Sylvia Colville

The Secret Place of His Presence: Part 2 – Intimacy and Holiness

Mankind created in the image of God. That is us…a people created to BE the image of God. We know and understand who we are.

We know the incredibly elaborate plan of God to redeem us from spiritual death and to reconcile us to God (why?) SO THAT Christ can be formed in us …the hope of glory.

Christ in us…is the ONLY way that Gen.1:26 can be fulfilled.

Yet, how does that become a reality?

For you and I to be the image of God a lot has to change…in us.

Jesus, the Word becoming flesh in us

Just as Mary was the one chosen to physically birth Jesus Christ in the earth…so you and I have been chosen to birth Christ in us…the hope of glory. Mary was the physical doorway for Christ to enter the earth, we are the spiritual doorway for Christ to enter the earth.

Luke 1:31-38 – “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.” Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?”
Know – Strongs: Ginosko – to know absolutely. A Jewish idiom for sexual intercourse between a man and a woman.
It’s about INTIMACY…

V35 And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, (what will the outcome of that be?) and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, the Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.”
Yet…Mary needed to agree to this wonderful privilege…and she did.
V38 Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be unto me according to your word.”

Once she agreed the angel left.

In the same way, we have the privilege of birthing Christ in us. How will that happen? Again, the key word is INTIMACY.

If like Mary, we agree, if that is our desire, if our will comes into agreement with His will… then the Holy Spirit will come upon you and I and the power of the Highest will overshadow us (who makes it happen in us?) and Christ, the hope of glory will be formed in our spirit. His nature, His character…love, joy, peace, long suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control…the fruit of the Spirit in us…bit by bit, as the Holy Spirit gently guides us, inspires us and we surrender. Our lives are becoming more and more set apart, HOLY, and Christ is being formed in us.

Now I ask you…how and when will this happen? Only one way…through intimacy.

John 15:1-8 – I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide (live, dwell) in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
I am the vine you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask whatever you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be called My disciples.

Notice that He does not say, ‘He who is ‘born again’ because many are born again and don’t abide in Him.

Why is Jesus giving them and us this warning? He is trying to save us from a false growing pattern…a branch that is not bearing fruit. It looks good, bearing lots of leaves…but no fruit. We must be candid with ourselves…

Often we equate spiritual maturity with studying and gaining knowledge but if we believe that our spiritual maturity is in our knowledge then our achievements can mask what the true condition of our heart is.

True spirituality cannot happen simply through knowledge and by behavior modification…for it to be permanent there must be a heart transformation.

I have made up my mind many a time not to do something (behavior modification) and failed.

It is His essence, the very intrinsic nature of Christ coming from Him to you (how?) It can only happen through abiding and then... by the Holy Spirit.

Matt. 26:33-35 – Peter answered and said to Him, “Even if all are made to stumble because of You, I will never be made to stumble.” Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you that this night, before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” Peter said to Him, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!”

The point is… Peter had no power within himself to do what he believed he could do…but when he was filled with the Holy Spirit that all changed.

Spiritual maturity can only come through humility as we respond in honesty to the correction of the Holy Spirit. For Christ to be birthed in us…we will have to die to ourselves and allow Him to live through us instead.

As true disciples, you and I will bear much fruit and that fruit will reveal what kind of tree it is. Our behavior will be a reflection of the nature of God and it is proof that we are His offspring. We should be able to say, “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father.”

God is love but He can’t be fooled...He knows His children

One of the most horrifying things for Christians to hear will be those words, “I do not know you.” – Matt.25:12.

Luke 13:23-30 – Then one said to Him, “Lord, are there few who are saved?” And He said to them, “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able.
When once the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open for us,’ and He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know (eido) you, where you are from,’ then you will begin to say, ‘We ate in Your presence, and You taught in our streets.’ But He will say, ‘I tell you, I do not know (eido) you, where you are from.
V27 Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity.
There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and yourselves thrust out. They will come from the east and the west, from the north and the south, and sit down in the Kingdom of God. And indeed there are last who shall be first, and there are first who shall be last.”

According to the Strongs Concordance the word ‘know’ (eido) in this context means to get knowledge of, an understanding of, to behold, inspect and examine. All of this can only happen when one takes the time to deeply examine something.

1 John 2:3-6 – Now by this we know that we know (Ginosko) Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, ’I know (Ginosko) Him’, and does not keep His commandments, is a liar and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His Word, truly the love of God is perfected (where?) in him. By this we know we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him (intimacy) ought himself also to walk just as He walked (holiness).
Know – Strongs: Ginosko – to know absolutely and intimately. A Jewish idiom for sexual intercourse between a man and a woman.

Note that Jesus stresses that they are sent away because He doesn’t know them and essentially they don’t know Him.

Luke 13:27 – Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity.
The sin, the iniquity is the proof that they don’t know Him.
The obedience is proof that they do.

It is important to understand that Jesus is not talking about ‘missing the mark’. He is talking about practicing sin…workers of iniquity…they make work of engaging in their sin.

Is this important to understand? Absolutely imperative!
I definitely would want to know now if I am deceived in any way so that I can make it through the narrow gate rather than be sent away from Him forever.

Intimacy

On a physical level, reproduction takes place through intimacy.
A man knows his wife… and through that intimacy, a child is born.

Intimacy with God is spending time in His Presence…not just on a Sunday morning, but daily. You and I were created to live in a close relationship with God.

This journey of preparation for the bride is a journey of transformation and it is synonymous with these two things:

  • Intimacy with God and
  • the resulting holiness (Christ likeness) that is birthed in us.

We cannot become more holy (Christ-like) without the intimacy. The more that I examine, behold, inspect, get an understanding of God as I spend time with Him, the deeper I fall in love with Him and the more I fall in love with Him, the more that I want to live in line with His will. This is humility…Your will Lord and not mine…a dying to self.

This humility, this dying to self is the substructure or support structure of all transformation. All change…holiness…becoming like Christ begins with humility and a dying to self. (Unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone, but if it dies, it produces much grain – John 12:24).

Holiness is the product of grace and God gives grace to the humble but He resists the proud. (James 4:6). In other words, all holiness or sanctification begins with humility and that humility brings grace to our need and grace alone can change our hearts.’ – Francis Frangipane

This journey of transformation, of becoming holy, is change that is inspired by the Holy Spirit and it is also empowered by the Holy Spirit.

“At some point in our lives, the Holy Spirit will reveal our sinfulness, not to condemn us but to establish humility and deepen the knowledge of our personal need for grace.
It is at this crossroad that both holy men and hypocrites are bred. Those who see their need and fall prostrate before God for deliverance and those who excuse their sin and thus remain unchanged and become hypocrites.
Though ALL men must eventually stand at this junction, few embrace the voice of truth, who walk humbly toward true holiness.” – Francis Frangipane

God’s Word will always reveal where you and I are currently standing AND will always reveal where He wants us to go. To get from where you and I are currently standing to the place He wants us to go requires one thing from us… humility.
Humility brings His empowering grace to help us to do what He has shown us to do. Remember, God gives grace to the humble.

Paul: The deeper I go and the more I fully understand Christ and therefore believe in Him, the more I die to myself and find myself in Him and Christ resurrected in me. The intimacy of becoming one with Him. Christ in you, the hope of glory.

Let me finish with this…

“There are times in our lives, seasons of change, when the Lord turns up the light a little brighter and we see ourselves a little clearer and it brings us to a place of repentance.

We all seem to have these valleys of decision where that breaking opportunity is an invitation to surrender in humility to say, ‘Have Your way in my life, O Lord.’

In this valley of decision, some come through with their flesh intact and their destiny and potential…like dry bones in the valley…why? Because they won’t submit to His hand.

It’s open heart surgery and there is no anesthesia. You are going to feel the pain of it, you are going to feel the loss BUT it’s the loss of what we are giving up that gives us the Presence.

There are certain times that the Lord calls us out of the daily routine of our lives where His only command is ‘Seek My Face’. He has something precious and vitally important to give us that the familiar patterns of our daily devotionals just cannot accommodate.

God is not stationary and aloof and watching from a distance. He is seeking something from each one of us and He is steadfast in His quest to have a Christ like you. – Francis Frangipane

In conclusion…

You were redeemed to birth Christ in you.
That can only happen through intimacy.
It is in this intimate relationship with the Bridegroom that true ‘knowing’ takes place. He knows you and you know Him.

I surrender all to You, withholding nothing…

As we spend time in His Presence… it is about being still. Don’t come seeking anything from Him… just be still and become aware of His Presence. Love Him, appreciate Him.

In the stillness you’ll become aware of who He is.