First and foremost intimacy requires being open and transparent, even with God. Although our hearts are easily deceived, even deceptive to our own thoughts at times, it is completely known by God.
One of my first lessons from the Holy Spirit was to learn to quit running in the opposite direction from the arms of my savior. As I grew up, life was full of painful experiences and it was hard. I quickly learned how to run; if I failed, I ran, if someone else failed me, I ran, if I was hurt or angry or if I hurt or made someone else angry, you guessed it, I ran. God loved who I was; He didn’t try to change me or the coping mechanisms that came natural to me that allowed me to survive, not at first anyway. He didn’t ask me to stop running – that would have been quite impossible. Instead, God told me to run to Him, not away from Him. How’s that for intimacy with Jesus? This is where we all should start. Still, it would prove to be hard. I had a temper, I would get so angry at myself, I felt unfit to be His child and wanted to give up and run away from Him, but instead, He listened to my rage and as I learned to trust Him, He began to change my thinking and my heart.
I remember one instance in particular when the thread in my weed whacker had broken off, for about the 20th time while I was trying to groom my back lawn. I live in Arizona. Temperatures had already soared – It was a 110. I couldn’t take it anymore. I screamed profanities as the weed whacker went flying over my 6 foot brick wall into the front yard. I had lost it! In the midst of my rage, I thought to myself, now if any of my neighbors would happened to be walking by, they would think I was possessed by evil, not a born again Christian (and I told everybody about Jesus!) In my mind this made my situation worse. I became angry that I was angry! So of course I said, Oh just kill me now God! I wanted to run, but God didn’t kill me like I asked. Instead God reminded me of Jonah in the Bible. Here was a man who got so angry that a plant had withered and was eaten up by a bug that he wanted God to kill him too! The thought made me laugh and I heard God speak to me “you don’t shock me, I’ve seen it all before”. These types of experiences with God taught me to be transparent with my Jesus instead of hiding what’s really inside of me. It’s the only way He can clean me up! It’s not pretty but it’s honest! No matter how much ugly we have inside of us, God wants us to be open and transparent with Him. Running to God when I screw up instead of away from Him? This is truly turning into an intimate relationship I can trust.
To read about Jonah’s anger, go to Jonah chapter 4.
Here’s a teaser to get you started –
“God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?”
“It is,” he said. “And I’m so angry I wish I were dead.”