Friday, January 22, 2016

Can we get Intimate?

'Against you, you only, have I sinned
    and done what is evil in your sight..'
Psalm 51:4a

So many Christians are scared. We maintain largely superficial friendships and relationships with other Christians and church members. We are scared to grow intimate relationships with anyone. We build walls, cover them with broken glass and enclose glass and concrete in barbed wire fences, anything to stop us from getting intimate with others. We are running scared to church, to work, to school, on our buses and trains. We are absolutely terrified. 

We are scared because we don't know how to be intimate with the source of intimacy Himself. Sure we're Christians. I mean I gave my life to Christ, spoke in tongues, served in church, did the whole going out and preaching 'evangelism' thing once in a while, did my devotions/ quiet time and generally went to church. I know just doing these didn't make me christian of course, so I also made sure to not drink or smoke or party or do drugs or sleep around or dress indecently or say certain things or... (fill in the rest).

So of course, I was a Christian.. or so I thought. I forgot one thing: that being a Christian was about a relationship, friendship, intimacy with Him. Sure, I heard about it and even talked about it but I didn't really become intimate with Him..because I didn't know how. And because I wasn't intimate with him, I always had high walls to keep everyone out. No matter how close I got to anybody, there was always this insurmountable wall. Funny thing is, I craved that deep intimacy, but just couldn't let myself go and my walls down enough to build it with the people God had placed in my life.I always felt this inperceptible pressure to present a perfect front to everyone, especially other Christians, because I hadn't learned to be honest and intimate with Him yet.God forbid they knew my weaknesses or struggles.

Then I read Psalm 51:4 again. You see David had stolen somebody's wife, made her pregnant and killed her husband. And yet, here, he says he's sinned only against God. What about Uriah? The poor faithful husband who is killed simply because he has a beautiful seriously? David isn't saying he hasn't sinned against others at all though. What he acknowledged was that until he fixed things with God he couldn't fix things with the people he'd wronged. A restoration of his relationship with God was the only way he could restore his relationship with others. This was such an eye opener for me. Until I learned to be bare, naked, honest, INTIMATE, with the Father, I couldn't be truly intimate with anyone else.

Let's flash back to the Garden of Eden. God would come down in the cool of the day to hang out with His buddies Adam and Eve. He'd talk with them, laugh with them, make plans together, share some food, and just enjoy being with them. After the whole forbidden fruit...ummm..let's call it  "incident", Adam and Eve felt for the first time a fear of intimacy with Him. For the first time, they were afraid to see Him, talk with Him and be with Him. Are you hiding behind bushes of church work or busyness or blowing in tongues or the religion of Christianity? Are you afraid to sit down and be yourself with Him? Do you feel the need to hide yourself and present a more sanctified, holy version of you to Him? You don't have to! 

Apart from the fact that, frankly, He sees all the cover ups and knows that you're hiding, Jesus died so you could go back to the cool of the day, sitting in the shade having some juice with Him kinda friendship. 

And when I started being intimate with Him and as a result, other people, I was used to touch and change lives, to be a light and salt, to bring hope and healing, in more powerful ways than I ever dreamed. 

So will you become intimate with Him? Its scary. Its hard to be honest with Him about the weaknesses we have and to sit with Him and let Him work with us on them. Its hard to just sit with Him and make plans with Him together and chat. Its not easy to get to the place where you can be with him talking for hours just like you would with other friends. Talking with Him and not at Him. Its uncomfortable, but you'll love it. Will you get intimate with Him? He's waiting for you. He longs for you so much. He yearns to have an intimate relationship with you. Will you be honest with Him and be intimate with Him?