One of the most important parts of life is the pursuit of intimacy with God. When a believer accepts Christ and the Holy Spirit indwells within them the Holy Spirit begins to thirst for, or pant as the psalmist describes it, for oneness with God the Father and Jesus Christ. As the scripture says “deep cries out to deep”. The more we whet the appetite of the Holy Spirit for oneness with God the more we crave time with the Lord. When we crave time in His presence we are ultimately desiring a taste of the oneness that is to fully come when Christ, our Bridegroom, comes for us, His bride.
One of the songs that I enjoy singing and thinking about in regards to how much I love my intimate times with God is the hymn “In the Garden”. I’ve actually only heard it sung during a service one time, at the funeral for my great grandma Martinez. When she passed away we drove up to Taos, New Mexico, it was February and it was cold. We had just celebrated her 100th birthday in August a few months earlier up there at a large family reunion. By large I mean large, my great grandmother had 16 biological children! I still remember seeing my great grandma, visiting with her and her sneaking me “old-lady” gummy orange candies covered in sugar when we spent time with her at her house. It was cold, there was snow on the ground in northern New Mexico and we stood around her grave in the snow with bread bags wrapped around our shoes with rubber bands holding them up because we didn’t need snow boots down in southern New Mexico. Before the burial though we had the service and at that service we sang “In the Garden”, a beautiful hymn about intimacy with God. Even though I have never sang that song again with a group of people I have sang it to my Heavenly Father a lot. I have sang it to him since I was a kid and now as an adult I’ve reached the point of intimacy with Him that I cry when I sing that song sometimes because I think about how I really do want to physically walk in a garden with Him. I cry when I think about how our sin has separated us from physically experiencing God’s presence and I wonder how He feels having had to also experience this separation. Adam and Eve used to get to walk with God in the garden during the cool of the day! I really do want to actually physically hear his voice saying my name, oh how beautiful that would be, I really do want to hear his voice, to see his face and to give him a hug with my ear up against his chest, listening to that heart of love beating for me. I really do want to feel his physical arms holding me because Jesus has held me through so many of life’s storms already. I want to physically hear the heart of love so great that He allowed himself to be hung upon a tree for me, that loved me so much that he allowed Himself to be put to shame for me, that loves me so much that He is coming back for me and for everybody that belongs to Him. Jesus our Bridegroom IS coming back for us. We need to be ready.
For Christians within a marriage relationship, longing for intimacy with your spouse and practicing physical oneness with them is a picture of longing for Christ and desiring oneness with Him through the Holy Spirit. That is part of why making physical intimacy a priority is so important. Making intimacy a priority with God is important as well and it requires intentionality. Have you ever experienced a season in life where you felt like you had too much on your plate to spend time pursuing an intimate relationship with God? Where you are so busy, so focused on your to do list that making time to extravagantly love on God just seems too hard, or maybe you sit down to be with God and you just can’t get your mind off those other important responsibilities. It makes pursuing intimacy with Him feel like a religious exercise, or like a frivolous expense of time…but I have found time and time again that when I truly make time with God a priority my life feels more right, like this was what I was made for and the more I spend time with Him the more I realize that life really is about Him and I. Everything else will pass away, but what will remain when I pass into heaven? Jesus. So let’s extravagantly spend time with Him, loving on Him and let’s let other things go. Maybe we need to drop a commitment during the day, or maybe we need to stop watching TV, what can we do in order to make time to be intimate with God? I have also found how God is so gracious, He cares about me getting the dishes done and feeding my family too, when I make Him a priority things fall into place. It is about authority, when we submit to Him things come into place and they work! Life works better with Jesus at the head of our life and to have a healthy relationship with Him we would be wise to pursue intimacy with Him.
In the past few months I have had several women express to me how hard it is for them to experience intimacy with Christ or how much they long for and desire to experience His presence and how they struggle to do so. Intimacy with God is unique for each of us to a certain extent. It all requires the Holy Spirit to connect us into His Presence, and the Bible says that we enter into His presence with thanksgiving and praise….but there are many ways to give thanks to God and to praise Him. For me the conduit that allows me to completely unwind and just praise God without inhibition is the piano. I can spend countless hours on there talking to God to the tune of chords. We can just talk or I can cry or I can sing, I can praise Him and love on Him to the tune of the piano. I end up writing a new song to God on a recurrent basis. Songs that I do not record or write down to share with the world because they are intimate songs, one-time songs in a series of a lifetime of practicing oneness with Him. Just like when a husband and wife come together in physical oneness. Each time might be similar, might be familiar, but each time is different and unique to that moment and it is a chain of all these unique intimate moments that keeps us connected to one another in physical intimacy just like a chain of intimate moments with God keeps us connected to Him in spiritual intimacy.
Because these moments are intimate they are not meant to be shared with the world, only with one other person – our spouse here on earth for physical intimacy or our God in Heaven for spiritual intimacy. The amazing thing about marriage that is under the authority of God’s spirit is that we can enter into God’s presence together and experience that oneness with God together on a regular basis which is a spectacular blessing that sadly evades so many of us. Pursuit of God’s authority together over our lives is the ultimate expression of unity and intimacy together.
After having several women describe to me how it is hard for them to experience oneness with God I have decided to share an edited down version of one of my love songs to my Savior. An impromptu song this is, I did not practice it ahead of time or think of the words either. It is really just in the moment what I think of to sing or say to Him to the tune of the piano. I did have to edit it down because in its raw form it was just way to intimate for me to be ever ok with sharing it so there are a couple of “choppy” points where I cut out parts, also please excuse the piano because it is out of tune and I am a single mom with a current budget that does not allow for me to tune it…and my voice is not the greatest so please forgive that as well…but this is a glimpse at what spiritual intimacy can look like – in part- with our Savior: