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Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Joining Jesus in the Intimacy Circle

The sweat of his exertion dripped from the tall preacher’s brow. His thunderous voice echoed richly through the packed meeting hall, addressing hungry, attentive hearts. His energetic gestures punctuated every burning word as he heralded the wondrous message: “Jesus came to save us from our sins!”

Glory be! Jesus did! What breathtaking news! All of our life, all of our existence, all that we are, is staked on this magnificent truth!!

But you know something?  There is more.

The More


Sometimes, we come short of understanding all the reasons that Jesus came. Sometimes, in giving our sole attention to Jesus’ earthly mission to die for us, we miss one of the other central, essential reasons He took on human flesh. He came and walked in our pain for another, urgently critical objective.

He came to show us what intimate relationship with Daddy looks like. This up-close demonstration of Their connection was not merely for us to gaze with admiration. He provided it so we could enter into this exquisite richness too. This is what He meant by these final words, the night He was to culminate His earthly assignment:

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love” (John 15:9, ESV).

This instruction segued into His closing prayer to Daddy, sealing those last hours together with His beloved friends:

“I in them, and You in Me; that… the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me” (John 17:23, NKJV).


Both of these verses communicate to us that the infinite love that openly flows between Daddy and Jesus, is the very same love that Daddy and Jesus have for you and me. And because They love us with this same kind of intensity and fire of passion, They also yearn to bring us into the same kind of inseparable, abiding, exquisite Spirit-to-spirit fellowship that They ceaselessly enjoy. Jesus made it clear that night that He is drawing us all into the very same oneness that They exult in:

“At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you” (John 14:20, NKJV).

Those were His parting words. He made this announcement after three years of showing them how. Every single day of Jesus’ earthly sojourn, He exhibited to them (and to us) what it’s like to live life in Daddy’s embrace. Every day, those around Him watched Him lean ceaselessly into His Father with unspeakable closeness. They saw how He did not make one move, nor speak one word, except what He experienced Daddy doing and saying through Him.

The disciples saw how this intimate knowledge flowed out of His unbreakable, indescribably profound communion with His Abba. When Jesus prayed out loud for them to listen, they could hear how intimately familiar Jesus was with the Father’s heart. The conspicuousness of Their connection was achingly lovely.

Jesus Wants You With Him


It is so important that we grasp that He did this for us. He could easily have stayed in heaven, enjoying the bliss of oneness with His Abba, without having needed to bother with prolonged years dealing with the limitations of a human body. But He came here to live it in front of us, so that we would know firsthand that this is what He wants for us too. He could have popped down for a bit, died on the cross, and quickly returned to heavenly rapture with Daddy. But if He’d done that, He wouldn’t have had the opportunity to model for us the way He longs for us to live: in the bosom of the Father.

From His very first recorded earthly words at age twelve, He was voicing His enthusiasm about the center of His existence: Daddy. As He Himself taught us, out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks. His heart was continually overflowing with the love bliss He was living out with Daddy, and so this is what came out of His mouth. He couldn’t stop talking about His Father.

Then, once He had achieved His goal of revealing to us what it looks to live out of our place in Daddy God’s heart, it was time for Him to pay the price to make it possible. To this end, He gave His life in torturous death. As soon as He was alive again, He resumed the same topic: “I am ascending to My Father and your Father…” (John 20:17, NKJV). He had just done it. He had just made His Abba, your Abba, and my Abba.

He was communicating, in essence, “For these three years, I showed you what rapturous union with Daddy looks like. Now join Me. My Daddy is now your Daddy. Be one with Us. He in Me, and I in you, and you in Me.

"I am about to send My Spirit to you. I will pour Him into you until you, too, overflow with this heavenly love. He is the Spirit of Adoption, the Spirit of Sonship and Daughterhood. Through Him, you, too will cry out, ‘Abba, Father!’ Through Him, you, too, will experience belonging, to the utmost meaning of the word. Through Him, you, too, will be wrapped up with Me, in Daddy’s bosom. From that place, you will live out the abundant, beautiful, victorious life that I have written in My book for you before the worlds began!”


What This Means for You and Me


When the disciples heard Jesus’ words of announcement, the joy that spilled over within them must have been almost too much to contain. To think that that bliss they saw Jesus ceaselessly revel in with His Daddy, was now to be theirs. No wonder Peter described this ecstasy as “joy inexpressible and full of glory!” (1 Peter 1:8, NKJV). They recognized immediately that Jesus was now to bring them into His Intimacy Circle with the Father.

This – for them and for you and for me – would mean drinking deeply of:
  • Mutual Delight: They had heard Daddy announce from Heaven in overflowing tones about Jesus, “This is My Son, whom I love, in whom I am well pleased!” They understood that now they would hear Him proclaim these same words of exultant love over them. They would come to know, deep in their very core, what it was like to be fully delighted in. In return, spontaneous delighting in Daddy would spring up from their heart of hearts, as a lifestyle. So it will from yours and mine.
  • Guidance: Jesus had let them know in no uncertain terms that He did nothing at all on His own. Daddy spoke every word through His mouth, and Daddy performed every work through His body. Daddy directed every moment of His every day. Now they, too, were to taste the exquisite beauty of yielding moment by moment, every single second of their lives, to His magnificent lead. So will you and I.
  • Belonging: How many times had they heard Jesus’ voice radiate tenderness in expressing, “I am in My Father, and He is in Me”? As John explained at the outset of his gospel, the Son is in the Father’s bosom (John 1:18). These men knew that being adopted into the Intimacy Circle meant a place in His heart that no one could ever take away from them, for all of eternity. They would now belong in Daddy’s embrace, forever. This is now your permanent home too, and mine.
  • Identity: In moving into the divine Intimacy Circle, they were receiving a brand new identity. As Ephesians tells us, the whole family in heaven and earth is named from the Father (Eph. 3:14). He gives us a new name. He tells us who we are. He calls us “Loved.” “Cherished.” “Precious.” “Chosen.” “Celebrated.” “My Delight.” “Mine.” From here on out, these men would live and move and have their being out of their identity as chosen, beloved children of the Father. So will you and I!


The Strength that Comes from Belovedness


There has never been a point, since all of eternity past, that Daddy and Jesus have not danced rapturously together in Their glorious Intimacy Circle. From of old, Their love has been the center of all existence. From this union, came everything else. Jesus, the Wisdom of God, testifies about drinking of this bliss with His Abba at the very beginning of time: “I was the architect at his side. I was his constant delight, rejoicing always in his presence” (Prov. 8:30, NLT). Out of that glorious rapture of intimacy, They gave birth to the earth and to humankind.

That same union gave Jesus the strength to walk through, on earth, what He had never had to endure pre-incarnation. This is why Isaiah could prophesy about Him that He would never falter or be discouraged during His days in the body (Isa. 42:4). He drew deep, powerful emotional strength from His position of belonging in Daddy’s bosom. His heart could hear Daddy announcing to the universe, “Behold! My Servant whom I uphold, My Elect One in whom My soul delights!” (Isa. 42:1, NKJV). This was all He needed, to continue to joyfully move through each day as it unfolded.

And now He is inviting you to live the same way. His Daddy is your Daddy. You were born for drinking in His delight in you, for abandoning yourself to His ceaseless and total guidance, for belonging to Him, for exulting in the identity of being His own. You were born for His bosom. Everything about your earthly existence is meant to flow from that place in His arms. Just as Daddy loves Jesus, He loves you. Just as He yearns for Jesus, He yearns for you. Just as He strengthened Jesus with the fury of His passionate love, so He aches to strengthen you. Their oneness is beckoning you. Their eyes are full of tender fire. Their arms are open and waiting, extended longingly to you. Will you run into them? Will you abandon yourself to the Intimacy Circle?





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