When we hear the word “intimate”, what is the first thing to come to mind?
And at the same time, intimate by the root of the word can have so many other meanings. The word itself comes from the latin word “intimare”, which means to make known, at least that’s the first meaning – and “intimatus” would be the past pronoun and it can be translated as “having been made known”.
That indicates it takes a process.
Plus something that has happened in the past.
Someone has been made known to us or we to them or mutually, assumingly for quite a while…
Then, and only then will we be intimate with them.
There is an explanation / description for it in the merriam webster dictionary “a very close friend and confidant”, which also makes it very clear that intimacy can not mean sex only, because it takes only a few seconds to strip yourself naked and have sex with someone, but intimacy and truly relating to them on any level and truly getting to know them and being their close friend or confidant takes time.
Time and trust.
Listening to them.
Revealing yourself to them.
Open your ears and your heart to them and truly welcome them into your life – not just your bedroom, perhaps even only because you are drunk and want to have a quick thrill and may even want to leave them or get rid of them the next morning – that’s not being intimate!
So it is clear now that we cannot become intimate with anyone, let alone with GOD, through the flesh, through a physical act – no matter how tantric or kamasutrical and acrobatic our sex with our partner is, it will not make us more intimate with each other. Not through the body can we create an intimate relationship, the body may follow and it will certainly enrich and deepen our sexual experiences together when we have learned to be more intimate – but we cannot start with the body, we have to start somewhere else:
intimacy starts in our soul and in our hearts, not in our sexual organs.
Yes, the physical component is important as well – and the bible and GOD is not leaving this out.
But what’s also clear is that it is not possible to have an intimate relationship with anyone without the time factor.
It takes time to get to know someone, to listen to their story, to learn all about them, to learn to trust.
It takes time to prove ourselves to someone and to let them prove to us that they are sincere, that they are telling the truth, that they will be there no matter what.
Intimacy cannot be experienced in a one night stand – and I am not only speaking metaphorically…
Now that that’s settled, the next question is, have you put time and care and effort into creating an intimate relationship with GOD?
Have you listened to HIM?
Have you earnestly and honestly done your best to find out who HE is and what HE is all about?
Do you even know what HE wants?
What HIS desires are?
And HIS story?
Or HIS dreams?
And what kind of a relationship HE wants to have with you, with you personally?
How much time are you spending with HIM?
And where is HE in your priority list?
Do you have time for HIM when you are bored or lonely or ill or desperate or sad and need HIS help?
Or do you also make time for HIM when things go well?
Do you celebrate with HIM when you are happy?
Do you tell HIM first when a big wish has come true (like you would tell your BFF first)?
Do you remember and know that everything comes from HIM?
The good things?
When you receive something good, a blessing, for example, if you are looking for a new job, find your dream job, apply and get it – do you thank GOD FIRST and foremost and do you bow down to HIM, knowing that HE has granted you this and opened this door for you – or do you boast about how great you are and how clever you presented yourself in the interview?
Or when the trouble comes, what happens then?
We all know that in difficult times, many of our human friendships will be challenged and many not so strong friendships will not survive a severe storm… we are all wise enough and have seen it before and we are aware that many of the friends we have today or when all is well will not be there when things go wrong – and eventually, they will…
What about our response to GOD when we get hit…?
I think that is when we can truly find out how intimate we are with HIM!
Firstly, do we believe HE has abandoned us, only because something bad happened to us?
I think this is a very common reaction.
Even I myself have believed this sometimes in the past.
Something like “if GOD was there, HE wouldn’t allow this thing to happen”.
But what has HE said about it?
Has HE ever promised us an easy life without any hardships?
Has HE ever said we would not be attacked by the enemy or not be in trouble at all?
If you look for promises like this, they are not in the bible.
At least have I not found them and I have also not come across a true and sincere bible teacher who has – these are not GOD’s promises to us, they are in fact the lies of the devil and it is he who wants to convince us that GOD has let us down or has abandoned us when something bad happens…
What you can find in the bible though is many reports about that GOD has ALLOWED evil to befall someone in order to test them or in order to bring them closer to HIM and even the ones among us who have not read the bible a lot will have heard examples of this, for instance, almost everybody knows that GOD has brought his people out of Egypt after 400 years of slavery, or that HE has blessed Job after having allowed the devil to bring misfortune upon him… and even HIS OWN SON did HE not spare from having to go through so many trials and tribulations, not even from being prosecuted and murdered by the Jews… so why would HE spare us?
And HE never said HE would!
So when we go through something really tough, the fact that GOD does sometimes not help us immediately does not mean HE is not there, now, does it?
Who hinders you to call on HIM and pray?
Do you not find comfort in your faith in these times?
Well, if you don’t, let me say something you may not like, it may be because your faith is not sincere or not strong enough.
Is GOD like a warehouse for blessings for you, where you can go and get whatever you desire?
And if HE doesn’t provide what you want or need, you will not go there any longer…?
Is it not more so that you are abandoning HIM then or letting HIM down???
Everybody can sing and praise when they are well… but can you when you are not?
You want GOD to be there when you are unwell, but are you still trusting HIM?
Are you still believing HIM?
If you could, like Job, or Abraham, who was even willing to sacrifice his own son, then you would also be able to believe that what is happening now is GOD’s will for you. That HE has allowed this to come upon you for a reason, a reason HE may or may not reveal to you one day…and whether you know why or never will, can you believe that HE is a GOOD GOD, even if you can not understand what HE does sometimes?
That’s what an intimate relationship is about, itsn’t it?
To trust in them, to believe that they are benevolent and have good intentions towards us, to love them regardless if they are bringing us joy or pain, love them unconditionally, like we say in our marriage vows (and we, the church, do consider ourselves to be the bride, don’t we?) “to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish”
Surely and most certainly, that is how GOD loves US.
Regardless if we love HIM back or not – HE always loves US.
HE will NOT and NEVER stop loving us, not even when we are disfigured from an accident, or when we are depressed or have become drug addicts and live on the street… HE will NEVER stop loving us or abandon us – and that is the ONLY love we can truly rely on.
GOD will love us when nobody else will and every person, every human being can and will fail us, can and will hurt us and could even abandon us one day… GOD never will.
It takes time and effort and devotion and listening and trusting and forgiving and getting to know HIM to know that – deep in your heart.
How important is being intimate with GOD to you, my friend?
What will you do to improve and deepen your relationship with HIM?
I pray that this will heal, inspire and bless you.
And that THE LORD will bless you richly in all areas of your life and that HE will shine HIS face upon you, and bring you peace. In JESUS’ name I pray. Amen.
Photo credit: kingschurchcoventry.org