NEW – drawn from a response by Jay Ferris to a question from a reader.
I was thinking about that portion of the desire in the heart of all of us for intimacy. It is kept inside like the pressure in a bottle of Champagne. Suddenly we find ourselves in circumstances where we feel safe to share with others at a deep level. That’s like releasing the wire that holds the cork in the bottle. With the release of the cork comes the celebration of intimacy.
A reader asked: “What is the key point that makes the cork pop?”
I would have to say, “the key point” is that these things are spiritually discerned. Only the Grace of God has the ability to disentangle the wire on the cork. This wire is the bondage of how we used to be, even the bondage of systematic religion.
Take Paul, for instance. The “popping of His cork” began with his being knocked down on the way to Damascus. The intimacy that day was with The Lord Himself. Then he had a few conversations with others, probably not so intimate, and then into the Arabian wilderness for “Surpassing” intimacy with The Lord Himself once again. It is clear from Paul’s testimony that the fruit of that intimacy was the untangling of Paul from all that he used to be – all that religious wiring. There was a major change from the religious bondage that used to be Paul. Paul was changed from Christ killer to lover.
There was much that Paul got in Arabia that he could get only from the Lord, and not from men, even the best of them in their then understanding of the “oneness” that Jesus prayed and died for.
As for us, we now have the help of Paul’s maturing in the lord, according to his own words, and those of Luke. So that we already have an intelligible clue that there is more to intimacy than how things are in the old creation. There is a Unity of The Spirit that, beyond His gift of Himself to us, is perhaps the greatest gift we have, as well as our most convincing testimony, not only to our own hearts, but to the hearts of one another, and by the looks of it, to the world.
This is not about being in the same place and time in the flesh, but being in the same place and eternity in the Spirit. :-) This is about a people who are beginning to get to know each other “even as also they are known,” and in this present age.
For more reading, see “The Champagne of Intimacy.“
I love wired cork analogy. I have witnessed many whom the Lord had untangled their wire, only to find them putting the cork back and precariously trying to twist the wire back in place. On the other hand, there are those who continue to ask for the out pouring from the bottle, and as you state, they are the ones who find others, “in the same place and time in the flesh, but being in the same place and eternity in the Spirit.” How true this is!
Untangled from fear, we are poured out in Love to each other. This can and I think does lead to a new tangled, but tangled from above, a true connection that bridges space and time. This brought to mind lyrics from a love song.
“How long has it been
Since this storyline began
And I hope it never ends
And goes like this forever
In this world
Where nothing else is true
Here I am
Still tangled up in you
Tangled up in you
I’m still tangled up in you
Still tangled up in you”
Staind “Tangled up in You”
When connected from above we pour ourselves out as a drink offering to each other, all in Love.
Pam, very good analogy here. I love what was said about Paul and his intimacy with the RISEN Lord for those three years in the Damascus wilderness. The apostles in Jerusalem had intimacy with Christ as a man for their own three years, but that was not the same. Paul boldly says,
“For the love of Christ constrains us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they who live should no longer live unto themselves, but unto him who died for them, and rose again. Therefore from now on know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet from now on know we him no more. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:14-17 KJ2000)
They who were in Jerusalem 2000 years ago knew Jesus after the flesh, but Paul knew Him after the Spirit. Jesus died and we who are HIS died with Him on that cross. Jesus rose again and now manifests Himself in His Spirit among us. We have rose again in newness of life with Him. We are His Wonderful NEW Creation as we abide IN Him in intimacy. We also cease to know one another “after the flesh” just as we do not know HIM after the flesh as we abide in this NEW Creation.
There is an intimacy that is our in the Spirit of the Risen Christ that the flesh can not hold a candle to. Paul even went as far as to speak of his encounter with the apostles in Jerusalem (see Acts 15) in these terms, “And from those who were reputed to be something (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality)–those, I say, who were of repute added nothing to me;” (Galatians 2:6 RSVA). This might sound arrogant on Paul’s part, but remember, Paul had found Christ as his total sufficiency in all things and knew Him intimately.
With God there is “knowing” and then there is “KNOWING”! Intimacy with our Father is what HE counts as KNOWING and being known of Him, nothing less. Bible knowledge and knowing of doctrines alone, fall short in every way. Yet there is more! Oh, the intimacy we have who know the Father and the Son in such intimacy… we meet each other IN union with THEM! It is here where we know no man or woman after the flesh any longer, but IN the Spirit and the fellowship is rich!
Love you all, Michael
Well said, Michael. It never struck me before that Paul spent 3 years in the wilderness with Jesus, even as the disciples did in the flesh. Thanks for sharing all that you did. There’s a lot here. And thank you to everyone, for your contributions here. It means so much and is such an encouragement!
Pam, you are welcome. Keep sharing the gems that God has given you. They are an inspiration. Michael
I’m glad Michael:) This one was from Jay, and I hope to keep finding more to share.
Yes…to know and be known….fully…..