Do you struggle with intimacy issues?We all do.But hold on …I am not referring to the kind of intimacy issues you may be thinking about.(YIKES!)The intimacy issues I am talking about are based on our friendships.Awe, friendships…we want close intimate relationships in our life – don’t we?We long for them.We want to share our life with others.We yearn for friendships.We are searching – looking to find real, close, personal, intimate relationships.We were created by God to have relationships. We were created to experience intimacy.It is a need and it is a desire.However, we can mess it all up if we are not careful.
Emotional and spiritual intimacy - can only come through spending time with someone and getting to know them.We can only develop intimacy when we are willing to be transparent and allow others to know who we truly are.Intimacy can only form when each party in the relationship is willing to put the other’s needs before their own.There must be trust and commitment on both parties’ behalf.That is what intimacy is all about.
And…the two parties must be moving at the same pace on the path to intimacy. (Oops!This is where we mess up!)Oh, we have all been there – haven’t we? We have all experienced the pain of caring about a friend more than they care about us.The problem is that we can sometimes become too intimate too quickly.In Beth Moore’s Bible Study, “Sacred Secrets” she says that we should be “authentic with everyone; transparent with most and intimate with some”.What great advice!
We are commanded to love others with unconditional love.But, Beth says, “We are not called to intimacy with our entire social network.”So, as we love others with God’s love - we must pray for wisdom and discernment as we move forward in our relationships. We should apply all the scriptures God has given us about the dangers of talking more than we listen.We should practice being in reality who we present ourselves to be.And we should reserve our intimacy for those special friends God brings into our lives.You know - the ones we have invested time with, grown with and with whom we have built a true, close and personal relationship.
Although our human relationships can sometimes be challenging, I have great news.There is One who desires a close and intimate relationship with each of us right now. There are no intimacy issues here.He is trustworthy.He has already proven His commitment to the relationship by sending His only Son to die for us.He has demonstrated the width and length and depth and height of His love for us.You see, God loves us so much that He made a way for us to have a close and intimate relationship with Jesus.So, where do we begin or how do we take this relationship to the next level?
- We must spend time with Him and get to know Him. He is ready and waiting to spend time with us. He wants us to come to Him unrushed and eager to be with Him. Instead of doing our devotional or reading our Bible so that we can check it off our “To Do” list – we need to just hang-out with Him. God speaks to us through His word – the Bible. We speak to Him through our prayers.
- We can be totally transparent with Him. He already knows everything about us. He is never surprised by what we tell Him. Yet, He desires for us to share openly and honestly with Him. We should share our thoughts and concerns with Him, praise Him for who He is and all He has done and make our requests known to Him – trusting His way is best.
- And most importantly, we must submit to Him – surrendering our all to Him. You see, just like any other relationship – this one will not flourish if we are not all in. He demonstrated His commitment to us when He sacrificed His own Son for us. He has proven we can trust Him. So, now it is our turn to prove that He can trust us – to be obedient to His Word, to live a life that glorifies Him and to invest our time to know Him more.
Hebrews 11:6, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
Hebrews 4:16, “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
Hebrews 10:22a, “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith.
And the cherry on the top is…putting our relationship with Jesus first makes all of our relationships sweeter. (God is sooooo good!)
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