Intimacy with God
Heart to Heart
Let me encourage you with this: All of us have come from different backgrounds, are at different places in our walk with God, have faced different trials, and have different personalities. But one thing we share is the same Holy Spirit. Regardless of our past, we share the same Father and are empowered by the same Almighty Spirit. And no matter who or where we are, “Our God is an awesome God who reigns from heaven above, with all wisdom, power, and love; our God is an awesome God!”      Mourning the past or disheartened by the present, may we be reminded that no matter when we begin the race, God makes up for the years the locust have eaten and miraculously heals and creates a new life. Therefore, let us hold onto our Redeemer’s promises by keeping our eyes fixed upon Him, knowing full well that our children will be stronger and shine more brightly than we could imagine because it was God who placed a passion for raising godly children in our hearts. “For I am confident that He who began this good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus” (Phil. 1:6). “Because it is He who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to His power that works within us” (Eph. 3:20,21).      From time to time we all become depressed, frustrated, disillusioned, and overwhelmed. Sometimes we blame our circumstances or those around us, while at other times we aren’t even sure why we feel the way we do. However, upon closer examination we would find our relationship with God lacking and more often than not, in great peril. Stripped of all our activities and devoid of everyone around us, would God be enough to make us happy? If Jesus returned today, would we recognize His face or hear His voice? To really know someone requires tremendous effort and a lot of one-on-one time listening. Our emotional lows or roller coaster existence (beyond menopause or physical illness) are symptoms of our spiritual health. Left untreated brings certain death, yet the cure is so easily attainable.      Intimacy with God is the first and foremost commandment: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind” (Mark 12:29,30). To make this our first priority is the most important singular thing we can do for our families and ourselves. Yet busyness so often takes precedence over what God desires of us that God again commands us to “Cease striving and (be still) and know that I am God” (Ps. 46:10). This is a place of eminent importance for the well being of our souls and the souls of our children.      “For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so” (Rom. 8:6,7). “For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another” (Gal. 5:17). “But I say, walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desires of the flesh” (Gal. 5:16).      Made in the image of God, only God’s presence can fill our God-shaped vacuum, and only His Spirit can empower us to do His will. “Not by might, nor by power but by My Spirit …” (Zech. 4:6).      For “unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it” (Ps. 127:1). “Therefore every one who hears these words of Mine, and acts upon them, may be compared to a wise man, who built his house upon the rock. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and burst against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded upon the rock” (Matt. 7:24,25). “The one that remains faithful, the steadfast of mind Thou will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in Thee. Trust in the Lord forever, for in God the Lord, we have an everlasting Rock” (Is. 26:2-4).      Faithful to meet her Master first thing every morning, my mother diligently read her Bible, meditated upon His every word, surrendered her will to His, prayed for guidance and wisdom, and committed each day to Him—“not mine but Thine will be done.” He was her source of strength and upon this Solid Rock she laid the foundation of our home, securing the same for future generations.      Her steadfast disposition, radiant countenance, and gentle spirit mirrored her Master’s image and created a home filled with such joy and peace that all were attracted to spend time therein. At seventy-eight, my mom, and now my dad, still begin each day at their Master’s feet, meditating upon His Word and committing themselves and their family to Him. Their fervent prayers for their grandchildren and us have sustained and strengthened our family to carry on in His work over the years.      Our intimacy with God sets the course for future generations, establishing an impregnable fortress and an everlasting kingdom. “Now to Him who is able to establish you …” (Rom. 16:25). “Thy kingdom is an everlasting Kingdom, and Thy dominion endures throughout all generations” (Ps. 145:13).      No friend, no knowledge, no pleasure, no amount of activity, no effort, no power apart from God can attain the joy or peace we long for or the successful completion of the mighty work God has called us to—the deployment of straight arrows. And the more we try to fill the void with these things and the more we try to achieve on our own, the lonelier, more discontented, unhappy, and frustrated we become. Marriage, raising children, and homeschooling done in our own strength and understanding are doomed to failure because the mind set on the flesh is death and even “all our righteous deeds are like filthy rags” (Is. 64:6). [Reprinted from There’s No Place Like Home book.] Y