit.” This means taking the time to know Him. He is separate from and even different than Jesus or God the Father. He has feelings, an attitude, a task to do, and a personality. We need to come to know these and spend time personally with Him.
If we implement these suggestions and not become discouraged we will soon find that we are getting to know Jesus and the Holy Spirit (and thus the Father God) better and are discovering His heartbeat. This will lead us to intimacy and desiring even more than we are experiencing. Thus we will continue to work at having depth in our daily time with Him.
There is still one more thing we need … we will discuss this tomorrow as we bring this mini-series to an end.