Why do followers of God go through the motions of Christianity shallowly in love with their Father? What does it mean and look like to have an intimate walk with Jesus? Spiritual Intimacy can be defined as a growing I can’t live without You relationship with God that is our first cause, our abiding joy and our natural expression.
I. To value intimacy we must work to understand who God is and how much He loves me! As my mentor, Paul Drake likes to say, “What is love? GOD!” 1 John 4:16 teaches, “And we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and the one who remains in love remains in God, and God remains in him.” John 3:16 reveals the depth of God’s love for us and 14:16-17 shows love applied. God does not just talk about loving us, He chooses through His Spirit to indwell us!
"And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever. He is the Spirit of truth. The world is unable to receive Him because it doesn't see Him or know Him. But you do know Him, because He remains with you and will be in you."—John 14:16-17
II.To attain intimacy, God must be part of our daily lives and we cannot take Him for granted. Expecting to gain a cherished friendship with God just through church attendance is as silly as thinking a few meals a week will keep our bodies healthy! We need a regular love language that saturates our soul. Lord, I love You! Thank you for today and the privilege of serving You. Help me to know You better. Lord, what would You have me learn about You today and what do You want from me?
III.To protect intimacy we must follow God’s leading which is crystal clear. We learn in Deuteronomy 6:5 and 10:12 that He expects us to love Him with all our heart, soul and strength; to fear Him, walk in His ways and worship Him. The longest chapter in the Bible, Psalm 119, is devoted to teaching the importance of God’s Word! Intimacy requires valuing what He says and doing what He asks. Jesus said in John 14:15, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” Holiness, which is a great indicator of intimacy, comes through godly obedience.
So many people give up on the possibility of a deep relationship with God because of sin, after all, how could God love anyone contaminated! Yet, each of us understands that the way to get rid of dirt is to bathe. Is it any different spiritually? If we sin, we need to clean up what is wrong, repent and ask God for His restoring forgiveness. See David’s example in Psalm 51! My dad reminded me of Luke 7:37,38. Here we discover a sinful woman who sought out Jesus. She stood behind Him at His feet weeping and then washed them with her tears. She wiped them with her hair, kissed them and then anointed them with expensive perfume. Her focus was completely on Jesus. Her heart was honest and broken. She didn’t care what the religious people thought. This is the stuff of intimacy!
IV.To sustain intimacy we must steadfastly commit to a God-centric, life mission! My life mission is to sursplaciously (with my absolute best) advance in love with God (worship), be a godly husband and father; wisely serve (First Cause/Army); treat people as Jesus would; and correctly discern and walk in alignment with God’s will for my life.
Too often, I run into folks who lost their friendship with Jesus to misplaced priorities. As Paul Drake shares, we can be so busy in the work of the Lord that we neglect the Lord of the work! Too often dashed dreams, unrealized hopes, or lives bashed upon the rocks of misfortune kill one’s resolve to know Christ. Don’t let this happen. Pursue God passionately as you would seek water for a famished tongue. He pursued you to the cross. He loved you from the grave. He saved You from on high! That is something to think about . . . in reveration!
More than anything else, a passion for God has to be guarded and cultivated or we will lose it. I find that almost every good think in my life is all too ready to compete for my time and intimacy with God.—Jack Deere in Surprised By The Power Of The Spirit
©2009 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)