What Submarines Can Teach Us About Intimacy – Part 5 – Intimacy with God
What exactly is intimacy? How would you define it?
In his book, Experiencing Father’s Embrace, Jack Frost defines the word “intimacy” as “into-me-see.” Literally, true intimacy is letting people see inside of you. I never thought of intimacy in this way before. To be honest, I probably couldn’t have defined it accurately before that either, simply because I had never thought about what intimacy really is.
When I think about intimacy with God, when I talk about it, I mean that I want to know him and to be known by him. I want to push past the outer walls. As the Psalmist puts it in Psalm 24, I want to lift my gates that the king of glory may come in.
We have gates though. Don’t we?
What amazes me about the gates, if you read Psalm 24, is that the king of glory could easily storm them. The Lord, Strong and Mighty chooses to let us open the gates to him. I submit that this is intimacy with God. It’s the willingness to open our gates.
What frustrates me are the times when I desire that intimacy with God. To revert back to submarine language, I ping. Nothing. I ping again. Nothing. Why does he choose to respond sometimes? Why does he not respond? I don’t know the mind of God, but sometimes it makes sense later. In general, it’s confusing and disappointing.
Here I am. Opening myself up. Why doesn’t he respond?
In my limited experience, much of the time God doesn’t respond to me because I’m not really showing all my cards. I want to build a bridge of trust, but he won’t do that while I’m holding back. I’m on the surface sending him morse code via the periscope when he wants to know my position. He wants me to emit and audible sound that puts me on the map.
But, then he’ll know where to send a torpedo… exactly.
The thing with intimacy is the more intimate the knowledge, the more potential for disaster. Intimacy takes risk. Greater intimacy is built up alongside trust. The more we see that God isn’t going to torpedo us, the more we will be willing to show him.
Until we’re ready to give away our position, we can never have intimacy with God. He will woo us, but we also have to open ourselves up, to put ourselves on the map. Why should he if we don’t?
When God saved me I learned something about intimacy. I didn’t get a ping back from God until I sent one I really meant. I wasn’t being vulnerable with him. I wanted the benefits of salvation, while staying my course. I had one foot in boat and one on the dock. That’s why every time I had asked for Jesus to save me nothing happened, I needed to fully commit to the ping first. I had to trust that when I opened the gates of my city to his armies, he wasn’t going to raid it but protect it.
So yeah, I’m not a psychologist or a submarine expert. These are simply my thoughts, in no way exhaustive, on a subject I’ve been thinking about for a while. Comments/insight welcome.