Intimacy with God

Intimacy is defined as the state of being in a personal or private relationship with someone. (Merriam-Webster). Some synonyms include  “belonging”, “nearness”, and “inseparability”. The Welsh preacher, Christmas Evans said about the Song of Songs: ‘If the embers of love for Jesus are growing cold in your life, read the Song of Solomon; its breath will cause the dying embers to burst again into flame.’

God has created us to live a life of intimacy with Him. I invite you to think back to when you first became a Christian. Was your heart set on fire when you read His word? Was your quiet time with Jesus personal and intimate as you mediated on the precious Word of God?

Then life happened. Life got hard. Disappointments were around every corner you turned. You miss something. You cannot remember what set your heart on fire. “…then His word in my heart is like a fire that burns in my bones, and I can’t hold it in any longer” (Jer. 20:7). The burning ceased.

Sometimes as a counselor we sit across from someone who aches for intimacy with God. The ache can arrive in many forms: adultery, addictions, depression, anxiety, broken relationships, etc. 

Song of Songs 1:2, “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth”  Counselors listen for the ‘kiss me’. It is hidden there under all kinds of demands and requests. The soul lacking passionate and intimate relationship with Jesus develops compulsions and obsessions.  The heart and soul desire the divine love only Jesus can offer.

In one of my devotions, I read a quote from George Mac Donald: “When a man knocks at the door of a brothel, what he is really looking for is God.”  I thought that to be a very outlandish statement however deep down inside all of our hearts we long for a relationship with God and if we do not find that love then we search for a substitute. Sex and infidelity might be passionate and momentarily satisfying, however, it is short lived (Eccl 1:8, 4:8, 5:10, 6:7, Pr. 27:20).

Sitting alongside someone who became lost in the moment or might have been chasing a shadow requires the love of Jesus.  There is no judgment or shame to be rendered. Our goal is to help them believe there is a place they belong. The place is with Jesus.

Those who open their souls to the love of God in Christ find the satisfaction in God’s divine love. Only those who find this satisfaction make all the other demands less glamorous.

Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners and I am the worst for them. But I received mercy for this reason, so that in me, the worst of them, Christ Jesus might demonstrate the extraordinary patience as an example to those who would believe in him for eternal life.” 1 Timothy 1:15-16.

Here are some steps to join someone who has “abandoned the love you had at first”(Rev. 2:4).

Help them to remember:

1.You were designed for a purpose, with intention, love and care.

You bear the image of God. Genesis 1:27” “So God created man in His own image;
He created him in the image of God;
He created them male and female.”
Our greatest calling is glorifying God by bearing His image.

2.You are broken. Not only by the sins committed but also because of the sin nature in you.

We have all sinned. The perfection of creation was corrupted when Adam and Eve disobeyed God (Gn. 2:17) each one of us is guilty because of our own sin (Romans 3:23).
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

3.You have hope. Forgiveness and freedom from this moment and for eternity.

Jesus, Immanuel, walked among his people to save us from eternal death. (Matthew 1:23, John 1:1-3,14).
Jesus suffered death on the cross (Romans 5:8). 
He took our sins and took our place (Hebrews 10:10).
“He humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death-even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:8).

4.Jesus is alive and so is our hope.

The everlasting life of Jesus is ours when we turn from our sins and trust in the love and perfection of Christ. (John 3:16)
“Since by the one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive the overflow of grace and the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:17)

The cross is our only anchor. We can endure anything, as long as we keep our eyes on Jesus, our first love, Have courage. Stand firm.

 

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Written by Jane Consiglio, M.A.