Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | February 12, 2009

Intimacy with God

   As a Christ-follower, cultivating intimacy with God is one of the things that matters most to me. Encouraging others to know and love God is also a top priority. Here are a few thoughts about how you can develop intimacy with God.

   Intimacy: Soften Your Heart | The best way to get to know someone is by spending time alone with them. When Peter and John were arrested for healing a crippled beggar, they were called to give an account of their activities before the Sanhedrin (Acts 4:1-21). Peter offered an intelligent and impassioned explanation for their actions. His courageous response led the religious leaders to conclude that he and John had spent time with Jesus (Acts 4:13). The more time we spend with Jesus the more like Him we will become. Spending time alone with God in the study of His Word and in prayer can soften and make our hearts more tender and responsive to Him.

   Intellect: Sharpen Your Mind | Christ-followers today live under increasing pressure to compromise or abandon the exclusive claims of Christianity. Our postmodern society insists that there is no such thing as absolute, objective, or universal truth. We can become better equipped to face the challenges of worldviews and ideologies that are contrary to our faith as we spend time alone with God in the study of His Word. Jesus challenged us to love God with our minds (Mark 12:30). Consistently spending time alone with Him can help sharpen our minds and better equip us to articulate our Christian worldview (1 Pet. 3:15).

   Intentional: Deepen Your Resolve | Spending time alone with God can deepen our resolve to live in a way that pleases Him. The best way to understand what pleases and displeases God is by reading and studying His Word. Jesus said that no one can serve two masters (Matt. 6:24). He was right. Our attitude toward one master will determine our attitude toward the other. Cultivating intimacy with God will cause our love for the world to grow cold. Conversely, cultivating intimacy with the world will cause our love for God to grow cold. Intentionally cultivate a desire to please God by spending time in His Word and in prayer.

   Inspiration: Lift Your Spirit | Many people live in ways that quickly drain them of energy and resources. Building time alone with God into our busy schedules is vital to our spiritual, mental, and emotional health. Consistently spending time alone with God and reflecting on the wonderful truths of His Word can lift your spirit and fuel your resolve to please Him. These quiet moments can help you to reflect on the majesty and wonder of God. If you are experiencing difficulties, spending time alone with God can help you to sharpen your perspective.

   Interference: Stop the Flow | Identify and overcome the obstacles that can keep you from cultivating intimacy with God. Over-commitment is one of the biggest challenges we face. Taking on too many activities and involvements can extend our day beyond work and school hours, leaving us too tired to spend time alone with God. An addiction to noise is yet another obstacle that hinders some people from drawing near to God. Noise junkies must have the television or radio on at all times regardless of whether they are watching or listening. They feel uncomfortable with silence. God often can’t get a word in because His voice is drowned out by these competing cacophonies. Be prepared to turn off your television or radio in order to tune in to God. Determine to stop the flow of noise so that you can be “silent before the Sovereign Lord” (Zeph. 1:7a).

   Initiation: Start the Process | Make a decision to spend time alone with God. Set aside a specific day, time, and place. You must decide how much time is enough for you. Some people would not think twice about watching a half-hour sitcom but complain about spending fifteen minutes with God. Also make certain that you find a place free of distractions (see Mark 1:35). And, in addition to your Bible, check your local Christian bookstore for a daily devotional guide with suggested Scripture readings and challenging devotional thoughts. Record your insights and prayer concerns in a personal journal. This record can become a source of encouragement to you when you face difficulties or challenges in the future.

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