(back)

Intimacy Damage
Part 5 ….Intimacy of the Body…Continued


    I want to pick up where I left off last time so if you have not read the other this will make no since to you.

    I talked about our natural relational skills and about skills we may be able to learn. Don't get me wrong, I'm not against having good relational skills and even learning them if you can but if we use those and are dependent on them for intimacy then we have just walked in the flesh to fulfill a spiritual need. God may use these as we walk in the spirit and the things we do may look about the same as when we are in the flesh but the results will be very different. In the flesh we will labor to achieve the intimacy we want but in the spirit we will work from rest and dependence on God. This gives great hope for those of us that do not have good relational skills; to have true intimacy is totally dependent on God so we all have the same hope.
   As I think about the illustration of the two pictures they can represent many different things. If we look at the first as what we can have here in this world that God calls a vapor and the second as what we have in the spirit a thought comes to mind. If our problems are limited to this world then they can never be larger than the first picture. In comparison to the second picture or what we have in the spirit then everything in the first almost gets lost just like it's hard to see what part of the second picture the first came from. When we walk in the Spirit everything in this vapor gets swallowed up in the vastness of God and the experience from that overwhelms all of the bad here in this world.
    I started out talking about intimacy of the body and how the lack of intimacy in the church is a big problem. We talk all the time about how the purpose of the church is to make God known to the world. We talk about the great commission of going into the world and making disciples. We give this scripture lip service but never really see the reality of it. John 13:34-35 "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35"By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." You see we talk about making Jesus known but then we ignore the only way that God said He would be. If we do look at this then we want love be something we can do at a distance but the Agape love that God commands we have for each other can never be at a distance.
    Agape love is the very act of intimacy at its deepest level. Sometimes this act of intimacy may not be seen but only experienced. I realized this the other day when I was working at camp. The conference that we were hosting was made up of people from all over the world. This was a group that believes that our only hope is to walk in the Spirit. I had met only one of them one time before that week and only had a little free time to spend with the group. The thing that struck me after it was over was that I felt a greater since of intimacy with them than I do with a lot of people that I know well. This is what got me thinking about intimacy of the body because I know I don't have time for everyone I know to be my best friend. This I know was intimacy of the Spirit and I got to experience it or what Philippians 2:1 calls the fellowship of the Spirit. It was not dependent upon me having built relationships with these people or even knowing much about them but was dependent on God and the connection between the new man in all of us. One of them wrote me an email later on and said "Friends are not made but recognized". Other times the people we interact with more often, intimacy take a more visible presence. Ephesians 4:16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.
    God has knit us together and just as it is in our physical body I believe it is in the spiritual body. The parts of my finger have a closer relationship with each other than they do with any part of my toe, not a deeper intimacy but closer relation. If I'm the finger nail then my connection to the bone in the tip of the finger is closer than the one with the knuckle. This is how I believe it is in the body of Christ. God has given us closer connections with some of the body than others. The finger nail may be closer to the tip of the finger but it cannot survive without it's intimacy with the whole body.

    As I finish up with this I want to ask a few questions.

Do we desire the things that are in the second picture?
Do we think that they can only be had after this life?
Are we settling for the things of the first picture?
Do we desire to know God to the max that is possible?
Do we think that max is contained in the first picture?
Can I achieve the things I'm pursuing spiritually with out truly depending on God for them?
Do you ever find yourself in a place that if God doesn't show up then your goose is cooked?


    I can't answer these questions for you and you may not be sure of the answers yourself. These are hard questions but if we do not ask them then we will never see our needs. If we don't see the need then we will never go to God to have it met. We end up settling for much less than experiencing what we have in the spirit. Our only hope is to see our need and start down that road of complete dependence on God.

    If the things we desire do not keep us constantly shaking with dependence and need for God then they are of this world and not of the Spirit!

    Johnny

(back)