To know God intimately means that you have developed a relationship with God that is personal and that is consistent. Intimacy with God is a place where we live in consistent fellowship with Him throughout our day, and we can honestly say that our love for Him far outweighs our desire for the things in the world.
The Bible actually tells us that this is the primary goal of God when He created mankind. He desired that mankind would not only bear His image to all of creation but that we would also walk in union with Him as we subdued the earth.
This is why right after Adam and Eve sinned they heard God walking in the cool of the evening, and they knew He was coming to be with them.
“And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.” (Genesis 3:8)
The fact that this happened, and that they knew that He was coming to see them, reveals that this was a consistent occurrence.
God and man would spend time together in the cool of the evening, having face-to-face communion until sin came in and disrupted it. Suddenly a wedge was driven between God and man, and man became self-conscience and full of sin, and rather than bearing the image of God they began to bear the image of the devil.
Thousands of years later when Jesus came to the earth, He revealed why He came and what His mission was.
“The Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:10)
Jesus said I have come to seek and to save THAT which was lost. Notice, He didn’t say “who” was lost, but “that which was lost”.
So what was lost?
The image of God inside man and the relationship between God and man. Jesus came to restore God’s nature back into us and to restore the fellowship that was broken.
John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
We see from this scripture that the whole goal of the Father sending His Son is so that we can have everlasting life. So many people think that this just means that we go to heaven someday when we die.
Although that is true that is not what everlasting life truly is.
Jesus reveals what everlasting life is in John 17:3, “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”
So we see from this scripture that it isn’t just about going to heaven someday, but about heaven coming back inside of us. It is us being restored back into a relationship with almighty God.
In fact, the word “know” in this scripture is the same word that was used for Joseph and Mary when the scripture said, Joseph “did not know her (Mary) till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name Jesus.”
Of course, Joseph knew Mary emotionally and socially, but this greek word is often used for physical intimacy between a husband and wife.
So, Christ has redeemed us back to intimacy with God and He has restored His nature back into us.
So knowing God intimately is us walking in what we have been freely given on a daily basis. It is us living our lives in fellowship with God. It’s us talking with Him when we wake up, when we go to bed, and when we go throughout our day.
It is us consuming the word of God so that our hearts get consumed with the knowledge of God’s will. It is us revealing our hearts to Him by being open and honest through prayer.
Intimacy with God is simply us walking with Him, day in and day out, growing closer to Him every day, and revealing Him to the world by walking in love.
How beautiful and how simple the Gospel is!
How do I pursue intimacy with God?
You pursue intimacy with God through getting alone with Him and learning to develop a consistent time of communion, where it is just you and Him.
Jesus revealed this same truth when He said, “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.” (Matthew 6:6)
Jesus told us that the first thing we are to do to develop a relationship with God (after we have repented, of course) is to get alone with God and seek Him through prayer.
All this means is that we are to remove the distractions of our daily life. Whenever there is a moment when you are free from your daily responsibilities, whether that is early in the morning, at night, or lunchtime, take that time to commune with God and get alone with Him.
[Related article: 7 Tips to Develop and Maintain a Consistent Prayer Life]
We see Jesus doing this over and over again throughout the Gospels.
“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 (Jesus) often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed.” (Luke 5:16)
If there was ever a person who walked on this earth who we could say, “They walked with God perfectly” it would be Jesus. And we see here that Jesus often withdrew from everyone else and spent time with His Father alone. He practiced what He preached! (Related article: Prayer Life of Jesus & How to Pray Like Him).
Now, once we get alone with God what do we do? How do we “commune” with Him? How are we supposed to pray?
These are all excellent questions. And they are questions that everyone who has desired God ask themselves at some point.
I believe there are three pillars to spending time with God that will create a strong, healthy relationship with Him. I use each one in my own life, and more importantly, I see it in scripture.
They are; the Word of God, praise & worship, and prayer.
When you go to spend time with God, here’s what I recommend you do.
(1) Set your Bible down in front of you and start by praising Him, thanking Him, and worshipping Him.
(2) Next, ask for revelation of His Word. Ask Holy Spirit to teach you and to lead you into all truth. If there is something you want to know, now is the time to ask for guidance and understanding. Then start reading the scriptures, whether that reading is Spirit led or a daily reading plan that you have always done, it makes no difference.
(3) As you read be aware of God’s presence. Pause every now and then and thank Him for a truth, ask him a question, and talk to Him about something you just learned or were reminded of.
Whenever you think about a need in your own life or someone else’s life, pray for it immediately. If you think of someone, pray for them. Ask God to intervene. If you have a situation that you need help with, pray about that and ask God for His assistance and guidance. Then just go back to reading again.
(4) When you get done reading, finish your time with praise and worship. Sing a little. Thank Him for the time you had with Him. Praise Him for all that He has done for you. Shower Him with your love through song and adoration.
Doing this is how you develop intimacy with God.
Here are some reasons I outlined it in this way.
I put the beginning and the end with praise and worship because Jesus told us to do that. When He gave us the model prayer in Matthew 6 He said at the beginning of the prayer, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name.” Then at the end, He said, “For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.“
He begins the prayer with praise and worship and then He ends the prayer with praise and worship.
I place praying for needs in the center because that’s what Jesus said to do in Matthew 6. He said,
“Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”
The above prayer is all done in the middle of the praise and worship that was previously mentioned. In a sense, Jesus sandwiched the praying for needs in between praise and worship.
And I added the Word of God because God and His Word are One. If you want to know God you have to know His Word for his Word reveals who He is!
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1)
If these three pillars are foundational in your time with the Lord, your intimacy with Him will grow abundantly.
I hope you enjoyed this article and that it helped you in your walk with God.
God bless you all!