Wednesday, October 13, 2010
5 1/2 Intimacy With God - The Path to Sexual Fulfillment
Beloved: How handsome you are, my lover! Oh, how charming! And our bed is verdant.
The Bible has some pretty racy stuff, and I skipped some of the more physically graphic illustration from Song of Songs.
I was thinking about Jesus today - how so many simply give lip service to Him (not to mention the haters), and it makes me sad. It is not because I think less of them, but because I am certain they don't know Him like I do. I don't doubt if God exists; never even give it a thought. I, like Thomas, don't doubt that Jesus can do miracles either because; also like Thomas, I have seen Him do them.
Intimacy with Jesus, it sounds a little strange to me. Think of your closest relationship. If you don't have a spouse, think about the person that you are closest to in life; the one that you love to be with more than anyone else, the intimacy that God has created us for, it's deeper than that. Here's the quick biblical rundown.
In the Hebrew the word YADA means to know (a person carnally): Genesis 4:1: Adam knew Eve, his wife. Psalm 25:14 The LORD confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them.
In the Greek it is koinonia, which means communion by intimate participation. It describes the fellowship that the early believers had as well as the presence of God during communion.
In most churches I've heard that spending time with God in study, prayer and fellowship - possibly even meditation, is the way to be intimate with God. Here's a little news flash: even our devotions can be filled with religion!
I have heard so many "do this" sermons that sound like good ideas, but never had any particular effect on the intimacy I have with Jesus. Revelation is not meant to be the result of laborious study, but of a deep and personal relationship with our Creator.
How do I do it? Here are some points to ponder on your journey.
-1 God's Love: How is that we might begin the journey of letting God love us perfectly; without abandon, a radical love that no human can lavish on us?
Romans 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?...38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
We must have the basic revelation of God's love for us, or we will be on the merry-go-round of emotion and doubt.
What would a perfect father do to love you: give you everything you want, take away your pain, make another "get their act together" or bring back a loved one? Our Father looks into our eyes, with passion, excitement, gentleness and loves us right now, just as we are. He does know our pain, our brokenness, and our desperation to be loved in a significant way.
-2 Repentance: If we fail to see our need for God, not only will the value of the gracious and precious gift of salvation be unobtainable, but we will fail to know His love.
For so many, we have a Hollywood view of repentance. We either make it so "holy" no one can do it, or we are so arrogant that we can't look on our own mistakes and imperfections as hurting anyone (Tiger's miacopa); much less God. Worse, we may even feel justified in our quest for revenge, and rationalization of anger.
True godly repentance is simply being sorry before God - and being desperate and humble enough to receive His tender mercy. It is to know that He has covered us, and He is not ashamed of what we have done and said. What is it that keeps us from saying, "Lord, I know this is wrong."
How much relief would we have if we could stop performing, stop hating, stop feeling ashamed, fearful or depressed? Repentance allows us to be free of that which in easily entangles us.
-3 Sanctification: It is the quest for moral perfection. It is the process of being made holy only through the merits and justification of Jesus Christ through the work of the Holy Spirit. For others it is the process of putting the "old man" to death.
How wonderful it is when God actually sets a man or woman free from sin, its desires and temptations! An alcoholic that never has another drink, a woman who puts cigarettes behind her for good - the end of depression, addiction, and controlling emotions, these are glorious triumphs.
-4 Holiness: Some how church folks have the idea that they can make themselves holy by doing more good works, bestowing kindness on man an animals or implementing certain behaviors the God likes. The holiness of Christ is a gift; it cannot be earned. By faith in Jesus, we received HIS holiness which allows us to be present before a holy God.
Personal holiness on the other hand; although essential for successful Christian living, is not something that we can do in our own power.
It is true that the deeper the walk with the Lord, sincere believers realize how far from holiness they actually are.
Matthew 5:48 (AMP) You, therefore, must be perfect [growing into complete maturity of godliness in mind and character, having reached the proper height of virtue and integrity], as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Unless we have built a true relationship with Jesus; one in which we "know Him" and hear His voice, holiness will be the chore of the legalist - and many will fail outwardly, and all will fail inwardly.
Holiness is the byproduct of the Holy Spirits persistent presence in our lives (sanctification), in conjunction with the God supplied power to be "doers" of the Word.
2 Corinthians 7:1 Since we have these promises [to be holy as sons and daughters of God (Chapter 6)], dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.
Personal holiness is the evidence that "old man" has been put to death, and we have released the "new man."
-5 Fear of God: The word fear, in biblical terms, really means a deep reverence, although; some Hebrew scholars would disagree. Job was terrified before God. It is an interesting concept. There is going to be a great (for believers) and terrible Day of the Lord (unbelievers). My question, what God is it for believers to live in fear of God? In Him there is no condemnation and no punishment. This is the essence of grace. Of course Paul asked the rhetorical question:
Romans 6:1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? 2 May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?
Paul goes on to say: 5 If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection.
-5 1/2 Complete Abandon...
How about you, are you intimate with God?