The human handshake. What is unique about this cultural ritual? Handshaking is thought to date all the way back to the ancient Greeks. A handshake usually happens upon a greeting, a congratulations, a departing, or for good sportsmanship. But the unique thing about a handshake is that it is generally done between two people that are acquaintances and nothing more. A handshake generally characterizes the relationship at a surface level and not much deeper.
How many friends do you have that you can give a hug? I have several. I am not bragging, but I do have those that I only shake hands with. Usually people I have known for a very little while. I also have those friends I can give a bear hug to if need be. These friends I am close enough to that physical closeness, like a hug is welcomed rather than shunned. I invite, as they do, to receive a hug when I see them or when we are parting ways. I can hug them and know that they are allowing me into a personal level of intimacy that not many other people may be allowed to experience with them. Getting close enough to hug someone requires some vulnerability. Hugging someone is a stepping stone to letting someone into your personal space.
A handshake keeps the other person or you at arms length. You have not been invited into anything more personal. A hug invites the person into a more intimate relationship.
When someone allows me to give them a hug or I come to a place where I am able to receive a hug that means my relationship with the person has elevated to another level. Where are you at with Jesus?
What I love about Jesus is that He knows us intimately. Think about it, for Jesus to know every hair on our head He must know us pretty well. Therefore, because of His intimate love for us Jesus always has His arms open wide. Every time He extends a helping hand it isnít just to pull us out of our problems, shake our hands, and walk to His next project. Jesus holds out His hand to grasp it for the sole reason to pull us closer to Him. Jesus says the Father wants us to know His heart. We canít feel the heart beat of God in a handshake.
So if God is always arms open wide, we must be the deciding factor as to how close we want to be to Him. I know for a long time I was shaking hands with God. And He allowed me to do that. He didnít make me come to Him. He continued to love me and patiently wait till I drew closer than a handshake. But He desires that we come to Him sooner than later. He knows what beautiful things await in the embrace of His arms. Gifts like grace, mercy, peace, joy, understanding, wisdom, and most important love.
Stop shaking hands with God. You will never feel the pulse of the Holy Spirit by shaking hands with the living God and then walking away. Grab His hand and allow Him to pull You close, so close you can hear the thumping of His heart, and the rhythm of His love.
Are you keeping God at arms length or allowing Him to pull you into a more intimate relationship?
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