By Milt Herrold Jr.
Pastor of Big Valley Alliance Church, Belleville, PA
Intimacy is the sharing of one’s heart with another, while fully trusting that the deep and/or fragile secrets shared will not be criticized, nor will the heart of the one sharing be stepped on by the other person. In short, intimacy requires trust and vulnerability.
God desires intimacy with His children (1 Cor. 6:17). The Bible says, “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!” (Psalm 34:8). God wants us to share our heart with Him, and the intimacy is mutual as God desires to share Himself with us.
When we have strayed from that intimate relationship, because of unconfessed sin, God will call us to remember, repent and return to Him (Rev. 2:5). The Holy Spirit convicts of sin when one is not living intimately with God (John 16:8). These times can be quite uncomfortable.
However, when we come into God’s holy presence, a place where only those in a relationship with Him by grace may enter (Heb. 4:16), He allows us to share intimately without fear of being shamed or crushed. Scripture clearly shows that God does not condemn, but rather heals, restores and reconciles the one who shares his sin and brokenness with God.
Consider two examples.
When Isaiah found himself in God’s presence, he admitted the uncleanness of his lips. God did not condemn, nor scold, but rather He healed the prophet (Is. 6:7) and then commissioned him to a new work (Is. 6:8-9).
When the prodigal recognized his awful sin and took the journey to return to his father in humility and repentance, the father did not criticize or even punish his son. He didn’t place him on probation either. No, the father embraced his son (Luke 15:20-22) and joyfully welcomed his son back into the family.
What about you? The sin you committed, the one that continues to plague you with guilt and shame; will you continue to try and bear it while hiding in the shadows? In Christ you are a child of God. It is not God’s will for you to live in guilt and shame. Come out from hiding in the shadows and come openly by grace to the One who will not crush you for being open and honest with Him.
Be open and honest with Jesus! He is able and willing to make you clean, to remove your guilt and shame, and to restore you to intimate fellowship with Himself (1 John 1:9).