God is good and I am not. I cannot be more accurate than that. I had to remind myself that statement a couple times this week. I was very overwhelmed with a couple projects for school which made me feel very tired. I would get frustrated and still have to realize that God is good and only He can understand many things that are happening in our lives. Including today, I woke up late and became frustrated with everything. I was grumpy. Sometimes these things will happen. But God lets things happen for a reason and I understood that He was challenging me as I prepared to write the content of this post. I read, heard podcasts, and asked people about what it meant to be intimate with the Lord and it was challenging to apply that in my week. I realized that throughout the week, I simply needed to be alone with him and rest with Him. This frustration was not helping me or anyone else. I needed to talk to Him and learn more about Him. I needed to love Him.
Intimacy with God is an interesting topic. First of all, some of you may question how that even exists. Intimacy is known as the closeness you hold between you and your spouse or a good relationship with someone else. A marriage is denoted by the intimacy the bride and groom have for one another. In an article by Good Therapy, they describe intimacy as mutual openness, vulnerability, and sharing within a close relationship. It is shown when a husband is willing to drop his “machismo (manliness)” and share his fears with his wife. My favorite line in this article is when the author states that “humans are social creatures who crave and thrive on close personal relationships with others.” God definitely knows that we should not live life alone. He shows us fellowship and community with one another but also opens his arms to show you that He wants to fill the emptiness that you receive when you feel alone.
I can look back at my earlier years and realized when God showed Himself to me and the time when intimacy started in my life. God found me when I was around twelve years old, but I didn’t react and surrender myself until I was about fifteen. I’d say that a good analogy would be what happens when you have a crush on someone. When I found myself “head over heels” for a girl, I noticed something I liked about her. I “found” her, so I tried to grab their attention until they responded. In that same manner, God revealed Himself to me and He had to wait for me to either accept or reject His offer. The free will that we have to follow Jesus makes Him that much greater. Simply knowing that He isn’t forcing you to do anything shows His love for us. I realized that this whole walk with the Lord has not been for Him to directly tell us to reach people or do a particular task, but realizing that He want to have Intimacy with you. Doing His will does play a part in our walk, but in the end, all God may be telling us is, “I want to know you and I want you to know me”.
Life is greater than Birth
The intimacy with God is only available after being reborn again. We cannot have a relationship with someone if we are not alive. We can’t live without being born and we also have to realize that life is truly more important and more significant than birth. It is hard to deny that the birth of a child is significant. For a child, you never forget the moment when they are born and the moment they take their first breath and make their first audible sound. Whether the child is your own, a sibling, or a friend’s child, we can all agree that their life is more powerful than the birth of their past. We cherish the moments when they learn to walk, talk, and express themselves.
That is how God sees us. He cares more about our life today than the birth of the past. There was rejoicing in Heaven when we made the decision to follow Christ, but there is more rejoicing knowing that there still is a reserved spot for you after the weeks, months, or years since you made the best choice of your life. There is rejoicing knowing that you continue to fight for your eternity. The intimacy of God is not something that you can receive, but something that you need to fight for.
One thing that we have to remember is that we are living a relationship, not a religion. It doesn’t matter that you are a good person. What matters is that in this relationship with God, you try to know and understand God. If this becomes real in your life, you shouldn’t have to worry if you are doing the right thing. That becomes second-nature. During this relationship, we also need to understand that God will do His part when we equally put in the effort to know Him. Like a two-way street, it will have to go both directions.
What is His Part?
Since the beginning, God always desired for a relationship with His creation. From the moment He created Adam, ’til now, where He is breathing new life into you and I. Throughout the Bible, we see a constant theme of God seeking reconciliation with His people. One of the first words that God tells Adam after he and Eve eat of the forbidden fruit is, “Where are you?“. Isn’t that awesome? God looks for us. He finds you as He found me when I was twelve. And we also notice that many of the times that God wipes out a city or a nation, He gives them a chance to change their ways, but after no avail, He has to let go of their arm. The good news of the Gospel is about God giving the final solution through the blood shed from Jesus. Jesus is the answer to reconciling with Him. God does the unthinkable to make sure that we have a chance to be at His side in Heaven for an eternity.
In this relationship, He is our Father and we are His child. When we received the Spirit of adoption, we were able to cry out to Him as our Father. Romans 8 states that we cry out to Him by the name, “Abba Father”. A literal translation of that word is “Daddy”. We call Him by that name because we strive to be His innocent children. I remember reading somewhere that it shows the “childlike trust that we have towards God”. We love him because He shows that He is trustworthy.
What is our Part?
The problem that I had this week when I was not feeling well and overwhelmed with school, I realized that I wasn’t communicating and working to build this relationship with God. I struggled to have Quiet Time and I noticed it as the week passed. As we learn to be with Him, we also need to know that part of intimacy is to be alone with the person you are trying to be intimate with. This also means that we can and should seek the Lord in places and times outside of church or small group. A certain location doesn’t determine whether you can be “spiritual”. That is why a devotional time exists and is important. I have touched this subject a bit in the past and will do so in many more posts because I truly believe that it is important in your walk with God. The only problem is that many say they know what it is but very few actually live it out. If we truly understand what it is, we would know the necessity to schedule it in our day-to-day life. It is what constitutes your intimacy with God. How can you have a true devotional life, if everything you do or own does not worship God as it should? If you think about it, a flower throughout the day will stretch out and reach towards the sun. It does this because it understands that the sun is its source of life and energy. Devotional life is not what you do, it is a state of health with heart in mind It is who we are, not what we do. We need to reach towards God, our source of energy.
Practice the Presence of God
How do you have intimacy, though? It is not as hard as you may think. You simply need to ask. God wants you to respond to Him and simply walk on the path that he places in front of you. intimacy can’t exist without trust, so you learn to trust Him and spend time with Him. The only way you can grow in a relationship with a friend is if you spend more time with them. Whenever you think of the ideal devotional life, you shouldn’t limit yourself to the time or act. A devotional life does not end after you pray or read your bible for however long you did the act. When speaking to the Corinthians, Paul emphasized that all that we do, we need to do it for the glory of God. We need to be in His presence at all time. Intimacy with the Lord should start the moment you wake up to the final moment before you shut your eyes to a good night sleep. This act was so important to Paul that he also mentions it in Romans. We can’t live life alone. We live and we die for the Lord. I need to be convinced in my own mind that all that I do is not for myself. Imagine trying to sin in that mindset. You can’t sin if you’re living for God. It is impossible for you to do that or not real love that you have for the Lord if that is the case.
“That there needed neither art nor science for going to God, but only a heart resolutely determined to apply itself to nothing but Him, or for His sake, and to love Him only.” – Brother Lawrence
In the end, I believe that as long as we follow what Jesus said to be the greatest commandments, then we will learn to have intimacy with God. To love God and your neighbors is the center and the root of having everything you do become motivated by God. There is nothing that can separate us from God. Time and distance should and will not be a problem. We can be with Him anywhere and everywhere. We also shouldn’t focus on when it is the better time to be with Him. We must seek to be with Him like we try with other relationships. This is a topic I have been thinking about for the past couple of weeks and have seen myself working towards a life full of God’s presence. I hope and pray that you seek and learn to understand God as well.