Intimacy: it’s a word we don’t often associate with God.
In fact, many of us would be inclined to think that intimacy should be kept from God…as if it were possible to keep anything from God.
If we take time to consider and admit it, many of our ideas of intimacy are cloaked in Victorian embarrassment. That is, our definition of intimacy is heavily influenced by our culture, and sometimes, our culture is as difficult for us to define as trying to get a fish to describe what it means to be wet. (Plus, fish can’t talk. I know.)
All that to say, we think intimacy isn’t something that belongs in the realm of faith…except it does.
Consider the terms we see used for God in the New Testament. We see God called “Father”, a familial term that connotes a close relationship. Jesus called God Abba, an Aramaic term that translates as “Daddy”. Jesus is referred to as both our Lord and our “brother”. The Holy Spirit, Jesus tells us, is our “comforter”.
Those are terms of intimacy, are they not?
I often tell couples when I conduct their weddings that people should be able to look to their love for each other and see a reflection of God’s love for the world. That’s intimacy.
And God desires it with us.
Intimacy is not just about sex. It is about a deep connection of love and openness and honesty. It is about a heart’s yearning.
How can we be intimate with God?
Start by making him your heart’s desire. My wife tells me that when I’m out and she’s at home, her heart skips a beat when she hears the garage door open. Sometimes I tell her, “That’s because you’re looking for a place to hide your boyfriend,” but I’m kidding, of course. That excitement when I come home is a sign of an intimate relationship.
When you come to worship, whether on your own at home, daily, or with the church, weekly, does your heart skip a beat when you enter the presence of the Lord? That’s intimacy.
When you open your Bible to read God’s Word and hear from him, does your heart skip a beat as you anticipate what the Lord will teach you? That’s intimacy.
Our relationship with God is an intimacy of both head and heart. He desires it with us. Do you desire it with God?
“[Y]ou must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength” (Deuteronomy 6.5, NLT).