Summary: God is intimate with His creation. God is very intimate with the Believer. In the intimacy of the divine and the believer there is fellowship and dialogue. It is this intimacy with the living God that makes the believer unique in the world.
3. Intimacy of the Divine/Believer
“… all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us … ” (Joh 17:21).
Intimacy is closeness in a relationship. Intimacy opens the door of the heart, so that the other person feels accepted and reveals his or herself to the other person that would not be possible without the intimacy. Usually the marriage relationship is held up as the perfect picture of intimacy. However, there is another relationship that is much more intimate than a marriage relationship. It is the believer’s relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Hebrews 4:16 addresses this intimacy.
There are two levels of intimacy. There is an intimacy where there is no intelligence passing between the two. That is the intimacy of the divine/human relationship. God dwells in the human heart, but the individual is totally blind to His presence and unaware of Him. The Bible speaks of this relationship as a state of death. Romans 5:12-21 and Ephesians 2:1-10; 4:17-19 address the state of death.
When the individual establishes a relationship with God through Jesus Christ life comes back into the heart and there is fellowship and dialogue between God and the believer. The New Testament was written to explain this new life with God.
The divine/believer intimacy that is established through Jesus Christ is revealed in the tabernacle. Each station of ministry in the tabernacle addresses the divine and the believer. The structure of each piece of furniture addresses the divine/believer intimacy by the furniture being constructed with wood and then covered over with gold. The wood symbolizes humanity and the gold symbolizes the divine.
The Psalms, the Book of Isaiah and the words of Jesus in the Gospel of John address this divine/believer intimacy. Jesus used the word “oneness”; Paul used the phrase “in Christ and Christ in us”; and Hebrews used the word “partaker.” Each is an attempt to define the intimate divine/believer relationship.
The intimacy of the divine/believer comes into full focus in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is the living resurrected Jesus that the believer is in contact with. Usually we think of connecting with Jesus through His teachings and then with two thousand years between us. That might be true. However, when we connect with Jesus, we are connecting with the Jesus who came out of the grave two thousand years ago, but without the time line of two thousand years between us.
How does this apply to the Christian? The intimacy of the divine in the individual’s heart and life is the key to the proper and acceptable operation of the Christian. This intimacy is understood by the structure and ministry in the tabernacle.