Group 3 INTIMACY WITH GOD
Text: John chapter 17:23-24
Minister:Bro Emmanuel Adele
INTRODUCTION: Beginning from the Genesis (where intimacy was firstly acknowledged). Genesis 3:8
The fact that Adam and Eve hid themselves from the presence of the Lord signifies that, they were usually in His presence i.e they had a constant(or fixed) communion or fellowship with God himself. It is seen clearly, that God himself walking in the garden in the cool of the day was a normal routine. Let me quickly state at this point that, the reason for man’s existence originally is to keep a constant fellowship, communion, service, company, relationship and INTIMACY with God himself. This brings us to our Topic: INTIMACY WITH GOD Text: John 17:23-24
Taking a cursory look at the word Intimacy:
- Intimacy is having a very close relationship (very warm and friendly)
- Intimacy is the experience of really knowing and being known by another person.
The Intimacy with God can only be fully accomplished in the Presence of God, getting into that presence is one of the basis of today’s study Intimacy with God exceeds knowledge. One common mistake is thinking that nearness to God can be achieved through knowledge accumulation.
Now, of course, to intimately know God, we must know crucial things about God. Jesus said, “you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32) and he pointed out that many worship what they do not know (John 4:22). Many believe that amassing much knowledge concerning the word of God brings them to the presence of God, trust me, studying the Bible and continuous mediation is a way of getting to be in His presence, but not just about knowing it for the sake of knowingthis is because knowledge is not synonymous with trust. That’s why Jesus said to the religious leaders of his day, some who possessed an encyclopedic knowledge of Scripture,“You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.” (John 5:39–40) ESV
Biblical knowledge is far better than gold when it fuels our trust in God, because it fuels our intimacy with GodPsalm 19:10 as referencedbut when biblical knowledge replaces our trust in God, it only fuels our pride (1 Corinthians 8:1)
Looking at these topics under three sub-topics:
- How to know God personally.
- Practical steps to take in Knowing God and benefits of knowing (keeping intimacy) with God.
- Building Intimacy with God and Returning to Intimacy with God.
HOW TO KNOW GOD PERSONALLY
“Those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.” (Isaiah 40:31)
Although minor details vary, these fundamentals apply:
- ADMIT GENUINE REPENTANCE: This is fundamental to begin a relationship with Jesus Christ, (Matthew 4:17; Luke 13:3; Acts 2:21, 4:12; Romans 6:23, 10:9), which is genuine, heartfelt, sorrow over sin and serious and ongoing attempts to turn away from it (2 Corinthians 7:10).
- TRULY DESIRE THE CERTAINTY OF GOD’S POWER:Many people aren’t aware that God wants to impart the power to resist sin. However, we need to maintain a genuine desire to receive and use it once given. This is a “transformation of the will” that can only be achieved through a revelation of God’s grace and love (Titus 2:11-14; Philippians 2:13, 4:13; Galatians 2:20; Romans 2:4, 5:17, 8:5, 28; 2 Corinthians 1:21, 5:14; 1 Thessalonians 4:3).
- RENEW AND GOVERN YOUR MIND:It is not just God “keeping us from falling” (assuming we have faith in His promise to do so). We must also play our part by following His instructions (James 4:7-10). The Christian’s walk is a partnership—God doing His part and you and I doing ours (Romans 8:5, 12:1-2; Galatians 6:7-9; Ephesians 4:22-24; Philippians 4:7-8, Colossians 3:1-10; 1 Peter 1:13-16).
- RECKON YOURSELF DEAD TO SIN:To “reckon” means to accept as a fact for yourself and in your own experience. The Bible tells us that sin shall not be our master (Romans 6:8-14). If that weren’t possible, then God would never have said it! Our task is to find out and appropriate how that is possible.
- LIVE BY THE SPIRIT:Galatians 5:16-18 tells us that if we live by the Spirit, we will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 2 Peter 1:3-10 tells us that as believers, God’s divine power has already given us everything we need for godliness (see also Romans 8:4-15). Our tendency, even when we know better, is to take the reins from God and try to achieve holiness in our own strength (Galatians 3:1-5).
- DISCERN IF LOVE IS YOUR MOTIVATION: What motivates you to obey God is vital. If it is love that compels you (2 Corinthians 5:14-15; Romans 2:4, 16:20; John 14:23; 1 John 5:3-4), then the power of God will manifest in your life to keep you from falling (Jude 24; Romans 6:15-18; 2 Corinthians 10:3-5; 1 Peter 1:13-16; 2 John 6)What drives you to God matters and it has to be LOVE. Loving him with all you heart, soul and might. If you are not driven to God out of Love, it ends up in frustration and you end up leaving his presence and the Intimacy is no longer there.
PRACTICAL STEPS TO TAKE IN KNOWING GOD AND BENEFITS OF KNOWING HIM
- Decide to obey no matter what the cost or how difficult the journey.
- Forsake the things of the world (John 14:15)
- Believe in His goodness and obey Him even when there is no evidence
- Embrace that he who loses his life for Jesus’ sake will find it (Matthew 10:39)
- Immerse yourself in the Word.
- Follow the lead of Jesus and believe every word He says (John 5:30, 10:30; 15:10; 17).
- Spend copious time pursuing God (Hebrews 7:19).
- Be brutally honest with God
- Ask the hard questions
- Wait on Him
- Do everything He tells you to do (Luke 22:42)
- Learn to believe in His grace, love and transforming power (2 Corinthians 3:18)
- Find yourself a church that believes in the word and operate in the spirit Ephesians 5:15-21
- Minister to others.
- Learn how to serve and to how to love (1 John 4:10; John 14:15).
If you feel you’ve lost it or perhaps you used to be intimate with God and you feel you’re no longer intimate, I bring the good news to you that it is not too late to run back to your maker. Theearlier the better, always remember 2Cor 5:17, 2Cor. 5:21 and Gal 2:20
Christian life always begins this way, when we see the great sacrifice of the cross of Christ, the wounded Lamb. We fall on our faces in worship in thankfulness for His love towards us. Daily we cannot help but praise and thank God, not because we have to, but because of experiencing His love and person. But as life passes by, days become weeks and months become years, and amidst the cares of this life, we are prone to wander from that place of intimacy, of worship, of seeking God alone. Perhaps this is a reminder for you; perhaps today God is calling to you saying, “My son, my daughter, come back to Me. Spend time with Me. I have longed for your fellowship and adoration. There you will find rest.” Then our eyes will again brim with tears and our hearts will fill with renewed love for the One we will eternally be praising around the very throne of God.