This isn't a new idea but it seemed like a good idea to post on.
In our walk with Christ, we have three different stages of relationship: stranger, friend,and beloved. Each of these have a different intimacy level, different pains and trials we go through, and deeper joys as we draw closer to Christ. This is one of my thoughts, not necessarily a fact with everyone.
First, we enter the stranger phase with Christ.It is also the point we are servants.This is like being in the outer courts. We only hear what is going on inside. This is sometimes the point we hear about Him, but not always have much experience ourselves. In this stage we are often drawn to Christ fort different reasons. Some for curiosity,hope in a hard time, or many other reasons. We aren't really close to Christ and it is sometimes easy just to walk away. But if we stay, he calls us to become friends.
I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my father. --John 15:15
In the friend stage, we are called to really hear him for ourselves. It is like when the priest entered the inner courts. We get to partake of the feast of his bounty.He speaks to us like he did the disciples. The hardships we go through are like that of the disciples. We must leave our own lives and follow. We often get discouraged because we may have to leave our family and friends to do so. This stage is probably one of great joy and like climbing a spiritual mountain as well. Then after a while we are thrown into the furnace like gold to be purified....into lovers.
Into the gems of his delight.As the beloved we lose ourselves. All we are is a reflection of the Lover of All. The pain of leaving his side is absolutely unbearable. This place is both frightening and exciting at the same time. Frightening since we are totally exposed. Exciting because we are exposed to the one who really loves. It is the Holy of Holies to be a beloved.