Cultivate Intimacy

Cultivating Intimacy With God

Today, I want to give you a Word to help you cultivate an intimate relationship with God and grow in the knowledge of Him.

Philippians 3:8-12, “Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage so that I could gain Christ… I want to know Christ – yes, to know the power of His resurrection and participation in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death.”
John 17:3, “Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.”
 2 Peter 3:18, “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and forever! Amen.”

Our goal and pursuit is that we grow in the knowledge of Jesus. If you don’t know God, you cannot worship Him as God.

You can only worship God to the level of your knowledge of Him. Click To Tweet

You can only serve God and be committed to Him to the level of your knowledge or revelation of God. Some of us struggle in our relationship and commitment to God because we have a very shallow knowledge of Him. We struggle to have intimacy with God. We struggle to connect with God because we have a limited understanding of who God is, His love for us and His character.

Oftentimes, Christians struggle in prayer because they do not know who they are praying to. We come to God in prayer and beg Him as if He doesn’t want to answer us. Whereas all good and perfect gifts come from above, from God the Father. He is our Father and we are not praying to try and squeeze blessings out of Him. We pray to cultivate intimacy with God. When we develop our relationship with God, and make simple petitions with childlike faith, He gives us what we ask for.

We tend to strive in our walk with God instead of living out of the place of knowing that God loves us and living out, not of the place of striving and works but out of the place of sonship, living out of the knowledge of God. Jesus’ prayer for His disciples was that they might know God.

How To Grow In The Knowledge Of God

1.The Word of God

This is the first and foremost of ways. The Word of God is a love letter written to us from God. It reveals the true nature of God. It is true; there is no lie in it and it is that truth which sets us free. The Word of God is what reveals the character, intent and heart of God to us. Commit yourselves to the reading of God’s Word but moreover commit to doing it so that the Word begins to read you. It is a different type of reading where the Word of God not just speaks to you on the cognitive level but it touches your heart and transforms you.

God wants to reveal Himself to you. He wants you to see who He is in your life so you can be transformed into His image, be like Him, talk like Him and act like Him. I want to challenge you not just to read the Word of God but be transformed by spending time in it.

2. The Holy Spirit Reveals Jesus To Us

We have to cultivate a relationship with the Holy Spirit.

John 15:26, “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father – the Spirit of Truth who goes out from the Father – He will testify about Me.”

The Holy Spirit starts by taking the scripture and revealing it to you in a new way. He will show you that Jesus is true, just and impartial. The Holy Spirit reveals Jesus to us in this way so that we can be like Him.

3. We Know God Through Nature

Psalm 19:1, “The Heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands.”

Nature reveals God to us.

Romans 1:20, “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – His eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”

It is good to take time to get away from everything and go into nature to spend time with the Lord. It is even proven by science that just 20 minutes a day in nature can improve your health and reduce depression. Be with the Lord. Jesus withdrew to different places to be with God. It helps to put life in perspective about how great God is and how small our problems really are.

4. We Know God Through Our Experiences

Joshua 4:6-7, “We will use these stones to build a memorial. In the future your children will ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ Then you can tell them, ‘They remind us that the Jordan River stopped flowing when the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant went across.’ These stones will stand as a memorial among the people of Israel forever.”

There are things God will bring you through that unless you go through them, you will not know the nature of God. You can read about them, hear testimonies about them but unless you face them and God intervenes, you won’t truly know them. Unless you face a deadly sickness and God heals you or a car accident and you know it was only by God’s hand you were spared, it is totally different experience than when you just know it.

Use these four means to know God. Use them to pursue the knowledge of God. When you read the Bible, search out Jesus – for His characteristics, manners and intent for your life.

Cultivating Intimacy

You cannot have intimacy with God unless you know how to please Him. You cannot please God unless you know Him. Click To Tweet

Many of our earthly relationships, for example with our marriage partner, suffer not because we don’t know them but we fail to please them. Most of us have a certain knowledge of God. We have to continue to go deeper, and strive to know Him more. One of the reasons we may feel disconnected with God and fail to go deeper with Him is not that we don’t know God but we fail to please Him. We fail to learn what He likes.

Oftentimes, when we come to God, we give Him our best instead of giving Him what He likes. Click To Tweet

We tend to express our love to people the way we like to be loved. If you are struggling in your marriage, I encourage you to learn their love language and how to please them. There were so many instances where God rebuked Israel and called them a harlot because they used God to satisfy their needs. Marriages suffer when we are selfish and use our partner only to satisfy our own needs. We pray to God because we need something – when we have pain in our body or financial shortages. God is a good God. He will give you what you ask based on the fact you are His child and He loves you but you won’t have true intimacy or closeness with God. Intimacy is affected by our choices.

Prayer does not produce closeness with God; intimacy does. Click To Tweet

It is not every time that you pray, you have intimacy with the Lord.

Ephesians 5:10, “Try to discern what pleases the Lord.”

Our knowledge of God should lead us to the place where we seek to please God. You read the scriptures so that you can figure out what God likes, that you may please Him. This is not about works. The Bible says in Romans 8:8 those who are in the flesh cannot please God. We cannot please God out of the flesh. The Pharisees tried to do that, even tithing of leaves and herbs from their gardens. They did things regularly but didn’t have intimacy. Intimacy produces fruit. Intimacy is a privilege for specific people. That is to say that there are privileges in Christ that belong only to intimate people.

What Pleases God

Micah 6:6-8, “With what shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before God on high? Shall I come before Him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with a thousand of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?” He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.”
  • Mercy, love and justice pleases God. God tells you what He wants in His Word. You don’t have to guess. What else does God like?
  • God loves faith and pure trust in Him (Hebrews 11:6)
  • It pleases God when we share our faith and God’s goodness with others (1 Thessalonians 2:4).
  • It pleases God when children obey their parents (Colossians 3:2).
  • Generosity pleases God (Hebrews 13:6).

Enoch pleased God and he was no more for God took him. Enoch walked in such an awareness of God and sought the opportunity to please God. Live your life in such a way where you constantly cultivate intimacy with God, looking for ways to be with Him and please Him. The opportunities for intimacy with God come in a variety of ways but you won’t know it and you will miss it if you don’t know God, what He likes and seek to please Him.

Engage in this relentless pursuit of pleasing God. Cultivate intimacy with God so that at any time, He can speak to you about something or someone. It is not out of a place of fasting, striving or praying but from intimacy with God, comes the fruit of God. Your character gets transformed and the gifts of God flow freely. But this place or privilege is reserved for those who are close of God.

Sermon By Ilya Parkhotyuk; Blog By Edward Gardiner

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