True Intimacy With God
Being Intimate with God is something that I feel, most people who claim to be Christian, are not. I don’t care if you think that is a bold or even a rash statement, but in all honesty, in a lot of ways it is true, in the western world that is. If you think that you are not one of them then check yourself, are you really in an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ?! He was beaten with whips that can rip chunks out of His body. Then was forced to go to a biased trial, falsely accused, to then again be beaten once more, forced to carry the 30–40 pound crossbar of His cross, while being broken, bloodied, scared, having a crown of thorns pressed into His head. He carried it all the way up, hung up like a bloody rag, while the bone crushing weight of his dangling body caused His lungs to collapse in on itself. He went through all this, all this so He could have a relationship with YOU?
If you just take a moment, and simply imagine that you were in that crowd, knowing what you know now. Imagine the scoffs of people and the jeers and the mockery that echoed as He would climb up the narrow, densely packed streets, with spectators gazing at him, while He carried the tree that would be the atonement for their sins. Please, I urge you, before you read on just to stop and take a moment and imagine this spectacle. Please do not read on if you haven’t done this.
Here at Summit International School Of Ministry, they really push that you have an intimate, personal relationship with God. Every morning you have to wake up at 6:30am and then spend an hour in the morning with God. It may seem crazy to wake up that early but to be totally honest I thoroughly enjoy it. It has created a hunger in my heart for more of the Word of God. I have discovered things, in that secret place as the bible calls it, things that have just blown my mind over and over. The more I dig through scripture the more I come to know God, the more I want to understand Him. I was listening to a sermon recently in class that really got me thinking about how to be in an intimate relationship with God. I hope what I share can be really beneficial, and if you say you are a Christian and claim to read the bible that is awesome, however these principles could be beneficial to all Christians.
1- To have an intimate relationship you need to spend TIME
Time is probably the most important thing. If you are hoping to be in a relationship with someone, and you hope to marry them, you are not going to spend all of your time in groups, or you won’t want to ignore the person either. The most likely way you will get their attention (depending on what culture you live in) might be some like, asking them out for coffee and spending one-on-one time with them over lunch. This way you can get to know the person better and on a deeper level. The God of the bible is neither far off or a distant God. He made a way so that He could have an intimate relationship with you. He communicates through His word, which is the bible. He communicates to His created humanity in human mediums, primarily by writing to us through the bible and when we read it, it’s as if He is speaking to us. If you want to know God on an intimate level you need to spend time listening to Him, reading the letter that He sent us (the Bible). Spend time getting to know the creator of the heavens and the earth, the God who created the BIG things and the small things too. After all He did pay the ultimate price to have this relationship with you, and Jesus did spend time making you according to the scriptures, it says that he formed you in your mother’s womb, and that he took time to put each fiber of your being together (Psalm137). He also spent a whole lifetime on earth with humanity itself to make sure that you would know how to come into a relationship with Him.
2- Be HONEST with God
The problem with many Christians is that so many of us have a fear of God and not the right kind of fear. We think that because we do something wrong that God is going to cast us down or smite us, with a big clenched fist that comes out of the heavens and leave us in the dirt until we get our meager act together. That is not the kind of fear that the bible mentions. The “fear of the Lord” is a reverent fear. God has never ever been surprised when you confessed your sins to Him. He has never said “Oh wow! You did that. Well I don’t know, I don’t think that I can forgive that!” . If he was like this then He would not know all things and therefore wouldn’t be the omniscient God that the bible speaks about. The Bible says that God is Faithful and Just to forgive all of our sins (1 John 1:9). There is nothing that God does not know about you, all of your flaws and all your failures, all your wrongs. However, that does not mean that you do not ask for forgiveness. If you wronged your parents, and they know that you are wrong, they will still want you to come to them to ask for forgiveness. They will still love you as they should but they are still waiting for you to ask forgiveness. Honesty with your spouse brings you closer together, the same way honesty, brutal and pure honesty is needed with God. Sometimes we come to God and we are careful about what we say. We act like we are coming before the Queen of England and we cannot use common language because that is not proper. Stop. God knows you. He made you and he knows your personality, God created that too, so just be yourself and sometimes we can get mad and that is okay that we are brutally honest and that is good. God wants you to be yourself but He wants you to be honest. The bible is filled with honesty from God, sometimes he is brutally honest and it sounds harsh but that is the way He is, especially when Israel would disobey His commands that they said they would keep. God is black and white. There are no gray areas where you can ride the fence between the boundaries of obedience and disobedience to God. There is no in between.
It is also worth mentioning that as the Body Of Christ, we should be open and honest with each other.
James 5:13–16 “Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
There is so much freedom that comes when you are open about your sins and your struggles. I have personally experienced this, and being open and honest is something that we don’t really seem to do in our churches. We have somehow made it hard for people to honestly confess about what they deal with and then on top of that we scrutinize them for having problems. Especially when it comes down to leaders and Pastors. Honesty is so important for an intimate relationship with God, but as the body we should practice it amongst ourselves, have ears to listen and know when to speak. Ask God for wisdom in what to say, or how to take honesty and also advice. This could be a way longer point but for times sake I will end it here.
3- Be OBEDIENT to God
This may seem demanding at first, however, all throughout the bible we see time and time again that obedience to God in turn brings us closer to God. In a logical way it makes sense. If your loved one would like you to take out the trash, you would do it to make sure you uphold that relationship, or they may ask you to not leave the dirty dishes out, you are going to make sure it is cleaned and put away. Jesus is very clear in John 15,that when you abide in Him that He will abide in you. James 4:8“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”
Even when I think about my personal experiences, there is no greater sense of fulfilled purpose, joy, satisfaction than knowing that you are truly fulfilling the plan God has for you. I remember the times when I would go on missions trips to different places where I would do kids camps and do action songs for the kids, or other times I would lead worship at a youth retreat, or teach lessons at my own church, I would sometimes just take a moment and look at the faces of the people that God was impacting, through me. I am not saying this to boast about me and what I have done because I can do nothing without God, but I say these things to tell you about the awesome and wonderful power of God. When you spend time in the presence of God, being filled up with knowledge and wisdom of God, to then to have a chance to pour out what you have learned and the truths God has shown you, out on others, it is really something beyond that which words can describe. It is better than any drug you can take, or any pleasure or entertainment that this world has to offer. I encourage you to be obedient because when you are obedient to God and you have His heart, and by this I mean when you ask God to break your heart for what breaks His, it is bliss. When you choose to Love God with all your heart and then Love your neighbor as you love yourself, it is the remedy to any and every aching and desolate heart, or heart that is bitter, angry or broken.
“If you abide in Me, and my words abide in you , you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be my disciples. As The Father loves Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you and that your joy may be full. This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”
If that portion of scripture does not say it clearly enough, you could always look it up on google, “ What does the bible say about ‘Obedience in God?’”
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I hope that these few but key points may help you in your walk with God. There is so much more to an intimate relationship with God then these three points, but these, I believe, are the three main points to a healthy, fruitful and deeply fulfilling relationship with the God Almighty, Jesus Christ. Jesus created mankind not to simply rule over, but He created mankind to have an intimate relationship with. God when He created Adam and Eve, walked with them in the garden of Eden, (Genesis 3:8). The reason why so many people are broken in this world is because of sin. (Sin is simply the pride of man, which is when we believe the lie that there is no need for God). Sadly most of the world does not know that there is the God of the Universe trying to get their attention. All of humanity craves and groans for a deep spiritual connection with the creator (why do you think there are so many man mad religions out there) but we all know that empty feeling that we all get, even if we reach the top of the ladder, in terms of business or success or fame, it does not fulfill nor does it satisfy. The answer is that we need is in Jesus and that starts at the cross. The cross was the bridge back to that relationship humanity had with God in the beginning of time, that broke because the sin of man. However, God had a plan to restore that, even before the fall.
I encourage you, if you are not a Christian, to highly consider the Bible and what it has to say and if you are a Christian I encourage you to to dig even deeper to the Word, and live out what the Bible says. This world is in serious crisis, with diseases, wars and rumors of wars, natural disasters. Depression and suicide have never been higher and people are all searching for answers, especially now. Be bold and courageous and live out God’s plan. Dig deep into the Word of God, Be intimate with Him, so in turn you can make an even bigger impacts in this world and in the lives of people around you.