“Intimacy has a fierceness that distance will never know. Inside every one of us is a hunger to be accepted, and it goes deeper than any other hunger.”- John Ortberg
“Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.”- Revelation 3:9 (NLT)
John Ortberg concludes the Introduction of I’d Like You More . . . with a discussion of his third and fourth beliefs about why we fear intimacy. We fear intimacy because:
3. it makes us feel needy – or worse, reveals our neediness. We prefer to think of ourselves as strong. Consequently, we generally dislike feeling needy. Ironically, Pastor Ortberg notes, it actually requires great strength to choose pursuing intimacy.
4. deep down, we don’t believe we deserve it. We fear that our defects and flaws eventually emerge to bite us. Hence, it’ll hurt more to lose intimacy than never to have had it at all.
As a result, John observes, most people must work at intimacy. And being close to God takes things to a whole new level. Yet, we must not view intimacy with God as “one more obligation in an already overwhelmed life.” For God not only created us for intimacy, but He’s also pursued an intimate relationship with us since our birth. And experiencing intimacy allows us to take on whatever else life throws at us.
Finally, John underscores, it’s impossible to coerce intimacy, for:
“God doesn’t want compliance, he wants intimacy. Intimacy respects distance but isn’t content with it.”
Today’s question: Which of Pastor Ortberg’s four beliefs most inhibit a fierceness in your intimacy with God? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “The basic building blocks of intimacy”