“… that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one — I in them and you in me — so that they may be brought to complete unity.”  John 17:21-23

How would you define intimacy?

The Canadian Oxford Dictionary defines intimacy as “close familiarity or friendship.” Intimacy involves many expressions and depths. The deepest level of relational intimacy, as ordained by God, is found within marriage and involves a lifelong experience of becoming one with your spouse and life partner. Interestingly, throughout Scripture, reflecting and reiterating his marriage intimacy model, God desires the same depth of intimacy with those he loves by becoming one with his creation.

In John 17, Jesus, through prayer, tells his beloved disciples that the Father still desires, ordains, and pursues relational intimacy with his people. The “complete unity” Jesus asks for communicates more than an agreement or harmony. It is oneness — the same relational intimacy Jesus experiences with the Father. It’s the same oneness people experience within the marriage relationship. Paul, reasserting the Father’s intimacy model, reminds us that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit and whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit” (1 Corinthians 6:17).

Is it possible for us to experience oneness with the Lord?

As Christ followers, we experience relational intimacy or oneness through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Through obediently cultivating a relational intimacy with the Spirit by faith, we experience the essence of God.

As our ever-accessible companion, confidant, and counsellor, God graciously continually romances his beloved. Through the Holy Spirit he is nurturing, sanctifying, and preparing us as his future bride for complete unity — to become one with him forever.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for desiring relational intimacy with me. Fill me with your Holy Spirit that I may experience oneness in you. Empower me to daily cultivate our relationship by faith. May your Spirit sanctify me daily and prepare me to reflect your beloved and in the fullness of time, to experience complete oneness as your worthy bride. Amen.

We are filled with the Holy Spirit by faith alone. However, true prayer is one way of expressing your faith. The following is a suggested prayer:

“Dear Father, I need You. I acknowledge that I have be

en directing my own life and that, as a result, I have sinned against You. I thank You that You have forgiven my sins through Christ’s death on the cross for me. I now invite Christ to again take His place on the throne of my life. Fill me with the Holy Spirit as You commanded me to be filled, and as You promised in Your Word that You would do if I asked in faith. I now thank You for directing my life and for filling me with the Holy Spirit.”

“And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven.”  1 Corinthians 15:49

Anger, bitterness, profanity. One or all three of these indiscretions have been a part of my life for the past several months. Just when I think one has succumbed to being tamed, another emerges and internal forces once again collide.

Believing my own dreams had been dismantled, I allowed myself to take on a posture of indignation. I never wanted to enter into that place but I couldn’t seem to connect with anything that made sense of my disappointment outside of the anger, bitterness, and cursing. However, the more I determined to pray against the unsavoury onslaught, the more I could feel a ray of hope break through my pain. A hope showing perfection meeting with the imperfect — Jesus showing up in the folds of this broken individual.

Today’s verse contains one of the greatest promises I could ever hope to receive. That no matter how many times I falter in being Christ-like, the ultimate victory in the form of perfection will someday be mine. That welcome relief gives me renewed strength to keep fighting against the internal forces that try to thwart me.

In life, hurt, heartbreak, and discouragement seem to outweigh our ability to cope with the subsequent fallout that comes. Things we hoped would be no longer exist and our once calm disposition begins to unravel. As followers of Jesus, we have this powerful verse which gives us the increased fervour to soldier on through our humanity. May we keep our gaze fixed on things of heaven when the going gets tough.

Perfect Jesus, I know I’m not perfect but that I will be when I’m with you in heaven. Thank you for this promise to hold on to. That no matter how many times I mess up here on earth, it doesn’t define how things will be in eternity. I’m very grateful for that. In the meantime, please help me to be as Christ-like as possible until I see you face to face. It’s in your name I pray. Amen.