Five years ago, I gave my life to Christ and over the last five years I’ve heard countless communicators talk about intimacy with God and a close personal relationship with Jesus. But I struggled to understand what that meant. I believe many Christians struggle with this concept as much as I did. I am faithful. I believe in God. I believe in Jesus and what he did for me on the cross. But is that enough? Something was missing.
The truth is we are all broken. Our broken pieces are often reflections of the people who hurt us. Perhaps we have been rejected by our peers. Experienced a breech of trust in a romantic partnership. Or in some cases suffered abuse from a loved one. The list of hurt is endless. Our wounds come in many forms but inevitably always involve people. We become guarded, distrusting and even isolated. If we cannot relate to people, how are we supposed to relate to God?
This was a major roadblock in my own life. I endured years of physical, mental, and emotional abuse and as a result I just couldn’t seem to grasp a clear picture of who God is. I believed He was good. I just didn’t think He cared much for me. Truthfully, my idea of God was this great supernatural being, who used me for His good and then forgot about me. After all, this is what my life experience had taught me. People use people and then cast them aside. I found myself weeping over Jesus because somewhere inside I felt like he was forced to die for us because God made him. My view of the world was unconsciously dictating my view of God. Can you see the source of my blockage? I couldn’t.
I would hear people talk about drawing near to God and resting in His presence and thought, how? I would sit there and wait. Wondering if I sat there long enough, would these phantom arms come out of nowhere and hug me. And if they didn’t, was that confirmation that I wasn’t good enough? When people spoke of miracles and rejoiced I celebrated with them but wondered why God hadn’t done big things in my life.
Finally, a few months ago I made some changes. These changes lead me to a conference on the Holy Spirit. I had no idea of the floodgate God was about to open. But there I was a modern contemporary church girl in the midst of a charismatic church (which I now attend) and I truly had no idea how big our God is. There were so many things God gave me that weekend but the most important was a way to connect with Him. To experience the intimacy, I had been longing for. I had been asking God. Show me. Rain down on me. During that weekend I began to get a mental picture of my relationship with God. I could close my eyes and see me with Jesus, Papa God, and feel the move of the Holy Spirit. It was if I was looking at a painting.
During the end of the first full day we had the honor of hearing from pastor Michael Miller from the Upper Room in Dallas. He shared a teaching on Jesus that had a huge impact on me and many others. He had someone stand on the platform and represent Jesus. While this person stood there, in their spot on the platform, Pastor Miller would move closer. Each time asking the person representing Jesus, if he could see his own reflection in Pastor Millers eyes yet. Each time the answer was no. Until he was inches from him, almost nose to nose. He reached up and grabbed his face and said “this is how close we should be to Jesus. This is how close you need to be to experience true intimacy.” (I am paraphrasing a bit.) But the idea came through loud and clear. We should be so close to Jesus we can see who we are in his eyes.
In that moment, I went from looking at the mental picture God had given me, to being in the picture. I was standing face to face with my Jesus. At night, I could close my eyes and see myself laying down and going to sleep, resting my head in the lap of Jesus. Safe. Loved. Peaceful.
Later as I reflected at this new-found intimacy, something occurred to me. When we stand that close to Jesus. He is close enough to place his hand over our ears when the devil shouts his lies. He can also grab our hand without barely moving when we are in the middle of a storm. Who doesn’t want to be that close to the one who calms the waves with just his voice?
I don’t know where you are in your faith walk. But if you are not standing so close to Jesus that you can see your own reflection, won’t you ask God to make a way? Ask him to remove roadblocks and cause you to hunger after Him in a way you never have. Doing this changed my life. I experienced more of the supernatural God in that weekend than I had in five years of walking in faith alone. And He just keeps going. I pray that God touches you in a mighty way friend. God bless!
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