Intimacy with God . . . what a strange concept! How can I be intimate with someone I can’t see, hear, or touch? God and I can’t go out for coffee or even give each other a hug. Yet we know that God created us for intimate fellowship with him. What is that supposed to look like?
For many years, I have struggled with these questions. I long to know God. I want to be able to discern his voice and feel love for him in my heart. Over the past four years, God has taken me on a journey of understanding more fully what intimacy with him looks like. While I have a long way to go, I would love to share with you some of what I’m learning about developing intimacy with the God of the universe.
I don’t want the title of this article to mislead you by suggesting that there is some formula for developing an intimate relationship with God. It feels like Christianity has too many formulas already! God is a living, mysterious being. He cannot be tamed or manipulated into a relationship with us. Yet there are things we can do to invite the Lord to draw near to us. As his Word says, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13).
1. Desire Intimacy with God
It’s one thing to talk to your friends about wanting to know God, but how desperately do you want it? Is “intimacy with God” one of 20 other things on your goals for this year?
Those who know the Lord have a sense of desperation for fellowship with him. He has become their daily bread. He is not a priority; he is the priority. “One thing I ask of the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple,” David wrote in Psalm 27:4 (NIV). Paul stated his priority by saying everything in my life is rubbish compared to knowing Jesus (see Philippians 3).