Icebergs and Intimacy

David HearnMomentum9 Comments

Icebergs and Intimacy, Icebergs and Intimacy

Someone once said, “You can either live your life contemplative on the inside or compulsive on the outside.” Unfortunately, I lean more towards the compulsive outside than the contemplative inside. I am an activist and I am drawn to places where the action is. The downside of an activist is that it can actually foster spiritual emptiness. In the past few months I have been pushing very hard. Everything I am engaged in is exciting for me, but I have begun to notice a more compulsive outside showing up in some of my attitudes and reactions. I have become a little less patient and anger can emerge quickly.

Recently, I received an analogy from a friend that startled me with conviction. He wrote, “You are an iceberg. An iceberg is only 10% exposed with 90% of it under water. Ten percent of your energy (for now) is to be spent for the public to experience, hear, and respond to. Ninety percent of you is for the hidden place with God where you are to wrestle with Him and to cry out for the vision He has given you.”

My first reaction was, is this actually possible? My current calling, by its very nature, is highly public and visible. As I paused to reflect upon it, I felt like God was actually offering a corrective to my current pace. Could it be that I was actually 90% focused on my public ministry and only 10% on intimacy with Jesus? I could sense the Spirit of God nudging me to begin a transition into a more balanced approach to my calling.

In my journal I wrote, “Beware of the tension of growing in success but diminishing in soul. To have increased activity without increased intimacy will lead to self-deception. You can begin to believe that ministry effectiveness is equal to spiritual vitality. From a distance, a dry well looks inviting but when you draw deeply no lasting nourishment is found.”

A few days ago I resurrected a discipline that I had neglected. I booked a whole day of prayer at a local monastery close to my home. I spent an entire day in listening prayer. It was like drinking from a fountain, I wrote in my journal until my hand cramped up. God had so much to say and He seemed to have been waiting for me to slow down long enough to hear Him. The Psalmist wrote, “For God alone my soul waits in silence and quietly submits to Him, for my hope is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation; my fortress and my defense, I will not be shaken or discouraged.” (Psalm 62:5-6)

During my time of prayer, I walked into the chapel that was part of the monastery. It was a Catholic order and so I fully expected to see a crucifix above the altar. But to my surprise, at the front of the sanctuary was a depiction of Jesus rising out of the tomb. He is alive! My heart immediately leapt within me. It was a picture of hope, freedom, life, and unlimited possibilities. It was also an invitation. The One who has risen from the dead sits at the right hand of the Father interceding for me. (Romans 8:34) He longs for me to linger in His presence, to hear His heart and align my soul with His will. I am not an iceberg yet but I am moving in the right direction. Intimacy is in the deep. Dive in!

9 Comments on “Icebergs and Intimacy”

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    This is such an important message for all of us in leadership. Thank you so much for sharing your heart with great vulnerability. I too am challenged to pursue greater intimacy which will in turn fuel the mission. Blessings on you and your family!

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    Wow! I really needed to have this input into my life especially as I head into holidays!! Thank you 🙂

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    Thank God for the body of Christ that speaks into our lives. What a great message you were given that is able to overflow into our lives. Thank you for sharing this!! I needed to hear this message.

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    Dave, I love your candid, honest spirit in admitting your need at this juncture. It certainly was obvious at General Assembly how you thrive on being a spokesman for Christ and you certainly were! Yet, servants of God who are out there giving much need to be receiving much from the Father in stillness and quietness. You are giving the attention your soul needs when you take time to retreat. May these times become very precious to you and the basis for strengthening your soul and all your public ministries.

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    Thank you Dave for these wise and timely words. They are a good reminder of the upside down nature of the Kingdom of God. Were we to spend 90% of our lives in true intimacy with God, not only could we move mountains but we actually would! Indeed, we would accomplish great things for God.

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    Amen Amen Amen.Love your heart. It is so important that leaders model the things we are talking about…for example, as we repented of the glorification of “busy”, we need to help each other figure out what that looks like in everyday ministry life…I have learned that unless it affects my calendar it does not affect my life.

    thanks for modelling well…!

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