You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. Revelation 3:17

This verse from Revelation is addressed to the wealthy city of Laodicea. It was known for its banks, its wool and textile industry, and its medical school which developed ointments, including an eye salve. God then instructs them, “to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see” (verse 18). God’s message to them is personally addressed to their situation. Even, “So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold” (verse 16) is a reference to Laodicea’s lack of fresh water.

Sometimes the personal nature of God’s messages can catch us off guard. How accurately he can put his finger of conviction or challenge or comfort on our exact area of need. He can reduce us to tears in a moment. A God who was distance and aloof would be far less threatening. It’s unnerving to have someone so interested in us, someone from whom we cannot hide.

When God sent his son into the world he said, “they will call him Immanuel—which means, ‘God with us’” (Matthew 1:23). God put skin on, you can’t get more personal than that. It brings us face to face with a God who demonstrates his intimate involvement with his creation and his intense desire to connect with us. It shatters any comfortable ideas of God being remote or inaccessible. It ruins any idea God is disinterested.

God wants to be, Up, Close and Personal.