There are many things that will rob, steal and plunder our love and affection for the Lord Jesus. It is not just obvious sins and acts of carnality and disobedience which spoil us of the nearness of His presence, but it is also the good and acceptable things, which while having their proper place in the Christian life, have a tendency to make one devoid of the real mind of Christ. Such things as meetings, communions, baptisms, buildings, programs, doctrines, finances or other things that concern the church and ministry system, apart from the mind of Christ, will dry up the real heart of the Christian life. Often it’s these very things that rob us of the hallowing intimacy which we are to experience with God’s throne of grace and seat of mercy.
Here is the question we must ask ourselves in evaluating our love and devotion to God: What are we doing on the inside? Where, or toward what, are we directing our will and desire? That is what marks our life in relation to God. This Scripture gives us a sober warning:
“Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts.” (John 5:21, TLB)
We are admonished in Scripture to guard our hearts (Prov. 4:23), to seek God with our whole heart (Ps. 119:2), to sanctify the Lord in our hearts (1 Pet. 3:15), to return to our first love (Rev. 2:4-5), and to beware of being cheated in our relationship to Christ (Col. 2:8). There are a lot of things we can do in this life to gain success, wealth, prestige, a name and reputation, a church and a ministry, but there’s nothing more fulfilling to the human heart than having an intimate, personal and growing relationship with the Lord Jesus.
INTIMACY, THE CURE FOR THE IMITATION OF MEN
“Therefore, knowing that they would come and take Him by force to make Him king, Jesus departed to a mountain by Himself alone” (John 6:15, MEV).
The world had no influence whatsoever on our high priest. He didn’t need men to give Him authority. Publicity and popularity were never His goal.
More than once, Jesus warned others not to make Him known (Matt. 12:16). The moonlight, not the spotlight, was the highlight in Jesus’ ministry. He spent many nights and early mornings alone in prayer.
The mountain was His preference. It was there that He secured the Father’s presence. It was there that He made His choices while blocking out other voices. It was there where He was given new manna for each new day.
This is where Jesus received His authority.
Priests (ministers and saints), hearken! If you do not spend time with God alone, you will always be a clone. You will clone ministry ideas, visions and strategies from others. You will copy and imitate the gifts and graces of others. Your authority will only come from man. You will drink from someone else’s well (anointing). You will steal someone else’s word. You will be a spiritual schizophrenic.
Fresh manna every day will result in doing things God’s way. Fresh bread bakes in the oven of fresh fellowship. You will always have hot bread (messages) for yourself and to serve the people.
Many of God’s priests have not worn their garments well. They have neglected the lot and portion of their lives and ministries, who is the Lord Himself. Instead of the Spirit’s incubation giving them fresh revelation, they allow insecurity and intimidation to produce a soulish imitation void of God’s power. In making their own plans and choosing their own course, they invite a spirit of divorce to come between themselves and the Lord.
A glad reunion awaits them, if they would only turn to the Lord with all their hearts. Intimacy with God is the cure for the imitation of men.
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