The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe. Proverbs 18:10
The Christian life is a simple, yet multifaceted entity which builds upon the relationship and faith in Jesus Christ. It is not something produced by reaching certain goals and milestones. This life is not established by fitting into a particular mould set by a hierarchy of other people or organisation. It is a life based upon an intimate relationship with the One Who willingly laid down His life so millions upon millions could live. Now, before the world‚Äôs mind distracts you from today‚Äôs purpose and God‚Äôs plan, let‚Äôs evaluate the word ‚Äėintimate‚Äô. By primary definition it means closely acquainted; familiar or involving a very close connection. This is the type of relationship we are to have with the Lord Jesus Christ. Sometimes, the reason we lack intimacy with God is a result of hiding. For whatever reason, we may be hiding because of sin in our life, bitterness we are harbouring, or simple hardness of heart by refusing to submit and humbling ourselves. Often, we go into hiding because we have created a separation which sometimes is allowed by something we are experiencing. This distance is enabled, because, whether we realise it or not, we are questioning God‚Äôs love, goodness, or dependability with our life, especially our emotions.¬†
There is a void, an emptiness within us when we are not close to the Lord. There is this desire, but because of outside forces (i.e. our choices) a barrenness remains. It is a hole only to be filled through an intimate relationship with the Saviour. Quite often we lose or lack this intimacy because we are running away from the Lord attempting to fill the void in our life with other things or other people. Before, you begin to think this is an oddity to experience, rest assured, everyone of us have been guilty of this very thing in our life. We have lost this communion and sought it‚Äôs replacement, through other avenues either willingly or ignorantly. Believe it or not, many will seek to fill this void without understanding what is missing. This is why we need continual, teaching and preaching of the word of God, to help us grow in the knowledge of the Holy Scripture, thus making us aware of situations we do not necessarily understand at the time.
As a Christian, there is an inner desire to draw close to Christ, yet too often believers are seeking and chasing to fill the void with activities, busyness, people, relationships even ministry. I have seen it so many times, people get involved in outreach programs, labouring diligently and for the most part doing a great job. Yet, when the results aren't what was expected they are shaken, depressed and typically forsake the outreach ministry all together. Just imagine, distributing 500 invitations and gospel tracts during outreach on Thursday or Friday and no one from your map shows up on Sunday. Pretty disappointing. Well, the fact of the matter is, that is what happens most of the time. The statistical data on leaflet distribution is 1 per 1000 will respond in some manner, which does not mean attendance. This translates into, for 10,000 leaflets distributed, 10 will have some type of response. Now just imagine there is an emptiness inside, something greatly missing in your life and you are filling this void with the distributing of tracts and leaflets. When the results are not what one expected or desired emotionally speaking we are sacked. I recently saw a T-shirt a friend of mine was wearing, it read ‚ÄúI seldom workout, but when I do I expect immediate results‚ÄĚ. Now we realise this is a joke, a comedic shirt which in reality bears witness to the truth of many people‚Äôs lives. If we were honest with ourselves, most of us expect immediate results, the reason we do is at the basis of our labour, which is the filling of a desolate place within our soul. People will do it with friends, church, hobbies and activities. When, not if, but when, the fulfilment is lacking, the object of attack is the very thing we were doing to comfort our soul (a great reason why people become church hoppers and ministry stoppers).
So what is the answer? There is only One person Who can fill this place, only One Who can provide the needed comfort and consolation every soul longs for, the Lord. Solomon said, ‚Äú‚Ä¶the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.‚ÄĚ Safety will only be found in the intimacy of our relationship with the Saviour.
When Paul, who was more faithful to the Lord than any other Christian, was forsaken by everyone, he wrote by inspiration: ‚ÄúAt my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.17Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.‚ÄĚ (II Timothy 4:16-17). He understood the necessity of intimacy with the Lord, he also understood the failures of man, therefore, he did not place his trust and dependency in his own labours or in the relationship with others, but rather in the Lord Jesus Christ, who when no man stood with him, the Lord was by his side. As the Scripture is written, the Lord says ‚Äú‚Ä¶I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.‚ÄĚ (Hebrews 13.5).
When we have an intimate relationship with the Lord, when we draw close to Him and He with us, our satisfaction will not rest in the outcome of our labours, frequency of friendships or even the multitude of activities on our daily schedule. However, there will be a sweetness found in all of these things we do and have, because our joy is depended upon them, but rather as we are stabled by communion in Christ, as we labour together in the gospel, there is a peace knowing we are doing so for the right reason. ‚Ä¶the LORD is a strong tower‚Ä¶
Dr. B. J. Stagner Jr.
Pastor Stagner has preached in many different countries and continues to preach the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ in the manner that it is intended from the...
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