Friday, November 14, 2014

The Recognition, part 25: intimacy

And when the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent, and reported to no one in those days any of the things which they had seen. (Luke 9:36 NASB)

The cloud descended, the disciples were engulfed, the Lord spoke aloud, and then Moses and Elijah were gone. "And they kept silent." The disciples did not speak about what they had seen and heard. They didn't tell anyone about their experience. They simply kept quiet. 

Because Scripture reports the story, we know that they did eventually tell of their experience, but Luke is clear. At the time, the experience was for them to treasure alone. It sounds like a secret between them and Jesus, doesn't it? 

Imagine that! They saw Moses and Elijah standing and talking with Jesus. All three were in glory, clothed in robes so white that they appeared to have flashes of lightning coming from them. The cloud of God's presence descended and they were engulfed in the presence of God. They heard His voice. It was an incredibly intimate heavenly experience, and the three disciples understood instinctively that it was meant for them alone. What they had just experienced was, perhaps, because they were Jesus' closest disciples, His "best friends", and this treat was not for everyone. 

We may not realize it, but this passage speaks of the intimacy of God with those who love Him. These men were engulfed by God and the experience was not for telling, but for savoring. They would ponder it and treasure it, but years would pass before they actually told what they had experienced. 

Have you been engulfed by God? Have you had one of those life-altering intimate times with our Lord that leaves you in awe of His presence and pondering it for years to come? How precious those times can be, but they only come out of a  relationship with Christ and in a time of utter stillness before Him. He loves us "with an everlasting love". He longs for intimacy with us, but we are the reason that the intimacy is lacking. It is we who are too busy, too distracted, too focused on the world and ourselves. It is we who will have to change if we are to have this divine engulfing, this intimacy beyond all others. It is we ourselves who must be still and silent before our Most High God and allow His presence to descend and engulf us. Though it sounds difficult, and it is, when we are quiet in words and spirit, we will find that the intimacy that results will leave us astounded by His grace, treasuring His presence, and hungering for more. 

Be still, dear ones, and allow the presence of God to engulf and surround you. You will treasure it for years to come.