Micah Mabe: How I Found Intimacy with God

Posted by in Faith,Temptation | December 24, 2013

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Editor’s Note: When I think of Micah Mabe, I am always encouraged by how brave he has become. Unafraid to face his own issues and ask tough questions, Micah has not only valiantly struggled with things some people refuse to even acknowledge, he has sought the support and council of friends and family, who have all shared in his victories and comforted him in defeat. Intimacy with God is something that is often mentioned and rarely practiced. We would all be wise to heed Micah’s example and take his advice. Thanks for sharing your journey!

For all of my life, I have longed to be loved. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been loved by my parents, friends, and God, throughout my life. He surrounded me with so many godly people; yet still, I was not always satisfied. Growing up in a Christian home and attending Christian private schools for most of my life gave me the tools to find God and know him more. Yet I longed for satisfaction in my life—I longed for love. Striving to be a good person, I sought acceptance and love in all the wrong places. Looking towards friends for acceptance, being the guy to take home to mom and dad, having a good Christian reputation, excelling in sports, and being loved by my parents (not for who I am, but what I have done), etc. were some of the things I thought would make me feel loved and happy. That was not the case, so I kept on searching.

Sure, I was a Christian. I prayed to God when I needed him or needed something from him, but I never fully embraced him for who he was. I knew he was my Savior, who had died for me and would forgive me of my sins, but I never fully experienced his love and grace because I never fully embraced him. Instead, I went to the world. I had numerous girlfriends, but could not find true love. Then I went to the internet and my iPhone, only to find a lust that would not only lead me astray from God, but would destroy my life and leave me broken and unfulfilled. Eventually, in the midst of my battles, I recognized the idols in my life, such as: baseball, friends, and my girlfriend—I had to give them up to God in order to glorify him and live for him.

I have been blessed abundantly and do not deserve the life that I have lived. Still, the question remained in my mind. “God, you have you given me the talent to play a collegiate sport, surrounded me by such godly people at a Christian college, given me a wonderful family, and placed a godly woman in my life… So why am I still on the internet lusting and ultimately looking for a satisfying love?” When times were tough, when I didn’t feel loved or accepted by my friends, family, girlfriend, or God, I would turn to lust. Afterwards, I would turn back to God in humiliation and despair, asking him, “Where are you?” I would pray constantly. I desperately wanted to experience a full, satisfying love. My family, friends, and girlfriend pointed me to a love that would satisfy, but I looked toward them instead. I finally realized that the expectations I put on my girlfriend, family, friends, and baseball, could only be met by God. I longed for my girlfriend to love me fully, but all she could do was love me as best as humanly possible. I expected satisfaction in a godly relationship despite our sin. I expected success and support throughout my life because I prayed and read the Bible, but I only got a taste of temporary satisfaction.

This search left me weary, burdened, depressed, and unsatisfied. I didn’t feel like myself. I had hope, since I had been pointed towards the answer, which was him all along. Yet I was just too selfish, angry, and doubting, because I couldn’t necessarily see him in all of this. I was broken… and that is where I found him—I found true love. Dealing with life issues as a couple, relationally and individually, my girlfriend and I decided to take some time apart from one another to focus on God. During that time, I realized that I had been living a life of me; but until I was fully broken, I couldn’t see my weakness and my need of, not just what God could do but who he is—Love.

I have been pure and abstaining from lust for almost two months now because I finally experienced His love. Through this search, I have found that that pure love can only come from God. As humans, we have unrealistic expectations that we place upon ourselves and others. Recently a sermon helped me realize that as humans we cannot measure up to such expectations—it is only in God that we can measure up (Matt. 11:30). When I looked to him in my brokenness, I finally realized my self-worth. It’s frustrating that it took me this long to realize that the answer had been right in front of me my whole life. But it was not until I was fully broken and sapped of my strength, from battling my flesh, Satan, and the world, that I lay there defeated, asking God to lift me up, carry me, and mold my life to His will.

By God’s grace, I finally found the answer to my prayers. An intimate, loving relationship is a “constant, selfless walk” with God. Previously, I had been lingering in my sin and then sprinting to catch up, only to find myself thirsty and out of breath. I would drink from the dirtiness of the world only to spit it back out; I would drain everything from from my friends, family, and girlfriend only to want more when they had nothing left to give. When I finally did find intimacy, it was by drinking of God’s word and actually applying it to glorify him and live in his will. Two verses that spoke to my blindness and brokenness were Mattew 27:45-46 and John 8:11. In Matthew 27:45-46, it says, “Now from the sixth hour darkness fell upon all the land until the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?”

As I bawled reading this, I realized that it was not the physical pain which was too great for him (which I cannot even begin to imagine), but the loss of God’s presence in his life that was so crushing. Jesus lived in perfect intimacy with God and walked with God and lived every day of his life, not in his will but in his Father’s will, only to bear the weight of our sins on the cross; it crushed him spiritually as he felt the presence of God leave him. You see, Jesus longed for intimacy too; but it was not because of his sin, since he was perfect, but because of my sin that he sacrificed his life physically and spiritually for me. I was dead, but he made me alive; and I truly experienced this when I realized my brokenness. John 8:11 talks about the adulterous woman who was about to be stoned when Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” After all of the disobedience, pain, and hurt I have caused myself, my girlfriend, my family, my friends, and most importantly my God, I wondered how I could make amends and fix all that I have messed up. And that is the beauty of this verse. After so many years of lusting longing for an intimate love and destroying my life and the respect of so many others, I realized I cannot fix what I have done. Only He can.

When I read Jesus’ words, “Neither do I condemn you” I fell to the ground realizing how I don’t deserve this life God has graciously given me. I was overwhelmed with grace, love, and gratitude. I finally felt like myself. God redeemed my life and made me into a man of God. With that being said, I know I must constantly walk with God and keep watch of Satan. He has been banging on my door, verbally abusing me, and questioning my confidence, and has tempted me more now than ever; but that is the beauty of it. In these moments, God has shown himself to me even more and has pointed me back to him and enveloped me in his loving arms. Constantly praying, being in his Word, and applying it on a daily basis, has ended my search for a true, satisfying love. It is a daily struggle to live in his will and be patient and faithful, but it is through him that I am humbled in my brokenness, boast in my weakness, and love because he first loved me.

To conclude, I would like to thank Jeff Knapp and his ministry IRON & FIRE for being a huge influence in my life, my family for supporting me, encouraging me and loving me, Victoria whom I love and cherish and cannot thank enough for loving me, being there, and pointing me back to God, the French family for loving me as their son, as well as my accountability partners and those who have helped me in my struggles (Dave Hamilton, Rashad Gober, Malcolm Galwey, Kevin Hughes, my father, Jeff Knapp, Lee French, John Holland, Spencer Smith, Andrew Beck, Keith Rice, Scott Hoelsema, Chad Miller, and Victoria).

Micah Mabe

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