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Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Transparency - a Key to Intimacy

I guess my last few posts have still been under the general 'category heading' of the healing journey that I have been loosely blogging under since before Christmas. I also said I wanted to post a little on the devotional journey (see here for my my thoughts on the different journeys we are really all on). When it comes to the devotional journey, I am really speaking about growing in increasing intimacy with God. And this connects so readily to the issue of transparency that I have said something about in the last couple of posts.

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?


  1. Or am I missing something? No I think you have it. David wouldn't be a comfortable dinner guest, mass murder, rapist but Jesus has such high value for him that He's wearing David's name for all eternity- Son of David. This David wrote:
    You have searched me, Lord, and you know me.
    Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me. ( Ps 139). Papa embraces the beauty with the brokenness, the faith and fear and failure.

    1. Thank you for understanding John! I have thought about that verse from Ps.139 a lot. One of the dynamics of transparency is that we don't fully know our own hearts. We need him to search it. He does. And he sees the worst. But still expects the best. Because love does not record the wrongs but always hopes.

  2. I love Psalms that say "WHY!?" or "HOW LONG?". That's transparency right there, not standing on reverence or 'ought tos' or 'shoulds' but opening the heart and letting what's in come out.

    1. I agree, Ian. We've got to begin with open hearts if we want to experience transformed hearts.