Lewis starts this conversation when he says, here is the kind of God most of us would prefer:
“An ‘impersonal God’-well and good. A subjective God of beauty, truth and goodness, inside our own heads-better still. A formless life-force surging through us, a vast power which we can tap-best of all. But God himself, alive, pulling at the other end of the cord, perhaps approaching at an infinite speed, the hunter, King, husband-that is quite another matter.” (from Miracles)
Intimacy with God. That is the promise offered to us in the Scriptures. It is the reality Jesus holds out to you and me.
But don’t we all have the Peter complex? “Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man (a sinful woman).”
Aren’t we all at least a little bit fearful of what Hebrews 4:13 says? “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”
We are. We both want and dread encountering the real God. The holy God. The loving God. The just God. The God who has a will and way for us to follow. The God who tells us we must understand and live in the full realization that he is supremely important. He must be our Greatest Love and our Greatest Good and our Greatest Desire.
So we settle for a lesser kind of god, a more manageable god, a comfortable god, a god where there is no invitation to or risk of intimacy.
We’re not so good with this thing called intimacy in the 21st century. In fact, many cultural observers say we are getting worse at it. Radical individualism, alongside relational brokenness, joined with an incapacity and disinterest in personal virtue, make intimacy extraordinarily hard.
Not just with other human beings (especially in those relationships we call marriage and parenting), but most of all when it comes to God.
Which is why GRACE, MERCY, and LOVE are offered minute by minute. For apart from these things, the complex, the impulse, and the fear mean we will keep God at arm’s length (and that arm is very long).
May you, this Good Friday and Easter Sunday, experience the friendship, the fellowship, the intimacy, and the love of Father, Son, and Spirit.