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Day Five Devotional 
with Pastor Gio Muñoz

The Call to Intimacy First 

 

The first thing is the great thing—to love God with all our heart. It’s our greatest commandment (Matthew 22:37-38), and it’s our first priority (Revelation 2:4). Loving God comes first, even before serving others. Serving others is the second commandment. Jesus said it’s like the first commandment in that it’s dear to God’s heart, and yet He clearly placed it second (Matthew 22:39). It’s a real close second and almost inseparable from the first, but it’s still second. We must keep first things first. When loving God gets our first strength, we live in spiritual health and have the ability  to live out the second commandment well. But when our priorities get backwards and we give our first strength to serving people, we’re likely to over-extend, burn out, or malfunction. 

 

We’re designed by our Maker to function properly as we to keep returning to our first love. The Holy Spirit is in the business of restoring the first commandment to first place in our lives. When Jesus is our first love, we find security and identity in Him. As we stand before Him in love, we find out who we really are. He wants us to find our identity, not primarily in what we do for Him (the second commandment), but in who we are in His presence (the first commandment). 

 

I’m not primarily a worker for God. First and foremost, I’m a child of God. I’m a son first and a soldier second. Love comes before labor. That order is vitally important. If necessary, the Holy Spirit is willing to turn our lives right-side-up so we get first things first again. By the time He’s finished correcting us, we’ll be lovers who work rather than workers who love. In the secret place, we find our identity before the throne of God. Here, being close to Jesus becomes our primary occupation. This is where love is incubated and grown. We can’t develop intimacy on the run. We have to stop, pull up to the table, lay out the bread and cup, and dine together.

 

 

We’re easily inebriated with the wine of doing, when He wants us satisfied with the wine of His love—the wine of being. Being with Him. So He comes to us, like He did to the Ephesians who were so successful in ministry, and says, I’m calling you back to your first love (Revelation 2:4). He wants people of one thing: the passionate pursuit of His face. That’s what David was after, for he wrote, “One thing I have desired of the LORD, that will I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in His temple” (Psalm 27:4). In the same spirit, Paul said, “But one thing I do,” which was pursuing “the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14). 

 

Mary of Bethany discovered that, “One thing is needed” (Luke 10:42)—to sit at Jesus’ feet and hear His word. David’s one thing was Paul’s one thing was Mary’s one thing. It’s the first commandment in first place, the pursuit of a loving relationship with our beautiful Bridegroom. All hell will militate against your becoming a man or woman of one thing. Circumstances will go haywire; your to-do list will mushroom; the demands on your life will escalate. Satan will employ any device—anything to keep you from becoming a person of one thing. Because if you find this, you’ll become a blazing torch for God. Love for Jesus will empower and energize everything you do. When we get the first commandment in first place, we become dangerous weapons in His hand for end-time exploits. When we find our sense of fulfillment and success from the affections He gives in the secret place, we’re freed from the tyranny of the ups and downs of serving. Whether our service is well received or not, we’re successful on the inside because of love. We’re stabilized and anchored by the power of an inner life with God. This is where we find ABUNDANT life! 

 

Let’s open up our heart as we step into Habitation and allow Him to birth fresh zeal and desire for Him!