June 30 Devotional

Opening Prayer: O God, you who created us naked and unashamed, you who truly knows us and truly loves us, give us the courage to live this day in love and not in fear. Give us the strength and the bravery to come out of hiding, with you and with others, and allow ourselves the possibility of the true intimacy we were made for. Amen.

Scripture: Genesis 2:18-3:13

Journal: Where has fear and hiding kept you from true intimacy in your life? What do you typically use to hide behind? What do you cover yourself with? What would it look like to live out of love and not out of fear?

Reflection: I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the whole idea of intimacy. Particularly about what it really is and how it is created and nurtured - as well as what are obstacles and hindrances to the cultivating of intimacy in relationships. I have a suspicion that, like most things, if we consider how intimacy is developed and grown between people it will help us begin to understand the dynamics and design of intimacy with God. 

The word intimacy comes from Latin intimus, referring to what is interior or inside. Thus intimacy happens when we reveal and expose our insides to one another. It requires mutual disclosure, by its very nature it is never a one way street. This is particularly true as we consider intimacy with God.  "The big and hidden secret," a well known author writes, "is this: God seeks and desires intimacy with the human soul. Once you experience such intimacy, only the intimate language of lovers describes what is going on for you: mystery, tenderness, singularity, nakedness, risk, ecstasy, incessant longing, and, of course also, suffering. This is the mystical vocabulary of the saints."

God longs for intimacy with us, therefore He discloses or reveals Himself to us, not merely ideas or theological concepts about God, but He actually shows us Himself. He opens His infinite heart and allows us to see inside. And His desire in doing so is that it might completely capture ours in return and give us the desire and the courage to disclose ourselves to Him. Not that He needs us to do that, obviously He knows us better than we even know ourselves. Our disclosure is more about what happens in us as we open up to Him - it grows this Divine intimacy within us. Therefore, we must stay attentive to both movements; to how God is revealing and disclosing Himself to us and how we are intentionally and courageously revealing and exposing ourselves to Him - two steps in an incredibly beautiful dance.

Hymn for the Day

Prayer: for the church, for others, for myself

Leoma Gilley works for Wycliffe Bible Translators and is responsible for developing university-level, accredited training in linguistics, literacy, Bible translation, Scripture use, anthropology and language assessment (survey) to people across Africa. Pray today for Leoma as she faces uncertainty after September 30 when her office is being closed and her job in its current form ends. Pray for God to give the Area Directors and Leoma clear direction about His next steps for her work.

The goals of Kentucky Mountain Mission (KMM) and Youth Haven Bible Camp are two-fold: to reach the children and adults of southeastern Kentucky with the gospel of Jesus Christ and to train/disciple those that receive Christ for Christian leadership in their churches and communities. Pray today for these ministries and their leaders William & Dawn Owen and Andy & Erin Owen as they conduct their summer camps.KMM) and Youth Haven Bible Camp are two-fold: to reach the children and adults of southeastern Kentucky with the gospel of Jesus Christ and to train/disciple those that receive Christ for Christian leadership in their churches and communities. Pray today for these ministries and their leaders William & Dawn Owen and Andy & Erin Owen as they conduct their summer camps.

Closing Prayer: O Lord, our God, we were made for intimacy with you. Forgive us when we run from you, when we hide behind our fig leaves, whatever they may look like, and try to mask our real condition. You know us to the core, O God. We can’t hide from you. You know where we are without having to ask, yet you do ask because you want us to know where we are too. Lord have mercy. Amen.