Our confidence for intimacy with God

Unlike the covenant of Abraham and Moses, our confidence is not based on pedigree or performance, respectively (see my post, “How God fulfills His promise to Abraham” for explanation). Our confidence is based on placement. When Christ died, we died; when He was buried, our sin was buried with Him; and when He rose from the grave, we rose with Him, to sit with Him in the Trinitarian life of God.

As I’ve said before, it’s not just what Christ did for us, or as us, but what Christ did to us.

He raised us up with Christ the exalted One, and we ascended with him into the glorious perfection and authority of the heavenly realm, for we are now co-seated as one with Christ! (Eph.2:6 TPT)

Even though this is already true, it’s amazing how many blood-bought Christians don’t have confidence to live in this continual heavenly union. We’re still on the hamster-wheel of religion, trying to measure up, trying to attain to something He’s already done for us. Or, we just don’t see the critical value of intimacy with God, relegating it to the esoterical, for the mystics. But this is a tragic misunderstanding.

Here’s what the writer of Hebrews said about intimacy with God:

19 For the law has never made anyone perfect, but in its place is a far better hope which gives us confidence to experience intimacy with God! (Heb.7:19 TPT*)

This may seem hard for a rational Western Christian to grasp, but intimacy with God is the goal, not learning theology (which may also explain why we’re so poor at cultivating healthy relationships).

Theology is important, but unless it leads us to having confidence to come to God for intimate union, we’ve missed the whole point. Beloved, we were meant to participate in the divine nature with God. This is the means to our freedom in Christ:

Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. (2 Pet.1:4 NIV*)

It’s in this union with Christ where we receive all the promises of God:

20 For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us. (2 Cor.1:20 NKJV*)

Of course, Jesus Himself told us that we can do nothing apart from our union in Christ (John 15:5). Yet, we still seem to think we can…at least, in practice.

It’s in this intimate union where we experience eternal life:

Eternal life means to know and experience you
    as the only true God,
    and to know and experience Jesus Christ,
    as the Son whom you have sent. (John 17:3 TPT*)

The best that the Law could ever do was be our tutor until Christ came. Even though those who were under the Law were heirs, they were no better than slaves (see Gal.3:23-25). But, now, we have been placed in Christ in God!

For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. (Col.3:3 NIV*)

It’s only here, in intimate union with God in Christ, where we actually experience eternal life, where all the promises of God reside, and where we find the freedom and purpose we’re looking for. This is the basis of our hope and confidence. This is our life in Christ.

* All emphasis added.

About Mel Wild

God's favorite (and so are you), a son and a father, happily married to the same beautiful woman for 41 years. We have three incredible adult children. My passion is pursuing the Father's heart in Christ and giving it away to others. My favorite pastime is being iconoclastic and trailblazing the depths of God's grace. I'm also senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in Wisconsin.
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6 Responses to Our confidence for intimacy with God

  1. Well done, Mel! This was awesome, “This may seem hard for a rational Western Christian to grasp, but intimacy with God is the goal, not learning theology.”

    Right? The whole purpose of theology is to help us deepen our relationship and our intimacy with God. I think it’s really tough sometimes, though. I think the world comes against us, the enemy, and even other Christians. Regardless, there are a lot of forces at work trying to keep us away from that intimacy. We need constant encouragement, frequent reminders, so we can build and maintain that confidence.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Amen. Theology is meant to remove all barriers between us and God, not create them. Our problem is that we’re circumstantially led more than spirit-led. I know that’s been my problem. But I also know from experience that the answer is found in Him, not trying to fight the world. Jesus told us we would have trouble in this world, but He seems to think He’s already overcome it. Imagine that! 🙂

  2. AftoLatino says:

    “Which may also explain why we are so poor at cultivating healthy relationships”.

    I have never heard so much talk of love but not putting it into action. The best they can do is meet up for coffee. This is a comment I read (paraphrased) from an immigrant based in the US a few years ago.

    Most immigrants I know struggle a lot in Western churches for this same reason. There is so much theology, bureaucracy etc. Some are now no longer going to churches or join churches from where they are originally from. In cities where there are not many alternatives, some are in churches for the sake of not forsaking the assembly of believers but with absolutely no joy.

    I am not saying that the rest of the world has it right but this truly is a major problem in Western churches. People don’t really care how much you know until they know how much you care. Jesus is love. I love reading the stories of him talking with Mary & Martha and the samaritan woman. In today’s world, I am sure there would be some theology why this is wrong. As Todd White says, Jesus is the perfect theology. No matter what people say about Todd White, he is one person I know that genuinely loves Jesus and people. Even some of our revered theologians weren’t really close to their spouses/families or had close friends. I am still yet to get my head around this. When I read the story of Jesus, I see his love for people all through scriptures.

    It was from Todd I heard the story of being late to a church preaching event because he stopped to minister to people involved in an accident. I wasn’t brought up this way as time keeping was more important. The story of the good samaritan comes to mind. I would take a loving godly person with little knowledge of theology over someone with the best theology with no love for people anyday.

    No matter how the world or church may treat me because of my race or gender, I know I am fully loved by God. This is what keeps me going.

    Thanks for this Mel. God bless

    • Mel Wild says:

      You make some good points, AfroLatino. The Western world is definitely more rationalistic, which makes it hard for them to embrace the spiritual realities as well (and why there’s also so many who are skeptics or atheists). We’ve also lost the sense of family and caring for one another because families have been so devastated in our culture. Honor and self-giving love are not taught to our children anymore and narcissism has taken over in much of our society.

      But the whole world is missing what I’m talking about if they are not walking in God’s love. For, while there are many who are naturally (or culturally) relational and do many good things on a surface level, true intimacy forms by opening our hearts to God, letting Him love us and heal the deep wounds in our souls, and as we receive His love, we can start loving others like He does, freely and completely, without any other agenda.

      The truth is, I can’t really love you unconditionally, regardless of ethnicity, race, gender, until I learn how to be loved by God this way. Otherwise, I will love others through my own distorted lens, projecting my issues on to them. It’s in this place of vulnerability and trust that true other-centered, self-giving love is forged in our hearts. That’s my prayer for this world. But it has to start with us. Todd White is right, Jesus Christ is perfect theology. Let that Theology be incarnated in us. 🙂

      As always, thanks for your comments. Blessings to you!

  3. Pingback: Christ is our gateway to heaven…now! | In My Father's House

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