In honor of Fathers Day
For some men, intimacy with our bridegroom Jesus may seem too feminine. As men, we follow Christ as sons, soldiers, athletes, and servants. He is our captain, our teacher, and our Savior. Inasmuch, He is also our husband. Our inability as men to see ourselves as the bride of Christ is the reason why many men in the church are hung up about passionate worship. We are too much like the Marlboro Man—dirty, tough, independent, and passionless.
It’s hard for the Marlboro men types to worship, not because they are so manly but because they are so insecure about what others think. Some feel it is important to be strict, cold, stable, unmovable, and silent to prove to everyone they are not emotional or passionate.
Understanding how to be the bride of Christ means cultivating intimacy and closeness to Jesus Christ. “He is intimate with the upright” (Proverbs 3:32). Jesus told Martha, the sister of Mary, that only one thing is necessary (see Luke 10:42), and that one thing is intimacy with Him.
"But only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part [that which is to her advantage], which will not be taken away from her.”
Luke 10:42 AMP
(excerpt from the book Real Men Worship)
As believers we have a responsibility to draw close to our Savior. This can be done in prayer, praise, reading of the Word, and the Lord’s Supper. All of it, however, is worship. These spiritual disciplines are avenues for us to draw near to the Lord.
Intimacy comes before ministry or service to God. When we become more intimate with God, we acquire a touch of the Lord on our spirit, attitudes, and behavior. Each of those becomes more like Christ, and we have a greater perception of what the Lord’s desires are, moment by moment. If we are drawn to Him in worship, then we can run with Him in ministry.
Four Reasons Men Should Be Intimate with Jesus
Intimacy is more important than our work and serving. Jesus said “Mary has chosen what is better.” Jesus considered serving Him to be a distraction from worshiping Him. Business and activity are the enemy to intimacy.
Intimacy involves a choice that must be made. We don’t drift into intimacy. We have to make a choice to draw near. “Come near to God and he will come near to you” (James 4:8 NIV). Mary made a choice to draw near. Martha did not. It doesn’t run in the family to be intimate with the Lord; it is a decision of the will, and each of us must make that personal decision. Mary made a different choice than Martha, and the Lord said it was the better choice.
Intimacy is the antidote for anxiety. Jesus said to Martha, “Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things.” Martha was fretting and fussing about her elaborate preparations. She was anxious. So many things distract us from intimacy with the Lord. The seemingly urgent tends to crowd out the truly important. Someone once said, “Anxiety is a mild case of atheism.” When we worry about things, we are making a confession of faith: “God is not able to take care of it.” Christian men should not be anxious about their affairs. "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (Phil 4:6 NASB)
Intimacy causes Jesus to seek us. God doesn’t have “favorites” but “intimates.” The Lord is looking for those who will worship Him, not mechanically or legalistically, but personally and intimately. The Father is seeking those who will worship Him in spirit and in truth.
As a father, or grandfather, I encourage you make a choice to be more intimate with Jesus as we approach Fathers Day. Get to know Jesus His personality and preferences. Delight to hear HIs voice and be in His presence.