by Susan Sampson
Pathway to True Intimacy –
“With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matt. 19:26). This journey feels impossible. But feelings cannot be trusted! Feelings are not truth. Only God’s promises are to be trusted. As I am confronted again with the wall of self-protection that I have erected around my heart, I am compelled to look to the Lord. As I stare into the abyss of my fear of intimacy and idolatrous need for control, I have to choose by faith to believe that He will make a way where there seems to be no way.
We have the most adorable dog the Lord ever created. Her name is Paddy. She is precious and I adore her. But I can easily call to mind the day she got hold of a chicken bone off the dinner table. She was like a ravenous beast, growling at me as if she didn’t even recognize the mommy she loved so much. It was next to impossible to get that bone from her. I believe my husband finally was able to hold her down and wrestle the bone out of her mouth! This is such a helpful visual image of our depraved flesh. I was so encouraged when Laurie said, “It’s possible to get the bone out of the dog’s mouth and that the Spirit would rule in my heart.”
She then went on to say that if I’m not letting go it’s because I want to please self and not God. There is a reason we have all heard the statement, “the truth hurts.” It’s because it is true. Yes, the truth hurts. But it is a good and necessary hurt. The Lord is lovingly and graciously and gently sanctifying each of His precious children. I don’t want to continue following my flesh and my old ways that lead only to darkness, despair, and division. This is what the enemy would want. He wants to keep me in the prison of pride and self-righteousness. But Jesus came to set the captives free! He made a way out. He took my sin of idolatry and endured the punishment for it that I deserve. And then in exchange I received His righteousness. I no longer need to fear. I am forgiven and free.
The Lord has given us the gift of new life. He has given us the gift of faith. He wants us to trust in Him. Trust His goodness, His love, His faithfulness, and gentleness. We can trust and be intimate with this One who demonstrated His love on the cross. He has shown us the way. We can and must leave self and cleave to our beloved Savior. We are in Christ. We are His bride. We are beautiful in His eyes. No shame, no fear, no guilt. He has washed us clean, made us whole, taken us in.
It’s time to tell our boyfriends good riddance! To be done with them for good. To kick them out of our lives. The boyfriends I must be rid of are “perfection and control.” These idols have only brought me and my family hurt, disappointment, pain, confusion, despair, and anger. The Lord calls us to repent and turn in faith to Him. Intimacy requires –
- hard work
- death to self
“With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matt. 19:26).
Thank you, Lord, for loving us just as we are! Help us, Lord, to leave everything and cling to you alone! Give us the grace we need to turn from fear to faith and trust you and your Word! We want the intimate relationship with you and with our husbands and our family and friends that you long for us to have. Give us grace to surrender all! Grant us repentance and true faith that you would be our all in all! Enable us by your grace and your power to walk the pathway to intimacy and find the greatest love we will ever know! Jesus, we want to love you! In your name, Amen.