By Jeffrey Driediger
Over the course of the past month or so, I have come to a place of realizing a deep need in myself that was not being fully actualized. I had been living from a place that was lacking deep intimacy. I had been feeling a need for someone to tell me that I was loved and worth everything to them. Some of these feelings came out as a desire for a female relationship. More relevant, that lack of intimacy caused me to fear what other people thought about me. I was living from a place of trying to please everyone so that I would be an established figure in their life, someone that had it all together. This resulted in a thin shell that was easily broken by simple teasing or jabs at my character. In other words, I would get offended easily. This created a poverty mentality, where things were always getting worse, never good enough, or falling short. Thankfully, the Holy Spirit has been pointing out those times where I would get offended and lose my self-confidence.
One of my greatest desires is to never be offended again in my entire life. Some people have found this solution by shutting themselves off to deep intimate relationships with people. Others have controlled their scenarios by reducing their dreams to things that don’t scare them and require a low level of risk. Protecting yourself this way can create a judgemental mindset, one that puts up high walls around your heart whenever another person gets close enough to see the true you. A by-product of this mindset is that everyone is out to get you, no one has their best in mind for you, and everything will just keep getting worse. Simply put, this is self-pity. I just want to briefly mention the solution to this poverty mentality; the true solution to always knowing you will have enough, that you are enough, and that you will be enough. The solution is simple really, it’s intimacy. Intimacy is trusting someone so deeply, that you can trust them with your whole self no matter what happens. Intimacy requires complete vulnerability, holding absolutely nothing back from someone. Intimacy requires you to put everything on the line in order that you might be known by someone deeper than you know yourself.
So how is intimacy solving my poverty mindset? I have been getting to know a good friend much better recently. His name is Jesus, and I’ve been allowing Him to touch the deepest parts of my being. God really desires for His creations to give their whole selves to Himself in spirit, soul, and body. I have been looking at the Bible for examples of how God has expressed His interest in intimacy with His children. Let’s look at a couple examples.
“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”
“As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you; and you will be comforted over Jerusalem”
“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made secret intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. How precious to me are your thoughts O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you.”
“Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will never forget you. Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me.”
“And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes…”
Wow! What intimacy! As seen in the last passage, God’s heart is to dwell with us. We can see that God wants to comfort us and wants us to know how he thinks of us!
I have been taking these passages of scripture to heart recently. I have also been spending time in silence and solitude, allowing God to speak to my heart of how He thinks about me. I often hear Him tell me how much He loves me, how I’m worth it, and how much He likes to spend time with me!
I was recently spending some time doing this and had a beautiful vision that suddenly took over my mind. I was sitting in a beautiful living area with my surroundings taken over by the sound of crackling wood and flickering light from a large fireplace. Jesus was sitting right next to me, and we were enjoying each other’s company. I sat on His lap and played with His hands and felt the holes where the nails on the cross went through. He then told me something I won’t ever forget. He said to me, “I have realized something, people don’t want to come out and spend time like this with me.” Just then I was taken aback and saw that we were in the Father’s house. There were seemingly endless rooms, and each door was shut. Each person was hiding in their room and always had the opportunity to come out and spend some time with Jesus. He was always sitting outside the rooms waiting. The people in these rooms were those who were already Christians, people who knew Jesus but were too busy with their life or too afraid to allow Jesus to know them better.
Jesus has always possessed my spirit, but was patiently waiting outside the doors of my soul and body. In other words, He lived in my heart and I lived in His Father’s home, but I wasn’t giving Him full access to my mind, will, emotions, and physical being. I have been giving Him more of myself and it’s this intimacy that has freed me from a performance mentality. With the knowledge that nothing I do will change God’s faithfulness and love for me, I can always know that I am enough and will always have enough. God cares for me so much that it gives me confidence in every other area of my life. This intimacy drowns out the white noise of the critical voices of judgement. It places me in a position that gives me the freedom to risk it all and pursue my kingdom purposes without the fear of failure. It also empowers me to take myself lightly and have grace for others when I feel like they are trying to offend me.
Like David, I will seek God’s face forevermore! I want to encourage you today to not be afraid of letting God into every nook and cranny of your being. Let Him speak to you, let Him sing over you, let Him love you. He is good, and cares for you more than you will absolutely ever understand! Someone to look to for examples in this area is the man after God’s own heart, king David. I will leave you with some of his famous words out of the Psalms to meditate on.
“One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple. For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock. And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me, and I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing and make melody to the LORD. Hear, O LORD, when I cry aloud; be gracious to me and answer me! You have said, ‘Seek my face.’ My heart says to you, ‘Your face, LORD, do I seek.’”