What is a “Naked Relationship”? It is a relationship where there is no fear of the destruction of that relationship because of something you might say, do or think. In other words it is a relationship based on unconditional love i.e. God’s love. A Naked Relationship with another human being is impossible without God. The very foundation of a naked relationship is the triune nature of it, Adam-Eve-God. The denial of any aspect of our being is a denial of our very being.
The vast majority of human relationships are mental and materially based. They are mental because they incorporate your belief systems, what you like or dislike, what you judge to be good and evil. They are material because they are based on physical connections such as a brother or sister, Mother or Father.
In order to move beyond materially based relationships we must begin to know ourselves. There can be no knowing of ourselves without knowing God who is the source of all life.
Knowing God is not knowing an image of Him but to know Him as He is right here and now. To often we look to past expressions or images of God and miss what God is right here and now. Paul talked about this very thing when he wrote: From now on, then, we do not know anyone in a purely human way. Even if we have known Christ in a purely human way, yet now we no longer know Him like that. Therefore if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come. 2Cor.5:16-17 (HCSB)
It is often man’s way to judge things according to their belief systems instead of what is. Jesus pointed this out in his parable about the good Samaritan. He asks the question: “Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?” “The one who showed mercy to him,” he said. Lk. 10:36-37 (HCSB)
It was the Jews who pre-judged the Samaritan as a sinner because of their understanding of God’s laws. Their belief system kept them from seeing what was true in the here and now. Jesus was trying to open their eyes to what was through his story.
Almost of all Jesus parables do this exact thing – remove you from your belief system and place you in the here and now to see love.
We will choose our belief system over love in other words we will choose our image of God over God Himself.
This exact fact was demonstrated in the life of Jesus on earth. It was the Jews who choose their understanding of the Laws of Moses over the Life of love Jesus lived before them. If we are ever able to live naked and unashamed we must not be ones who hold on too tight to our understandings of God, doctrines and belief’s. As the scriptures say: Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; think about Him in all your ways,
and He will guide you on the right paths. Prov.3:5
There is a difference between relying on your own understanding and meditating on the Lord as you walk daily in your life. One comes from a remembering of the past the other is found within us in the moment of need. One from Law the other from the Spirit of Love.
A Belief system is like clothing we put on. We think it looks good? We trick ourselves into believing that it defines us. Two Christians meet and often one of the first conversations might go like this: “Where do you go to church? I go to First Baptist, Oh your Baptist I am a Methodist.” What does that do except bring about separation. No one is a Baptist or Methodist – at best these are words to describe a belief system you adhere to or at least try to appear that you adhere to. We do this because we don’t think Christ is enough. For a church or a people to say I am of Christ is not good enough. For someone to show love is not good enough, I need to know what you say you believe. I need to know that you cloth yourself with the same rags I use (Isa.64:6).
Paul wrote in the very first letter of the NT: There is no Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Gal.3:28 (HCSB)
In Genesis we find recorded: This is why a man leaves his father and mother and bonds with his wife, and they become one flesh. Both the man and his wife were naked, yet felt no shame. Gen.2:24-25 (HCSB)
When there is only one there is no shame to be just as you are, no need to add anything. It is to look through the material world and see what is. What is? An eternal spirit manifested in many forms but still only one spirit. This is how two are one and how Christ brought about peace. In doing away with the law (the belief system) the Jews would be able to love the Samaritan and see them as they are, children of God just like the Jews. No longer to be judged according to the fleshly laws, (there clothing) but to be accepted just as they are.
For He is our peace, who made both groups one and tore down the dividing wall of hostility. In His flesh, He did away with the law of the commandments in regulations, so that He might create in Himself one new man from the two, resulting in peace. [He did this so] that He might reconcile both to God in one body through the cross and put the hostility to death by it. Eph.2:14-16 (HCSB)
How many laws or belief’s of yours to you put on others?
Do you accept people who don’t believe like you?
Do you allow others to explore in ways you don’t think is right and proper?
Can people tell you things without fear of you judging them?
The other day a sister shared with me in private a book she was reading. She shared it in private because she knew that if some of her friends found out that they would judge her.
It was the Pharisees named Nicodemus that came to Jesus at Night (Jn.3:1-21) so that none of the other Pharisees would know.
Can you be Naked with the group of Christians you meet with?
Or, Like Nicodemus, do you seek out and explore Christ in the middle of the night where none of your friends can see you?
Nicodemus was not wrong, he was seeking truth. He knew that if he did it in the open he would be persecuted by those who claimed to love God and follow his ways.
Do the people you gather together with unconditionally love you i.e. love you with God’s love? Or do they like you because they think you are like them in your belief system, your clothing?
Its a little odd that in today’s Christian Church in order to be considered a member you must agree on certain beliefs, that Christ’s acceptance of you and your expressed love for Him is not enough.
Do you have “Naked Relationships?” if you don’t you will never know intimacy or experience the joy of oneness.
The first step is to follow the words of Jesus when he said “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” Lk.6:37 (HCSB)
Are Christians like Jesus or the Religious Jews?
Then the elders and pastors brought a woman caught in adultery, making her stand in the center. “Teacher,” they said to Him, “this woman was caught in the act of committing adultery. The Bible says: (Matt.5:27-29 “You have heard that it was said, Do not commit adultery. But I tell you, everyone who looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. … For it is better that you lose one of the parts of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.) So what do You say, is she going to hell?” They asked this to trap Him, in order that they might have evidence to accuse Him. Jesus stooped down and started writing on the ground with His finger. When they persisted in questioning Him, He stood up and said to them, “The one without sin among you should be the first to throw her into hell.” Then He stooped down again and continued writing on the ground. When they heard this, they left one by one, starting with the older men. Only He was left, with the woman in the center. When Jesus stood up, He said to her, ” Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, Lord,” she answered. “Neither do I condemn you,” said Jesus. “Go, and from now on do not sin any more.”Jn.8:3-11 in today’s language.
This was a woman caught in the very act of adultery, she was probably brought to crowd naked and yet Jesus accepted her as she was, he did not need to know what she believed, or if she was guilty or not – he did not judge her or condemn her he simply forgave her without her even asking.
If we cannot accept others exactly as they are do we really believe that God accepts us as we are? If we can’t accept others nakedness it means we can’t accept our own. We like Adam and Eve before find the leaves of belief’s (the knowledge of good and evil) to cloth ourselves rejecting both the message and blood of Jesus Christ.
Can you be naked, unashamed and intimate with God and all your brothers and sisters?
Do you have or want Naked Relationships?
Paul in his letter to the saints with the overseers and deacons in Philippi writes:
Philippians 4:8 (The Message)
8-9Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.
Paul asks the saints to fill the mind and meditate on things true…… Why?
Vs.6 Paul says: Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray.
To fret or worry is a condition that plagues many today. Part of the problem is that we accept this mental and emotional condition as normal and just a part of everyday life. Often we enter into a time of prayer because we are feeling “worry” of some kind. The reality is many prayers are not answered because the one petitioning the Lord does not know how to pray. His prayer is not of faith but of fear and worry.
How did Jesus make his Petition Prayer known to the Father?
Mark 4:37-40 And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? (KJV)
Jesus was speaking not only to the Sea but to Peter and the other disciples as well and said “Peace, Be Still”
It was in the Psalms that the words: Be still, and know that I am God Ps 46:10 (KJV) were spoken.
Through faith Jesus remained in stillness and was the very expression of Peace on earth this is how he would Pray.
Vs.7 And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
How do we allow The “Peace of God” to guard both heart and mind?
Paul addresses this very issue in his letter: Finally brothers,
whatever is true
whatever is honorable
whatever is just
whatever is pure
whatever is lovely
whatever is commendable
—if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—dwell on these things.
To dwell is from the greek word λογίζομαι 3049. logizomai to reckon, to consider
to reason, decide, conclude; think, suppose. logízomai (the root of the English terms “logic, logical”)
Paul asks us to think about, meditate on and consider Truth. Truth is not a doctrine but the reality that is right inside of you. Jesus said “the kingdom of God is within you” and “you shall know the Truth and truth will set you free” Jn.8:30-32 What more can you ask for?
Consider if you are a true disciple of Jesus? Its not enough to just believe he is the son of God, even Satan believes that. Do you believe and have faith in the words he spoke?
These are not just saying but realities that we can experience now, today as we dwell on His gospel, the good news of what is right now!!
If you believe what Jesus has said why do you still have fears? Jesus words were Mark 9:23-24 “Everything is possible to the one who believes.” Immediately the father of the boy cried out, “I do believe! Help my unbelief.”
How is our unbelief helped?
Meditate on what is lovely – as we consider what is lovely our hearts are filled with love and joy – no longer do we find room in our hearts for fret, worry and unbelief because it has been overwhelmed with love, joy and peace. Isaiah knew this experience when he wrote the words:
You will keep in perfect peace the mind [that is] dependent [on You], for it is trusting in You. Isaiah 26:3 (HCSB)
When one is filled with fear he cannot find God who is love. This is why the scriptures say: 1 Jn.4:18 There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear……..(HCSB)
Paul knew that if the saints in Philippi practiced what he had taught them about how to meditate on the lovely and commendable things they had experienced that they would know the love and Peace within themselves:
Do what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:9 (HCSB)
When you think about or meditate through faith on God’s lovely creation or a commendable act that a brother or sister has done your heart is filled with love and truth not fret or worry and you are able to approach the Lord in peace and faith then, and only then, can you: ….in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. Phil 4:6 (HCSB)
Meditation in the Christian Tradition
Meditation is not something new to the Christian experience, but is deeply rooted in Christian tradition. However, many Christians have lost touch with this ancient tradition of prayer. Meditation involves coming to a stillness of spirit and a stillness of body. The extraordinary thing is that, in spite of all the distractions of the modern world, this silence is perfectly possible for all of us.
To attain this silence and stillness, we have to devote time, energy and love. One way to set out on this pilgrimage is to recite a short phrase, a word that today is commonly called a mantra. The mantra is simply a means of turning our attention beyond ourselves, a method of drawing us away from our own thoughts and concerns. One early mantra was saying the prayer-phrase MA-RA-NA-THA (Recite it as four syllables of equal length). Another way is the use of meditation sounds or clear with the use of bells or singing bowls (I like singing bowls). Still another way is “praying in tongues”, this is a meditative prayer language that does not operate within the conscience mind.
The real work of meditation is to attain harmony of body, mind and spirit. This is the aim given us by the psalmist: “Be still and know that I am God”. St. Paul wrote (Rom. 8:26) that “we do not know how to pray, but the spirit prays within us”. What this means in the language of our own day is that before we can pray, we first have to learn to become still, to become attentive. Only then can we enter into loving awareness of the Spirit of Jesus deep within our heart. Meditation, known also as contemplative prayer, is the prayer of silence, the place where direct contact with Christ can occur, once the never ceasing activity of the mind has been stilled. In meditation we go beyond words, thoughts and images into the presence of God within. St. John of the Cross says, “God is the center of my soul”. Julian of Norwich says: “God is the still point at my center”. Meditation is this daily pilgrimage to one´s own center. Meditation is the other half of prayer. Normally we speak to God, thank Him and ask Him for things. In meditation we enter the silence (of our own thought), and are saturated by the Holy Spirit.
It is through this saturation by the Holy Spirit that knowing is passed by the Holy Spirit to our Spirit and from our Spirit to our mind where renewal takes place to our old way of thinking.
Most of the article taken from – The World Community for Christian Meditation