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Category Archives: Completely His

Experiencing Intimacy With God

Only Adam and Eve experienced intimacy with God to the extent that God intended, walking and talking with Him in the beautiful garden He created for their enjoyment. But because of their disobedience and the resulting Fall of humankind, no one since the Garden of Eden has enjoyed such fellowship. We are incomplete, imperfect, and impatiently craving that which our souls simply cannot find apart from an intimate relationship with our loving God.

As the bride of Christ, we eagerly await His return so that our relationship may be perfected once again. We clamor to experience the fullness of God — to hold His hand… sit in His lap… gaze into His loving eyes… feel His warm embrace envelop us… hear His laughter and sense His good pleasure in us. While we will only experience such intimacies and ecstasies with God on the other side of heaven, we can still experience great joy in our relationship with Him on this side of heaven.

            
Relating to God so intimately is not a new phenomenon or strictly a charismatic movement. Actually, Judaism is full of wedding and consummation imagery. Each Friday night, Shabbat [the Sabbath] is welcomed in as a beautiful bride. The relationship between God and the Jewish people has long been described as that of lovers consummating their pledge to each other.[i] They pursue what was intended from the beginning. They attempt to perfect their love relationship with the Lord. They express their commitment to the utmost degree. They are His people, and He is their God, and they bask wholeheartedly in one another’s attentions and affections.

If you are like me, you crave this kind of relationship with your heavenly Bridegroom as well. But we must remember the principle mentioned earlier — all love affairs are carried on in private. To experience such depth, we must get alone with God, tune out all distractions, and focus on hearing His voice. This can be a challenge in our fast-paced, hurry-up, gotta-run world. Most of us feel we don’t have time to look up, let alone sit still. However, it is true that: “Power flows out of stillness, strength out of solitude. Decisions that change the course of lives come out of these quiet times.”[ii] 


[i] Rabbi Ted Falcon. Ph.D. and David Blatner,
Judaism for Dummies (New York, NY: Hungry Minds, Inc, 2001), 103.

[ii] Bill Hybels, Honest To God? (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1990), 25.

 

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Excerpted from Completely His: Loving Jesus Without Limits by Shannon Ethridge. Copyright 2007. All Rights Reserved. Published by WaterBrook Press, Colorado Springs, CO 80921. Used by Permission. Not to be copied without Publisher’s prior written approval. 

 

How The Story Ends

While we all enjoy different types of stories — comedies, mysteries, romances, dramas, and thrillers — we all crave the same thing. We all want the story to have a happy ending. Perhaps not the cheesy “and they all lived happily ever after” or pie-in-the-sky type of ending, but a conclusion that leaves us with a sense of peace with where the characters end up when the story is over.

           

One of these days, our stories on earth as we know it will come to a dramatic conclusion. The day of the wedding supper of the Lamb will arrive. Can you imagine a happier, more peaceful ending than to be present at that wedding as a part of the collective bride of Christ, especially when you consider the alternative? Can you imagine the joy you’ll experience as you look around and recognize faces in the crowd that are only there because you shared your bridal story and inspired them to embrace their role as the bride of Christ?

All of us should want to go to heaven, but none of us should want to go there alone. Create your list so you’ll know to whom you want to toss the bouquet. Prepare your testimony. Share what a difference God’s love has made in your life with your friends and family. Apply for a passport, lay it on the altar, and be willing to go wherever God sends you. As you tell of God’s lavish love for humanity, continue to eagerly await the day when our heavenly Bridegroom descends to escort us down the aisle into the eternal paradise He’s prepared for us!

 

CH - COVER
Excerpted from Completely His: Loving Jesus Without Limits by Shannon Ethridge. Copyright 2007. All Rights Reserved. Published by WaterBrook Press, Colorado Springs, CO 80921. Used by Permission. Not to be copied without Publisher’s prior written approval.