‘Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.’ James 4:8 (NKJV)
For years, I’ve claimed the truth from His word – to know God. Initially, it seemed to me to be too broad a resolution; what did we mean by ‘know Him?’ I had promises and thoughts as to what this might mean, but somehow, it seemed incomplete. I poured over my promises and the words that I had collected over the years. My list of possibilities grew, but there was still something missing.
James 4:8 (NKJV) says, ‘Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.’ Do you see where the initiative is? As we draw close to God, He draws close to us. It takes an unquenchable hunger on our part that says we are not satisfied with knowing Him; we want to be intimate with Him.
I discovered the secret to knowing God more intimately hidden in the story of Moses. God makes Him the offer of a lifetime in Exodus 33. Israel has been up to their old antics in the wilderness, crying and complaining, building a golden calf solution. And God seems to have had enough, so He offers Moses a plan: He will give them a land to live in, bless them and take care of them.
It was a dream scenario. Everything they had escaped Egypt for; every heart’s desire. Who wouldn’t want to be the leader to present this deal to a million people?
But in addition to all this blessing, there was one caveat: God’s presence would not be going with them. ‘Go up to a land flowing with milk and honey; for I will not go up in your midst, lest I consume you on the way, for you are a stiff-necked people.’ (Exodus 33:3 NKJV)
And when Moses said, “No deal”—I think he made a profound discovery. ‘If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here.’ (Exodus 33:15 NKJV)
He exchanged a good dream of deliverance for a great one of relationship.
In that story, I discovered my missing piece to knowing God. To know God was all about developing an intimate relationship with Him in whatever I did and whoever I did it with. I made this discovery many years ago, and I remind myself constantly and regularly to draw near to God each moment of each day.
Philippians 3:10 (AMPC has became my daily experience,
“For my determined purpose is that I may know Him; that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person….”
God the Father is offering a deeper life to His people – a closer relationship with Him through greater intimacy with the Lord Jesus Christ. I desire to live in this deeper dimension of knowing and experiencing God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, and to help others to do the same.
I daily spend time quietly listening in the presence of the Lord and writing what I “hear” Him saying.
Our Heart – Centre of Spiritual Activity
However, when our desire for intimacy with God is birthed our heart becomes the centre of spiritual activity.
The Lord did not seek Jeremiah through religion, through books, or even through experiences. He said to Jeremiah to seek Him with the entirety of his heart. ‘For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.’ (Jeremiah 29:11-13 NKJV)
The heart is the centre of all human life; it is the organ that pumps blood throughout every cell in our bodies, bringing life to those cells. Proverbs 4:23 says ‘Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.’ (NJKV)
Jesus, himself instructs us in Matthew 22:37 (NKJV), ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ Our love for Him and the depth of our intimacy is determined by the degree of love that we express toward Him.
It is in intimacy where God reveals His desires and our destiny. Our heart begins to know His heart without having to ask. Our ears begin to recognise His voice clearly, because we have spent intimate moments alone with Him. We begin to see with His eyes and know the vision that He has for us. It is intimacy that brings us into oneness with Him and causes us to be an expression of Him.