Intimacy. In to me you see. A quality or state of emotional warmth and closeness. In to me you see. Something that is very personal and private. In to me you see.
I know of no one who sees in to me in any way I don’t control by my behavior. You do not see in to me. You think you do and that’s fine. That can be controlled. That is the lie of most people’s lives. That is the distance I maintain. The antithesis of intimacy.
How I long for intimacy of an uncontrolled nature. Especially with my loving God who promises that if I draw close, He will too. That’s the irony of ironies, isn’t it? The one who made all things and knows all things and has power over all things wants nothing more than to have intimate connection with a woefully inadequate rebel of a child like me.
Until recently I had no idea what this entailed, why it is important, or what I had to do to achieve a higher level of intimacy with God. What I have found is that not only is this of utmost importance, but every bit as important as intimacy with my beloved wife and more than my cherished son. Indeed, my Lord does see in to me and I am certain He sees room for improvement in our relationship. Lately, I feel more distance forming between us, as I often feel in my closest human relationships. Definitely not optimal.
Like anything it takes practice. My worst relationships are the ones in which contact is the least and closeness unachievable as a result. I can’t imagine what kind of relationship Jesus had with His brother James. You know-the one who wrote the Bible book. Histories of the time, both spiritual and secular, said that James thought Jesus was a family embarrassment, who suffered from some form of mental illness. In fact, he did not come to believe Jesus as Lord and Savior until after many told him that they had seen Jesus after His crucifixion and burial. James saw Him too and came to believe. A few decades later James would write:
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you. James 4:8-10
In effect this is the goal of intimacy with God all in one poignant, simple phrase. Yes, even the mourning, weeping, and gloominess are part of it. God wants to relieve these things from us and give us rest and the peace that passes all understanding. It starts with a warts and all, vocalized appraisal of our lives, our habits, and how they separate us from Him first, and then all those in this life whom we love.
Here’s a challenge for you, for the week ahead: Pray daily and in a quiet, private place-spit it all out! That’s right. Every dark, poisonous, negative thought, word, and deed laid out between you and Him who stands as a friend to you and closer than any brother.
When you pray, let it begin with a Psalm or two and Proverb or two, or end with these.
Finally, get to where you will be with people trying to achieve the same intimacy you are.
Have a rich, wonderfully blessed week, friends. I believe I will!