When you hear the word intimacy, what comes to mind? Often it’s the word we use for a good marriage. But a relationship with God? Intimate? You may be thinking, but He often feels so far away!
The dictionary defines “Intimacy” like this. “T
When we look to the Bible, the word intimate is mentioned in a unique way.
“I have come bearing the plentiful gifts of God; and all who receive Me will experience everlasting life, a new intimate relationship with You (the one True God) and Jesus the Anointed (the One You have sent).” – John 17:2-3
Then there is this verse.
“God is faithful and in His faithfulness called you out into an intimate relationship with His Son, our Lord Jesus the Anointed.” – 1 Corinthians 1:9
With both these verses, we see that God’s plan all along was to be in an intimate relationship with His children. He is intimately aware of every little detail about you. He knows the number of hairs on your head (even if it’s just a few), the thoughts you think, your motives, and your favourite things. Yet with all this knowledge, He created you uniquely, lovingly, and for a purpose!
God knows us intimately, and He calls us into an intimate relationship with Him. To be unified in Christ.
So what’s the problem? What is holding us back? Doesn’t this sound like a good thing to those that believe?
Well I was thinking about this on my drive into work the other day. I thought about the relationship with my husband, and I wondered why we are close. What is it that makes me want to share everything with him? What is it that makes me want to continue living in this close space with him? Then I thought, it’s because I know him. Before I loved him, I got to know him, and the more I got to know Shaun in the beginning, the more I loved him.
But let’s say that I didn’t talk to Shaun for a week. Or what if after we got married, I thought, perfect, since we’re man and wife, the love will continue to stay at this intensity forever because we’re married. Then what would happen? I would start to drift apart from him. Even if we lived in the same space, but I chose to stop talking to him, or only talk to him once a month, I wouldn’t know him well. Our relationship would be cordial at best.
The same is with our relationship with God. He is always with us, never abandoning us. But it is our choice to pursue relationship with Him. It is our choice to stop speaking to Him, or only speak to Him when we think we need His help. But for an intimate, face to face relationship, communication must be daily. Sometimes hourly and even then, sometimes we need to reach out to our Abba Father every second.
It is time spent talking, listening, communicating with one another that brings a relationship from cordial to intimate. The more you pursue getting to know God, the more you will find that He is a God worth pursuing, worshipping and loving!
Haven’t heard from God in awhile? Take a crack at reading His word. I bet He has a juicy little nugget waiting for you inside the pages. Don’t know where to start? Perhaps the Psalms, or the good ol’ Apostles; Matthew, Mark, Luke or John.
Or how about an earnest prayer? It can truly be about everything because that is how intimacy works. That word doesn’t work in a boss/worker relationship where you are only waiting to hear if you have done a good or bad job. It also doesn’t work in a master/slave relationship where one demands everything of the other.
Intimacy means saying it all or nothing at all, and the other knows what is being said. It is studying the other until you can read between the lines and see the smallest gesture and know the meaning behind it. This is the sort of relationship God had in mind in the verses above. It is a relationship that I want to run after with all my might!
And when I go a week or more without talking with my Papa, I can know that He is not disappointed or mad and wanting to punish me. Rather He is right there waiting patiently and I can tell Him everything once again!
I think this is one of my biggest downfalls as a human. Every time I start talking to God regularly, I ask Him, “So why did I stop talking to you there? Why would I foolishly do that and how can You have the patience to keep loving me and not just get frustrated and leave?” And He gently reminds me in a way that only He can, “Because I love you my child. And love is patient.”
Constant communication is a breeding ground for intimacy, and with it comes all the emotions. Joy, delight, sadness, pain, anger, frustration. In all of these, God is big enough to hear our hearts cry, whatever it might be right then. So as you go through your week, look for God around you, and share your heart with the One who knows it best!