AIM Cover July 2013




Home | Editorial | Intimacy with god
Intimacy with god PDF Print E-mail
Article Index
Intimacy with god
page # 2
page #3

In his heart Raj desired the heart warming worship in his church that he had seen and heard about at some churches. He wanted to see people moved by the Spirit during a service. Tears, joy, intimacy with God.

Raj found many people and situations to blame for his unfulfilled desire. It was the church committee, the lack of musicians, the city, the backward people, the building ("If only I had a larger church building,") the denomination ("Pentecostals don't have this problem.")

It was everything, except the pastor - After all Raj had the desire. He was the one who "spoke for God." He couldn't be the problem, could He?

Well, yes - He didn't openly hinder worship; in fact. He was all for it. He preached that it was a good thing to celebrate God. "Taste and see that the Lord is good" was a text he was familiar with. (He wasn't too familiar with the taste, just the verse.) It wasn't that he didn't want people to love Jesus. The problem was he had no idea what loving Jesus meant.

Loving With Mind And Emotions - Raj's faith was cerebral. He grew up in a stoic family that went to a stoic church. Faith had to do with reason. If someone were to ask him, "Do you love Jesus?" He would have said "yes," though with little emotion attached. Raj knew the scripture "if you love me you will obey my commands." He would love Jesus as long as doing was as far as it went. He didn't want Jesus messing with his emotions.

Worship was an hour on Sunday morning. While he had passion when it came to his wife and children, he had none when it came to expressing his faith through worship. He was opposed to the "hand-raising, loud singing crowd" because he mistakenly thought their faith was all about emotion. He failed to see that his own faith had swung too far in the opposite direction.

It was the year 2000, and Raj was pastoring seventy people in a poor, rural church. Fortunately, only one family in the church had problems with him. Unfortunately, 58 of the people in the church were from that family. He had no idea what he was doing. He felt like a failure.