Day 41: Real intimacy

Day 41: Real intimacy

John 17:1–26

We live in a sex-crazed world. We have traded intimacy for something much shallower. Please don’t misunderstand, God created sex. It is good when enjoyed within God’s design. It has a very special and unique place in the world. It just isn’t the whole of intimacy.

Intimacy is very special, very rare. We knit our hearts, our beings, to few people. It has to be that way. In fact, God has designed specific biblical relationships to house intimacy.

However, to stay with the text we are reading, let me ask a question.

For those people with whom you are intimate, what is the most intimate thing you do together?

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I can vividly remember the moment. The moment I was pouring my heart out to God. In fact, I had poured it out for about 50 or so nights, when it happened. When I realized, God was with me. He was there, feeling my deepest pain. It was a time in my life when I just was beginning to read the Bible. Today I would quickly think of Psalm 6:6, “I drench my bed with tears…”

The point is that my prayers somehow moved from “tossing a request up to heaven to some obscure spiritual being” to feeling Jesus in the room with me, feeling like I could see his scar ridden hands.

Which is why I asked, “with whom are you most intimate, and what is the most intimate thing you do together?”

My answer is Jesus and prayer.

I can hear you groaning. “Of course the religious guy says that.” So, let me offer another relationship.

My wife and praying with her.

When I pray together with my wife, I hear her heart. Her heart for our family, for our friends, for me. She of course hears my heart. There are times, as I am allowed to listen into her conversation with God, that the depth of her love for our family, for me, is stunning.

Why bring that up? Because today Jesus prays for you.

And the depth of his love for you is stunning.

Consider what he asks for:

  • In verse 11 there is this bit about “one-ness”, about how the Father would keep us in His Name.
  • In verse 15 he specifically says he is not praying that we be transported out of this world, complete with its pain, but rather that we be kept from ultimate destruction, that we be kept from the Evil One, unlike Judas.
  • In verse 17 he prays that we become people of Truth, people of his Word. That we are “sanctified” in it.

Why is he praying all these things for you? He tells us. Two reasons:

  • In verse 21 he reveals that all of this, is that the world may believe. Is that clear to you? Notice his prayer isn’t that we be blessed with health and wealth. It isn’t that all go well in our lives. No, he prays that we be one with each other and with God, that we be kept from Satan (Judas was not), and that we grow in Truth and the Word…So that the world may believe. In other words, you can see our Purpose and our Aim. To be like Jesus. Jesus was one with the Father, He was kept from Satan, and He was full of Grace and Truth. Why? So, that He, Jesus, could point people to the Father.
  • There a second reason. In verse 24 we read His prayer that we will be with him. The parallels between Jesus’ life and ours are so clear. Jesus, during his time on earth, points people to the Father and then heads home to him. So too, for us.

Can I just invite you to consider Jesus’ prayer again? Perhaps you might read through it again. This time try to picture yourself with Jesus, him praying these things for you. Consider literally putting your name in places where the text says “them/they”. I just did that; it is Jesus’ prayer for you.

When I hear my wife pray for me, I hear my name being brought to God. I hear her concerns for me. I hear her hopes for me. I hear the desire of her heart. Allow yourself to hear Jesus pray for you.

My prayer is you hear the desire of Jesus’ heart for you, more than my explanation.

Day 42: Two Stories

Day 42: Two Stories

Day 40: Strong friends

Day 40: Strong friends