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You In the Ordinary

For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:3

One thing have I asked of the Lord, that I will seek after…to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord…You have said, “Seek my face.” My heart says to you, “Your face, Lord do I seek.” Psalm 27:4,8

The older I get the more I like ordinary, the more I like routine and low-key days, and to just do my own thing. Honestly, I don’t handle interruption and inconvenience to my ordinary so well, but I also know the comfort of ordinary can lead to complacency, discontent and self-focus. I remember when I first got engaged years ago, I could not stop looking at my engagement ring.

So often throughout the day, I would intentionally gaze at it. I was just so proud of how beautiful it was, how it suited me and what it symbolized: that I was chosen, wanted and loved by my soon to be husband. After my wedding day, when it was paired with my wedding band, I continued to joyfully gaze at my rings, delighted to be a wife and to have started life with my husband. And then at some point along the way I stopped gazing at my wedding rings. As time went on, they became more ordinary, a usual “fixture” on my hands so to speak. I was used to them and my rings just didn’t hold my frequent gaze, admiration or attention that they once

did. I wonder if this is what can happen in our relationship with Christ? Could it be that through the ordinary of life, the day to day, we stop gazing at our Lord? We forget the awe and wonder of what it means to be chosen and loved by Him, to seek Him, to adore Him, to behold His glory, for Him to hold our attention, to hold our gaze? Or have we ever really spent time cultivating this kind of intimacy with Him?

This lack of pursuing on-going intimacy with God can be the root of a chronic dissatisfaction problem in our lives. Complacency, cynicism and weariness can settle in and we stop looking for God. We stop recognizing how our life is “hidden with Christ in God” and that Christ is our life (Colossians 3:1-4). I believe we can become chronically unsatisfied because we stop pursing as a priority what we were created and chosen for, intimacy with God, to delight in being His, to be in day-to-day communion with the One we are to follow and become like. We are a people addicted to the “high” and distraction of novelty. “Clicking” and clicking away at our ordinary, waiting on something better to happen or waiting on a time to “just get away” to something different, often failing to see the opportunity to receive God’s invitation to greater intimacy and partnering with Him in His purposes in our here and now. We can be a fickle people, longing for something more in the ordinary and longing for the ordinary when life is weary and overwhelming. I heard a friend once say, “We were not created to just drag ourselves through this life…” This sticks out to me, because some days it feels like I’m dragging myself around just to get to the end of my day so I can get in bed, go to sleep and hopefully “shut off” my brain for a bit, just to wake up and do it again…Where is intimacy with my Lord in this? I want to share a few things I hope will encourage and renew a fresh passion and intention toward pursuing intimacy with God, being grateful this is a standing invitation offered and initiated by Him, in which He delights to know and be known by you.

Your heavenly Father doesn’t “just tolerate” you, He enjoys you. He never grows tired of you. You never become just ordinary to Him. He doesn’t just love you; He really likes you all the time! He personally delights in you (Zephaniah 3:14-17). Intimacy with God is His personal delight in and with us and our enjoying and loving Him simply for who He is, it is our deepest longings always found fully satisfied in Jesus. Intimacy is responding to a continuous invitation to enter into the abundance of knowing the person, provision and joy of Christ and believing in Him there is no lack or want (Psalm 23). Intimacy is to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to behold His glory. But this kind of intimacy takes time, humility and intentionality to develop. It is not a response solely based on our feelings, but our obedient worship and enjoyment of God simply for Who He is even when all the “feels” aren’t there. This kind of intimacy can make our ordinary moments times of sacred closeness with the One who knows us best and loves us most. This kind of growing intimacy grounds and secures us as we find our contentment and greatest longings filled in God’s awe, holiness and love over and over again. Intimacy with God does not have to be earned, strived after or produced by us, it is initiated and sustained by the steadfast, unconditional love of God for us (Isaiah 55) It is cultivated as we rest in the person, sufficiency and grace of Christ in the good, bad and everyday ordinary moments of life. Intimacy with our Lord helps to clarify our identity and purpose. As we know and see Him more fully, we know and see ourselves more accurately. We can enjoy and be grateful for who He is creating us to be, after His likeness, through the righteousness of Jesus Christ (Romans 8:29, 2 Corinthians 3:17-18, Colossians 3:10). This gift of intimacy with our Father leads to our transformation, freedom and an extraordinary joy that cannot be taken from us (1 Peter 1: 3-9).

Here are a few ways you can begin or begin again to enjoy daily intimacy with Your Heavenly Father: First, just confess to God about the lack of desire, enjoyment and love you have had for Him and freely receive His forgiveness. Ask Him to show you any are of disobedience or sin pattern you need to repent of as this hinders intimacy. Ask Him give you a fresh longing to know, enjoy and love Him more. Frequently, throughout your day look up, smile at Him and genuinely say, “I love you, Lord!” Talk to Him continuously throughout your day and invite Him into every moment, ask Him to help you see how He is working in your life. Listen to a few of your favorite worship songs while you walk outside, stand or kneel with your heart postured in adoration and sing out loud to Him. The Lord inhabits and delights in the praise of His people. Find a passage of Scripture that speaks of the beauty, power and wonder of the Lord like

Psalm 23, Ephesians 1, Isaiah 40 or Romans 8 and meditate on it over a period of several days, letting the revelation of who He is prompt spontaneous prayer and praise. Work through a study on the attributes of God, memorizing verses that speak of his character like Isaiah 9:6. Keep a written record of His faithfulness and share with others what He has done for you: Journal about how He has specifically displayed aspects of His character in your life and give Him praise for personally revealing Himself to you. Daily give God thanks that He has made a way in Christ

for you to draw near, to share in extraordinary intimacy with Him; from when our Keeper first wakes us up in the morning and as we lie our heads down at night, our souls can rest in and enjoy the intimacy of His real time, always with us presence, beauty, delight and faithful steadfast love that is ours now and for eternity (Psalm 16, Psalm 92:1-2).

- Rhonda Loftis

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