I had an encounter with the Lord many years ago that changed my life forever.   I don’t have space here to go into the details, so here’s the short version: I was in the midst of worship, and in serious striving mode.  Begging God for intimacy, striving for His nearness and working hard to draw near. 🙂

In a moment I knew Jesus was standing in front of me.  Everything in me went stiff, trembling from head to toe.  He was standing there…   staring at me.  He said to me “Why are you working so hard for something you already have?”  Then He was gone.

After this event something within me changed forever.   There was a knowing deep within that He had worked very hard to draw me near to Him.   I was already within Him and He was already within me. I was already seated at His right hand, and He had already chosen me as His dwelling place.  And somehow my striving was dishonoring to Him and all He had worked for.   As I accepted and embraced the reality that I was already intimate with my God, I knew I was giving Him glory.   He was glorified when I allowed the Truth of His nearness to become an accomplished reality in my life.

My paradigm shifted dramatically.  I began to understand that intimacy was my starting point, not my ending point.  At any moment I could close my eyes, and simply know that we were intimate (whether I felt it or not), I let my heart embrace the closeness of Jesus Christ, and began to relate to Him from a place of oneness.  1 Corinthians 6:17 “But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him”

His voice opened up to me in a new measure of intensity and clarity.  My spirit awakened in a whole new way.  Kingdom realities began to make sense to me like they never had before.

Oh…  not that I had arrived.  Trust me…  the journey continues.  But one thing was true – I was intimate with my Lord.  He was near enough to whisper.  I was near enough to sense His breath.  My striving left, and my abiding began.

So, today…  remember where you are.  Remember how the Lord has positioned you within Himself.  Remember that the nearness of God is your good, And let intimacy be your starting point.