"Let your religion be less of a theory,
and more of a love affair."
The other night, I spent some time rummaging through some of my old journals, in search of one particular entry in which I had written down some things that a friend spoke over me about a year ago. In my searching, I read through a lot of my penned thoughts over the last year, and I found an obvious common thread weaving its way in and out of my entries: seeking deeper intimacy with my Father.
For a long time, deeper intimacy is precisely what I've longed for, and I spent much of the last year praying for the abundantly more that He promises in Ephesians 3:20. Reading back through those journals, I could so clearly identify my greatest areas of growth over the last twelve months: greater confidence in who and how He made me, a deeper understanding of and relationship with Holy Spirit, and a rooting of my identity as His beloved daughter. I quickly realized that as I had been praying for more of God, He answered in ways I couldn't have foreseen, and as I continue to dive deeper with Him, He continues to exceed any of my expectations.
And now, I am currently in one of the weirdest and most interesting seasons yet. My internal life has been absolutely flourishing as Jesus has been closer than ever before; as He has been giving me more revelations of who He is and who He desires me to be; blessing me with dreams and visions that are beyond my wildest imagination; and filling me with an unshakable peace and joy that goes so far beyond my circumstances. Speaking of, while my internal world has been so fruitful, my external world has been and continues to seem pretty barren. Life has been tough, between work and living transitions, loss and lack of close friendships, and a general restlessness that has plagued me, my circumstances have seemed anything but full of peace or joy. And yet, because of His nearness, I have found so much comfort internally that my external has only affected me a fraction of what it would have a year ago. Why? Because of deeper intimacy. Being closer to my Father has caused my attitude and outlook to shift toward joy in spite of crappy circumstances, and living in this paradox has been the oddest but most beautiful place.
See, intimacy is what He wants... it's all that He wants, and all that He cares about. Yes, He wants to grow us more into His likeness and take us to new places and do awesome, kingdom-shaking things through us. But more than all of that, He just wants to be with us. Every day, in every moment, He wants us to tune into what He is doing on the earth and what Holy Spirit is whispering to us about our circumstances, our relationships, our worth, and our future. And those things can only come from a deeper intimacy: a deeper love affair with God.
Growing closer to Him is and will be a lifelong journey, but it's one that I am absolutely on board for, because if the last year that has led up to this beautiful paradox of a season is any indication, it will all be worth it. I want to be closer to His heartbeat, totally in tune with Holy Spirit, and to live and love more fully like Jesus. And the amazing reality is that there will always be deeper places for us to go, because He Himself never ends.
So dig into deeper intimacy, friends.