Level #1: Completely Separated
We all begin at this first level, complete separation from God. The reason? Because every single one of us has sinned against God and every one of us has gone our own way, which means that we have not gone the way that leads to Him.
“10 There is none righteous, no, not one; 11 There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. 12 They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one.”
“13 Their throat is an open tomb; With their tongues they have practiced deceit; The poison of asps is under their lips; 14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness. 15 Their feet are swift to shed blood; 16 Destruction and misery are in their ways; 17 And the way of peace they have not known. 18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.” (Romans 3:10-18)
Every verse in this passage reveals that none of us have sought after God and that none of us have done what is right. This means that all of us, no matter how good we think our life is, have done wrong. We have had selfish motives, impure desires, and impure thoughts far beyond any good thought or pure desire. We have lived for ourselves and pretty much every decision that we have made has been for the benefit of our self-interests.
And the Bible tells us that because of this we are separated from God. Our selfishness cannot walk with His selflessness. They are opposed to one another.
“But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.” (Isaiah 59:2)
Every single one of us begins at this level – total separation from God on account of our sin.
Level #2: Reconciled
The second level, or stage, of our relationship with God is reconciliation.
Just like all of us have been separated from God on account of our sin, all of us have the chance to be reconciled back to God.
“18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
“20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. 21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:18-21)
The word reconciliation means “the restoration of friendly relations.” Some synonyms for this word are reuniting or reunion.
So when verse 19 says, “God was in Chirst reconciling the world to Himself” it means that through Chirst’s work on the cross God was making it possible for us to be rejoined back to Him. This is a story of a Father reuniting with His children.
This is why Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6) The reason for this is only Christ lived a sinless life. Only He lived the life that we were all called to live. We fell short of God’s glory, but He met the standard, and therefore, only He can be the eternal atoning sacrifice for our sins.
We have already established that all of us have fallen short and have sinned, which means that all of us have the penalty of eternal death (eternal separation from God) written over our lives, but Christ fulfilled what we failed and then paid the death penalty for us.
This is why verse 21 of 2 Corinthians 5 says, “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
Notice, that Christ became what we were so that we might become what He is. This means that Christ became sin so that we could become righteous. Christ died so that we could live. Christ was separated from the Father for a moment so that we could be eternally reunited. How wonderful!
Now it’s also important to know that Christ didn’t just take our penalty through His death, but once He did this he rose from the dead and presented His blood before the Father as an atonement (payment) for our sins. This solidified what was accomplished and now we can be reunited with the Father. (Hebrews 9:11-15)
There is no longer a gap between us and God if we accept this fact as truth and turn away from the evil works that we have committed against Him (Ephesians 2:13-18).
The Bible calls this faith and repentance and these two words are the requirements to being reconciled to God the Father (Mark 1:15).
Once we are reconciled, we have entered into a father-and-child relationship with the Almighty God, and nothing can separate us from Him unless we choose to knowingly walk away.
Level #3: Following, but unsure
The third level of intimacy with God is once you have been reconciled you are now in a place of growing into this relationship with God.
You are in the process of learning how to pray and what to say when you come before God, you’re learning how to hear His voice, you’re learning what it means to fast and how often you should do it, you’re learning about the access you have to the Father, you’re learning about the Spirit of God, you’re learning about the Word of God, etc.
And not only are you learning, but you are also receiving. You’re receiving the baptism in the Holy Spirit, you’re receiving the gifts of the Spirit, you’re receiving the fruits of the Spirit, you’re receiving revelation from God, you’re receiving teachings from others, etc.
Technically, we never grow out of this level, rather this level just evolves. Instead of being introduced to everything when we first begin this stage, we begin to refine everything that we have learned and received as we progress through the stages of our relationship with God.
Level #4: In love
The fourth level of intimacy with God is being in love with God.
I placed this level here because I believe that all of us, as we go through our journey of following Jesus, will come to this place of absolute love for Him. This love begins to consume every area of your life. Or as Paul put it “the love of Christ compels us” (2 Corinthians 5:14).
This is what Joshua felt when he witnessed, outside the Tent of Meeting, the relationship that Moses and God had.
“So the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. And he would return to the camp, but his servant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, did not depart from the tabernacle.” (Exodus 33:11)
Joshua was so in love with God that it produced a hunger to know Him more. It compelled him to stay and linger in God’s presence when everyone else carried on.
This level must take place before the fifth and, I believe, the final level of our relationship with God. The reason I say this is because only through this intense desire to know the Father more will we actually attain to know Him more.
God has said through the prophet Jeremiah, “You will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13)
We can all know God to some degree. He has made himself available through the Lord Jesus, and He has been found by us through our repenting and choosing to follow Jesus. But just like there are degrees in which you can know a person, so it is with God.
For example, everyone on this earth has earthly fathers, but some of us might be really close to our dads, while others don’t even call them on holidays.
It is the same way with God. To the degree that we seek Him is the degree that we will know Him. This is why James 4:8 says, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” This is essential if we desire to know God to the degree of the fifth level.
Level #5: Face-to-face
This level comes from the passage of Moses in Exodus 33.
“8 So it was, whenever Moses went out to the tabernacle, that all the people rose, and each man stood at his tent door and watched Moses until he had gone into the tabernacle. 9 And it came to pass, when Moses entered the tabernacle, that the pillar of cloud descended and stood at the door of the tabernacle, and the Lord talked with Moses.
“10 All the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the tabernacle door, and all the people rose and worshiped, each man in his tent door. 11 So the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. And he would return to the camp, but his servant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, did not depart from the tabernacle.” (Exodus 33:8-11)
I believe this is the highest level of intimacy with God – when we come into fellowship with God as a man speaks to His friend.
Moses was not the only person in the Bible to walk in this kind of closeness with the Father. We know this because there is a sign that takes place when someone is this close to Him.
What is the sign?
The sign is that our physical body begins to emulate, or reflect, what is happening around us or within us.
What does this mean? What does it look like?
Well, here is an example from Exodus 34 from the life of Moses.
“Now it was so, when Moses came down from Mount Sinai (and the two tablets of the Testimony were in Moses’ hand when he came down from the mountain), that Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone while he talked with Him.” (Exodus 34:29)
This is not the only instance where something like this took place. We also see it in the life of Jesus, Paul, Peter, and Elisha.
“Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light.” (Matthew 17:1-2)
Note: We know from other passages about this instance that they were on the mountain praying when this took place (Luke 9:29).
“14 And believers were increasingly added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women, 15 so that they brought the sick out into the streets and laid them on beds and couches, that at least the shadow of Peter passing by might fall on some of them. 16 Also a multitude gathered from the surrounding cities to Jerusalem, bringing sick people and those who were tormented by unclean spirits, and they were all healed.” (Acts 5:14-16)
These verses tell us that the shadow of Peter was healing people. How? Because of Peter’s communion with God. Peter got to a place of fellowship with the Lord that even his shadow was being affected by it.
“11 Now God worked unusual miracles by the hands of Paul, 12 so that even handkerchiefs or aprons were brought from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out of them.” (Acts 19:11-12)
Similar to how Jesus’ clothes became as white as light, Paul’s clothing was healing people.
“20 Then Elisha died, and they buried him. And the raiding bands from Moab invaded the land in the spring of the year. 21 So it was, as they were burying a man, that suddenly they spied a band of raiders; and they put the man in the tomb of Elisha; and when the man was let down and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived and stood on his feet.” (2 Kings 13:20-21)
How can the bones of a dead man raise the dead? It can because the body of Elisha was saturated with the Spirit of God.
Elisha walked in close intimacy with God to the point where even his bones could raise the dead.
Each one of these instances has the same thing in common; the individual’s body, or item on the body, becomes physically affected by the presence of the Lord.
And the instance with Moses reveals how this is possible…”Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone while he talked with Him.” What a beautiful truth!
I hope you enjoyed this article and that it assisted you in your walk with God.
If you want to know more about having an intimate relationship with God, below are some more articles that might interest you.
God bless you all!