Saturday, December 18, 2010

Being still- key to intimacy

All believers that want to enter into a more intimate place with God in their relationship find that there are two major obstacles continually holding them back:  Distraction from without and distraction from within.  Both are enemies of intimacy because they are voices external and internal that call to us so loud that we cannot hear the still small voice of God.  Stillness is not the the goal, but the means to the goal of knowing God's heart and the way he gently moves and prompts. In becoming still we are not trying to do anything, but be in touch with God through Holy Spirit at a moment in time without forcing it or being in a hurry and without an agenda.  Most of us have made several attempts to have a "quiet time" only to be overcome with the distractions either outside or inside and so in effect we become discouraged and give up and try to serve the Lord in our busyness.  If we are serious about being intimate with the Lord we will have to overcome the distractions.  Even if we are able to get away from television, telephone calls, computers and children and minimize the external distractions, the chaos in our minds and discomfort and confusion of solitude make us eager to get busy again. The outer noise is used as a shield sometimes to keep out the confrontations we go through internally.  Like anything, the good habits of stillness and solitude can only be built by continued practice.  If we take care of setting aside the time and getting away from the external distractions, then half the battle is won and here are some thoughts on eliminating the internal distractions:

1.  When the "list" of unfinished tasks comes into your mind, write them down.
2. When the enemy reminds you of your sinfulness or unworthiness, confess and put on Christ's robe of righteousness.
3. When your mind is flitting all over, focus on a vision in your mind of Jesus with you
4. Spend time with him when your mind is still because of engagement in automatic activities like driving, bathing, exercising etc.
5. When not "feeling" anything, begin to sing and listen to the spontaneousness of your heart.

*Waiting on God is never a waste of time, more is accomplished in our stillness than all of our best efforts combined.  What is important is not where you are, but the fact that you are moving forward into greater intimacy.  2 Cor. 10:4-5 says that we can  take our thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ.  Through patience, persistence and discipline on our part and the power of the Holy Spirit, over time we are able to break up the foundations of how our mind operates and re-establish and rebuild the process and new thought patterns. This is what Paul had in mind when he talked about being transformed by the renewing of our mind in Romans 12:1-2. Also in Phillipians where we are encouraged to put on the mind of Christ, as we are in him, we begin to see and think the way he does.

Our goal in all of this is nothing less than intimate communion with the father and the son.  (summarized from writings of James Goll- practicing his presence)