This past weekend, Pastor Ryan taught from 1 Corinthians 7:17-24. So much can be learned from this passage about remaining in Christ, regardless of our circumstances. Yet two little words at the end of verse 24 provide a wealth of hope, wisdom, and direction for followers of Jesus. Those two words are: with God. 1 Corinthians 7:24 says, “So, brothers, in whatever condition each was called, there let him remain with God.” Oh what an incredible comfort those two words bring to the soul of a believer who is longing for intimacy with his or her Lord.

So what does it really mean to be “with God”? I can recall times in my life when the shame of sin caused me to resist honesty and vulnerability with God, and yet, my soul still longed for intimacy with him. I was afraid to face my selfish decisions, yet my Savior was wooing me to himself with his love, mercy, and grace. He longed for me to be “with him”. Have you ever had the experience where you can barely look yourself in the mirror, and yet, you know that your Abba is standing there with open arms calling out, “Come, my child, be with me… abide in my love.”

One definition of intimacy says that it is a state of being fully known. When we are fully known, we have nothing to hide. This is why the word intimacy is often used to describe sexual relations. Two people are willing to be fully naked with each other with nothing to hide. Intimacy with God however goes even deeper to the in-most depths of our soul. All of our sorrows, anguish, fears, joys, hopes, and expectations are revealed to God with honesty and transparency. There is no fear of judgment and no concern about getting it right. We just long to be with our God.

Henri Nouwen says, “Intimacy is not a happy medium. It is a way of being in which the tension between distance and closeness is dissolved and a new horizon appears. Intimacy is beyond fear.” You see, when we experience full intimacy with God, all fear is gone because we fully trust him. We have come to a place of surrender regardless of our circumstances. We relinquish our will to him and nothing matters except for being in his presence. This is the gift that your Abba is holding out to you. Do you long to be with your God?

Lynette Fuson
Director of Care & Counseling

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