This is a book that comes out today not only from my pastor, @thebanning , but it really does come straight to you from my church @JCSacramento . It comes from me in a way.
Abba, I belong to You. Abba! I have allowed the fact I can address You with such intimacy and tenderness to become far too plain and pallid. It has been years since I have allowed myself to wonder and gawk at the fact You have given me a spirit of Sonship by which I can address you as "Abba Father!" (Rom. 8:15)
I have known for too long or too familiarly that "Abba" is the equivalent of our English "Daddy". I have known that children would slowly learn the term Abba to address their father with an intimate tenderness. I have known it was and has been a scandal to the pious and righteous that you would be addressed with such intimacy.
That You who created this world out of the power of your voice, You by whose beauty and glory the Grand Canyon is dwarfed, You who hold all things together in life-sustaining precision, would ask to be addressed in such tenderly intimate terms has truly become too common and plain to me.
This is my confession and my repentance today. May I recognize and rest today in the wonder of the intimate spirit within me, who can address you so tenderly as my Abba!
Sometimes I strive so hard at living with the most excellent virtue, in absolute piety, in "Christian perfection" of sorts that I become more and more strained, confined and closed in. We can be so dependent upon upholding the rules and expectations we place on ourselves that we forget the relationship we were intended for. I think of the comparison between the prodigal and his brother. I think of the difference in the levels of intimacy with the father they both resemble. I find that in his brokenness and humility, the prodigal experiences far greater intimacy with the father than does his sinless, pious and self-righteous brother.
The true site of the Christian disciple is one of a man or woman who is able to praise God for all things, including his own sin, he who is not obsessed with the perfect portrayal of self and spirituality. She who is not complacent and shackled by a practical life. He who strives more for the relationship than the rules and understands that he has, is and will fail but can realize that God expects more failure from him than he ever does from himself. She who realizes we do not have to come groveling to God with a clear presentation of our sins and failures IN ORDER TO BE forgiven, but realizes the prodigal's father did not ask for an explanation, and Jesus did not ask the adulterous woman for an apology or confession. The disciple realizes that we will not be judged now or in the end for our sins because we have already been judged and found not guilty, but that God desires we show up in his embrace and accept his love.
Intimacy is often defined in Christian church-talk as "Into me see". Denial of intimacy with the ones you love the most is hiding what is really inside of you. You are not willing for them to see who you really are inside, and you make all sorts of attempts to hide it all...subconsciously or not. This is not only applicable to my marriage, but to God as well. Though he already knows all that is within me, how much am I willing to reveal to him. THAT determines my desire for actual intimacy.
God, into me see!
Another great nugget is "The deeper the love, the greater the hurt." [click to tweet that] This basically means people you do not know cannot hurt you. How true if you do not know someone, you could care less what they say. But our biggest wounds and hurts are inflicted by the ones we love most.
Why does our sin hurt our God so deeply? Because he desires us and is truly in love with us. The intimate God of love is hurt deeply because he really does know us....
Why does the church hurt us so badly? Why do other Christians hurt us so badly? Why am I capable of hurting my wife more than anyone else can?
WHY IS GRACE SO BEAUTIFUL....AND TRULY HEALING?
This question has ravished me this morning. My intimacy with God has been on my mind and heart heavily the last few days. I spend time nearly every morning in the WORD, but come to realize last night that my intimacy is none the better for it. Now why and how could that be?
My intimacy is flourished in times of communion with God, and I could only study my Bible every day for hours at a time and be no closer to the heart of God...not because of the Bible, of course, but because I have only studied the Bible. When he Bible becomes a source for study alone, it is only a textbook and it will not contribute much to communion with the Father. To intimacy!
My intimacy with Christ has been moved around like a puzzle, and has eventually taken a back-burner to my Biblical study.
I desire intimacy with my Father and Abba. That happens when I come to God as the child I am.
I am reminded of Christ as a child becoming a man in Luke, Chapter 2. Jesus is in the temple talking to the elders. Mary and Joseph are freaking out looking for Jesus. Mary finally comes across Jesus in the temple. She remembers her worry, fear, and terror only seconds ago. "I lost the Son of God. God gives me one thing and I lose him. What am I going to do about this? My child is gone! I am going to spank that Savior so badly for leaving my side (or put Him in time out for a while...depending upon your particular parenting style...I am sure the Bible supports whatever your style in some way if you make it.)
Anyway, side track aside, Mary gets pretty pissed.
She says, "Jesus Christ, Lord and Savior," (because a mother's anger is expressed best by addressing you by your full name), "Why do you do this to me? Your father has been worried sick about you. We've been looking all over for you?"
Of course Jesus is....well.....Jesus, so he's always pulling THAT card. He says to Mary, "Why were you looking for me? Didn't you know I would be in my Father's house?"
Even Jesus knew what it was like to be a child. A child always wants to be with his Father, and we are reminded that Joseph was not Jesus' Father. To Jesus, only God was his Father, and Jesus was with God in child-like communion.
How much do I come face-to-face with my Father? I desire to be with God like a child. To be in such union with my Father that my prayers are coming from Jesus within me. I want Jesus within me to pray and act through me as the child who just longs to be in his Father's house all the time. I want the child Jesus within me to pray for me to our Abba who wants great intimacy and tender loving connection with us.
I want to be so identified with the Lord's life that I am simply a child of God. I want the SON of God within me.