I was at a conference listening as the keynote speaker expressed her love for Jesus. An inner, deep stirring began as I realized I did not speak the name, Jesus. I feared calling him by his name would allow him to see my broken and sinful heart. By not using the name, I reasoned I could somehow control the intimacy.
Though scripture says God sees and knows the motives of the heart, this was a personal boundary set to keep Him at arm’s length. How was I to break the boundary? By speaking the name Jesus. Speaking his name released my bondage and brought freedom and healing. His name carries the power of the cross! For healing, deliverance, freedom; for loneliness and insecurity. He is the remedy for low self-esteem and lack of confidence. Jesus.
INTIMACY WITH JESUS – MARY OF BETHANY
How can we develop a spiritual intimacy with Jesus? Let’s look to Mary of Bethany, the sister of Martha and Lazarus. When we read of her in scripture, she is at his feet. She is his committed student, friend, and follower.
(Jesus visited Mary and Martha) Mary sat at his feet listening to his teaching, rather than being distracted by the meal preparation. Her choice was to sit, enjoy his presence, and listen.
(Jesus comforts Mary and Martha) After Mary’s brother Lazarus died, Jesus was called. As he approached, Mary collapsed at the feet of Jesus, in grief and despair. She brought her sadness and grief to the One who could give comfort.
(Jesus honors Mary) Six days before Passover, Mary anointed Jesus with expensive perfume, pouring it on his feet and wiping it off with her hair. She sacrificed to Jesus her most precious gift – her utmost love, worship, respect, and devotion. These were all internal things expressed externally through her heart of worship.
To be at the feet of Jesus implies faith, submission, and intimacy.
Not the world’s intimacy but a spiritual intimacy.
He was with her in her hard times; she was with him in his.
Five ways to develop a deeper intimacy with Jesus.
1. Desire intimacy with Jesus. Spend time sitting in his presence.
2. Know his love language – He looks for an obedient and repentant heart.
3. Love him affectionately – He desires personal worship from the heart.
4. Don’t give up – take solitary time to pray, worship and meditate on His word.
5. Share in his work by loving those He brings.