Up Close and PersonalGod, Devotional , Relationships
Contributed by: Connecting Streams
Written by Allan Mitchell
“Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them …Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.” John 14:21 & 23
Recently, I attended a wedding. The experience reminded me of one of life’s most valuable yet often overlooked treasures — the gift and bond of intimate relationship.
From birth, we experience intimate family connection, and then we invest our lives cultivating our cherished relationships — our spouse, family and friends. The most considerate and intimate way for me to nurture relationship is to be up-close-and-personal in every interaction. Likewise, God desires a similar relationship with every believer.
Scripture affirms God’s desire to be intimately up-close-and-personal with His creation. He even became human to re-establish relationship — not a relationship exclusively based on an emotional experience, but a mutual, relational spiritual union rooted in intimacy, transparency, and truth.
Interestingly, the human equivalent of intimacy with God is the relationship between a bride and groom. Jesus alludes to this, Paul reiterates it, and John affirms that marriage is God’s eternal relationship model. In John 14, Jesus also reminds us that eternal relationship with Him requires mutual responsibility and accountability. Regrettably, many believers overlook that thriving relational intimacy is mutual and conditional.
Our present relationship, as Jesus’ betrothed, involves a courtship season of testing our enduring faithfulness and purity. Therefore, He expects us to faithfully fulfill our responsibilities. Only then can we fully experience relational unity — Jesus loving us and revealing Himself with deeper intimacy. To experience His presence and nurture our relationship with Him, we must be purposely present and engaged — daily clothing ourselves in faithfulness and purity — devotedly preparing ourselves for our bridegroom’s up-close-and-personal appearance.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift and privilege of intimate relationship with you. Help me to be completely transparent and truthful before You. Help me to understand that You are my first love and may Your Spirit help me to examine my heart and intentionally and faithfully prioritize and nurture our relationship. Amen.
Before you begin your day, schedule some time to be present and transparent before the Lord. Examine your heart, confess your sin, and commit to daily nurturing your relationship with the Lord.
Originally posted on: https://www.connectingstreams.com/2015/11/30/up-close-and-personal/