Vanity or Intimacy with Jesus?

I just read an excellent blog article about intimacy with Christ based on what He said in Matthew chapter six. You can read it here: http://janeinthewilderness.wordpress.com/2012/06/11/intimacy/  Here are some further thoughts on this matter…

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Intimacy is destroyed by pride, vanity and seeking recognition for ourself instead of drawing closer to and being absorbed with the one whom we love. I remember a guy I was on a ship with in the navy. He was so proud of himself for marrying a good looking and shapely wife. He even was showing off her photographs to the crew that should have remained private. The only thing he didn’t do was sell copies of the photos to his shipmates. Anyway, to say the least, that marriage did not last for very long.

Pride destroys relationships. God is love and has always wanted a people with whom He could be intimate and who would reciprocate in His love. We also know that He resists the proud. How often do we see a Christian get an insight from the heart of the Lord on a Biblical truth or some other spiritual gift and then use it to set themselves apart as being “special” and above the rest of the body of Christ? They then often seek a way to promote this new truth or gift in a way that they can make a profit on it, thus dragging Christ into their own prostituting of something given them by Him out of an intimate relationship with them. So much of what is given out today (called “ministry”) has a price tag attached whether it be by putting those ministered to under the Old Testament law of the tithe or the outright selling of what was freely given to them by the Spirit (see Matt. 10:7-8). Is it any wonder that most Christians continue to maintain such a shallow relationship with God and rarely reach spiritual maturity? God will not let Himself be prostituted and thus He has to quit revealing to them the secrets of His heart. It is so sad that this is held up by most church leadership as the acceptable way to “do church.” Remember Jesus’ words…

“The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come… But they made light of [it], and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise” (Matthew 22:2-5 KJV)

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5 comments on “Vanity or Intimacy with Jesus?

  1. lynmelvin says:

    Finally I get around to ‘visiting’ your blog again and when I do I find out that ‘Jane in the Wilderness’ is no longer blogging! I share some of the same interests as Jane and wanted to connect with her, but don’t know how to now:(

    Fortunately, I had already read her article and wanted to thank you for posting the link, Michael. I am enjoying your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Michael, I just wondered why pride has the power to destroy intimacy in a relationship. Thinking about it for a time, I assume that pride is always focused on one’s own person while the other part of the relationship and its needs get less and less attention. Therefore the “taker” somehow sucks the giving part of the relationship dry.

    But God is not so – God is a loving and selfless giver, not a taker. A lover who takes more than he gives will certainly destroy any loving relationship – be that his marriage or his relationship to God.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Michael says:

    Susanne, while thinking about how to reply to your comment, the song by Carlie Simon came to mind, “You’re so vain, I bet you think this song is about you.” This is what pride and vanity do.. the person who is a victim of it hardly notices anyone else but themselves unless that person can be exploited for their own use. I am sure you have known men like that as a woman.
    Thanks for your comment,
    Michael

    Liked by 1 person

    • So true, Michael, I knew such men in the past. And I know that the healing for those deep wounds I suffered came from perceiving and experiencing, more and more, that God is so different from fallen men (men and women, me included). It is Jesus’ and God’s loving and caring presence that makes us forget that man is bound to be selfish as long as he or she does not KNOW God.

      I often listened to Carly Simon’s song and I could not help but being amazed at the contradiction of singing about a man who hurt her and covering the wound by simultaneously saying,

      You’re so vain
      You probably think this song is about you
      You’re so vain,
      I’ll bet you think this song is about you
      Don’t you?
      Don’t you?

      Of course, that song was about “him”. But here we can see that no human being wants to feel such deep pain again….and again….and again… Therefore we cover our hearts with many veils and deny the pain until we have become as cold-hearted as those who once hurt us. Yet that’s not the way it should be – God is a healer and a lover. THE LOVER, so to speak, the great physician who heals every wound in our hearts until we are complete, again. And then a whole new life can begin….

      Liked by 1 person

      • Michael says:

        Yes, Jesus is the One who has the power to heal us as we give Him permission to and ask Him to make ALL things new in us. Sometimes that requires us to let go and give that person who hurt us over to God by forgiving them, too. I have had to do this many times whether they changed or not. Not fun, but it is another chance to embrace the fellowship of HIS sufferings as well and know first hand His resurrection power in a new live within. Thanks for you thoughtful responses, dear Susanne.

        Liked by 1 person

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