Intimacy With God

by | Mar 1, 2024 | transcripts | 0 comments

[00:00:00] Welcome to Episode #360, and it is entitled, “Intimacy with God.” Do you believe that Easter has crept into the month of March? In light of that, I just want to take a moment to wish you and to pray that you have a blessed Good Friday, Palm Sunday, Easter / Resurrection Day celebration. I pray that you and your family will focus on what it all means during this time and that our topic, “Intimacy with God,” will be one that you will take seriously and put into practice.

[00:00:41] Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection has made it possible for us to know God and to be reconciled back into a right relationship with Him. Not just a casual relationship, but to know how to have an intimate relationship with Him. It’s one thing to meet a person. It’s one thing to know a person. And it’s one thing to become close to a person. It is quite another thing to have intimacy with a person.

[00:01:18] Today, intimacy is thought of as only sexual pleasure or connectiveness, and that’s not what I’m talking about at all. Just because a woman jumps into bed with a man doesn’t mean that she has experienced intimacy. And just because a woman all of a sudden decides to focus on one man at a time doesn’t mean that she understands intimacy. And even if a woman is highly favored in her church, it doesn’t mean that she has genuinely experienced intimacy with God. When you look at the Webster Dictionary, it defines intimacy in this way. “Belonging to or characterizing one’s deepest nature; marked by very close association, contact or familiarity; marked by a warm friendship developed through long association; and then another part of the definition, of a very personal or private nature.” When I talk about intimacy today, I wanted to try to come up with just one sentence that would help you to understand what I am referring to. To give you a simple definition, I would say this in regard to intimacy. It is a private love relationship that has proven trustworthy, wherein deepest secrets are shared. So let me say it again. A private love relationship that has proven trustworthy, wherein deepest secrets are shared.

Does this God of the universe desire to have an intimate relationship with us? Yes. He’s made it possible for everyone who believes in His Son, Jesus Christ, to experience intimacy with Him. So, then you might say, “Well, Paula, why are there Christians that never experienced this? And why are there Christians that have a hard time trusting God, much less sharing their deepest secrets with Him?” Maybe you’re here today and the things of the world are such an enticement because your relationship with Him has grown stale. Or maybe you feel that God has let you down and you have a hard time trusting Him. Or maybe you believe that He doesn’t love you as much as He loves others. Or you just don’t feel secure with God right now because of world events. Well, I have come today to let you know that God does love you and He does desire to have an intimate relationship with you.

Now, you might say, “Well, why do I want this?” Well, because there is no other way to live but to have an intimate relationship with God. It is in that intimacy that you are able to experience a full, abundant life. You are able to have peace, security and hope even in the midst of chaos. You are able to have assurance for the future and you’re able to love and to be loved in return. So, if you’re thinking about, “Why do I want this?” Those are the reasons why. Let me share with you again the definition: A private love relationship that has proven trustworthy, wherein deepest secrets are shared. God desires intimacy because:

1. God is love. And you see that in 1 John 4:16 . Apart from Him, there is no love because God is love. It’s not just that God loves, God Himself is love.
2. Everything He does is motivated out of His love for you personally. You can look at 1 John 4:9-10.
3. We were created to have intimacy with Him. Look at Mark 12:30.
4. He even refers to us in terms of love.

He calls us beloved. (1 Thessalonians 1:4)
He calls us dear children. (Ephesians 5:1)
He calls us friends. (John 15:4)
He calls us the elect or chosen. (Romans 8:33)

These are just a few ways in which we know and can be assured that God wants to have intimacy with us. He’s love and everything He does is motivated out of love. We were created for Him and by Him to have this intimate relationship. And He refers to us in such loving and beautiful terms of intimacy and friendship.

Although it is distorted today, God gives to us an illustration of intimacy in the marriage union of a man and woman. Think about that. How do we see intimacy within the union between a man and a woman?

1. They enter into a covenant. And a covenant is not like a contract that can be broken, but a relationship that is entered into that will not end.
2. They spend time together and get to know each other deeply. And they share things that others may not know about them with one another.
3. They can get to a point where they can even communicate without even saying a word: maybe by a glance or even by facial expression.
4. They reveal their deepest secrets and thoughts with one another. In other words, they have a safe place with one another.
5. They privately touch each other in a way that is not done with anyone else outside of that marriage union.
6. They enjoy each other’s company.
7. They take care of one another and have a sense of security with each other.

All of these are illustrations of what is meant by intimacy. And it is a relationship (whether you’re married or not, whether you’re a widow at this point or whatever) that you can have with God. This is a relationship that you, right now, today, can have with God.

[00:08:27] This month, we celebrate all that Jesus did to reconcile us back to God. He completed all the work that was needed for us to be able to have this intimate relationship with God. Let me ask you, “Do you have an intimate relationship with God?” Now remember that intimacy is a private relationship.

[00:08:55] So what I want to do right now is just in our time to take the word PRIVATE and to explain the steps that we can take to have intimacy with God. So now let’s begin. I’m going to take each letter from the word PRIVATE and just give you some suggestions as to how you can develop an intimate relationship with God.

First, before I get into the letters starting with “P”, you have to have a covenant relationship with God. You have to enter into a relationship that can never be taken away from you, and that is for all eternity. The only way to do that is to realize that you have sinned and that your sin has separated you from God. But that Jesus Christ came down and lived a perfect, sinless life and has now paid your sin debt that you owed to God through His death, burial and resurrection. When you believe that Jesus did that on your behalf; and you put your faith and trust in His work on the cross for you; and you ask God to forgive you of your sin; and that you believe that Jesus died in your place; and you believe that He is the Messiah, the One sent by God; and you want Him to be your Savior and the Lord of your life; and you ask God to save you and to forgive you for your sins; then you enter into a covenant relationship with God by faith. It is not by any work that you can do, but by faith. Just believe that Jesus did do that work on your behalf and that now today you want that covenant relationship. Once you have that covenant relationship and you have asked God to forgive you of your sins and that you receive Jesus as your Savior and Lord, then you can enter this relationship by practicing these steps.

I am going to use the word “PRIVATE,” beginning with “P”.

“P” stands for Pray. Psalm 145:18 – 19 states, “The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon Him, to all that call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of them that fear Him. He will also hear their cry and will save them.” Prayer is two-way communication with God wherein we experience fellowship. He hears our cry and answers us. As we draw nigh to Him or draw near to Him, He will also draw near to us. And I’m telling you, the intimacy that I have with our God, which I am desiring for you to also have, is a beautiful thing. Because all day long I just go throughout the day and I talk to God about everything, no matter what it is. I can express all of my cares, all of my joy, all of my praises or whatever with God. And through nature, through His Word, through His indwelling Spirit, He communicates back with me. It is a beautiful thing. “P” is for prayer.

Now, “R” the next letter is for Recognize. 1 John 4:16 says, “And we have known and believed the love that God has to us. God is love, and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God and God in him.” “R” is for Recognize. And so recognize means that we know Him so well that we recognize Him when His presence is taking place within our lives. And we grow in grace and the knowledge of Him. We never stop learning, so that we can recognize how God is operating in our life. And I tell you, it’s so beautiful when you learn how to recognize God’s presence. Let me give you some examples: Sometimes I might be in a rush when I’m going to the store, and all of a sudden I’ll see a parking spot open up. And I know that God has done that just for me, knowing what I need at that point. And so just try to acknowledge or recognize His activities as you go through the day. Maybe you may have seen, I know I’ve seen this for myself, where I had something that I desired just within my heart. I didn’t even say it to anyone. And then all of a sudden, God provides and gives it to me. And I’ve seen how He’s answered prayer in regard to my life. I’ve seen how He’s opened up a way for me in different situations when there was no way that any of that could have worked out. I knew it was God, and I recognized His presence and His moving in my life. So, I could give you a whole lot of examples, but let’s move on.

The next letter is “I,” and I want to use the word Include. Mark 12:30 states, “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength. This is the first commandment.” “I” is the word Include. And what I mean by that is, you include God in everything that pertains to your life. You do nothing apart from Him. You live a God-centered life, and so you develop like mindedness with Him. You become transformed more and more into the image of His son that when people look at you, it’s basically like they’re looking at Jesus still walking here on earth. This is because God is included in every decision. God is included in your conversation and your conduct and with the character that you present to others. So, yes, this is a part of being intimate with Him.

The next letter, “V” is Verbalize. First John 4:10 says, “Herein is love. Not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His son to be the propitiation for our sins.” “V” for verbalize is when you express adoration and thankfulness. You can share your deepest secrets and let your guard down and become “naked” before Him without shame. I know for me that God is a safe place for me. I can tell Him things that I could not even begin to tell anyone else. I know He’s a safe place. I know I can share my deepest thoughts and secrets with Him and adore Him and express my thankfulness to Him. And so this is all a part of intimacy.

The next letter, “A” is Abandon. Matthew 6:24 states, “No man can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. “A” is in regard to Abandon. It is when we live an obedient life, not according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. Intimacy requires sacrifice. A sacrifice of not living for ourselves and trying to serve the world or just our own desires. No, we abandon all of that. And what we do is we take up the life that God has for us, which is the abundant life, the better life. And we lay aside our rights and what we think is right, only to find out that God knows what is best for us. And so I know for me in my life, the more that I have abandoned my own fleshly ways and have walked in the Spirit, I have become closer and closer to God and understand Him more and know He understands me. That is intimacy.

And then ”T” is for Trust. Romans 8:35, 37, & 39 states, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation or distress or persecution or famine or nakedness or peril or sword? As it is written, for thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loves us.” When you have intimacy with someone, you trust them. When you trust God, you’re able to conquer your fear with having faith in Him. And faith in God means that you know that He is who He says He is and that He will do what He says He will do. You trust Him no matter if the rug is pulled out from under your feet, even in the midst of trials. You can be assured of His love, of His presence, of His protection, and of His provision. This is all a part of intimacy. And I’m telling you, with all the years that I have walked with my lord, He has proven that He is trustworthy, and that He definitely knows what’s best for me and has a perfect plan for my life.

The letter, “E” is Expect. Matthew 6:31-33 states, “Therefore, take no thought saying, what shall we eat? Or what shall we drink? Or wherewithal shall we be clothed? For all these things do the Gentiles (or I’m going to say unbelievers) seek; for your heavenly Father knoweth that you have need of all these things, but seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these other things shall be added unto you.” So, I know that when I’m seeking God first and his kingdom, I can expect to have my needs provided, and I can even anticipate having desires met as well. I can expect joy and peace and comfort and all what I’ve shared even previously with you. His love flows through me, even to others. I can expect to experience His love and to have that love funnel through me to others. And so with Him I can have expectations, I can have hope. I can know that even though I don’t know what the future holds, He’s already there. I know that He’s in the future, and He’s got my back.

All right, so here we are. I hope that you’re going to take those steps in regard to having intimacy with Him, knowing that intimacy is PRIVATE: “P” you Pray, “R” you Recognize. “I” you Include, “V” you Verbalize, “A” you Abandon, “T” you Trust, and ”E” you Expect.

[00:20:34] And so by now, I hope you understand that God does love you. You can have an intimate relationship with God, Again, what is intimacy? A private love relationship that has proven trustworthy, wherein deepest secrets are shared.

People don’t have to worry if William and I are married. All they have to do is watch us long enough. And this is true of Christians. Others should be able to see that we have an intimate love relationship with God our Father just by watching us. We do not have to live to please others or to live up to their expectations, but genuine love is always put into action. And when people observe our attitudes, our actions, our character, our conversation and our conduct, they should see that we are walking and have a close, private relationship with God. They should know this by our actions, that we love the Father and have this intimate relationship that I’ve talked about today.

[00:21:50] Well, blessed Easter / Resurrection Day to you. Please share this podcast with others. Make sure to join us next month. And smile. Jesus loves!

Paula is compassionately committed to biblically teach and mentor women who desire to be renewed in their minds by God’s eternal Word so their destinies will become a reality. She goes beyond sharing biblical principles to practical application for everyday living. Learn more here.

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