The Need For Intimacy
Would you describe your Christian life this way? “Just let me get saved, filled with the Holy Spirit, be healed, be anointed and have a ministry.” If you would, do you notice that something is missing? The missing piece is intimate fellowship with your heavenly Father. In a season like this when God is pouring out His love, why do so many Christians seem to run the other way?
Is it because love means pain? Were the ones who said, “I love you”, the ones who hurt you the most? Or were you only told, “I love you” when you performed well? Did you feel that someone used the words “I love you” to have their needs met? Answering “yes” to these questions means that you may have a fear of intimacy. This fear of intimacy is inhibiting your ability to enjoy your heavenly Father.
Humility is a willingness to be known for who we really are and then be willing to change whatever is not like Christ.
The awful truth is that fear which causes you to withdraw from God and others is rooted in pride. “He who separates himself seeks his own desire.” (Proverbs 18:1) Pride is a fear of someone having enough power over you to hurt you. The natural response to this fear is to build a wall of protection to keep out potential hurt. Christians build walls that mask this deficiency with religious language and good works so we won’t need intimacy. When a person can’t find a place of comfort, he feels like a spiritual orphan and hardens his heart to cover up the pain of emptiness.
HOW TO MOVE TOWARD DEEPER INTIMACY?
True intimacy involves a great risk of faith and the humility to submit to another. When someone gets too close, it activates a hidden trigger mechanism that will cause you to either shy away from intimacy or to try to work hard enough to earn it. But humility is a willingness to be known for who we really are and then be willing to change whatever is not like Christ.
In order to move on, you must first acknowledge your need for intimacy. Ask yourself these revealing questions: What is your image of yourself? Do you see yourself as having been created for love in God’s image? Do you spend your life receiving the Father’s love so that you can give it away to the next person you meet? Would the significant others in your life say that you are transparent, able to share intimately your emotions and feelings with them? Or are you strong willed, in need of no one? Are you sensitive to others’ needs and seek to meet them or does your own need to minister occupy your thoughts? Are you conscious of hiding your real self behind a mask?
Roy Hession, in his book, THE CALVARY ROAD, wrote, “Light reveals. Darkness hides. Whenever you do anything or say anything to hide what you are or what you have done, that is darkness.”
I realized that I really never knew Him very well because I was afraid to submit to His love.
Allow me to be open here. Before the God touched me in this outpouring of the Spirit, my answers to these questions revealed that I was very insecure. I covered it well with an appearance of self-confidence. I found my security in ministry. My need for love was not being met, and I secretly felt that I had to compete with others for attention. I had a deep need for approval and felt devastated if I was not receiving it so I felt I had to appear successful in life and ministry. The fear of man and its companion fears of rejection and failure controlled me. All the while I appeared calm, secure and successful, but inwardly I was full of unrest, striving to find acceptance and value in people. My commitment to ministry had become greater than my commitment to intimacy with God and family.
In order to change I had to see myself as the prodigal son. After looking for love in all the wrong places, I began to realize my deep need for intimacy, but I felt too wounded to enter in at first. I carried a hidden shame. Even though I had spent years praying and studying the Bible two and three hours a day, I realized that I really never knew Him very well because I was afraid to submit to His love. I didn’t feel worthy.
Then I realized that my sense of self-worth needed to be based upon my ability to love, not serve. I thought about myself more as a slave than a child of God. I needed to find my self-worth in what God created me for, which was for closeness with Him and my family.
I chose four years ago to renounce the lie that I’m not capable of love and intimacy. For 44 years I had excused myself by saying that I was not raised with that depth of expressed unconditional love and intimacy. I gave the responsibility over to my wife, and it left her like an empty shell waiting to crack. Then I received a supernatural revelation of God’s love while at a TACF conference, which caused me to submit to my Father’s love. Since then I’ve been consumed with the Father’s love for me. Now I am more comfortable with myself. I have accepted God's commission to love my wife as Christ loved the church and have sought to heal and restore her to intimacy with Him! I have become more comfortable with expressing my emotions and my affection! This personal breakthrough has transformed my relationship with my wife and children.
We see in Genesis 2:18 that it was not good for Adam to have intimacy with God alone. So God gave Adam the ability to enjoy nature and animals (vs. 19-20) yet Adam still was not complete. God did not create Eve until Adam became aware of his need for intimacy with a woman. Until Adam learned this, I believe he could not be trusted with a bride. Today, until men see their need for intimacy with God and family more than sports, nature, business, and ministry, it will be difficult for them to be trusted with a wife. When men do not find their value and self-worth in intimacy with God, they may use women, bruise them, and blame them for all the frustration and insecurity they feel. Paul made it clear in Ephesians 5:25-28 that a man’s walk with God will actually decay into religious duty unless he begins to love, cherish, cleanse, heal, and restore his wife. Show me in the Bible where it says that a woman is better equipped than a man to express love sensitively. There are those who say that a man lives out of his mind and is task oriented while women are feelers and more relational. However, Galatians 3:28 says that, in Christ, there is neither male nor female. We’ve embraced deception as truth and given many men an excuse not to pursue intimacy.
His love is more powerful than all your pain.
Jesus was transparent, sensitive to others’ needs, loving, and compassionate. He was a man. Men are to love their wives and others as Christ loved the Church. If Christ lives in you, you have been empowered to walk in the same kind of love, sensitivity, and intimacy that He walked in if you choose that path. This is what it once meant to be created in God’s image and what it now means to be transformed into Christ’s image. How would you answer if one day Jesus asked your wife, “Did your husband love you as I loved the church and gave My life for it?” What would her answer be? It is one thing for her to hear the words, “I love you!” It is another thing for her to believe it. If she does not believe it, maybe it is because you have looked for security, identity, and passion outside of the home. Then she may never have been able to receive your love. Therefore, she may have been left uncovered, unprotected, and unhealed.
I don’t think we’ll be able to excuse our inability to love with, “I was never loved in my youth so I could not express love to others!” The Father has said to you, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.” (Jeremiah 31:3) Actually, you have been loved all of your life; but the question remains, have you been willing to submit to it? His love is more powerful than all your pain. All you have to do is choose to lower your walls of fear, stop excusing yourself and yield to His intimate love. When you begin to do so, you will be surprised how easily His love transforms you.
You have been created as a gift of love to this world because you have been created in the image of your heavenly Father who is Love. Therefore, the most natural thing in life you can is to love because you are programmed for love and intimacy. As you yield more deeply to the Father’s love, it will flow like a River through your spirit, and you will begin to supply your family and the nations with the Father’s healing love.
This archived article was written by Jack Frost for release in 2000. Circumstances and situations may have changed regarding the author, locations and ministries. This content may therefore be outdated or misinformed.