The most important goal we could have in life is to be with Jesus. That is our purpose -- to bring Him glory, to love Him, to worship Him, and to do all these things closely, in His lap or at His feet. His desire is for us to know Him; out of that knowing comes everything we could ever possibly do for Him.
"...As the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you." -- Isaiah 62:5
He longs -- not just desires or wants, but longs -- to be intimate with us. God desires to be personally known by us, just as a young man desires to know and be known by the woman he loves.
The word marriage implies intimacy, and intimacy implies vulnerability. If a marriage does not involve these two profoundly personal and often frightening sentiments, it is only an indifferent contract between two people who know each other's name and can recognize the other's face -- nothing more. It produces nothing of worth; it is just barely beyond the acquaintance level.
A true marriage is a union of one spirit with another. It is a deeply intimate binding of two souls, where more than just thoughts and secrets are shared. God wants to have relationship with His creation. He yearns to have a true marriage with us. Unlike the pagan deities of ancient history, who were afraid to reveal even their names should humankind exert power over them, God invites us beyond anything we could hope for or imagine: He invites us to truly know Him.
He invites us into His vulnerability. To some extent, many of us understand that God desires a close relationship with His children. We've read it before. We've heard long, detailed sermons about the passionate, intimate relationship Jesus longs to have with us; He calls us His bride numerous times in Scripture.
However, an agreement of our mind and heart must take place before we can truly understand the intimacy God longs for. It is an intimacy that, though it includes our mind, is found in our heart -- in the consuming, living, breathing, tender part of us. It is not intimacy that politely asks for a few moments of your morning. It is not intimacy that humbly requests you read a chapter of the Bible each night before you go to bed.
Jesus is not a groom who is content to merely shake His bride's hand after the ceremony instead of sealing the union of their souls with a kiss. No, what God is looking for is a Song-of-Songs relationship with His people. The hero and heroine in that story didn't lead "normal" lives, as normal lives go. They dared to yearn for what others didn't have. They dared to not be content, but stepped out of their comfort zones -- and were bowled over by passion and extravagance. Both were totally ruined by what their minds didn't understand, but their hearts loved. May we dare for such a thing as intimacy with God.
John Paul Jackson - Streams Ministries