Great Expectations

Expectations are a big part of relationships, but if we have unrealistic expectations we will inevitably be disappointed. There have been times in my pursuit of intimacy with God that I have been disappointed because my expectations were wrong. When we hear people tell of close encounters they had with God, we shouldn’t try to frame our own experiences to match theirs. Below are five truths from scripture about intimacy with God taken from the book Radical Reliance: Living 24/7 With God At the Center written by Joe Stowell. I added the scripture after each one that has helped me understand that truth. Five Truths about Intimacy with God

1. Our primary purpose in life is to embrace the transcendent God by faith and to worship Him in purity and service.

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego understood this principle when King Nebuchadnezzar was about to throw them into the furnace for not bowing down to his image.

If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.  (Daniel 3:17 – 18)

2. God intervenes in dramatic ways only periodically and selectively for major purposes in His Kingdom and blessings of His people.

Paul asked God three times to remove a thorn in his flesh. God answered with,

And He said to me, my grace is sufficient for you for power is perfected in weakness. Most gladly, therefore I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me.  (II Corinthians 12:9)

3. God has already done more for me than I deserve.

And when you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of degrees against us and which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.  (Colossians 2:13-14)   

4. God is probably doing a lot of things for me that I don’t even know about.

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God to those who are called according to His purpose.  (Romans 8:28)

5. When God thinks of intimacy, He thinks of a heart relationship with us.

Intimacy is about a relationship not a gift exchange. So if it is intimacy we want we need to be more intrigued with the Giver than the gifts.

Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation, or shifting shadow.  (James 1:17)