The gospel of John profusely abounds with life-giving words spoken from the lips of our Lord; words that thrill our soul and enrich our spiritual lives. One such word is found in Chapter 10, verse 10. In this verse Jesus says of Himself, I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance - to the full, till it overflows. Everyone desires this abundant life, but not everyone is experiencing it. The reason: There is a lot more to this life that Jesus is talking about than being blessed. Blessings are wonderful, but there is so much more included in our relationship with God than temporal blessings - even spiritual blessings. This abundant life that is available to us lies not in steps taken, methods learned, or principles applied, but rather in developing an intimate relationship with our Beloved God.
Intimacy with the Beloved Our finite minds can barely grasp such a concept. Oh, but our hearts can! For you see, our hearts were made for divine intimacy; fashioned to be in living union with our God. There is nothing more important for our life, our destiny, and our future, than developing a close relationship with our God. It is vital to understand that everything having to do with both our natural and spiritual life is affected by the depth of intimacy we have with Him. Life and fruitfulness flow out of divine intimacy; as do joy, peace, and all the other wonderful life forces that proceed from our heart.
At this very moment, we are on a journey toward becoming intimate lovers, or we might say intimates, with our precious Lord. Becoming intimates with our Beloved will not happen through a single encounter, or even several encounters. Just as we progressively grow into greater depths of intimacy with our husbands through coming to truly know them, so too, we grow in intimacy with God as we come to know Him. As I reflect on the first years of my marriage, it is unmistakably clear to me that the depth of intimacy that my husband and I now enjoy is far superior to that which we experienced in the early years of our marriage. The relationship we have today (after 40 plus years) is precious beyond words! We are one. We have become true intimates. It took many years and much patience for deep intimacy to develop between us. My husband and I had to communicate with each other, learning about each other in order to truly know one another. We had to share our hearts with each other - laying them open, keeping nothing hidden or held back.
I ask you this question: If time, communication, and sharing of hearts are key factors to developing intimacy in our natural lives, dont you suppose these same elements are necessary components in the developing an intimate relationship with our God? How glad I am that I didnt settle for a mere surface level of intimacy with my husband. I am even more delighted that I have entered into a relationship of intimacy with my Beloved.
Before I proceed with this article, I wish to clarify the concept of intimacy with God. As I refer to intimacy with God, I am in no way speaking of anything related to God and sexuality. Divine intimacy is a holy, sacred, supernatural union with God. Words associated with divine intimacy are: closeness, oneness, union, connectedness, like-mindedness, being bound together. Intimacy with God is a function that takes place in our inward parts (our spiritual being).
It is essential for the Bride of Christ to come into deeper levels of intimacy with her Lord; for it is in this place of intimacy that she will come to truly know the heart, nature, ways, and person of her Beloved and become one in living union with Him. As His Bride, we must come to the place that we carry His very heartbeat within us! May our cry be the same passionate cry as that of the Apostle Paul: [For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him - that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding [the wonders of His Person] more strongly and clearly (Philippians 3:10).
What greater aspiration could we have in this life than that of intimately knowing God and the wonders of His person? There is nothing, absolutely nothing, which will change and alter our lives more than an intimate knowledge of God. As we assimilate the knowledge of God, our inward parts come into a greater fullness of revelation concerning His glorious identity. This is the very thing that will stir our hearts and draw them upward in our pursuit of becoming intimate lovers of God.
I have come to realize that intimacy with God is birthed through personal, experiential, heart knowledge of Him. Sadly, many Believers do not know God on an intimate level. Although most know about Him they know facts, theology, doctrines, principles, formulas and methods, yet they dont truly know their God. What many Christians have is only an external, intellectual knowledge of God; they know the Word of God, but not the God of the Word.
There is an immense difference between knowing about God and knowing Him intimately. There are two kinds of knowledge - head knowledge and spiritual knowledge. Andrew Murray says, Spiritual knowledge is not deep thought, but living contact." Without being in union with God through regeneration, it is impossible to know God. Spiritual knowledge comes through spiritual experience and activity. It is a by-product of the supernatural moving of the Holy Spirit within our inward parts. The prophet Hosea has this to say concerning knowing God: Yes, let us know - recognize, be acquainted with and understand Him; let us be zealous to know the Lord - to appreciate, give heed to and cherish Him (Hosea 6:3a).
Because of Gods passionate love for us, and the great delight He takes in our fellowship, He is continually moving toward us in love; always seeking to draw us into greater depths of intimate union. He is searching for those who refuse to settle for occasional times of intimacy and communion (as glorious as they are). His eyes are looking throughout the earth for those who will respond to His desire and press into the role of intimate lover.
Jeremiah 30:21 (NIV) asks a riveting question. who is he who will devote himself to be close to me? This is the deep yearning, the heart cry of our Beloved! He passionately desires His Bride to draw away from the pleasures of this life and enter a place of closeness with Him.
Dont allow feelings of inadequacy or unworthiness to keep you from the Lover of your soul. Song of Solomon 2:10 states very clearly and emphatically that our Beloved speaks and says to ME. God wants you! He yearns for you to be His intimate lover. You are His heartbeat, the love of His life. Even though you may see yourself as inadequate and flawed, He desires you, and He accepts you just the way you are. You are perfect for Him in every way!