Here we will look at intimacy, more specifically intimacy with Jesus using a practical approach. I have heard intimacy described as ‘into me see.’ It may seem cute or trite but I think it is an apt description. Those in an intimate relationship can see into one another. At times my wife teases me and tells me to ‘quit reading her mind’ as on occasion we find ourselves thinking about or planning the same thing. However, that is the fruit of spending decades getting to know one another.
Now to Jesus, intimacy implies a two-way seeing, us seeing His heart and Jesus seeing ours. Obviously, He knows what we are thinking and feeling, He can see into us. What we need to consider is how well we can see into Him. William Wilberforce is famous for being an abolitionist and overturning slavery in England. He was also a social reformer. He saw into Jesus’ heart regarding these issues. The same is true of William Booth. Years ago I heard a story of him taking his son Bramwell Booth into a pub in an impoverished area and showing Bramwell the terrible conditions then saying, “Bramwell get used to this. These are our people. This is who the Lord has called us to.” Booth also saw into Jesus’ heart and stories are told of him wrapping his arms around the globe and weeping over the lost and praying for the gospel to be sent to them.
These are dramatic stories yet also practical examples of the fruit of intimacy with Jesus. Now back to us. Though some of us may do things this dramatic, most of us are unlikely to lead something like an abolitionist movement or change the social landscape of a nation. We can however change the landscape of hearts, ours and those around us. All that is required is willing hearts. Here are two verses that speak to the how.
2 Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful. 1 Corinthians 4:2 (NKJV)
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. 2 Corinthians 3:18 (NKJV)
When we choose to faithfully come and sit with Jesus, opening our hearts to Him and seeking to hear and see His heart He will stir things in us. It may be a reminder to reach out and encourage someone. It may be a call to help a stranger or it may be an encouragement to do something with or for our spouse or another family member. When we respond with obedience with are responding out of an encounter with His heart – living from a place of intimacy. From here He may continue to speak to us about small things or He may enlarge what we are doing. As we remain faithful stewards, we are walking in what Jesus said, being faithful with the little, which positions us to be faithful with more if He leads us that way (Luke 16:10 NKJV). If He simply calls us to be faithful in little then we remain in that place content with our interactions with His heart.
There is another aspect of intimacy that isn’t about doing something in response to encountering His heart. It is the intimacy of just being together. Whether your spouse or a close friend if you have experienced just being with or around someone without the need to do anything in particular then you know the intimacy of friendship. Jesus seeks this with us.
For myself, a couple of days before writing this I went and wandered around the woods with my son’s dog, had lunch by an outdoor fire sitting on a chair in the snow and worshipped. When I walked Jesus walked with me. I have learned over the years to at times simply allow my heart be drawn toward Him and rest in the awareness of His presence. I am not doing anything in particular at these times, simply being sensitive to His presence. I believe we can all walk in this if we desire intimacy with Jesus. Let’s pursue it.
NOTE for more on the subject in 2019 I did a brief five-part series called Intimate One, you can find it on my blog here: http://wisdomfromtheword.ca/intimate-one-part-1/