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Dependance on the Father - The Example of Jesus

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How Do I develop Intimacy with God?

Psalm 35:11–18 NLT
Malicious witnesses testify against me. They accuse me of crimes I know nothing about. They repay me evil for good. I am sick with despair. Yet when they were ill, I grieved for them. I denied myself by fasting for them, but my prayers returned unanswered. I was sad, as though they were my friends or family, as if I were grieving for my own mother. But they are glad now that I am in trouble; they gleefully join together against me. I am attacked by people I don’t even know; they slander me constantly. They mock me and call me names; they snarl at me. How long, O Lord, will you look on and do nothing? Rescue me from their fierce attacks. Protect my life from these lions! Then I will thank you in front of the great assembly. I will praise you before all the people.
Nowadays its harder and harder to really know people. People are stand offish, impersonal and close relationships are hard to come by. There are trust issues, time schedules that are jammed full, agendas of ambition and the list can continue. This morning we need to remember our need to walk closely with God.
The ability to hear what God is saying, to see what God is doing and to move in the realm of the miraculous comes as person develops the same intimacy with and dependence upon the Father (as Jesus had)
How did Jesus do it?
The answer is found in his relationship with His Father.
John 14:12 NLT
“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father.
God loves you with an intimacy that surpasses your dreams. He desires to know you and have a close personal relationship with you.
Moses, David and of course Jesus had an intimate relationship with God. But how did they do it?

1. Openness, vulnerability and honesty

There are times when David was down, his soul felt empty. He faced opposition He faced opposition from those who repaid evil for good and attacked him.
You too may also face the same opposition - those who repay evil for good and attack you.
There may be slander (v.15), malicious mockery (v.16a), opposition does not only come through the world it can even come from God’s people v. 16.
There may be times when your prayers do not seem to be heard, where frustration mounts and you ask God how long are you stand there doing nothing? (v. 17)
There are times we fail, times we stumble. We can feel we are walking with the Lord happy and then we stumble. We may fail to meet our own standards let alone God’s.
Like David did be open. Speak to God openly about all these challenges. Do not pretend that all is well. Speak from the depths of your heart. God will not be surprised or shocked by anything you say. It is the openness, vulnerability and honesty that draws us into intimate relationship with God.
Luke 2:41–52 NLT
Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Passover festival. When Jesus was twelve years old, they attended the festival as usual. After the celebration was over, they started home to Nazareth, but Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents didn’t miss him at first, because they assumed he was among the other travelers. But when he didn’t show up that evening, they started looking for him among their relatives and friends. When they couldn’t find him, they went back to Jerusalem to search for him there. Three days later they finally discovered him in the Temple, sitting among the religious teachers, listening to them and asking questions. All who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. His parents didn’t know what to think. “Son,” his mother said to him, “why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been frantic, searching for you everywhere.” “But why did you need to search?” he asked. “Didn’t you know that I must be in my Father’s house?” But they didn’t understand what he meant. Then he returned to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. And his mother stored all these things in her heart. Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and all the people.

2. Grow in Wisdom

The wisdom Jesus had astonished the people, even as a child. He replied to people with intelligence and wisdom
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it into a fruit salad.
Wisdom is vertical and comes down from above.
Jesus was slow to speak but when He spoke what He said was truth and power. He used discernment and this was something demonstrated early on in His life. How much should we seek this out in the same manner?
Be slow to speak - use discernment- pray for wisdom and discernment especially before speaking be a reflection of Christ.
Wisdom and discernment are disciplines we need to seek out in our lives.
Wisdom outweighs wealth. Intimacy with the Father leads to growth in wisdom.
How does wisdom come about? How do you get wise?
Wisdom comes from listening
Wisdom leads to simplicity
Wisdom is holistic
Wisdom should grow through intimate relationship with God
Wisdom comes from listening
Luke 2:46 NLT
Three days later they finally discovered him in the Temple, sitting among the religious teachers, listening to them and asking questions.
Sir Isaac Newton
“I find intelligence is better spotted when analyzing the questions asked rather than the answers given”.
Often those who know most speak speak less (and listen more).
This is completely contrary to what we are taught, we are taught to weigh in, share our opinions, give all our knowledge and expertise.
When we are talking we are usually merely repeating what we already know. When we are listening we may learn something new.
2. Wisdom leads to simplicity
Jesus knew where He should be and what He should do. Knowledge leads us from the simple to the complex; wisdom leads us from complex to the simple.
Jesus knew what He was supposed to do, clear and simple. Not easy but He knew the plan.
3. Wisdom is holistic - meaning it is not shown not only in what we say but in how we live. It spreads into the whole person.
Luke 2:51 NLT
Then he returned to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. And his mother stored all these things in her heart.
They went to Nazareth with his parents and was obedient to them. Wisdom is about the whole life not just our intellect or our words. It is also reflected in how we treat people. Jesus was Jesus the son of God but part of the plan that involved being obedient to God was to be obedient to His earthly parents.
The challenge for us this morning is to take this to heart, this means for us to follow as well. In how we treat our family (spouse & children) and how we interact here at church with one another. Demonstrate wisdom wholly.
4. Wisdom should grow through intimate relationship with God
Jesus grew in wisdom and stature and also in favor with God and people
Luke 2:52 NLT
Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and all the people.
This is similar to the description of Samuel.
1 Samuel 2:26 NLT
Meanwhile, the boy Samuel grew taller and grew in favor with the Lord and with the people.
Wisdom should grow as we get older. Not that Jesus’ wisdom was flawed or imperfect, but it grew as He matured as it should with us.
Jesus’ wisdom was as a result of an intimate relationship with God. God was His Father. He knew that and He knew that He had to be in His Father’s house and His intimacy with His Father was the foundation of His wisdom.
Jesus illustrates a close relationship with the Father early on when he states this in
Luke 2:49 NASB95
And He said to them, “Why is it that you were looking for Me? Did you not know that I had to be in My Father’s house?
In the amplified version it states this “Dealing with the things of my Father”.
Jesus’ parents are travelling and missed him gone, they can’t find him for three days. Then when they do they find him in the temple courts and responds with v. 49
Jesus’ relationship with the Father is unique. He prayed to God using the word “Abba” in the Aramaic this word is used by children on intimate terms with their father. This shows the close, unique relationship He has with the Father.
Wisdom through intimacy with the Father.
It is one thing to come to Father’s house but you also need to connect with the Father and keep that connection going in how we treat others and interact daily.

3. Stand still and listen

Remember Moses? He went to the tent of meeting to speak with the Lord.
We need to stand still and listen we cannot develop an intimate relationship with God without setting aside time to communicate with Him. That doesn’t mean we do all the talking. It means we talk and then we wait and listen!
Numbers 7:89–8:1 NLT
Whenever Moses went into the Tabernacle to speak with the Lord, he heard the voice speaking to him from between the two cherubim above the Ark’s cover—the place of atonement—that rests on the Ark of the Covenant. The Lord spoke to him from there. The Lord said to Moses,
He heard the voice speaking to Him and the Lord said to Moses...
God spoke to Moses
Numbers 8:1 NLT
The Lord said to Moses,
Numbers 9:1 NLT
A year after Israel’s departure from Egypt, the Lord spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai. In the first month of that year he said,
Moses spoke to God
Numbers 7:89 NLT
Whenever Moses went into the Tabernacle to speak with the Lord, he heard the voice speaking to him from between the two cherubim above the Ark’s cover—the place of atonement—that rests on the Ark of the Covenant. The Lord spoke to him from there.
There was a two way conversation!
God spoke to Moses face to face as a person speaks to a friend.
Numbers 12:8 NLT
I speak to him face to face, clearly, and not in riddles! He sees the Lord as he is. So why were you not afraid to criticize my servant Moses?”
Talking and listening at the same time and watching for each other’s reaction.
Right now we are in a better time than even Moses was because we are in the age of the Holy Spirit. We no longer have to go to a particular place, like Moses did, but can be with God where ever we are. When we know Christ we experience the spirit of adoption - you have been bought into an intimate and eternal conversation with God the Father.
Romans 8:15–17 NLT
So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.
Romans 8:26–27 NLT
And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.
The pattern was the Lord spoke to Moses and then Moses told the Israelites. Then the Israelites did everything the Lord commanded Moses.
Numbers 9:1–5 NLT
A year after Israel’s departure from Egypt, the Lord spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai. In the first month of that year he said, “Tell the Israelites to celebrate the Passover at the prescribed time, at twilight on the fourteenth day of the first month. Be sure to follow all my decrees and regulations concerning this celebration.” So Moses told the people to celebrate the Passover in the wilderness of Sinai as twilight fell on the fourteenth day of the month. And they celebrated the festival there, just as the Lord had commanded Moses.
God spoke to Moses in the place of intimacy.
Our intimacy with God needs to overflow into the way in which you live your life.
Put into practice the things God shows you in the place of intimacy!
Times when it is unclear how God is guiding us again follow Moses’ example - wait until you find out what the Lord commands concerning you.
Numbers 9:8 NLT
Moses answered, “Wait here until I have received instructions for you from the Lord.”
Don’t know answers wait and be wise and ask people to wait. Take time to pray and find out from God the right way to move forward. Don’t be reactive use wisdom and seek His direction.
Numbers 9:8 The Message
Moses said, “Give me some time; I’ll find out what God says in your circumstances.”
Num. 9:8 Amp “Stand still and I will hear what the Lord will command concerning you”.
In the busyness of life stand still and listen. Hear what God wants you to do!

Conclusion:

This morning, now is the time for your response. How do you depend on the Father? Do you know Him as Daddy? As Abba? Do you talk and not listen? Do you stand still and wait for his response? Do you seek out His wisdom and long for intimacy? How are your relationships with others? These are challenges this morning. God is calling us to get on track with Him. He wants to know you, He wants the very best for you. How do you plan to proceed? Do you wish to seek out intimacy with God? How’s your walk? This morning the challenge is come take some time to talk with Him, just you and Him and then take the time to listen. Time to hear His voice and hear His direction for you.
Lord I come
Lord I come,
Take my life
I offer it to you a living sacrifice
By your grace
By your blood
I come into the holy of holies
All I want to do is dwell in your presence
Drink from the well that never runs dry
All I want to see is the light of your glory
Just one glimpse
Just one drink
And my soul is satisfied.
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