“O God, you are my God; I earnestly search for you. My soul thirsts for you; my whole body longs for you in this parched and weary land…You satisfy me more than the richest feast. I will praise you with songs of joy. I lie awake thinking of you, meditating on you through the night. Because you are my helper, I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings. I cling to you; your strong right hand holds me securely.” – Psalm 63:1-8
There is a huge difference between finding real intimacy with God and talking about intimacy with God. It is easy to talk about something without really experiencing it. Yes, we can talk, write, teach, and preach about our relationship with God, but that does not mean we have a genuine intimate relationship.
Intimacy takes work, time, effort, sacrifice, and vulnerability. And it takes Jesus. You can’t substitute those ingredients and expect success. Intimacy with God seems like a daunting task. Most people would probably say, “I want an intimate relationship with God, but it feels like a massive obligation in an already complicated, overwhelmed life. I have enough trouble pulling off an intimate relationship with my spouse and kids, let alone God.”
I understand that viewpoint. Our relationship with God.often revolves around doing the right things and maintaining the right image. We go to church on Sunday, and small group during the week. We have a long prayer list that we do our best to go through daily so we don’t leave someone or something out. We read our Bible as much as we can. Those and other things are part of a theological formula, or specific action steps that we need to take or follow to draw closer to God. But is that what an “intimate” relationship with Jesus all about? Those things are great and we should be doing them, but having a real, intimate relationship with God is not about what you do, how long you do it or where you do it. Its about knowing who God really is.
Throughout the New Testament, Jesus demonstrates with His own life that a relationship with God is not about rules, rituals,or man made religions. These things are not bad, but do not necessarily help us attain a real knowledge of God. In Luke 11, we read that even the disciples struggled with really knowing God. One day when they were observing Jesus’ deep communion with the Father while He prayed, they noticed how He spoke to God intimately. He wasn’t caught up with following certain rules or rituals. The disciples wanted to have that same connection so they asked Jesus to tell them His secret to having close communion with the Father. Jesus revealed the answer to them in an parable, which is summed up in verses 9-10: “And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.”
God wants an intimate relationship with each of us. So keep seeking and praying and you will find Him.
- How do you define intimacy with God?
- What are some ways that our hunger for God dissipates?
- What can we do to strengthen our relationship with God?