Mark Affleck

The Two Sides of INTIMACY with God

April 21, 2021
Spiritual Growth

Intimacy with God is one of the most overlooked aspects of being a Christian. The word INTIMATE is mostly associated with the surface-based transactions we make with others. Most often it is an expression of love between people—flowers, cards, time to together, and the open sharing of feelings.
in·ti·mate / closely acquainted; familiar, close, cherished, faithful, devoted, a very close friend.
That’s the transactional, SURFACE side of intimacy. The coin’s other side is the DEPTH of intimacy. And there is no intimacy without trust.
For every reduction of trust in a relationship, a chunk of intimacy evaporates into the air. That is a foundational tenet in our human relationships, and it is a true and powerful force in our intimacy with God.
Intimacy with God does require knowledge of him and his Word. But the deep, enduring intimacy with God that we seek is so much more than knowledge of him. That has ALWAYS been the case, but the temptation to rely on knowledge to know Christ is higher today than it has ever been. WHY? We have never seen trillions of bits of information beckoning for a click.
That sobering reality prompts this question: Has the number of believers with a deep, intimate relationship with God increased at the same level? Of course not.
Why does knowledge fall short of creating intimacy? Because there is NO TRUST.
“You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.” John 5:39–40
We become PRIDEFUL when Bible knowledge replaces our trust in God and we seek a closer relationship with God through what I call “Experiential Intimacy.” With that as our guide, we try to develop the “right environment” for the “right experience” to have God come waltzing in–behind billowy clouds and soft music (or maybe loud worship music)–with a bag of INTIMACY.
So where do we find intimacy with God?
With faith driven by CAPITAL B BELIEF that God is in control and we aren’t.
I ask God to draw me closer to him in a way that uses knowledge of his Word as the means to develop trust that generates true intimacy.
How would you rate your INTIMACY with God at this time in your faith walk?
“But as for me, it is good to be near God…” Psalm 73:28
“Not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.” Philippians 3:9

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