Genesis 4:1 Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain.
The word "knew" is the Hebrew YADA. In this instance it means sex.
Deuteronomy 9:24 You have been rebellious against the LORD from the day that I knew you.
In this verse it means that the Lord "knew" who the stiff-necked Israelites were. In both cases it implies intimacy, both a physical and emotional "knowing." It is this same intimacy that God desires to have with us, to fully know us and walk with us "in the cool of the day."
This week your Kingdom Bloggers are going to write about intimacy with Jesus. It is always interesting to see what tack each one of us takes to describe the topic as it applies to our own lives.
I have had many personal, warm and fuzzy moments with my Lord. It is hard to describe a time when I felt fully known, and also felt close to God. Many times I have set out to draw near to God, only to have another semi-religious experience. With all the years of study, and Christian practice, I can only say that my intimate moments are sovereign. I can't seem to force them, set them up, or get my self in the right posture to have something happen.
On the other hand, I can set my self up to receive from God - or at least increase the odds by doing the basics: prayer, study, worship and alone time. Intimacy, like any relationship, must be cultivated. For those that are married, especially the men, you know how you can't put relationships on auto-pilot for to long. Parents can't do it either. We need to invest real emotional and spiritual currency to be intimate with our kids and spouses.
I have experienced many miracles over the years, as well as been witness to thousands of accurate prophecies, and healings of every type. For me, witnessing these "gracelets" of God's power builds my faith, but it doesn't make me closer to God. What makes me closer to God is knowing Him, and hearing His voice.
Intimacy isn't always a spiritual high either - some days it a walk through the valley of death.
One of the most intimate times in my Christian journey, one where I felt a connected to God, and not only enjoyed His presence, but felt His comfort and peace in a supernatural, way was in 2001; a time most of the world wasn't thinking about what would happen in the US on 9/11. I know I was one of them. I was busy helping friends establish home-groups and churches where they lived. I had taken a year off after my divorce, but I was slowly getting things going again.
I was scheduled to be in Cincinnati area to meet with friends. It was an amazing time. I was praying about going out, and received a check in the mail for exactly, to the penny, what I need for the airline ticket—after a tithe.
One morning while I was working, about a month before I was to leave, I got a call from my mother. She had bad news to share; pancreatic cancer in the last stage. As with my father (MORE) only a few years before, I began to pray. I began to seek the Lord on how to pray, what to pray for and what I should do.
A few weeks later, I went to Cinci and borrowed my friend’s car in order to make the trek up to Ft. Wayne and visit my mother. We had a nice time, talked about real issues, and had a simple lunch together in her home. As I hugged her before I left, I knew that she, like my father wasn't going to make it. Oh, we had some time, but the cancer was going to kill her. No matter how I tried to summon faith for healing (how I wanted her to live and not die), and take captive the thought that I was going to lose her, I just knew it was going to be over.
On the drive back to Ohio, I just cried out, what should I do Lord? Peering out at the horizon; over miles of corn fields, I heard the still small voice say, "Call her everyday." And so I did. Each morning between 8:45 and 9:00 I called, usually on my way to work. I would end every call with, "I love you." and hang up as I walked down the hall to my office. In the beginning it was easy. She was still getting around, she was even working a little, going to concerts, and taking short trips. As time went on, she got sicker and sicker.
One morning I called and my step-father said that she was asleep. About an hour later, sick from the chemo, she called me to say that she was sorry that she missed our call that morning. She told Gene to make sure to wake her whenever I called. She never missed one after that.
I visited her four times during those final months. I would usually stay for four or five days. Each morning at 8:45, she would ask everyone to leave the room. "So how are you today, David?" she would say, knowing that I was in her house the whole time. At 9 o'clock, after I kissed her on the forehead and told her that I loved her, she'd have me open the door. I had no idea how important those calls were to her or me until my last visit.
It was a few days after 9/11, and there were no planes, so I drove with my brother and my two daughters to Ft. Wayne from Cape Cod; 17 hours each way. We arrived and mom was in her guestroom, the one with all but one of the stained glass windows I had made for her over the years. One morning, close to the end, my girls and I went into the room. I stood on one side of the bed, opposite the door, and the girls stood on the other. I asked her if I could pray for her, and she of course said yes. The girls and I laid hands on her. As we prayed the presence of the Lord grew and grew. Erin said, “Grandma is hot!” Zöe nodded her head in agreement. We kept praying and she began to glow. She was lit up like a lamp as the presence of God came into the room. Erin said, “Grandma is hot, really hot!” She almost shouted.
The Hospice nurse came into the room and fell to the floor near my mother’s feet. She couldn't stand in His presence. My brother and step-father felt the presence at the door to the room. The glory of the Lord was there in a powerful way. My mother’s frail body shone like a lamp. This went on for a few minutes and finally subsided.
After we were done praying, my mother called us close to her face. She said to me, “I am ready for glory.” We had a wonderful conversation where she told the girls that she so wished that she could have had more time with them.
We drove back to Massachusetts and two days later she died. She couldn't take my last phone call. But I told her that loved her and she made a quiet grunting sound. She died the next day.
I spoke to my brother and asked him what her last words were. "Tell David, that I love him and thanks for calling everyday."
It is in times like this, that intimacy is built on daily contact. Each day filling our love account, so when it comes time to make a withdrawal, there is more than enough to go around. During this time I was close to God, and close to my mother. I would pray each day for her comfort, knowing that my Father was taking perfect care of her. He surrounded me with family, a few friends and my eventual wife to be, Mary Anne - and most of all, He surrounded my with His perfect peace, His promise, and His love.