There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear…
We love Him because He first loved us.” (1 John 4:18–19)
Intimacy with God is more that just a nice thought. Even though the scriptures clearly say that God is near and intimately involved in our lives, His closeness is still hard for us to grasp. The word “intimacy” carries with it the aspects of a relationship with someone where we are vulnerable, loving, trusting, etc. The biggest hindrance to communion with God is our perception of who He is. He is so holy that we might think He cannot relate to us and we cannot relate to Him.
So, out of fear a holy God becomes the enemy of intimacy. If we have to measure up, we would hide from God whenever we fail Him. Recall what Adam did when he disobeyed, he hid himself in the Garden. If we do not hide ourselves from God, we will not feel that God is hiding from us.
Intimacy can only occur in an environment where no performance is necessary. If we have to earn our place with God, we open the door to fear of rejection. Closeness with the Lord grows and flourishes in the rich fertile ground of love, not the sterile ground of fear.
God has so beautifully created this environment for us each.
Intimacy with God begins with the Trinity. All that we want (as a Christian) is found in the Trinity. Learning to commune with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit needs to be the highest priority of our life. Our relationship with God begins as we enter the relationship of the Three. The model of true intimacy is the Trinity. God is a Trinity of persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Intimacy with God is made possible by the love of God. We love him because he first loved us (1 John 4.19). Our efforts of prayer, silence, communion, and fasting are empty unless carried along by the energies of the Triune God. In reality, we are a participant cooperating with God in His work of drawing us closer to Himself. We don’t make intimacy happen. We enter into what is already happening within us from our relationship with God.
Intimacy with God is a privilege freely given to us by Christ in His sacrifice on the cross. He removed our sins so that we might dwell with God. Therefore, we are able to come to God through Jesus our mediator. This means that the intimacy we have with God is with Christ.
Intimacy with God comes from the heart of a child. Only little children enter the Kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18.3-4 ESV). It is not a matter of progressively becoming smarter about God by learning more information. It’s a matter of beating down our insatiable ego, our pride and intellect until the humble, innocent, and simple heart of a child begins to emerge.
Being able to share our shortcomings is an integral part of our close and intimate relationship with God. But for this to be possible, love must first banish fear.
Many have been walking with God for years but are not satisfied in their relationship with Him. They sense that something is missing. They’ve tried different techniques or adopted a particular theology with the hopes that they would find the key to intimacy with God only to discover more frustration.
Intimacy never involves just one person. What a great thought. God has gone to great lengths to dance with mankind. From the time He walked with Adam in Eden to this day, His desire hasn’t abated or changed. So passionate was His desire after Adam and Eve sinned, He worked intensely throughout time to bring humanity back to a place of intimate communion. Yet, there’s often a sense of challenge, and one of guilt as many find it difficult to establish intimacy with God daily. Intimacy is fundamental, it must be there for us to grow and go on in God.
We err greatly if we think of intimacy with Christ as some lofty level of mysterious, feelings-based communion with the Divine – Intimacy is available to all of us
The apostle Paul perfectly expresses the most earnest desire of every true follower of Christ: “That I may know him” (Philippians 3:10).
That underscores the truth of intimacy with Christ. It is the whole point of our life in Christ. Indeed, it is what we were created for: to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.