A call to intimacy
Our culture is flooded with sex after all “sex sales.” Since the sexual revolution of the late 60’s our culture has been consuming sex like food.
While love-making is beautiful and a gift from God… when the emphasis is on sex rather than intimacy, relationships don’t last, heartache overwhelms and brokenness is the result
Don’t worry today I’ve already made some of you uncomfortable with mentioning the word intimacy and then add to that I mention sex and you are really starting to squirm in your seats…I am not focusing this teaching on sex but we do need to talk about intimacy
It is one of the greatest missing elements in our culture today…I mentioned sex because our culture assumes sex means intimacy and it does not… that is why many relationships fall apart because they make that assumption….Although the best marriages, because of intimacy general have the best sexual relationships….OK I’ll stop making you squirm for now.
The dictionary defines intimacy this way
“a close, familiar, and usually affectionate or loving personal relationship with another person or group.” …the quality of being comfortable, warm, or familiar:
It is a familiar and very close affective connection with another as a result of a bond that is formed through knowledge and experience of the other.
Genuine intimacy in human relationships requires dialogue, transparency, vulnerability, and reciprocity. The verb “intimate” means “to state or make known”.
One Christian author defines it this way Intimacy means “in-to-me-see”
We all crave it, that longing to connect to have someone in your life that knows you, sees you, understands you, and loves you, for who you are….once again many get off track thinking sex will do that it doesn’t
Jesus desires intimacy for us with the Father, the Holy Spirit and himself
John 17: 20:21
“I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; 21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.
Jesus is praying for you and for me that we may be “one” with the Father and by implication that we may be one with each other…so that the world might see Jesus
Oneness is intimacy
It is In-to-me-see but requires dialog, transparency (honesty, truth), vulnerability (no fear, shame, guilt), reciprocity (it must be a shared experience to be real intimacy)
Can you imagine every relationship in this church like that? Jesus could and prays for it why so the world might be able to see Him through us
If you have hung around me at all you have heard me say Our priorities must be:
what we do for God fourth and then everything else
God first not for the doing but for the “being” just being with Him, developing that relationship with Him where you know Him and you know He knows you (He does, even if you don’t know it)—Intimacy
Let’s talk about in-to-me-see
Before we can have any intimacy with each other to the extent God wants we must understand it with Him first
Luke 10: 38-42
Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village, and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. 40 But Martha was distracted by much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.” 41 And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. 42 But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”
Jesus had a deeper friendship with Mary he indeed loved Martha, Mary, and Lazarus equally but His emotional response way more compounded toward Mary There was a deeper friendship because of Mary’s heart toward Jesus
When Martha and Mary greeted Jesus after Lazarus’ death Martha full of faith knew Jesus could do anything and told him so but when Mary greeted Jesus the emotional response was much greater there was a greater intimacy between Jesus and Mary… John 11:33
When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled.
“deeply moved” is a very intense emotional term it has attached to it a physical reaction to Mary’s pain
Their communication deeper, more honest, more open created a deeper bond with the Lord it created a deeper intimacy with Mary we also see that reflected when she washes Jesus feet (John 12, Mark 14, Matthew 26)
For the Lord….
We must spend time in prayer and the word to grow in an intimate dialog with the Lord
For the Lord and our church family…
We must learn to spend time with each other, building those relationships…if you know Jesus we are all His children…God speaks through His people and when we communicate with each other at a deeper level it is much harder to misinterpret something or have a misunderstanding…it is in a lack of communication that relationships break down and intimacy does not happen
Being honest and truthful is a very scary thing
Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.
Lying is not just an act of speech but it is also can be action (acting like a Christian around Christians but like a non-Christian around others)
Intimacy absolutely depends upon trust…trust that a persons word is true….trust that a person is who they say they are…intimacy is limited by the trust that we walk in with God
I can never understand why someone is not truthful with the Lord do we think He doesn’t know our every thought
Do we think He doesn’t know and even understand the way that we feel
Sometimes we are not honest or truthful with God because we don’t realize it but if we love Him He will get through to us.
It is also important because God is Truth…Jesus said He is the way, truth, and the life and the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth
When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.
When we walk in truth and honesty we are walking truly one with the Lord.
The world is not honest, it is deceptive, it lies constantly watch any of the ads, there are so many agendas out there how do you tell the truth from a lie?
Our intimacy with each other and the Lord is dependent on being truthful and honest and allow me to add in love because everything we do must be done in love
It does not mean we will always agree with one another but the world will respect us better if they know we are transparent, open and honest with each other…it is very foolish to not be open and honest with God. No one can, In-to-me-see, if we are not transparent with each other and realize God sees anyhow
As I mentioned earlier it is scary to be honest and truthful it naturally makes you vulnerable….we like wearing mask that hide who we are…we like to think that people think differently about us than we really are
We became fearful of:
What if they don’t like me?
What if they judge me?
What if I don’t fit in?
God doesn’t make junk
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. 15 My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
When we are approaching God we need to remember He made us, formed us, designed us for a unique and precious purpose that only we can fulfill.
He knows our every weakness and strength and accepts us that way. He knows our pain and our struggles and wants to help us through them if we will but ask, be honest that is being vulnerable.
He likes you and loves you
He will never judge you if you are coming to Him openly and honestly
Of Course, you fit in…he made you the way you are but if you are willing to be vulnerable…He will take you from where you are to be shaped and molded into His image
2 Corinthians 3:17,18
Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.
We must be vulnerable to the Lord and allow Him to eliminate all fear, guilt, shame, and blame and we must be willing to allow others into our lives too in order to allow that honesty I spoke of earlier and the vulnerability to shed our masks and perfectionism and grow closer too many times we hide from one another or the Lord when they can really be a blessing to us and help bring healing and strength.
The last word reciprocity
It means exchanging things for mutual benefit in other words develop levels of intimacy with God and He will be intimate with you…develop relationships based on intimacy and you will gain the love, trust, honesty, free of judgment relationships you long for
Why do we do this? What did Jesus say again?
that the world may believe that You sent Me.
If we can begin a journey of greater intimacy with God and reflect than in a great intimacy with our brothers and sisters in Christ then the world will see Jesus in a people who love each other, are open and honest with each other in a loving way, are free of guilt, condemnation and judgment with no hidden agenda just love
If you really want His favor one of the fastest ways to see it fall on your is to grow in your intimacy with the Father and reflect that love and acceptance in the way you treat your brothers and sisters in Christ.