Spiritual Intimacy

I spent a good part of last weekend at the Zoe Conference in Lubbock. I was glad to go. Even though I lived in Tennessee for 15 years, I never cashed in on the opportunity to go to the Zoe event in Nashville. I intended to a couple of times, but something always came up.

It was a refreshing experience. The worship was wonderful and I got to reconnect with lots of old friends. Growing up in Lubbock, I saw a lot of people from my youth. I also got to connect with folks from my old road life, like Nathan Tillotson, Brian Randolph, Randy Gill and Jeff Walling.

While the worship was great and the messages were moving (get the CD of Jeff speaking about being “closer”), it was the small group experience where I was most challenged. I participated in the worship leaders small group, which was led by Brandon Thomas of Zoe and Rich Smith of Levi Ministries.

Rich is an amazing young man. It is obvious that the Holy Spirit has done some powerful work in his life. I’d love to know more about his background (which apparently includes some serious work), but his humility seemed to keep most of it behind him. That’s cool.

Anyway, he gave me one of those “aha” moments. I have talked about John 17┬ámany times over the course of my life. For years, it was a centerpiece of Acappella’s ministry. Vs. 20-21 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.”

I’ve preached the unity of believers from that passage many times. It’s an important message. Unfortunately, I’ve worked that passage so much that I missed another important element. He prays not only for unity of believers, but for unity of them with HIM. The lesson I took away from this day:

We have whatever level of intimacy with God as we will pursue, even up to the level that Jesus had with God.

I’ve always strived for a closer walk with God. I don’t think I ever realized that I’ve put boundaries on that. It was certainly unintentional, but there nonetheless. Who am I to say that I can only come so close to God and no closer when Jesus himself prayed that we would be one with him as he was with God?

Again I say, “aha!” Excuse me… I have more pursuing to do. ~Gary

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