Claire mentioned a few days ago that she's been getting a bit of a message lately about becoming intimate with God. And I've pretty much been thinking on that since. Intimacy is such a scary word. Think about it, when eomeone even mentions the word intimate I begin to withdraw. Intimacy is very private to me. It's the closeness I experience with my husband, and that's no one's business but our own. Our private matters are what I think of when I hear about intimacy. Intimacy with God is very much the same thing. It's opening up and sharing everything. Complete surrender to God is what I equate with intimacy. Here, James 4:8 can probably better explain what I am rambling about:
"Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded."
Intimacy involves giving over of every aspect of your life to God. Purify your hearts, you double minded. To me, that is saying that in order to be completely intimate with God, we must stop waving a double standard. It's like appearing to be a good Christian on the outside, but on the inside you are thinking horrible thoughts about other people around you. It's like sharing a great message with your Sunday School class, but then later on when you're with your friends, foul words come out of your mouth. To be intimate with God, you need to give all aspects of your life to God. Allow him to take your unclean thoughts and help purify them. Allow him to help you conquer your foul tongue. I think this even applies to the activities we do and the movies we watch. You can't live a pure life for God if you are absorbing "yuck". Liking scary movies isn't good enough. Would God really want you to be watching movies full of demonic influence? Watching soap operas is a fantastic example of yuck that goes in. I think it's safe to say that God doesn't find the unsavory pretend lives in soap operas good content.
There's a second part to this, more than just watching what you say, what you do. Look at the very first part of the verse in James 4:8. Come near to God, and he will come near to you. We have to go first. We have to take that first step and desire to draw closer to God. It is up to us to take that leap of faith and say "God, I want to be closer to you, I want to be intimate with you." Only then will he draw closer to you. He wants us to take the first step and make that decision. How close we become to God is up to us. One thing is certain though, this whoel verse works together. God wants us to draw closer to him, but he wants us to do with with clean hands and a clean mind. He wants us to be cleansed of the unsavory aspects of our lives, and THEN he will be a part of a deeper relationship with us.
I think that's enough to chew on today. Tomorrow I will have more on becoming intimate with God. I think it deserves a series all it's own.