Intimacy is enhanced by experiencing a common purpose. People at odds with each other are rarely able to achieve true intimacy on a deep emotional level. So how do you find a common purpose? It is difficult enough with couples who truly love each other.
We are so different from God, how can we achieve a common purpose?
The answer is through Christ. Listen to Paul, “If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind” (Philippians 2:1-2). Having the mind of Christ allows us to bridge the gap between our own wants and desires and the will of God.
Oh, we may want a common purpose with God, but often we ask God to agree to our purposes. Rick Warren says in the very beginning of his exceptional book, The Purpose Driven Life, “It’s not about you.” Finding a common purpose with God is all about God. You must trust him to know and understand the purposes that are perfectly suited for you. This requires obedience, an invaluable component of spiritual intimacy with God. Obedience keeps us in a love relationship with him. Jesus put it quite simply: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15).
Does this mean that God no longer loves us when we are disobedient? Of course it doesn’t! What it does mean is that a continual, willful pattern of disobedience and disrespect is as harmful to your relationship with God as it would be to another person.
In Fresh Encounter, Henry Blackaby and Claude King deal with this concept of love and obedience. They write, “If you return to your first love, a love relationship with God, you will resolve the disobedience problem in your life.” Work on your loving relationship with God, and obedience will follow as a natural consequence.
We are not reaching for a perfect relationship with God; we’re reaching for a relationship with a perfect God. Don’t worry about trying to attain perfection; God’s already got that covered. Just work on getting to know and love him more each and every day. This spiritual intimacy will allow his Spirit to reach down into your deepest pain and bring healing to your life.
SOURCE: Chapter 6: “Spiritual Intimacy,” God Can Help You Heal by Gregory L. Jantz, PhD., founder of The Center for Counseling and Health Resources Inc.
Review Blog Schedule (every weekday devoted to excerpts from a different book by Dr. Jantz)