Thursday, June 2, 2011

Longing For Intimacy

Sometimes I wish that I could crawl inside the Word and pull it up over me like a blanket. Actually, that doesn't really describe the intimacy I am longing for. I want such intimacy that it is as if I am flowing in the Word like a river and the Word is flowing through me so that it is coming out of the pores of my skin. I long for an awakening that would allow me to actually sense the oneness we have with Jesus, us in him and he in us, and that sense of connectedness in the Body of Christ. I long for my senses to be overwhelmed by the intimate glory of the Father as the oneness with Jesus draws me further into relationship with the Trinity.

I catch a fleeting sense of this relationship as Jesus prayers for his disciples:

Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. (John 17:7-9)

We talk today about the flow of information but with God it has always been about the flow of intimate relationship. This is what I sense here, as Jesus took from the Father and gave it to the disciples, in the same sense that the Spirit takes from Jesus and gives to us:

He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you. (John 16:14-15)

We are involved in an incredibly profound relationship where the Triune God is sharing all that he has with the people he has adopted as his children. Those are incredible words that Jesus spoke regarding the Father, "They are yours." It is a declaration that rings out through time and space and that we wash ourselves in today. But we need to do more than wash; we need to plunge in, immerse ourselves in this incredible relationship.

Perhaps it is our lack of imagination or our lack of openness in general but for some reason we are just not getting this relationship. We keep Jesus at a distance, willing to accept his sacrifice, forgiveness and eternal life but not willing to abandon everything and let ourselves go completely in this river of life. We are such controllers that it is hard for us to abandon our self-image, reputation, intelligence, self-worth, purpose, plans, dreams, longings and just "become" in and through Jesus Christ. We have been called into a wonderful, glorious, intimate relationship of oneness with the Triune God. I am going to jump ahead a bit here:

I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. (John 17:20-21)

Our relationship with the Spirit, the Son and the Father was never intended to be a dry, distant thing. It was never intended to be based on traditions and rituals with meaningless ceremonies. Such things only have worth if they are the overflow of a great and mighty intimate relationship that flows like a river over us and through us. Too often we place ourselves in a desert where we go through all the motions but there is no flowing river. We need to plunge into the river, get into the middle and allow the current to carry us where it will.

Only in such a relationship will fear and worry disappear. Fear and worry come from a place of distrust and how can we have an intimate relationship without trust? We can't. Mistrust usually comes from a place of control when we fear that things will not turn out the way we want them too. However the relationship we have been invited into is not about what we want but discovering and doing what the Father wants. The whole universe is hinged on the Father's will and the river flows best when that becomes our greatest desire.

I hope you can begin to sense the stirring of the Spirit, calling you out of your dullness, inviting you to jump into the river. It is frightening and exciting at the same time. It is a complete abandoning of all control as you get caught up in this relationship. It is setting aside all your plans, desires, dreams and taking on a new and great desire, to do the Father's will. We have been called to this great dance of oneness where we are in Christ, experiencing everything that belongs to the Father, which Jesus has taken and made available for the Spirit to give to us. Everything that belongs to God is available to us. Perhaps we can begin to understand the magnitude of Jesus' statement:

If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. (John 15:7)

I am praying for you and me, that we would awaken to the true nature of our relationship with Jesus Christ. May we discover that river today and may we have the courage to plunge in! To God be the glory!

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