Easter - 2018

Monday, October 15, 2012

God's Intimacy

Intimate is defined as, “marked by very close association, contact, or familiarity...marked by a warm friendship developing through long association”

It was in July of 2003 and ... Having a “testimony” became a buzz phrase at Gethsemane Church of Christ where we were serving as Music and Worship Minister. I recall a young man that had given his testimony with drugs, alcohol, and sex gone wild. Yet, he had found Jesus, quit his police job and now was going to do great things for the Kingdom by going to Bible College. Everyone was impressed and celebrated his new found faith. Our Senior Minister ask me to coach him and help him prepare a sermon to preach on a Sunday Morning. What? It was my job to preach for the senior minister when he was on vacation. Needless to say, my ego was a little bruised.

The young Christian chose the text of the Prodigal Son. He had a good, solid text and sermon. Yet, I was uneasy and feeling “moody” about it. God was doing something in me, that I was not even aware needed to be dealt with.

As the young Christian developed his sermon, I began to have feelings of being scorned. I had thoughts such as, I have never done the “bad” things he has done and I have never left God or the church. I do not have a testimony that people would even care to listen to.  A spiritual reality check was needed.

I found time and took a day in solitude and prayer to seek God's guidance. I discovered the text known as the prodigal son is truly about the Father. I did not have a wow-factor testimony. I am the older brother working and laboring for the father and striving to please my Father-God so that His Kingdom would grow and expand as He saw fit. I was also feeling left out because the crowds I served and loved was cheering a young man that had squandered all the years of labor in his early life.

God used this experience to love on me and demonstrate to me a new awareness of God's intimacy that truly amazed me then and still amazes me today. In Luke 15:31, God reveals His intimacy for those who do not wander away from the fold. The father tells his older son, “you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.” I heard the love in God's voice as I read the text over and over. Everything God has is mine for the asking. It is not a “maybe if” question, but a statement of intimacy.

The Father says, “You have always been with me and I love you my son, everything you can see is yours.” As the tensions melts between father and son, God looks into the eyes of His creation and says “how can we not celebrate, your brother has come home?” I was changed and I was being prepared for one of the hardest events I would ever be asked to face.

1st John 3:16 states: This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.” Having an intimacy with God is not about having a testimony, but having a relationship. Intimacy with God is about loving the father and allowing the Father to return that love.

Do you know God's intimacy?

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