KINGDOM IDENTITY...Contending for Intimate Faith
"Beloved...I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend [battle] earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints." (Jude 1:3 NKJV)
To fight for what we believe in is necessary in our journey into Kingdom Identity. In the passage above, Jude was exhorting the believers of that day to vigorously contend for the foundational faith they received from the apostles who originally taught them. What he wrote, inspired by Holy Spirit, pertains to us now, and encompasses all the components of our faith. While our faith has many facets, let's look at one in particular today. Our faith to move into deeper intimacy with Him is something I don't hear a lot about when discussing faith. Nevertheless, it's a big part of the reality and authenticity of our faith. Are we willing to contend for a deeper level of intimacy with Him? We contend for correct doctrine, demonstrations of apostolic power, miracles and healings, and in living holy lifestyles...but do we contend for intimacy?
Jesus understood that contending. He had us on His mind when He entered into Jerusalem the last week of His life on earth. That truly was the week of His passion! But remember, everything He did, He did as a man. He was in violent warfare to complete the plan to win His bride back. He was contending for the right to intimacy with His bride. We were on His mind in the garden of Gethsemane when He sweat great drops of blood to fulfill His purpose and win us back. "We look away from the natural realm and we fasten our gaze onto Jesus who birthed within us and who leads us forward into faith's perfection. His example is this: Because his heart was focused on the joy of knowing that you would be his, he endured the agony of the cross and conquered its humiliation, and now sits exalted at the right hand of the throne of God!" (Hebrews 12:2 TPT) We were His joy, the prize set before Him. When Jesus hung on the cross and died, that was a culmination of the warfare He endured to bring forth the Father's plan to redeem His bride. And the final act of that plan, His resurrection and ascension, defied all logic, all natural reasoning, and every demon in hell. The plan was a success!
He is our example. Like Him, we must sometimes enter into 'violent warfare' in order to enter into deeper intimacy with Him. "...the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force." (Matthew 11:12 NKJV) The fact is, we will sometimes have to contend with the enemy to enter into deeper relationship. But it's worth whatever it takes! Our contending for intimacy will create the fullness of our Kingdom Identity.
Another example of 'violent warfare' is found in Song of Solomon. "By night on my bed I sought the One I love; I sought Him, but I did not find Him. 'I will rise now, I said, and go about the city; in the streets and in the squares I will seek the One I love.' I sought Him but I did not find Him. The watchmen who go about the city found me; I said, 'Have you seen the One I love?' Scarcely had I passed by them [the watchmen] when I found the One I love. I held Him and would not let Him go... (Song of Solomon 3:1-4 NKJV)
This is an illustration of the bride looking for her beloved. She has always been able to find Him easily, but now she has to rise up out of her comfortable place because He has hidden Himself from her. It is a test--does she love Him enough to go search for Him? Is her love strong enough to pull her out of her comfort zone? She asks the watchmen if they have seen Him but they haven't. They are focused on their assignment. But the bride has a place beyond assignment; her place is an intimate relationship. So she goes a little farther...and she finds Him.
Herein lies a secret of Kingdom Identity that some miss...contending for intimacy will many times demand going a little farther; past the normal routine, past your comfort zone and familiar places, and beyond the assignments and ministries. Deep relationship demands more, but there's a great reward that comes with it. Be willing to contend for what's important to you. Be willing to fight for what you love. "Then [with a deep longing] you will seek Me and require Me [as a vital necessity] and [you will] find Me when you search for Me with all your heart." (Jeremiah 29:13 AMP)