A New Level of Intimacy with God

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said to him, “I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless. And I will make my covenant between me and you, and will make you exceedingly numerous.”

Genesis 17:1-2

What will God do about his broken Humpty Dumpty world? The good news is that God decides to redeem rather than obliterate his disfigured and disintegrated creation masterpiece. God sets out a plan to preserve a remnant and redeem his broken world. God extends grace to a man named Noah and rescues Noah and his family. As our story continues, God chooses Abraham to redeem his broken people and restore the world.

In the opening verses of Genesis chapter seventeen, God extends to Abraham a stunning invitation to redemption. “When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, ‘I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless, that I may make my covenant between me and you, and may multiply you greatly.’

God’s invitation to Abraham embodies a three-fold aim of redemption: to restore lost intimacy, integrity, and influence. First God invites Abraham to a new life of intimacy. As image-bearers of a Trinitarian God, we were created for relationship. The life we long to live is one of deep relational intimacy—to know and be known. In the original Hebrew text, God says to Abraham, “Walk in my face!” In other words, “Come this close to me! Know me!” Let’s remember that in the Garden of Eden before sin and death entered God’s good world, Adam and Eve had perfect intimacy with God and with each other as well as perfect harmony with all of creation. God graciously invites Abraham back to a garden-like intimacy for which he was originally designed.

Like Abraham, we are invited by Jesus to experience the intimacy for which we were originally created. The night before Jesus would walk the lonely road of suffering to the old rugged cross, he invites his disciples to abide in him. The Apostle John captures Jesus’ welcoming words of intimacy, “Abide in me and I in you.” Jesus makes the point that when we abide in him, we experience the intimacy for which our hearts so deeply long. Abiding in Jesus, we become fruitful, and we flourish. When we abide in Jesus, we experience a deeply satisfying joy that transcends any circumstances we may face. We discover a Trinitarian quality of love in our relationship with others. In our Humpty Dumpty world, our relationships are deeply broken and badly frayed, but the transforming power of the Gospel gives us hope that true intimacy with God and others can be restored.

QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: Who are your closest friends? What do you do to nurture and grow those relationships? What are you doing to nurture and grow your relationship with God?

PRAYER: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, as your image-bearers, our hearts long for the loving intimacy that we were originally designed to experience with you and with each other in your good world. In the atoning work of Jesus and the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit, draw near to us as we draw near to you. May we walk before you, our Audience of One, in those quiet moments we set aside to commune with you as well as in the daily vocations you have called us to serve others. Amen.


Jubilee: Everything Matters

For the past seven years, The High Calling has supported the Jubilee Conference, an annual gathering of thousands of college students learning how to worship God with their whole lives. Whether a person is interested in engineering and science or art and music, law and politics or medicine and mission, justice and families or college life and the years to come, Jubilee has someone speaking about what it means to be involved in those places faithfully. This week, The High Calling offers a special collection of articles, videos, and reflections to serve the students and campus ministers who attended Jubilee. Join the Jubilee and learn how to worship God with your whole life.

Featured image by Cindee Snider Re. Used with Permission. Source via Flickr.