Thursday, May 26, 2016

Flying to Africa Naked & Unashamed

I've never been to Africa. In a few minutes, I'm boarding a 15-hour flight to South Africa and I'm struck by how sweet God is. And here's what He's got me thinking about; 

The first command God gave was the command to embrace intimacy. He said "be fruitful and multiply (Genesis 1:28)." He was saying, "Come together, expose yourselves to each other, connect, and it'll make life."

Adam and Eve listened, and here we are. I'm alive because of an intimate moment. So are you. Intimacy creates life. God made it that way! He told creation to get intimate with each other to show us what He's like: intimate, personal, life-giving. 

Adam and Eve listened to the "be fruitful" part of what God said, but they didn't listen to the "don't eat the tasty-looking fruit" part. As soon as they disobeyed for the first time, they started hiding from God.

The first thing God told them to do was embrace intimacy. The first thing they did when they disobeyed Him was hide. Hiding kills intimacy. 

Intimacy with God has been under severe attack since Genesis 3. 

When Jesus died on the cross, He destroyed shame for us. With His life, He fought to have intimacy with you and me. If I listen to the truth, then my thoughts are like this;

"God really likes me. I don't have to hide. I don't have to pretend. I can be open and honest with Him."

The Cross changes everything that went wrong in Genesis. We don't have to hide. 

Intimacy: into-me-see

God's longing for us to open ourselves up and say "Look at all the deepest parts, God. See me. I'm naked and unashamed."

When we look at Him and let Him look back at us, at who we really are, not the pretend versions, then we step into intimacy with the intimate King of Heaven.  

I'm spending two months in Mozambique to become more intimate with Him. It's going to be so good. But you don't have to fly to Africa. Right now, tell Him something honest. Show Him a part of your life that you'd rather keep hidden. He wants to see! He wants to help! Intimacy with us is what's on His mind. 

"If you've been thinking God doesn't want to be close to you, He wants to tell you the truth. He wants to be closer than we can imagine , to all of us! Including you. 
Our intimacy with Jesus extends to one another; such is the excellence and perfection of His Kingdom!”
-Rolland Baker