“To fall in love with God is the greatest of all romances; To seek Him, the greatest adventure; To find Him, the greatest human achievement.”- Augustine.
We are created for intimate relationships – with God and with one another. There is a hunger deep in our souls for an intimate relationship with God. There is also a hunger for intimate relationships with other human beings. While the concept of “relationships” is broad and varies from person to person, we all have personal, intimate relationships in our lives. There is a tangible difference in intimate relationships: an extreme closeness, the kind of closeness that only happens with proximity. The most important intimate relationship is the one we have with God.
Have you ever found yourself starving for real intimacy with God? The idea of intimacy is difficult to get your arms around. How can I find intimacy with someone I can’t see, hear, or touch? God and I can’t text with each other or meet for lunch. Yet we know that God created us for an intimate relationship with Him. But what does that mean and more importantly what does it look like in real life? There is no standard formula for developing an intimate relationship with God. But consider the story of Simon the Pharisee found in Luke 7.
Simon served God religiously. He was in the same room as Jesus, yet he wasn’t in an intimate relationship with Him. He completely missed having an intimate relationship with Jesus because he was wrapped up in his piety and good works. Contrast this to Mary, the sinner who fell at His feet: no act of devotion was too big for her. She was overwhelmed with love and affection. She worshipped Him with all she had, her most precious perfume and her hair. Jesus accepted her devotion. We want that intimate connection that Mary had, but too often we are slipping toward Simon, spending all our energy trying to do great things for God but lacking that true intimate relationship with our Savior.
There will be times in our lives when we have a real hunger and desperation for God. There will be times when we just can’t get enough of Him. There will be times when we feel His presence in tangible ways. At times like these God will feel close and there will be the intimacy we seek. But real intimacy means we do those things even during times of trial or when bad things just keep popping up and it is a labor of love to pray, to spend time in the word and to serve. The deepest growth in intimacy in our personal walk with God began when we want to seek to worship and serve God regardless of the circumstances.
- What keeps you from having a more intimate relationship with God?
- How can we improve our relationship with God?