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Our longing for intimacy

by Bill Baltz

“Whom have I in heaven but You? And besides You, I desire nothing on earth.” (Psalm 73:25) So wrote the psalmist many, many years ago.

There is a restlessness deep within each of us that compels us to search for the person, the place, the job, the “god” that will fill the void and emptiness inside each of us and give us peace. St. Augustine proclaimed, “O, God thou hast made us for thyself and our hearts will be restless until they find their rest in thee.”

This restlessness can drive us to find someone who will love us for who we are, understand our fears and anxieties, and affirm our worth. But, that requires us to admit our need for, and dependence upon something, other than or beyond ourselves doesn’t it?

To confront our need for God requires humility and vulnerability. But that is what opens the door to knowing all that God’s love has to offer. He is not a God of condemnation, but a God of love and compassion. To seek Him, is to pave the way to knowing and becoming intimate with Him. “Mutual love and confidence are the keys to intimacy,” wrote J. Oswald Sanders; “deepening intimacy with God is the outcome of deep desire.”

As you look at your own life, what do you think are the “gods” with which you try to fill the void that can be satisfied only by intimacy with God? Feeling lonely, needy, empty? The heartfelt longing of the psalmist is beautifully expressed in Psalms 62, 63, and 73. Read through these prayers and sense his intense desire for intimacy with God.

How about doing a search on the web and spending time enjoying the words and meaning of the great, old song, “What A Friend We Have in Jesus” penned by Joseph M. Scriven in 1855

“Can we find a friend so faithful,”

“Who will all our sorrows share?”

A. W. Tozer described the person who acknowledges his or her need for God, in contrast to the one who is restlessly searching. “Come near to the holy men and women of the past and you will soon feel the heat of their desire after God. They mourned for Him, they prayed and wrestled and sought for Him day and night, in season and out, and when they had found Him the finding was all the sweeter for the long seeking.”

Are you willing to be bold? Willing to be humble? I pray that you will spend time in perhaps the most intimate book of all the Bible, the Psalms and time seeking the Lord in prayer. Here’s a few of my favorite verses: Isaiah 26:9; Psalm 42:1; 61:1-4 and Psalm 139 verses 1 and 7. Just an FYI, that word “know” (verse 7) in the original Hebrew was used often to refer to the intimacy found between two lovers. I like to think of it as “in-to-me-see” with God.

May you find special words that speak to you and connect you to the one who is waiting with open arms. “Great as He is, He loves His children to be bold with Him.” (Charles H. Spurgeon)

Pastor Bill Baltz is a member of the Carson Valley Ministers’ Association.