I have always valued the idea (and some experience - not enough!) of walking with God. Just that phrase makes me catch my breath. The picture of God walking with Adam and Eve in the cool of the day in Eden stirs my inner embers. And of Enoch who walked with God and then was not! Feel the shivers in the spine! To walk through life with God as our most intimate friend has always been at the heart of what it's all about as far as I can see (though I have been distracted and drifted from the simplicity of this far too many times!). I love that phrase in Job:
'...God's intimate friendship blessed my house' (Job 29:4)But I think I have too often seen intimacy only in terms of the shivers down the spine experience, the precious moments of expressing our love to God in worship, the times when I have felt the thrill of his presence. These are good and vital of course. But I have been learning over the last year or so that actually intimacy between friends (including God) is at least partly developed through the three key ingredients of time, trust and transparency. It must mean being real with God about how we feel and where things are at for us. Pretense makes intimacy impossible. God just cries 'where are you?' when we hide behind our 'shoulds' and 'oughts' and 'supposed tos', our 'worship times'and 'spiritual disciplines', our happy, holy faces. He so wants us to be real before him. He wants us to lay our hearts and life open before him in all their beautiful mess and holy muddle. How else do you explain so many of the Psalms? True transformation surely only comes to the transparent. Or am I missing something?