How to experience intimacy with God every day
Do you remember when you dedicated your life to the Lord? Didn’t it seem like you couldn’t get enough of Him, like you had an insatiable appetite for all things ‘God’? Well, fast forward some years later, would you say you still have the same passion and zeal for Him?
Whilst some of us could boast of having some semblance of time with God each day, sadly, it is a far cry from when we started the journey, or from where God wants us to be. And so, I think I can safely say that for everyone of us, we could all do with notching up our intimacy with God. Cos when it comes to this, there is no such thing as reaching the top or never needing to press in even more.
Therefore, we should strive towards experiencing daily transformation and revival, which will then overflow into our workplaces, schools, churches, communities and nations. After all, we are to be ‘salt’ to give the flavour and aroma of Christ; a light to a dark world, and a beacon on a hill to help the world navigate their way to Christ. But alas, the reality is that many of us are so far removed from this, we no longer resemble the Great One who sent us.
There are many traps, but I will focus on just two:
Trap 1: The busy life
I have long since held the opinion that a key strategy of the enemy is busyness and distractions. And boy, is it working! No need to look far. It is all around us. And this can be so subtle that you don’t realise what’s going on.
From the moment we wake up to the moment we sleep, life does its best to get all our attention: from the ringing phone, to the demanding boss; from the screaming child, to the umpteen emails. With daily commutes, school runs, the needs of ageing parents, our multiple roles and responsibilities (both in and out of church), bills accumulating and life challenges… you can see how our attention and hearts end up drifting away.
Trap 2: Working for God equates to walking with God (Not!)
Brothers and sisters, let’s not get this twisted. Serving God – whether it be in ministry/church, in business, through the expression of your gift/call/assignment – is not to be confused with developing intimacy with God, though it can lead to that, if we keep our hearts right. Whilst no one sets out to lose God along the way, sadly, that’s what happens to many of us (ask me how I know). I love what Peter Scazzero says in his book, ‘The Emotionally Healthy Leader’, that there is more to us than just our service to God. The problem we encounter is measuring our growth in God by the growth of what we busy ourselves in, which gives a false impression of how we are really doing. We can all do phenomenal things for God, and yet have our hearts drifting away or have unresolved issues with God, others or ourselves.
So, we really need to sit up and take note, lest we be disqualified from the race (2 Corinthians 9:25-27).
INTIMACY WITH GOD
So, what can we do to (re)gain intimacy with God? Well, we can start with the following suggestions:
Grant God full custody!
God wants full custody of your life, not weekly visits. This might sound strange and you might say God already owns your life. But does He really? Often, we treat Him like an elderly relative abandoned in a care home, with little or no visits.
Yet all Father wants, and has always wanted, is for Him to be our God and we to be His people. Simple! He wants us to grant Him full access to our hearts – living/breathing Him, every waking moment. He wants to be involved in every detail of our lives.
Preserve your 1:1 times with God
Whatever shape or form it takes, make it a priority. The fact is, life will always happen! There will never be a time when we will have nothing on our plates. So, the solution is to prioritise our times with God. After all, it’s in those moments with Him that we get what we need to face, head on, whatever life throws at us. Without it, we will be fighting a losing battle, as we cannot make it alone.
Return to your first love
This is all about (re)discovering God. By the way, this is not about ritualistic religious activities. For instance, some of us might pray because we are told to do so by our pastors/leaders. Or we might pray, but just enough to stay away from hell and still be called believers. We might learn how to act or speak ‘Christianese’, but that’s all it is: an act or performance that ends after church service. What is lacking is creating such platforms in our homes/closets and not simply performing in the limelight. Therefore, may I suggest we go back to basics: spending quality time in the Word, prayer, praise and worship? That’s a great place to start.
In closing, my prayer is that we learn to yield our hearts to God, so as to cultivate deep intimacy with Him. And, as a result, we can expect a God-rich life, with the supernatural becoming the natural, as we walk with God.
By Gladys Famoriyo – Speaker and Author of ‘Bounce Back!’, ‘Quit Hiding, Start Living!’, ‘Healing A Discouraged Heart’ and ‘Overcoming Emotional Baggage’.