The entire purpose of Christianity is for God to be intimate with His creation. I know that may seem like a bold claim, but it’s true. In the Garden of Eden, God walked with Adam and Eve. They had a relationship unlike any other. They were intimate with God. But when sin entered the world, all that changed. Ever since that infamous day in the Garden, God has been at work making all things new. He’s restoring what once was… all so that He could walk with us once again.
The Bible makes one thing abundantly clear: God loves us deeply. He desires intimacy with us. It’s not about religion and rule-following. We know this to be true because of Jesus. Prior to His death and resurrection, the Pharisees were deeply religious. They obeyed the Law and boasted about their good deeds for God. If this type of religion was enough, Jesus would never have needed to die.
But God longed for more… He wants to be our Father. In Christ, He adopts us into His family – not as religious servants, but as sons and daughters.
Then He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son. He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son.” – Revelation 21:6-7 (NASB)
One day we will be in eternity with God, but that doesn’t mean we have to wait until then to experience intimacy with Him.
- Abiding in Jesus… Jesus told us that He is the vine and we are the branches. In order to produce fruit for the Kingdom, we need to abide in Him. But this imagery also conveys another crucial element of our faith – intimacy. When branches are connected to a vine, life flows through the entire plant. When we abide in Him, His life flows through us.
- Enjoying His creation… God created this world for us to enjoy. He also displays Himself throughout its splendor and beauty. Every time we take a moment to enjoy a sunrise or enjoy a cool breeze on a hot summer day, we are experiencing His goodness in a whole new way.
- Prayer… Most of us know and understand that prayer is our way to talk to God, but many of us struggle with the listening side of it. Prayer is often a conversation, and the best conversations are two-sided.
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- Bible reading… Experiencing God through Scripture is one of the most intimate ways we can encounter Him. We not only learn more about Him and His character, we learn about our place in His heart.
- Fellowship with each other… The Bible tells us that Jesus is the firstborn of many brothers. (Romans 8:29) God’s intention was to make us his children – sons and daughters of the Creator. Spending time with our spiritual siblings helps us to grow in Christ, and it allows to rely on each other as families should. We encourage each other as we grow closer to our Father.
- The Holy Spirit… Ultimately, it is through the Holy Spirit that we are able to be intimate with God in the first place. The Holy Spirit teaches us, guides us, and empowers our lives. He is always speaking to us each and every day.
- Walking in who He created us to be… As a mother, I have an abundance of hope for my daughters and their futures. And as our heavenly Father, God sees our potential and desires for us to walk in who He’s designed us to be. He’s given each of us unique skills and abilities, and He loves to see us put these things to good use.
God’s heart from the very beginning was to have intimacy with His children. It the reason for everything He has done throughout all of human history.
God isn’t far away… He longs to be close. He cherishes each and every one of us uniquely and individually. He knows everything about you… but not only does He know every intimate detail of your life, He cares about each of these details… deeply.
But like any relationship, it’s a two-way street. He first loved us, even in our sin. He made the first move to restore our relationship. And He has extended His invitation to be adopted into His family to each and every one of us… but we must respond. We must make an effort to be intimate with Him as well.
Will you draw near to Him today?
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you…. – James 4:2 (NASB)
*Unless otherwise indicated, scripture quotations taken from the NASB.