Intimacy is always on the heart of God. Sometimes people have issues with intimacy because of abuse, low self-esteem, or the blatant overemphasis of its association with sex. These issues often become barriers for Christians which keep them from pursuing a deep personal relationship with a living God. I was one of those people completely uncomfortable with intimacy with people or God. My journey towards freedom and a desire for closeness was long and painful, but totally rewarding. We hear the word “intimacy” and immediately feel uncomfortable or believe it is inappropriate in terms of God. However, when we understand its depth of meaning we will long for and embrace this wonderful deep fellowship with the God of the Universe.
The dictionary defines intimacy as a “close, personal relationship in a quiet and private atmosphere.” It also includes “detailed knowledge resulting from a close or long association with someone.” Intimacy infers going deeper and gaining details that cannot be attained any other way than through a desire for more. The only way to really get to know people is to spend time with them. We communicate through letter writing, e-mail, phone, texting, and internet, yet there is no substitute for face to face interaction. This takes time, sacrifice, and a willingness to give of oneself. In order for deeper relationships to develop we must be willing to invest in them. It takes effort to build and maintain relationships. We exert effort in many areas of life: jobs, careers, and education. But it seems when it comes to relationships we expect them to “just happen” and “grow” without putting forth the same effort.
This is true with God as well. Receiving Jesus as Lord and Savior is our first step to being intimate with Him. Unfortunately, many people stop developing this relationship at its inception. We are generally thankful and blessed to have Jesus in our lives, yet we often do not realize, comprehend, or acknowledge Jesus as an “intimate” God, and our need to grow and mature in this relationship. Jesus is all about intimacy – a close, personal relationship resulting from a long association. Intimacy does not “just happen” nor does it materialize overnight. It takes time and requires a certain amount of discipline to seek God and obtain the MORE in a relationship, thus many people settle for a shallow experience with the Lover of their souls.
Knowledge about someone creates intimacy. When my husband first talked to me in 1980, the only things I knew about him were his popularity, athleticism, and good looks. Our first date was a walk around campus for hours where I learned his future plans, hobbies, desires, interests, and things about his family. After that initial date we would talk for hours at a time as we came to know each other, creating a best friend intimacy. It was a long journey especially for someone like me who could not even make eye contact much less open my heart to another person. Over time he was able to draw me out of my protective shell by gaining my trust and showing interest in me as a person.
Dating someone means to go out regularly with them as a romantic partner. When my husband and I began dating we purposed in our hearts to “know”, “devote”, and passionately pursue one another. We made a “commitment” to honor and remain true, choosing or preferring each other and no one else. This is a continual, never-ending journey in marriage. It should be the same way with God. We should purpose in our hearts to know and acknowledge Him through His Word and by His Spirit. He has already purposed in His heart to know us, devoting His entire existence to us, and passionately pursuing communion with us.
- He tells us that we love because He first loved us. 1 John 4:19 “We love Him because He first loved us.”
- His love motivates us to love Him, and it is more than a feeling, it is action. 1 John 3:16 “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”
A key to intimacy is that both parties must desire the same depth in relationship. Though people may fail, hurt, or disappoint us, we can be assured God desires intimacy and will not let us down.
- He wove us together in our mother’s wombs. Psalm 139:13 “For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb.”
- He thinks about us incessantly. Psalm 139:17 “How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them!”
- He knows our hearts better than we know ourselves. Jeremiah 17:9-10 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.”
- He directs, leads, and guides us. Proverbs 16:9 “A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” Psalm 23:2-3 “He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.” Psalm 25:9 “The humble He guides in justice, and the humble He teaches His way.”
- We are the apples of His eye. Zechariah 2:8 “For thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘He sent Me after glory, to the nations which plunder you; for he who touches you touches the apple of His eye.’” Psalm 17:8 “Keep me as the apple of Your eye; hide me under the shadow of Your wings.”
- We are precious to Him and He loves us. Isaiah 43:4 “Since you were precious in My sight, you have been honored, and I have loved you…”
- He will never leave or abandon us. Hebrews 13:5 “Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’”
As much as He desires intimacy with us, He ordained we desire intimacy with Him.
- He is not a God far off, but is a God who is with us, Immanuel! Jeremiah 23:23 “Am I a God near at hand, says the Lord, and not a God afar off?” Matt. 1:23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel, which is translated, ‘God with us.’”
- He is not a God of religion but One who is relational, personal, and desires worship. Psalm 29:2 “Give unto the Lord the glory due to His name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness” Psalm 45:11 “So the King will greatly desire your beauty; because He is your Lord, worship Him.” Psalm 96:9 “Oh, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness! Tremble before Him, all the earth.”
- He is a God who is jealous for us and created us to worship Him alone. Exodus 34:14 “For you shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.” Psalm 81:9 “There shall be no foreign god among you; nor shall you worship any foreign god.”
God longs for us to know Him, and Holy Spirit excels in leading us into a personal relationship. Ephesians 1:17 “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.” Isn’t that a glorious thought? God reveals wisdom and revelation concerning intimacy (knowing God better), through His Spirit! Knowing intimacy is on the heart of God, I pray we allow our hearts to be melted and molded by His Spirit to choose intimacy with Him.
“Father God, thank You for choosing us! Thank You for desiring intimacy with us! Thank You for creating us in Your image! Thank You for being our Immanuel, God with us. Thank You that today we start fresh, new, and desirous for MORE with You! We long to know You better! Thank You for Your Spirit of wisdom and revelation! Thank You for Your love! And thank You that we have the incredible benefit of worshipping You, the only true God! Thank You for the confidence we have in You! And thank You for never hurting, forsaking, abandoning, or leaving us! We trust You completely and it is our desire to be in a living, loving, intimate relationship with You, our Lord, Savior, Redeemer, Comforter, Creator, and Friend! We love You God! In Jesus’ Mighty Name we pray, Amen!