When I was busted in my addiction in 2011 and all my activities were exposed, I immediately went into recovery mode by trying to fix everything in my life that I knew was broken such as my relationship with my wife and kids, my finances and most importantly my relationship with God. I knew I needed to get my relationship with Christ back on track as soon as possible.
As a result, I dove head-first into God’s word and soaked it all up with a passion and fervency to know Him more. I knew I needed intimacy with my Savior and that I was in serious trouble if I continued on the path where I just acknowledged Him as my Savior but lived as if I didn’t know Him. When I was living in recovery mode it was easy for me to walk in intimacy with Him because it helped me feel better, but as time went by, and I eventually settled back into a daily routine, I noticed that my intimacy with God was slowly slipping away. I went from being immersed in His word and prayer throughout each day, to spending time with Him every couple of days to as little as once a week.
As I went through counseling and spent time in my Pure Desire group, I uncovered wounds in my past ranging from abuse to betrayal. While I still loved people and didn’t stop interacting with them, those wounds kept me from allowing them to really know me and I was inherently distrustful of anyone in my life, including people in my family who were the closest to me. But something I never realized was that my fear of intimacy extended to my relationship with God too. Even though I saw Him providing for me and being amazingly faithful in every area of my life, there was still that feeling in the back of my mind that the other shoe was about to drop and He would eventually leave me alone and life would fall apart again.
I write about this now because even 6 years after everything fell apart, I’m still just starting to understand how my fear of intimacy extends to my relationship with God and I’m having to be very focused on spending quality time with Him and letting Him into those areas of my life where I would try to keep Him out of before. Psalm 63:1-11 is a beautiful picture about how intimacy with Christ should look; “Earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you”. And that’s how it was early on in my recovery because I truly believe God knew I was incredibly fragile and He was holding me close and tight throughout that entire time. But as time went on, it became important for me to be intentional about my relationship with Him and pursue Him instead of the other way around. James 4:8 says “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you”. It’s up to me to be calculated about drawing near to God by spending time absorbing His word into my heart (Psalm 119:11) and bathing every area of my life in prayer and when I do that, He will be faithful to draw near to me too because that’s what He promises to do.
I’m going through a time right now of learning how to let go of my 16 year old son in certain areas of his life, and that’s very hard for me to do. But in learning how to do that, I’m seeing that it’s my love for him that wants him to make his own decisions in life and live with the consequences of those decisions because that’s the only way he will learn. I’m learning that God works in the same way. He was holding me very close after my world imploded, but as I went through my recovery it became easier to lean more on me than on Him, but He wants me to continue to be intentional about spending time with Him so He can in turn bless me because of his unmatched love for me. Jeremiah 33: 3 says “Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known”. He promises that when we call out to Him, when we spend time seeking His heart, He will not just hear and answer, but He will draw near to us as well! But it’s up to us to make the first move and seek Him. Truly seek Him! John 5:39-40 reminds me that it’s not even just reading Gods word, but putting it into my heart and seeing Christ in those passages. “You search the scriptures because you think in them you have eternal life; …….yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life”. We’re missing out on life, true life, by not becoming intimate with Jesus Christ.
True intimacy is found in Christ
Let’s not let the fear of intimacy keep us from the one that can transform our lives and lead us out of captivity and into a life that’s beyond anything we can ask or hope for. Seek Him with all your heart, soul and mind today not just to check it off your list of things to do, but to find true freedom through a life of intimacy with Him. Deuteronomy 4:29 tells us “But from there you will seek the Lord your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul.” He wants to show us what real intimacy is designed to be and change our outlook on everything.