Sabbatical Intimacy with God
The Move of Intimacy Toward the Heart of God
Grace and peace to you dearly loved in Christ. Here is the next installment on the learning God brought me through during the Sabbatical this last winter. God is gracious and merciful which causes awe in me of his holy charter and the incredible opportunity through Jesus he gives us to be called his children.
Scripture says in 1 Corinthians 13:11 (ESV), “11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.” Paul is using the natural human movement from childhood to adulthood to compare the movement of a disciple of Jesus in their spiritual understanding. This comparison points to a maturing or growing relationship between God and his people. The text continues saying, “12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.” Knowing and being knowing it the full degree is the goal of a deeply intimate relationship and scripture says that the only way to get there is to enter into perfection either though death or when Jesus returns. I will reiterate here that the ones I am describing and engaging with are those who acknowledge God’s existence and have been saved from his wrath through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross and assured of everlasting life in his presence through his resurrection and ascension. Knowledge given and received is connected to vulnerability and the work of Brene Brown as it gives direction direction toward intimacy or away as one either moves into risk and vulnerable or away and not sharing the knowledge about oneself. Brene Brown wrote “Daring Greatly” and begins to describe and help give greater form to our understanding of vulnerability. One of the myths she dispels is that vulnerability is weakness. She says that to be vulnerable requires great courage and strength, to lay yourself open and before people is not a sign of weakness but is the requirement for excellence. With out an environment of vulnerability intimacy cannot thrive, grow, and mature. I would liken vulnerability to the car that moves the relationship toward the goal of deeper intimacy. Vulnerability is the ability to show up, revealing character, thoughts, and personality. According to Brene Brown it is also the rich environment that allows for creativity and health to flourish. The ability to fail is vital to the moving toward intimacy in the car of vulnerability as the pain of being shamed paralyzes the relationship and cannot move forward. Fortunately, the relationship with God is based in this healthy environment of being able to fail and in the Christian world this environment is called grace. Grace does not give license to do anything and everything but boundaries are essential to the health and creative within in the environment of vulnerability.