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SHIFT - 1 From Distant to God to Intimate with God

May 17, 2020

-

James Anson

Jesus braided a home made whip and cleaned out the merchants and money changers who were placing a barrier to those wanting to come and make the temple a House of Prayer. This message is unveils some common barriers that restrict followers of Christ from moving into a closer relationship with Jesus.

INTRO: We are breaking down 5 prophetic shifts that God outlined to me of what I believe He is doing in the Global Church right now.

These are a call from heaven of some RE-ALIGNMENTS Jesus is wanting to make in His body - the Church. It is like we are trying to walk but we are currently DISJOINTED and God is doing some MASTER RESETS and ALIGNMENTS to CLICK THINGS INTO PLACE.

Jesus cleansing the Temple

'Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. And He found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers doing business. When He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers’ money and overturned the tables. And He said to those who sold doves, “Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!” Then His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for Your house has eaten Me up.”' John 2:13-17

Same account in Matthew tells us Jesus says
“It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’ ”  Matthew 21:13

Those at the temple for money making purposes only had made God's house a Den of Thieves. They had created a barrier between the people and God.

Jesus states the original INTENTION of GOD'S heart was God's house was to be first and foremostly -
• A house of prayer
• A house of connection to the Father
• A house of intimacy with God
• A house of drawing near to God and He will draw near to you.

God's people were being robbed of relationship with Him!

This HAD now become a barrier - a blockage to Intimacy with God and Jesus was going to do something about it.

God's people were being lied to and stolen from by these Merchants and Money changers - not just with their money but Robbed of their INTIMACY with the Father.

How did Jesus feel about this?   ANGRY, UPSET, DEMONSTRATIVE

This is exactly how Jesus feels about us when we are being lied to and robbed of Intimacy with God.

JESUS WANTED TO MEET WITH THE FATHER THAT DAY BUT FIRST HE HAD TO REMOVE THE BARRIER THAT WAS STOPPING HIM AND OTHERS FROM DOING SO.

Understand this children of God - the enemy is still out to minimise and restrict your intimacy and closeness to God. He will lie to us, steal from us, hinder us in any way he can to create a barrier between you and the Father.

I want to talk about 3 common lies of the Enemy that can become barriers to Intimacy:

1. Serving God is all about what I can do for God.



We buy into this and before you know it we are wearing ourselves out with activity and busyness.  We end up exchanging a life of busyness for God instead of drawing close to God.

Jesus could not expose this LIE any clearer with an account of two sisters he spent time with - Mary and Martha. Jesus spent time in their home. Jesus saw how they were living and operating inside their home.  
This story is in all four gospels - for us to learn the key lesson.

Luke 10:38–42 (NKJV)
Mary and Martha are Contrasted
38 Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.”
41 And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. 42 But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”

You have seen this story played out many times - probably in your own households: The busy server versus the seemingly lazy SPIRO.  Except Jesus commends Mary - who took time out to draw near and sit at his feet while her sister was so busy running around the house distracted with much serving.  

The very fact that the word says she was distracted tells us she had gone off the path that she was supposed to take.  
Distracted  = having one's thoughts or attention drawn away : unable to concentrate or give attention to something
She was drawn away and Jesus speaks clearly to this problem of distraction.
41 And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. 42 But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”

Two choices - distracted choice of busyness of FOCUS on the ONE THING THAT IS NEEDED - the GOOD PART - which can never be taken away from her.

Time with God - sitting at Jesus feet is never wasted time.  We are sold the lie that it is unproductive and we should be out DOING stuff.  DO DO DO! Jesus says "SLOW DOWN - DRAW NEAR - SERVING GOD IS FIRSTLY ABOUT SITTING AT MY FEET, IN MY PRESENCE before any so called productive activity!

When we settle for KNOWING ABOUT HIM instead of KNOWING HIM we are being ROBBED of RELATIONSHIP with God.

We are being Robbed of something that may start out a very ordinary moment that could quickly be turned into an EXTRA-ORDINARY moment.

I have found that ONE TOUCH from God in His presence can bring TRANSFORMATION that years of counselling may never get to do.

ONE TOUCH in His presence can bring a REVELATION that will stick with you for the rest of your life.

The human heart has been designed by God to be His dwelling place. Man is the DWELLING PLACE OF GOD.

We have been sold the lie - MOTION and MOVEMENT EQUALS MINISTRY.

So we busy ourselves DOING THINGS FOR GOD without RELATIONSHIP with God and wonder why things have become so DRY and why our SOULS are so THIRSTY.

Activity for God on it's own will never bring TRUE REST in our hearts or TRUE SATISFACTION.

2. I'm not Good enough


This lie has destroyed family relationships since the beginning of time.
When you are sold the lie that you are not good enough:
○ For this family
○ For this Company
○ For this marriage
○ For a relationship with God
It sets your feet on a path of deep disappointment that leads to SEPARATION and DISTANCE with God.
○ Separating:  Fathers with their sons
® Daughters with daddies
® Grandchildren with grandparents
As we feel the brunt of disappointment towards us it drives us to separation.

This is so subtle at times. We know the truth of the bible - there is none good, no not one.  We know Romans 3:23 says "For all have sinned and fallen short".

But the way this lie is cast in your direction by the devil is that even with Jesus taking the wheel of your life - you are a worthless worm, you will never be good enough, you are dirty and you are not good enough to draw near to God.  You need to stay where you are.  Why should God listen to you anyway??

This is a PERVERSION of the truth of the GOOD NEWS of JESUS CHRIST.

The good news friends is that none of us deserved His love and affection but GRACE (God's unmerited kindness and favour) and MERCY (we don't get what we deserve) are given freely to us to draw us into relationship with God.

Through this grace and mercy we understand WE DO MATTER TO GOD.
- that God wants a relationship with us because he sees VALUE and WORTH in our lives.  SO MUCH SO - that GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD THAT HE GAVE HIS ONE AND ONLY SON THAT WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH IN HIM SHALL NOT PERISH BUT SHALL HAVE EVERLASTING LIFE.

Listen:  YOU CAN BANK ON GOD'S GRACE AND MERCY EVERY TIME YOU FAIL AND YOU FALL there is an OPEN DOOR for you to run back into the FATHER's arms and fall in love with Him all over again and again.

The parable of the prodigal son tells us how this works out.
The younger rebellious son receives his inheritance and spends it all on wild living. He runs out of money and hits rock bottom. In today's terms he could have listened to the lies of the enemy and taken his life in that pig pen. But he had a revelation of how even the servants in his father's house had a better life than what he was living.  He made his mind up to go back to his father because he BELIEVED his father would receive Him and give him a second chance.

The real revelation in this story is the OLDER BROTHER who had faithfully stayed serving his Dad on the family farm all these years.  But his judgemental attitude towards the homecoming of the younger REBEL reveals he never understood how much his Father loved him. He was being hindered by the lie "I'm not good enough".

I have been with you all this time, I have never transgressed and yet you killed the fatted calf for this rebel brother of mine.  Luke 15:29-30

His Father gives him a reality check that speaks volumes about the older brothers lack of INTIMACY with his own Dad.  

Luke 15:31 (NKJV)
31 “And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours.

This must have been shocking to the older brother.  He has believed a lie all these years that has kept him at a distance from his own father not realising he could have asked him for anything over all these years and his father would have given it to him.

LISTEN: THROUGH THE BLOOD OF JESUS YOU ARE WORTH IT! YOU ARE LOVED BY HIM! YOU HAVE BEEN MADE GOOD ENOUGH THROUGH JESUS CHRIST.  GOD IS MADLY IN LOVE WITH YOU AND IS WAITING FOR YOU TO DAILY TO ENTER HIS PRESENCE AND ABIDE WITH HIM.

3. The pursuit of THINGS will bring your soul SATISFACTION

This lie will create a barrier between you and the LORD by telling you that you can find SOUL SATISFACTION in the pursuit of THINGS instead of the PURSUIT OF GOD.

This was one of Satan's first deceptions revealed in the garden of EDEN as Adam and Eve looked longingly at the fruit on the forbidden tree in the middle of Eden.

Gen 3:1…
And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”

Genesis 3:4–7 (NKJV)
4 Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.

The devil will try and sell you this lie so the pursuit of SATISFACTION elsewhere other than the feet of JESUS will overtake your life and keep you at a distance.

• That shiny new car seems so alluring
• That relationship with that pretty girl seems so right
• That house is so much better than what you currently have

WHEN I GET THESE THINGS THEY WILL BRING ME SATISFACTION!

LISTEN: your heart can only be truly satisfied when it connects with the ORIGINSand PURPOSE of why it was made - to drink from the life giving water that only comes from Jesus.

In Jesus own words to the woman at the well:

John 4:13–14 (NKJV)
13 Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”

CONCLUSION

• Are any of these lies familiar to you?
• If I were to ask you your proximity, your closeness to Jesus today - how would you answer?
• The power of God is here to break the lies in your lives today.
• The truth will overcome the lies.
• Jesus said the TRUTH will set our souls FREE.

Can you feel those barriers hindering you from drawing near to the feet of Jesus today?
Can you hear the call of God over your soul today "Draw near to me and I will draw near to you".

Jesus is the BRIDEGROOM of HEAVEN preparing HIS BRIDE for an eternity in intimate nearness to HIMSELF.

I will finish with these famous words of the APOSTLE PAUL:

Philippians 3:8 (NKJV)
8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ

Phil 3:10.
10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection

Will you choose to make the shift today - from being DISTANT and AFAR OFF  to UP CLOSE and NEAR sitting at JESUS FEET.

PRAYER.

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