#1 Understand that you are righteous
“If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” (1 John 1:6-7)
[Note: the “fellowship with one another” in this passage does not mean among the brethren but between us and God.]
The first tip that I can offer anyone who is desiring to have an intimate relationship with God is to recognize that once they got saved (repented of their sin and placed faith in Jesus) they were made righteous before Him.
And as long as they continue in this walk with God they will continue to be righteous before Him and will continue to have access to Him.
You see, the truth is as long as we continue to see ourselves apart from Him, we will struggle to see ourselves with Him.
Whenever you come before Him you’ll begin to think about your past sins and failures and you’ll feel as though God is not close.
Now obviously, if the sin you think about is unrepentant then of course you should confess that before Him and turn away from it. But once you do this, move on and then never think about it again. Because I promise you, God is not thinking about it either!
#2 Get alone with God
The second tip is to get into a daily habit of getting alone with God to pray, worship, and study His Word.
This is so often neglected. Good-meaning people desire a strong relationship with God but they never take the necessary actions to get there.
Every relationship that we will ever have requires quality time with the other person. There is no relationship without time together because there is no relationship without communication.
It is the same thing with God! We have to take the time to be with Him if we desire to have a close union with Him.
This is exactly what Jesus told us to do in Matthew 6:6.
“But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.”
And He didn’t only teach it but He also practiced it.
“Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed.“ (Mark 1:35)
“So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed.“ (Luke 5:16)
#3 Build your time around praise & worship
Praise & worship should be the foundation of everyone’s prayer life. Here are a few reasons why…
First, it is the most effective way to enter God’s presence.
Psalm 100 says, “Come before His presence with singing…Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.”
Jesus also said that the first thing we are to do when we begin praying is to worship.
“In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name.” (Matthew 6:6)
We also see this principle heavily practiced in the life of the apostle Paul.
“But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.” (Acts 16:25)
“What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding.“ (1 Corinthians 14:15)
#4 Have an open heart
“And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.” (Matthew 6:7-8)
God knows what is in our hearts before we even speak it to Him, and yet He still desires that we bring it to Him. Why? Because He wants a relationship with us. He enjoys the communion that takes place as we express our hearts to Him and seek His guidance.
You see, we were made for two reasons; (1) to bear the image of God and (2) to have a relationship with God (Genesis 1:26 & Genesis 3:8). But when man sinned both of these got perverted. Instead of bearing the image of God, which is love, we bore the image of sin, which is selfishness.
And instead of having a thriving relationship with God, sin separated us from His presence.
So whenever we hide from God and decide to not come to Him with an open heart we are putting on the nature of sin because that is the first thing sin produced in man (Genesis 3:8).
Instead, we ought to come to the Lord with sincerity, talking to Him openly without hiding anything. Confessing when we need to confess and asking when we need to ask.
Even if we don’t feel like spending time with God in prayer, we should still come before Him and let Him know. Tell Him openly, “My flesh has no desire to be here right now, please help me.”
I can assure you, if you are this sincere every time prayer will become a joy.
#5 Commune with God through the Word of God
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.” (John 1:1-2)
God and His Word are One. When we look into the Word of God we are looking into God Himself, for the Word reveals who He is.
If this is true, then we should be careful to not just read the Bible for head knowledge, but to instead read it to know and encounter God.
Jesus said this same thing to the Pharisees,
“You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.” (John 5:39-40)
The Pharisees knew the Old Testament Scriptures better than anyone. They had whole books of the Bible memorized. They knew every law, every prophecy, and every story, and yet, when the Messiah was standing right in front of them they couldn’t see it.
Why? How is that possible?
Jesus told us why in the verses above. They looked at the scriptures and the law to find life, rather than using them as a springboard to God.
This is not to say that the scriptures aren’t critical to our walk with God. We know they are because as mentioned before, they are the revelation of God to man written down.
We need them to know God and to have a relationship with Him, but if they get in the way of us coming to God then we are no different than the Pharisees.
So when we read the Bible we should always pray and commune with God before and after our reading (sometimes during if your heart is moved).
We should use the scriptures to bring us to Jesus, and we should allow His Spirit to teach us the Word of God so that we never get off balance.
#6 Pray for needs
Another tip to cultivate intimacy with God is to pray for the needs of others and for ourselves.
The Bible is filled with commands, encouragement, and teachings on praying for the needs that we come into contact with. No doubt, God is concerned with what we face, otherwise He would never command us to pray and ask Him for things.
God delights in answering our prayers, and He knows that when He answers our prayers it will bring us delight as well.
“Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.“ (John 16:23-24)
This will produce intimacy because it will produce thankfulness in our hearts, and whenever we see a need we will know Who to run to.
#7 Be obedient
Obedience to God is hands down the most critical key to enhancing intimacy with Him. When we are obedient it reveals that we love Him. If we choose to disregard what He says about giving to the poor, making disciples, loving our families, loving the brethren, or taking care of the needy, could we really say that we love Him?
This is why Jesus said,
“21 He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”
“22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?”
“23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.
“24 He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.” (John 14:21-24)
Notice, if we hear His word and obey it then God will manifest Himself to us and make His home in us. What an amazing promise!
But if we choose to disobey what He says it proves that we do not love Him.
Benefits of intimacy with God
These benefits come from Psalm 91. They are a byproduct of our ability to dwell in the secret place. This is just another terminology for walking close to God and having a strong relationship with Him. There are a total of 11 benefits of dwelling in the secret place found in Psalm 91.
Read the following article to get the complete list: Dwelling in the Secret Place: What it is & How to do it.
[Related article: 26 Benefits of Intimacy with God (+ Signs)].
I hope you enjoyed this article and that it assisted you in your walk with Him. If you want to read more articles on intimacy with God you can do so by clicking on one of the links below. Enjoy!