Summary: 4th in the Spiritual Transformation series of sermons
Our Spiritual Metamorphosis: Step 3 – Intimacy with God
We have been sharing over the past few weeks on the theme of “Our Spiritual Metamorphosis.” As you might recall from the very first week’s message I introduced all of you to my friend from the fourth grade, Gloria the caterpillar. I went into quite an extensive detail about her metamorphosis from a creature crawling around the bottom of the terrarium we had made together with Miss Black into the beautiful butterfly that a couple of weeks later floated above our heads before exiting the open window to one side of our classroom.
You might also be able to recall the poem I shared with you first thing that day entitled “Metamorphosis.” I would like to once again use the middle two stanzas as a way of opening our time of sharing from the Word this morning as well:
When she climbed a plant and learned of the sky,
She looked down at the earth and wondered why
Her destiny was to live on the land.
Something inside her did not understand.
‘The sky is my home,’ every part of her felt
‘How could crawling be the lot I’ve been dealt?’
Keeping those thoughts safe, where they could be found,
She slowly descended back to the ground.
When she found the right plant on which to rest,
She brilliantly wove a cocoon for her nest.
Inside the chrysalis, she went to sleep
Tucked in with those thoughts that she wanted to keep…
So far in this thematic series of Our Spiritual Metamorphosis we have seen where we all are in a sense required, as the followers of the Christ, to change in both our way of thinking and our day-to-day activities. In other words we have to repent of our past sinful nature and strive toward a meaningful relationship with God the Father. We discovered that the beginning of this journey starts at the point of conversion; changing from our previous form of sinner to that of a saint. We also heard that there is more to it than just believing and accepting Jesus as the Christ and our Lord and Savior. Following conversion is the period of learning what God’s Word, the bible, has to say about our day-to-day conduct as a follower of Jesus and His apostles.
Today we want to learn about the third step: Intimacy with God; in other words, having a deep personal relationship with God the Father as we have never experienced before. First we will discover how you and I can know that we are living in deep spiritual intimacy with God. Then we will share as to why we should desire a spiritual intimacy with God. Finally, we are going to look together at the beginning process that will enable us to experience spiritual intimacy with God.
John, the author of this letter and two other letters as well as a Gospel account of Jesus’ life, is still known to many as the “disciple whom Jesus loved” [John 13:23].
Have you ever wondered why that was so? I know I have even questioned at times: “Did Jesus really love him more than all the others?”
The answer to that latter question is a simple “No!” “Why?” you may be asking. It is in the negative because Jesus’ love is both perfect and complete.
But yet there is no question that our personal relationship with Jesus, God the Father and the Holy Spirit can differ. Some of us are just like John; we are intimates, a part of the inner circle.
The amazing thing is that kind of close, personal intimacy with God is available to each and every one of us here this morning. It is available to me and also to you. Remember, God is no respecter of persons. We are all of equal status to him.
John encourages us to have this same close intimate relationship [1 Jn. 1:3]. He makes it very clear that any one of us can have such due to the fact that the Holy Spirit is in us. But this doesn’t mean that we instantaneously really know God. Neither does it mean that we immediately have the experience of the reality of the abiding love Relationship God desire to have with us. But it does mean that God is available to us and that he is greatly willing to move in our lives, but yet he waits, for us to make the first move.
How can you and I know as to whether we are living in spiritual intimacy with God?
Spiritual intimacy is the essence of our personal love relationship with God that can be seen. It is the direct result of God’s presence in your and my life; our abiding life in Him, which can be measured.