According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary online, the word “intimate” means marked by a warm friendship developed through long association. I was researching the word intimate to discover a deeper meaning. The synonyms alone gave hope to my quest as I read them. . .“close,” “familiar,” “personal” . . .I began to think of how I’ve always yearned for intimacy in close relationships, especially within my relationship with God. However, I haven’t always been open to do whatever was required to keep that intimacy strong.
My relationship with God, which of course, is my most important relationship, is mysterious in its inner workings and often requires more inner work than I am willing to do. I often find a way to escape His promptings, His guiding me toward a dreaded change. He gently nudges me, letting me know He’s there, and ready to further mold me into the person He created me to be. For example, at times, these promptings occur during a crisis situation. During these times of trouble, He sends someone to minister to me from a familiar passage that is so significant to my heart, and has been with me through every trial. One of these passages is Psalm 23, KJV.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
I’ve written, as a ministry for more than a decade, and I’ve often been given assignments that address the very problems I’m dealing with at the time. Thereby, making my actual work assignments, actual life assignments. Herein, I’m prompted to pass whatever test God is sending my way because of the Word I’m writing.
Yes, He speaks to me in the most wonderful, poetic ways . . . even through my work. He teaches me lessons I could only learn from Him. Lessons that seem customized to my specific character. . .who I am at the core. Often when I tell someone else about the unique ways in which He teaches me, he or she doesn’t understand. Why then would I run from intimacy with Him? At times, I have what I deem “spiritual laziness,” which means I don’t want to change from the inside out. He’s constantly bringing out the best in me but shamefully. . .at times, I’d rather stay the same than face the truth about something I need to work on.
He speaks to me in dreams as well. My dreams are vivid. I often have dreams or visions that I can’t get out of my head. After a while of grappling with its possible meaning, I start asking Him, “God I know you are trying to tell me something here. . .what are you saying to me? What is the warning? What do you want me to do?”
I’ve had visions and dreams I couldn’t figure out for years! Then all of a sudden, one day, the meaning drops upon me in the most unconventional ways. For example, it may spontaneously work itself out in my mind during a conversation that has nothing to do with the subject or I’m at a red light listening to one of my favorite songs and it comes to me at once. I always pray at that moment, “Okay, God why did it take so long for me to figure the meaning of my dream?” But God works in such mysterious ways. . .it’s an unusual occurrence just between us, and I welcome it. This is what I call “original intimacy.”