Psalm 84:1-4: this author (probably David) has an overwhelming desire to be at the Tabernacle, and in the intimate Presence of God. God dwells inside of us today—we don’t have to go to the Tabernacle/Temple to experience Him—He is always with us. Yet, most of us spend less time with Him now; most of us crave and desire to be with Him less now, than David ever did, when he had to go to the Tabernacle to be in God’s Presence. How many relationships suffer, become stagnant and unfulfilling (even die), because the couple just coexist—never communicating, having intimate moments, connecting? That is how the vast majority of Christians live their lives with Jesus Christ—many for their entire lives. He is with you daily, yet you take His Presence for granted; you never actually spend quality time with Him alone. If you don’t meet with God in conviction, there will be things from Him that you miss.
How many people have a hard time relieving stress and anxiety (need drugs, alcohol, sleep, busy-work)? Or know you aren’t intimately connected to God like you hear so many claim in their walk (or how many false claim it)? How many just know that you need more in your walk with Christ? These symptoms are strong indicators that you aren’t spending time intimately with Jesus. What we need to realize is that throughout every page of Scripture it is common, expected and necessary to spend time completely alone and devoted to God to have purposeful moments with no goal other than to connect with and be intimate with Him. Psalm 46:10, Lamentations 3:25-28. Where was Moses when he heard God give a clear command to free His people from Pharaoh? Alone in the wilderness with God! Where was David when he received from God, most of his contribution to the beautiful treasury of Psalms that we read today? Alone with God! Where was Jacob when God finally revealed Himself intimately, and gave purpose and direction to his future? Alone with God! Where was Paul when he heard from God directly, as he wrote many of the Epistles of the New Testament? Alone with God! Where was the Son of God Himself, Jesus Christ, every chance He got, when not ministering to others? Alone with God! Mark 1:35-36, Mark 1:12-13, Matthew 14:23, Luke 5:16, John 7:9-10, Luke 6:12, Luke 22:41. Scripturally there are examples, principles and commands to spend time alone with God. There has never been a time in Scriptures or thereafter when the need and benefit was not clearly understood, except in our me-first, time-crunched, entertainment filled world. Jesus doesn’t want a legalistic performance—he wants an intimate relationship—and how can you have that without private time together? Every reason you would ever want to get away with any other person in your life, should be magnified a thousand times over with Christ if you are serious about knowing Him, about seeking Him with your whole heart.
Why do you want to spend time alone with other people in your life?!? 1) To shut out all other distractions that compete for your attention & time, so you can focus intellectually and emotionally on one person. 2) To share intimate stories about things that are happening and how they affect you 3) To stop long enough, and focus closely enough, to truly hear only them, in their needs and wants 4) To seek their counsel on things that you cannot understand alone 5) To raise them above everything else in your entire life for just a moment in time, to show their worth and importance in your life. You will never know and feel Christ intimately unless you spend personal time with him, on purpose. In most circumstances, when God spoke clearly and powerfully to someone in Scriptures, it was in an intimate time of solitude with Him; in most circumstances- strength, calming, assurance, and perseverance filled a person's heart and soul during intimate times of solitude with God. [Read the Psalms and see how many were written and prayed in solitude].
How do you do this? 1) Set aside a time just for Him. It doesn't have to be a set number of times, a set length, or even the same time each week, but plan ahead. 2) Choose a place. It doesn't have to be inside or out; but needs to be away from any possible distractions from the world; it needs to be away enough for you to read, pray or sing uninhibited—closet, woods, special room, special location, special chair at a set time of day; make it your special place to appreciate and use with purpose only for Him. 3) Take away all distractions. No phone, no iPad, no texting, no TV, no MP3—just Him—the only exception is if using a device as a writing pad or Bible. 4) Come prepared to listen, talk, read and praise. Bring a Bible (study book/guide), something to write on or record with, and anything needed for worship (lyrics, music)—nothing else. It may seem challenging or awkward at first, but soon it is forgotten as you realize there is so much to do and say that you have to cut it short. Just stop and acknowledge that He is literally there with you. Luke 10:38-42, Psalm 46:10. Share your heart—Psalm 62:8—all that is important in your life (good, bad, infuriating, scary, exciting, intimate), ask for help, guidance, direction, clarity. Hear Him—Proverbs 2:3-7—through Scripture reading before Him; by waiting on Him for impressions or Scriptures. John 10:27. Reflect—Psalm 139:1-4, 23-24—on what you feel you’ve heard (compared to Scriptures, circumstances and God’s character); on yourself (your sin, your direction, your focus, your need for improvements, your strengths); repent where needed (acknowledge the pain caused and ask for strength to change things right there. Philippians 2:3-4—reflect on those around you (their needs, their faults, how God is using them in your life, what your job is to help them (pray for them)). Worship—Psalm 103:1-5—think on all of the amazing things He’s made; all He’s blessed you with; all the times and ways He’s protected you and loved ones; all the ways His Word and Spirit have guided and kept you; all He has humbly done to love and save you. Think on days to come, of all He has for us in the world to come. (Psalms 148, 145, 106, 103) Sing praises and hymns to Him. For this short time, forget about the clock and the world. No one is more important that you King—put off anyone or anything else you must for this time. Give yourself permission to declare Him absolute priority in these moments or they will not happen. When you meet Him, let it be with earnest desire to see and hear Him. Seek Him with all your heart; He wants to see your passion equal His. Psalm 63:1-7.
Psalm 84:5-7: you draw fresh, new, unbelievable strength and peace—but you must seek Him.
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