I’ve consistently yearned for a deeper connection with God and have often asked my friends, “How can we deepen our intimacy with God?” If you find yourself in a similar quest, this blog post is tailored to individuals seeking to strengthen their bond with God. Perhaps you once embraced a connection with Jesus, but life’s adversities and trials have created distance between you and a heartfelt relationship with God. If you need a more profound spiritual connection but are uncertain how to attain it, this blog post provides valuable insights and keys to help you rekindle and fortify that connection.
Unlocking Intimacy with God: A Journey of Transformation
Intimacy with God is a profound and transformative experience, but it may seem more accessible to some than others. Growing up in China, I was immersed in a culture emphasizing performance and self-reliance. Consequently, developing intimacy with God has not been an easy path for me. My natural tendency was to act without seeking God’s guidance or discerning the right timing. As a goal-oriented individual, I often defaulted to “doing” before “praying.” However, looking back on my life, I’ve witnessed my relationship with God flourish as long as I remained committed to seeking Him and His righteousness.
Defining Intimacy with God
One of the characteristics of Intimacy with God is a free-flowing, two-way communication with God. It entails seeking to hear God’s voice in our daily lives, obeying His guidance, blessing others, and reaping the blessings of a purpose-driven existence. However, for many of us, self-reliance can become a default mode, making it necessary to exert deliberate effort to turn to God for direction, answers, wisdom, or confirmation.
Challenging the Notion of Seeking God in Everything
In my early days on this journey, I encountered an argument against seeking God’s guidance in every aspect of life. The argument posited that God has given us the capacity to think independently, likening the scenario to a 40-year-old still seeking their parents’ advice on clothing, food, and direction. While this argument may sound logical, it raises the issue of relying on our wisdom or self-idolatry. By learning to seek God’s counsel in all matters, we strengthen our spiritual ability to hear His voice, making this dependence second nature and enabling us to listen to His guidance swiftly and effortlessly.
Drawing Wisdom from Scripture
Scripture provides invaluable insights into nurturing intimacy with God. Here are some of my favorite passages:
James 4:8: “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”
Psalm 63:1-2: “God, You are my God; I shall be watching for You; My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, In a dry and exhausted land where there is no water. So have I seen You in the sanctuary, To see Your power and glory.”
Isaiah 55:1: “Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.”
John 15:4-6: “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.”
The Four Aspects of an Intimate Relationship with God
Intimacy with God involves experiencing four distinct aspects:
- Aspect #1: Master and Servant Relationship: Initially, I saw God as the master of the universe and my life. Surrendering to the idea of Jesus as the Lord in every facet of life took a lifetime. However, serving God without intimately knowing Him can lead to a master-slave dynamic. It wasn’t until my faith journey took an unexpected turn that I sought to know more about God than merely His commands.
- Aspect #2: Parent and Child Relationship: Trusting God as a heavenly Father can be challenging, particularly for those with childhood traumas. Before the fall, people depended entirely on God for provision, protection, and affirmation. Healing and restoration, guided by the Holy Spirit, are necessary to develop trust and dependency on God.
- Aspect #3: Friendship with God: Recent discussions in the Christian community have centered on friendship with God, drawing from John 15:15. Friendships with God are rooted in reverence and involve seeking His counsel, wisdom, and voice in all aspects of life.
- Aspect #4: Co-labor or Partnership: The final aspect of friendship with God involves co-laboring, where we are deemed God’s fellow workers (1 Corinthians 3:9). This relationship signifies maturity in our walk with God.
In summary, our faith journey encompasses all four aspects of an intimate relationship with God. As I solidify my identity as God’s child, my friendship with God continues to grow through service and co-laboring with Him.
Seven Benefits of Intimacy with God
Intimacy with God yields numerous benefits:
- Understanding God’s True Nature: Gaining a deeper understanding of who God is.
- Recognizing Our Identity: Acknowledging ourselves as children of God.
- Resting in God’s Wisdom: Finding confidence in God’s ways as the best.
- Discovering Purpose and Fulfillment: Unearthing one’s purpose and experiencing contentment.
- Embracing Joy, Peace, and Hope: Living a life filled with joy, peace, and hope.
- Prospering in All Aspects: Flourishing in every area of life.
- Fruitful Co-Laboring with God: Finding fulfillment in partnership with the divine.
Eight Keys to Cultivating Intimacy with God
While everyone’s journey to growing intimacy with God is unique, these eight keys have been instrumental in my personal growth:
- Start Each Day Waiting on God: Begin your day by making yourself available to God and aligning yourself with the Lord.
- Talk to God About Everything: Communicate with God as you would with your closest friend, sharing your hopes, fears, and concerns.
- Seek to Hear His Voice Daily: Recognize that God is not confined to church or sacred spaces. He is the Lord of your daily life.
- Open Up About Your Struggles: Don’t hesitate to share your challenges with God. He will not condemn or shame you but will guide you to the right path gently.
- Practice Gratitude: Worship, praise, and thankfulness shift your focus from yourself to God, recognizing His worthiness.
- Repent and Return Quickly: When the Holy Spirit convicts you, respond with prompt repentance to return to God’s ways.
- Embrace Various Ways of Hearing God’s Voice: Explore the joy of hearing His voice through different avenues and be open to pleasant surprises.
- Serve to Grow Your Spiritual Gifts: Stretch your spiritual muscles and grow by serving in ministry or helping others.
Prayer to Grow Intimacy with God
“Lord, I come to you and desire greater intimacy with you. Lord, God, my heavenly Father, You are worthy of all my praises and worship. You created me to have an intimate relationship with you. In our relationship, I will discover your love, kindness, wisdom, guidance, provision, protection, and affirmation of who I am in you. I will find my purpose and fulfillment, and thank you for putting this desire in me. Lord, open all my spiritual senses to hearing your voice. Draw closer to me as I draw near to you. Increase my hunger and thirst for you. Amen.”
Now that you’ve gone through these steps, you’re on your way to a closer relationship with God! If you still struggle with hearing God’s voice, the Healing Relationship Coaching covers why and how to hear God’s voice with examples and practices, equipping you to hear God’s voice in your daily life.
In addition to seeking intimacy through hearing God’s voice, other factors can potentially hinder our connection with God. As I embarked on my journey, God led me to transform various ungodly perspectives I held about God, myself, and others. You can explore these transformative insights in my book, “The Lens of Love,” or check out the Lens of Love Coaching.