While the desire for greater intimacy with God is growing substantially, there are many different conceptions of precisely what it means. If I asked you to describe it, could you?
This creates a significant hurdle in talking about it and an even greater problem when pursuing it. We need to have clarity on what it is we are seeking if we are to find it.
What is Intimacy with God, really?
Many in the body of Christ really do not have a solid answer to this question. While there are many who are faithful to God, fewer have really discovered how to be intimate with Him and enjoy Him.
While faithfulness is the reward of doing His will. Intimacy is the reward of enjoying His heart. Faithfulness is about getting the job done, intimacy is about becoming His friend. What does God want? Both.
Intimacy is not merely a burning desire to be in relationship with God at a deeper level or is it experiencing God in greater measure.
Intimacy is primarily composed of knowledge. Relational knowledge or knowledge gained by experiencing God Himself.
We know this intuitively in the context of human relationships but often fail to apply this concept to our desire for intimacy with God.
The people who we say we are the most intimate with are those with whom we know deeply and are deeply known by!
God is not an object which we can acquire information about – He is a person who is to be known. God is not just around us, He is actually in us and He wants to be discovered!
The Journey of Intimacy
Love and affection are absolutely critical in our relationship with the Lord but we must understand that these are the fruits of intimacy, not the substance of it
The substance of intimacy is found when we come in contact with who He is.
The reason we love is because we know, and it is knowledge that causes affection.
Out of affection we seek after deeper knowledge, which then causes the furnace of our hearts to burn all the brighter.
Yet if at any time we cease our pursuit of the knowledge of God, the cycle is broken and our affection will wane until ultimately we are stagnant. Tragically, many have found their place right here. It never has to be that way!
In other words, if we are not growing in the knowledge of God our hearts will eventually grow cold. If this happens the power of His love is reduced to living by the structure of His laws. We can manage this for years but eventually we become empty, unfulfilled and wind up going through the motions of the Christian life.
How do we grow in Intimacy with God?
What is working for me is understanding that growing in intimacy with God and growing in the knowledge of God are one and the same.
The bridge between my lack and His love is revelation. Revelation is the means by which I acquire knowledge!
The treasure of the knowledge of God is not a question of purchasing the right teaching series, attending a certain service, living in a particular place, experiencing a vision, or finding a specific book.
The Bible is clear that the very height of God’s self-revelation is found in beholding a Man named Jesus.
2 Corinthians 4:6 For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
Colossians 2:2-3… resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
If we desire to grow in the knowledge of God, to find Him and love Him, we must do so by actually fixing our attention and affection upon Christ. To listen. To hear. To behold. To gaze.
Psa. 27:4 One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.
Have you ever stood next to a waterfall and gazed at it’s beauty or laid down and looked up at the stars at night. Your knowledge is gained through your experience. Face to face.
You will not get the same sense of awe or fulfillment from merely looking at a pictures. That is incomplete. It represents what is real but it is not the same as beholding, looking, gazing and touching.
If intimacy in large part consists of knowledge, and the way we know is by revelation, and the height of revelation is in Christ, then we may come to a very important conclusion: the substance of intimacy is the prayerful, adoring, gazing experience and study of the person and work of Christ within a life of obedience.
What do we need to do?
1. Slow down. Our perceived busyness is swallowing up our time. We have to own our schedules. Make time to spend with the Lord.
2. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you in your pursuit of the Knowledge of God. He makes Jesus known to the human heart.
3. Open the Bible. Use the Bible as a launching pad for meditating upon the life of Jesus, His beauty and His deeds.
4. Search Him out. Gaze on His glory and dig into the depths of who He is!
5. Spend time reflecting and journaling. There is no substitute for this.
Questions: Love to get your thoughts on this. Do you agree or disagree? Are there things you would add to this that are important in growing in the knowledge of God? Has this post strengthened you? How? What is personally working for you and share it with our growing M1P community?