The average Christian may know little of the Immensity of God and experience even less Intimacy with Him.
I must admit that I go somedays without thinking of either. I try to start my day right and I do have some spiritual thoughts as the hours pass. However, the question for all of us is 'How important is my relationship and fellowship with God'?
'In Touch' magazine said:
"God is not satisfied by having just a superficial relationship with His children.
He desires (His goal for us) intimacy in full, unbroken closeness between you and Him.
He knows all about you....and desires that you know all about Him."
Joe Stowell states: "Intimacy is found when there is nothing more important to me, than my deepening relationship and fellowship with the one I love! It works this way in marriage and it works this way with God. But, remember, intimacy with God...and marriage...and family may not be rushed; for example: living fast and loving briefly.
Intimacy is not a fast food franchise...nor frozen dinner...nor condensed morsels.
Neither is intimacy automatic. It must be worked at....or satan will steal it away."
Think about this statment:
God wants you to Enjoy Him before you Serve Him.
Paul speaks of our connection with God's Immensity (adequacies)....
and our intimacies as 'union with Christ'.
This was perhaps his greatest emphasis.
Jesus teaches this in John 15: "I am the vine, you are the branch." He speaks of close communion of the branches with the vine. Our relationship to Jesus is like a branch to the vine and requires absolute dependence, deep restfulness, complete surrender and much fruitfulness.
An outline of John 15:1-17 would be:
1) The key to effective Christian living is fruit-bearing (vs. 1-3)
2) The key to fruit-bearing is abiding (vs. 4-5)
3) The key to abiding is obeying (vs. 6-8, 10, 14)
4) The key to obeying is loving (vs. 9-10)
5) The key to loving is knowing Christ (vs. 15) See also John 14: 23-24
He is speaking here of the 'Discipline of Disciples'
that leads to Intimacy of the Immensities!
The word 'Christian' is a good word...if we live the above. However the word Christian is only used 3 times in the New Testament, whereas the word 'disciple' and 'discipline' is used many times.
A Christian is to be a disciplined disciple of Christ!
True, we are 'sons of God' by way of our conversion,
but we are to be servants and serve our Lord fully, as 'Disciplined Disciples'.
After His resurrection, Christ appeared to some of the disciples at Galilee as He had promised that He would.
He proceeds to outline for them, what 'disciple' means. (John 21)
1) Found by Christ: Have you been found by Christ? Have you been seeking Him? Remember Zacheus?
2) Faith in Christ: The only way to be saved and the only way to live and serve.
3) Follower of Christ: Deny self, take up your cross daily and follow Him.
4) Friend of Christ: He's your best friend....please recipricate!
(John 15:14 "You are my friends if you do whatsoever I command you" This is for His glory and our good.)
5) Future with Christ: Now and in Eternity.
For the balance of this paper, let's familiarize ourselves with the Immensities of God:
1) God is love: Unconditional love for our highest good.
(John 3:16: I John 4:10: Jeremiah 31:3)
Love for Him needs to be natural, for love is not love if it is forced.
2) God is truth: He keeps His promises to both nations and individuals in perfect agreement with Himself. He can not lie.
(See Romans 3:4 and John 14:6)
3) God is sovereign: Absolute, supreme ruler of all in perfect love and truth.
4) God is Holy and demands a measure of Holiness from each of His children.
We are saved....separated...sanctified (Christ-like)
(I Peter 1:15-16....Leviticus 20:7....Matthew 5:48)
5) God is just. His Holiness manifested by His Justice.
He is Savior now and will be Judge then!
(Isaiah 45:21.... I John 1:9....Acts 17:31)
By the way, we are to have all of these attributes...except #3.
6) God is Omnipresent. (Everywhere present)
(Psalm 139....Matt.28:20....Hebrews 13:5)
7) God is Omniscient. (All knowing)
8) God is Omnipotent (All powerful) (Matt. 28:18)
'Almighty' is used 56 times in Scripture.
(Romans 1:16....I Peter 1:5....II Corin. 12:7-10)
9) God is Eternal. He is not bound nor limited by time nor space.
10) God is Infinite. Unending in time and without limits.
11) God is unchangeable. Always true to Himself....it is not in His character to change. (Heb. 13:8....James 1:17)
12) Two of my favorites are 'God is able' (Eph. 3:20-21) and 'God is faithful'
(I Corin. 10:13)
So, God has no 'favorites'....just 'intimates'. This is the story of the Bible, for He has always had a person for 'such a time as this'. But that person needs to be intimate with the 'Adequacies of God'.
MOSES became intimate at the burning bush and learned the adequacies of God as he and the Israelites were willing...and waded deeper into the Red Sea, for God.
God wants to go deeper and be more intimate with us!
JOSEPH became intimate with God while in the Egyptian prison and later, as Prime Minister.. to the saving of the Egyptians and his own family in a terrible famine.
ISAIAH is a perfect study of these two necessities for service.
(For further study on Isaiah, see lesson #39 on July 10, 2005)
JESUS is our greatest example of 'Intimacy with the Father'.
Someone has well said, "If Jesus had done no more than to lead us to call God 'Father', it would have been worth His coming. Jesus said, "Call God 'Abba' (Father)" (Mark 14:36) This literally means 'Daddy'....a very personal relationship and fellowship. Children can sometimes go wrong without the intimacy of an earthly Father. How much more can we (who are 'children of God') go wrong without intimacy with 'Abba Father God?"
You say, 'I want intimacy with God, but how?'
1) Have a definite time and place where you meet God in a quiet time. This is a noisy and over-active world, so 'be still and know that He is God'. (Psalm 46:10)
Jesus said, "Come apart or fall apart".
2) Use a definite method. Some people read a Proverb and a Psalm each day. Read until you find a Promise!
3) Have a definite purpose...to experience intimacy with God and learn about His immensities.
This must start as a habit, but it must become more! For this is more important than ANY habit that you have!
I have good teeth due to exercising a good habit all of my life. How much greater to develop and stay with the above habit, which is good for your soul, mind and spirit.
We daily use the devotional book, 'Streams in the Desert' by Mrs. Chas. B. Cowman as well as 'Daily Bread'. *
Of course, as a Seminary Professor once told us students, "Please remember that there is no substitute for the Bible, for it sheds a lot of light on the commentaries and other writings!"
You and your Bible and the Holy Spirit are #1, but I hope and pray that my website papers are a help to you, also.
If they help you, would you please pass it along to others?
Thank you and God bless you!!
*Should you be interested, the address for 'Our Daily Bread' is:
RBC Ministries: P.O. Box 2222 Grand Rapids, Michigan 49501-2222
Travis, I think you summed it all up with, "God has no favorites just intimates!" Our private time with God is going to determine the depth of our relationship with Him. Yes Travis, your web-site papers are a tremendous help to us. Another wonderful article Travis! Blessings, Sharon
This is an Extremely insightful and beautiful writing. Oh to have continueous fellowship with our Savoiur and Lord.I could not make it through my days with out His Amazing Grace!!!
Thanks for sharing this Great article.
My Husband and I so enjoy the In Touch magazine and the Daily Bread. We have been listenig to Pastor Charles Stanley for over 15yrs now.
In Christ,your Sister
I know that intimacy with the Father also leads to "dependency". Thanks for always leading me in the direction of the cross! As I grow older I find myself more and more seeking Him out and His wonderful ways! Your writing is such a good reminder of how we need to become reliant upon Jesus for those intimate moments. Oh how precious they are!