Intimacy. Everyone wants it. Whether it is with our spouse or with God we all want to be able to connect with ever deepening intimacy each time we are together. But intimacy doesn’t just come by itself. You have to work for it. You have to fight for it.
Having been divorced and remarried, I am acutely aware of the struggles for intimacy. I not only have to fight for time with my new husband, but I must fight against the baggage I bring with me: the hurts, the “ghosts” and the memories that want to insert themselves between him and I. It was harder at the beginning of our marriage, but thankfully my husband is both discerning and patient. He would ask me in those early days if we were really alone or if there were a “third person” present as he could sense that something was not right. If so, he would simply hold me and pray that I could be freed from the memories that were haunting me.
Paul describes the relationship between the church and Christ like a marriage in Ephesians chapter 5 and Solomon describes the intimacy of a marriage relationship in great detail. The adoration that husband and wife have for each other is palpable in the pages of the Song. This depth of intimacy takes time. Time to bask in each other’s presence. Time to notice the little things. Time to fall in love. In this sense, intimacy and the “quickie” are mutually exclusive. The more we substitute “quickies” for love making, the cheaper the relationship gets – the more intimacy we lose. This is true both with our spouse and with God.
God is described as a jealous God in Exodus 34:14. There is no way that He will allow growth of intimacy with a “third person” present. Whether that “person” is our chore list or the phone or our children, God wants our full attention in those moments that we have with Him. If we desire intimacy with Him, we have to fight for it. Just as hard as we fight to maintain intimacy in our marriages, we must fight to achieve it with God.
There is one who will oppose us. One who very much does not want us to reach deep intimacy with our Maker. He is the same one that destroys our marriages and he will insert himself and his agenda into our relationship with God. We have the power to overcome him as “He who is in us is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4). However, unless we actually fight, we can’t win. No matter how much power we have access to, it must be put into action. The biggest, strongest man can still be bound and tortured by the smallest if he will not fight.
God revealed this to me this week. I had been distracted by the business of the week and then days without Him started to lead to dryness of spirit. Dryness led to a parched soul. This had been evident in my attitude, my ability to deal with stress, and my lack of joy. Then the sadness took over and the lack of energy and the desire to just sleep appeared. There was no fight left in me. I wondered what was happening to me. Then He showed me that I have not been fighting for us. He deserves my fight. My soul is panting after Him and I do not want just a drop of water to keep me from dying. I want a river of life giving love flowing from Him to me. I want our relationship to not just be barely alive, but thriving. He deserves my time, my focus, and my fight. He is waiting, arms open wide, desiring to spend time with me and for me to know Him, to fall in love with Him, to be brought alive by the experience of His love. Isn’t He worth the fight?