Friend of God

"It was Moses’ practice to take the Tent of Meeting and set it up some distance from the camp. Everyone who wanted to make a request of the Lord would go to the Tent of Meeting outside the camp.

Whenever Moses went out to the Tent of Meeting, all the people would get up and stand in the entrances of their own tents. They would all watch Moses until he disappeared inside. As he went into the tent, the pillar of cloud would come down and hover at its entrance while the Lord spoke with Moses. When the people saw the cloud standing at the entrance of the tent, they would stand and bow down in front of their own tents. Inside the Tent of Meeting, the Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend. Afterward Moses would return to the camp, but the young man who assisted him, Joshua son of Nun, would remain behind in the Tent of Meeting."

-Exodus 33:7-11 (NLT)

We were created for intimacy

As humans, we crave companionship with others. God created us for community. We crave it so much that we will endure unhealthy or abusive people just so we can connect with another human being. The best illustration of this comes from the movie Castaway where Tom Hanks, alone on a deserted island, befriends a volleyball he named Wilson.

We were created for intimacy primarily so we could have a relationship with God. Often when we think about this kind of relationship we think of monks in a monastery or people who are so other-worldly as to seem pretty weird. Who wants to be like that, right?

But that is not what intimacy with God looks like. Intimacy with God looks like any other close, healthy relationship we might have. It involves knowing each other, spending time together, being open and vulnerable, and a desire to know and be known.

Challenges to Intimacy

Admittedly having a relationship with God does have challenges. With a human friend, we can see their facial expressions, hear their laughter or see their tears. But God is different. God is a person and desires a relationship with us, but we have to go about it a little bit different way.

For example, for most of us, most of the time, we do not carry on a conversation with God is the same way we do with a friend. God speaks to us in unique ways: through Scripture, through worship or observations in the world or a teacher’s words. We may not have immediate dialogue, but we can go to God in prayer and talk about things we have experienced or read and expect God to help us understand.

Advantages to Intimacy

Intimacy with God, however, has some advantages too. As close as we may be with a friend, there are some things they will never know about us if we do not choose to share them. God, however, knows everything that can be known about us. Our friends can’t read our minds, but God knows our thoughts, fears, pains, hopes, and dreams as deeply as we do.

There may be some things we do not share with a friend out of fear that they would stop being our friend. God, however, knows everything and still longs to our friend.

This week in worship we will talk about the things that get in the way of this kind or intimacy with God and what we can do to develop this relationship to a greater degree. So, join us this Sunday as we explore the most important core value of our Christian life: Intimacy with God.



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Alan Cassady serves as Senior Pastor at Navarre UMC, and has been at the church since 2011. When he's not preaching and teaching, he enjoys sci-fi movies and FSU Football. Read more about Alan here.