Spiritual intimacy begins in an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. The temptation to be religious, to practice religious forms and expressions devoid of genuine relationship, is ever present in all of us.
Intimacy is never about religion—it is never a list of dos and don'ts. Intimacy only arises from a dynamic connection to the living person of God through Jesus Christ.
No one on this earth can tell you how much food makes you full. It doesn't even seem rational. Could you imagine going to a restaurant, and two-thirds of the way through your meal, your waiter stops you and says, "Excuse me, but you're full, so stop eating now"?
Is that not the most ridiculous thing you have ever heard? I certainly know when I am full, and I know when I am hungry. It's funny, but when I am hungry, I can act a little differently.
Here's my point: No matter how sincere or knowledgeable a spouse, teacher or Bible scholar may be, they can never tell you how much prayer, Scripture reading, or praise and worship of God you need on a daily basis to be full; they can only encourage you to eat enough.
Therefore, you must ask yourself, "Is my spirit being fed enough through worship and praise, prayer and God's Word to be filled?" I can't tell you how much is enough, but you do need to eat daily from God's banquet to maintain spiritual intimacy. So, if you're spiritually full most days, great! But if you're spiritually hungry and acting selfish, rude or impatient, you may need to make some changes. Examine yourself. What is the fruit of your spiritual tree? Galatians 5:22–23 says, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and self-control; against such there is no law."
From personal experience, I can tell you that I need to have intimacy with God daily in my life to maintain intimacy with my wife. My flesh loves to be rude and selfish, so I need a certain balance of worship and praise toward God along with prayer and meditation on His love letter to me (the Scriptures).
Make a plan to feed yourself daily. Remember, it's not religion; it's relationship. No person needs to preach me into eating lunch! When I get hungry, I eat. So commit to behaviors that make you spiritually full. Don't be like the man in Proverbs 19:24 (NIV): "A sluggard buries his hand in the dish; he will not even bring it back to his mouth!"
Imagine that you're dining in a fine restaurant. The gentleman at the next table has a wonderful meal laid out in front of him, but he is too lazy to put the food in his mouth. Wouldn't you wonder what in the world was wrong with him? To top it off, you learn that the fabulous meal was free! He didn't even have to pay for it to eat it. He simply had to eat.
I think you get the point. Jesus Christ paid the price of spiritual intimacy for us all. Every day He prepares a banquet of spiritual delights, so make a plan for yourself so that every day you can be filled through the spiritual intimacy that was freely given. Eat up—it's free!
Doug Weiss, Ph.D., is a nationally known author, speaker and licensed psychologist. He is the executive director of Heart to Heart Counseling Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and the author of several books including, 30 Day Marriage Makeover. You may contact Dr. Weiss via his website, drdougweiss.com or on his Facebook, by phone at 719-278-3708 or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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