When you hear the phrase “intimacy with God” what do you think of? What image come to mind? How does the phrase or picture make you feel? For a long time intimacy with God meant a morning ‘quiet time’ with a journal and bible. If I didn’t spend time regularly with God (think daily) then I believed God wasn’t going to be “there for me”. If I did my part, God would do God’s part. Intimacy with God was reading the bible and hoping that something would stick out in the passage I was reading as a way of God talking to me. It weighed on me sort of like one of the many to do’s—like paying bills, exercise, or laundry. I believed my life would be better if I put the time in with God. Sometimes I craved it but other times it weighed on me as something I should be doing more.
What does intimacy with God look like for you? What routines, thoughts, places, spaces bring you close to God? What is intimacy with God? When you think about it, it is a crazy phrase combining closeness/affection with the God of the universe. How is that even possible?
We at “the Experience God project” believe that God is in the room with you. God is with you, here on Earth, whether in the car, going for a run or sitting at a desk. Intimacy is possible because God is here. We also believe that God is good. Learning to hear God, be aware of God and interact with God is not always easy. What is God’s voice? What isn’t God’s voice? Honestly in our experience there is no full proof way to figure out what is God. As Paul says 1 Corinthians 13:12 “For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have fully known.”
5 years ago I was sitting in Church and I had a thought that went like this “sit down I have something to talk to you about.” Over the last 20 years Greg and I have been on a journey to understand how God talks, how to interpret, how people in different traditions over the centuries have experienced God. We’ve been to different churches, different denominations and conferences, read books, taken classes at Seminary and most recently my husband is finishing a PhD studying how people experience God. We’ve trained ourselves and others to become aware of our thoughts and to pay attention to certain thoughts that seem to be from God.
So when I have a thought “sit down I have something to say to you” I pay attention. I sat down. Next I had this thought “you are pregnant with a girl. Her name will be Joy Elise and she will be consecrated to me. She will be a healer, and you will have to contend for joy, choosing joy over fear.” It wasn’t inconceivable that I was pregnant, but if I was, it was too early to take a pregnancy test and definitely to know if the baby was a girl. So when I went home I looked up the meaning of the name Elise…it was a new name to me. Low and behold it means, “Consecrated to God”. So I had just had a thought enter my mind that I was pregnant with a baby who would be “consecrated to God” and I was to name her a name that meant that very same thing. A few weeks later we found I was pregnant and a few months later learned she was a girl and we named her Joy Elise.
God is in the room and wants to interact with us, talk to us, reassure us, show us things. More than a thing to do, God is a person who is here now with us and we believe wants to interact with us. At the Experience God project we want to help people experience God more in every day life. Not just in order to discern big decisions but because when God is in room, everything changes.
Wherever you are right now take 1 minute whether brushing your teeth, drinking a cup of coffee, driving to work—ask this question—God show yourself to me today. Pay attention to where God is in the room as you go about your day. What does God say? Where is God? Do you sense God's presence?