Summary: Our work, our worship, and our ministry must be an overflow of our intimacy with God. The Christian’s fruitfulness and faithfulness should come from a heart that is madly in-love with Christ.
"God’s Call for Intimacy" (Psalm 42) By Ptr Michael Cariño
Have you ever felt spiritually dry?
You go to church, read you bible, and pray, yet deep inside you still feel spiritually empty. You believe in Jesus, you follow Christ, and you know God yet your life is aimless and meaningless.
Many of us have been in those situations when we are expecting that we will experience spiritual “green pastures” – fruitful, fresh, and flourishing, yet all we encounter are “spiritual wilderness” – dry, miserable, discouraging. You have Christ in you but you feel so empty?
It is like being married to the person you love, yet you no longer enjoy each other’s company. You have lost that delight or pleasure of being together. There is no intimacy.
There was once a couple who lost their intimacy for each that they decided not to talk to each other anymore. Instead, they communicated by using “post it” notes that they stick on the wall or the refrigerator. So when they want to say things like “dinner is ready” or “ I will be out to the grocery” or “the phone bill is due today”, they will write notes on paper and post it on the wall.
One night, the husband decided to ask his wife to wake him up early the next morning so that he won’t be late for work. So wrote a note that said “wake me up at 5:00 am”, then he posted it on the toilet mirror for his wife to see.
The next morning, the husband woke up and it is already 8:00 am. He was so angry that his wife did not wake him up early. When he turned, he saw that a note is posted on his pillow. The note says. “It is 5:00 am. It’s time to wake up!”.
This is the exact opposite of intimacy in any relationship.
Intimacy means the relationship is thriving and flourishing, and not dying. Intimacy means there is deep connection and communication between the two people who love each other.
This is the same with our relationship with God.
God calls us to spiritual intimacy with Him. He desires and longs for us to be close to Him.
This is what separates Christianity from the other religions. We speak of a God who longs for a relationship, not a religion. A life of loving relationship, not a life of rules, rituals, and regulations.
God is the great “Lover of our Soul” who wants to relate to us like a “Good Father”, like a “Passionate Lover”, like an “Intimate Friend”, and like an “Excited Groom” longing for his bride.
All these images of God’s character speak of His love, of His passion, of His invitation for intimacy.
What is Intimacy with God?
“Spiritual Intimacy” is described as a passionate love to the One who loved us first. It is a relational closeness, a deep friendship, a delightful knowing, and a pleasurable companionship with God.
That is why when our spiritual lives are characterized by fear, pressure, or performance, we are not living in intimacy with God.
Our misconceptions of who God really is distorts how we relate to Him. When we see God as angry, strict, and tyrannical being we live miserable, unhappy, and impoverished spiritual lives. When we perceive God as a grumpy ruler who keeps a record or makes a list of all your failures and mistakes, checks it twice and finds out who is naughty or nice. We can never have intimacy with God.
We will always fear Him, avoid Him, hate Him, and perform for Him.
Would you rather spend time with the school principal or spend time with a loving friend?
For many of us, spending time with God is like being inside the principal’s office. It is terrifying! We avoid it. We hate it. We fear it. We may do it out of mere duty or obligation, but we feel miserable.
For some of us, being with God is like being with a loving friend. It is delightful! We feel happy. We have fun. We are relaxed. We do not have to perform or pretend. We can make mistakes and failures and still feel loved and accepted. We long for it. We are excited about it. We desire it more than anything. It is not out of duty or obligation, we do it out of pleasure.
Remember the truth about who our God is. We are not sinners in the hands of an angry tyrant. We are sinners in the hand of a loving dad. This is the root of all intimacy with God and passion for God. It is LOVE. Rules without relationship leads to rebellion. Truth without love leads to rejection.
The God of love wants us to love Him back.