Intimacy. This word strikes terror in the hearts of almost all of mankind; man and woman, old and young. Kids cringe when their parents hesitantly tip-toe around the topic, introducing children to the “birds and the bees.” Schools teach gender segregated classes on intimacy (a.k.a. Sex Education or my personal favorite Family Life) that speak strictly to the reproductive processes and completely forego the emotional ties associated with that human bond. And forget about the church; we definitely don’t discuss sex from the pulpit lest hordes of angry mobs string us from the rafters. For centuries now, the topic of intimacy has become completely taboo in every realm of our social existence; but I suppose that’s exactly how the enemy wants it to be.
Over the past few weeks I’ve been debriefing with the Father after leading worship. My questions range from “why didn’t anyone respond to that altar call?” to “why does it feel sometimes like we’re pulling teeth to get our congregations to participate in worship?” Sometimes the Lord gives me answers through others who are in ministry, dolling out their hard-earned wisdom so that I can have a leg up. Sometimes the answers come like they came to me while I was in the middle of leading a worship set, when they Holy Spirit just whispers the word “intimacy” and then completely downloads the strategies of the enemy and how we are to combat them.
I was in the middle of leading worship and I felt like the people weren’t engaging. This happens sometimes when people have had long days or every-day life things are pulling them in a thousand different directions. When it does I look to the Father for a strategy to help us engage. That’s when I heard Him clearly whisper the word “intimacy.” As I continued to listen, I didn’t hear Him say anything else but I felt the Holy Spirit “download” the following:
The enemy wants to pervert the idea of intimacy. He’s done it for generations, literally since the dawning of mankind. He pushed Adam and Eve to taste of the forbidden fruit in the garden causing them to become aware of their nakedness and ashamed to be seen unclothed. He’s made Christians so afraid to talk about intimacy that we’ve allowed the world to corner the market and tell our kids what a healthy relationship looks like. While we sit back and stay silent 44% of females and 49% of males age 15-19 are having sexual intercourse (according to the CDC). Kids (and adults) are seeking intimacy with other human beings to fill the void of intimacy with the Father. We’ve spent very little time training people how to seek the face of the Father, how to draw near and listen to His voice and how to surrender everything to Him. Christians find it very uncomfortable when we sit in worship services where the Pastor or worship leader asks us to sing our own song to God or to just soak in His presence. The enemy is redefining and dirtying the idea of intimacy to make us uncomfortable in the one place that we were designed to dwell: at the feet of Jesus.
I was completely floored as the Father released this to me. I mean—I knew it; we all know it. It makes perfect sense and I’m sure we’ve all traveled down this thought path before. That leads me to ask the question what are we going to do about it?
I believe the answer lies in Proverbs 25:2 – it is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings is to search a matter out. God conceals things from us. Not to prove our ignorance or to give us stuff to talk about when we get to heaven but so that we will search it out. We are kings, a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a consecrated nation, a [special] people for God’s own possession… (1 Peter 2:9). We are to desire to seek the Father, to adventure with Him and watch His mysteries unfold before us. Intimacy is the key to revealing these mysteries. Revelations are hard fought for; you don’t get to see the view from the mountaintop until you’ve climbed the mountain.
We must begin inspiring pioneers; people who want to take the wisdom that we have and build on it by diving into the logos and listening intently to the rhema. I believe if the pioneers and adventurers begin to wake up our worship will become more lively and other facets of the five-fold will begin to boldly stir our regions. If we actually have faith experiences with God (experience Him as the healer instead of just taking the Pastor’s word for it) our evangelists will begin to hit the streets with new fire. Young prophets and old dreamers will wake up in the middle of the night to write down or release the word that God has burned on the inside of them. Pastors won’t be trapped in counseling sessions when we get our priorities straight and become the most intimately acquainted with God, putting everything else in our lives second to Him. Teachers will get new revelations about the word of God instead of dry recitation of scripture and apostles will be able to forge out ahead because the rest of the team is ready to follow them wherever they lead.
Let’s press together for intimacy. Let’s not allow the taboo mindsets of the past to cause us to shrink away from intimacy with God. The Father is waiting for us to knock; He can’t wait to open the door.