I wonder what your initial idea or opinion was reading this title. When you think of the concept of being intimate with God, what is your first response? Excitement? Frustration? Anticipation? Indifference? My experience tells me our thoughts dictate our experience.
Personally, as much as I couldn’t understand why, nor could I avoid its presence, my initial feeling towards intimacy with God was one of trepidation, ‘a feeling of fear that causes hesitation.’ There seemed to be a ‘knowing’ that to be intimate with God was a choice that was loaded with risk. Intimacy or to be intimate according to Websters dictionary is ‘revealing one’s deepest nature.’
And so I hesitate with thoughts running through my mind holding me from an invitation from my God. James 4:8. Thoughts that questioned. Would He draw near? But I read scripture and I heard of these men and woman who appeared to operate on a different plane and I couldn’t help wonder what their secret was. Philippians 4:12-13 ‘…I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.’
Paul hands us a key on a silver platter, ‘the secret’: through Christ. Blue Letter Bible explains this word ‘through’ refers to a position, one without motion, i.e. a parallel to rest. For the sake of this blog let me reword this verse ‘…I can do all things through [intimacy with] Christ, [where] He gives me strength.’ These men and woman operated on a plane I hadn’t yet risked, a constant place of intimacy with Christ. In turn Jesus became their very life source. He became the place in which everything flowed from.
I would love to say something extraordinarily divine happened that brought me into my secret place with God, but it was a choice, a leap of faith, jumping out of my boat of trepidation and finding Jesus waiting for me there. Scripture is filled with teaching that stresses the power of taking that step when it doesn’t make complete sense. However, in the same breath scripture emphasises that God is always there to meet us. (Matt. 7:7, Psalm 34:4, Jer. 29:13)
Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God.” C.S Lewis said, “I wanted God, not my idea of God.” When it came down to it, I had a misunderstanding of the nature of God. I lived waiting to know in order to be still, but in that place of surrendering, being completely still with Him, he revealed Himself and unraveled my misunderstandings.
From this, a hunger was stirred. I found myself being awakened night after night to spend time with Him. Intimacy wasn’t something intimidating or something loaded with requirements. Rather, it was a privilege and right as His daughter. Intimacy is the ‘secret’ of remarkable people of God from the past. It is still the same today and will always be. God remains the same, with a heart for His children, longing to once again walk with us in the garden. “My goal is God, not joy, peace or even blessing, but Himself, my God.” (Oswald Chambers)
By Holly Wales