Intimacy with God
Intimacy with God . . . what is it and how is it attained? There are many methods, and sometimes it seems hard to accomplish. Feeling led to approach this subject from a different angle; I decided to share what I’ve learned from my own experiences.
God created each of us with a longing for intimacy -- intimacy with Him. We must, therefore, come to some understanding of what He is asking of us and what He is offering. We must come to the realization that we were created to fellowship with our Creator. We need Him and He desires us.
“God desires us?” Yes! He wants us, desires us. He gave the very best He had in His only begotten Son to redeem what Adam relinquished in the Garden. And He did it for intimacy.
Intimacy never involves just one person. As the old adage goes, “It takes two to tango.” God has gone to great lengths to dance with mankind. From the time He walked with Adam in Eden to this day, His desire hasn’t abated or changed.
So passionate was His desire after Adam and Eve sinned, He worked intensely throughout time to bring humanity back to a place of intimate communion. He gave the ultimate Gift so He might walk with us in the garden of our lives (John 3:16). From the midst of the Garden, the Lord called out to Adam. Today He is calling out our names, waiting to share His heart with us, waiting to hear our hearts expressed to Him.
Now that we better understand God’s desires for intimacy, let’s consider what it entails. What does it mean? Is it hard to attain? I submit to you it is not a difficult endeavor. All it requires is our relentless pursuit of an abiding and growing relationship with God.
The biggest hindrance to communion with God is our perception of who He is. Basing our perception of God’s character on the ungodly actions or attitudes of others will skew our understanding of His nature. Often circumstances in our lives prevent us from drawing near. Yet David says in Psalm 27:10: “Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me.” In other words, regardless of who abandons us, betrays us, or hurts us, the Lord is ready, willing and able to embrace us.
God states throughout His Word that He is our strong tower, our refuge, our hiding place -- to name only a few. He is our security, although most times we tend to find security in our position, our wealth, even our friends and family. Somehow we think if we become intimate with God, we will lose our security. In fact, just the opposite happens. We meet God, and He infuses all areas of our lives, enhancing each one with His presence, power, and transformation -- seating us in a secure place in Him.
So how do we do this? We go to God and cling to Him with the realization we are doing what we were created to do, and He will not turn us away (Luke 11:9). God tells us He never shows partiality to anyone (Job 34:19). He gave so that all should live abundantly in His presence.
You cannot know someone you don’t spend time with. Intimacy develops as a result of close contact with someone over a period of time. Trust is built, confidence grows, and hearts change, becoming endeared to one another. Did you ever think about the fact that He is already waiting for you? What an awesome thought: The “Creator” of all that is or ever will be is waiting to talk with you and me.
But you say, “You don’t know my schedule.” Yes I do. I’m just like you. But life is built of many little moments. The little moments are where you start. You can start by simply saying, “I love You, Jesus.”
What would happen if you went through your day, repeating, “Jesus loves me” and did this over a period of a week? Your heart would change. The first step of intimacy would take place: speaking, sharing.
You could quote scriptures or tell Him, “I love You.” These moments will add up, and your whole life will be consumed with thoughts of Him.
This is what I mean by being simple: If you struggle with a certain area in your life and need to know God’s thoughts on the matter, find a Scripture befitting the need and do the same exercise. You see, not only does God want to have long times of communion with us, but He wants to spill over throughout our day. Before you know it, your desires change, and you find yourself continually in a place of communion -- going to Him first, longing for Him, and needing Him in a way that moments are not enough.
When you long to experience deeper times with Him, put on an instrumental CD while relaxing, even while driving or working. Intimacy isn’t always about being verbal. Deep relationship with God can be built by sitting quietly with Him, reflecting on His goodness and love.
When thinking about Him isn’t enough, speak to Him in a conversational tone. After all, Jesus walked as a man and built relationships in the same way we do today. If you spend time in the Word, He will begin to speak those thoughts back to your heart, giving you guidance and encouragement. The more you read and know, the more there is for you to hear in your time with Him.
“Hearing?” you say. Yes, this is the second part of intimacy: listening and hearing. When He speaks back to your heart, “I love you no matter what.” It would be good to have a notebook in which to write down the words and thoughts He impresses on you. These reminders will come in handy during dry times. He tells us to put Him in remembrance of His Word, and that includes what He speaks to our hearts.
Remember, He desires to hear about every thought, desire, and dream. In the Bible, David told God he was angry. Did God know David was angry? Of course. Yet He wanted David to tell Him. This enabled David to hear God’s heart and release his anger to someone who understood without taking it out on others. He chose to remember the faithfulness of God in His life and act upon it.
There is nothing you cannot say to God. There is nothing in your heart or thoughts He wants you to hold back from Him. He doesn’t want you to burden yourself with some yoke He longs to bear (Matthew 11:28-29). Consider this: Nothing ever takes God by surprise. He is aware of every aspect of our lives (Hebrews 4:13). Yet, He still loves us and desires us with an everlasting love.
Take a leap of faith, and pour out your heart to the Lover of your soul. Position yourself to listen, and He will speak. The seeds of intimacy will grow abundantly.