Summary: The route to the experience of the presence of God is earnest desire to seek Him. God will not draw near to us if we have no thirst and hunger for His fellowship.
INTIMACY WITH GOD: OUR SOULS’ DESPERATE NEED
“As the hart panteth after the water brooks,
so panteth my soul after thee, O God”
In these days of abysmal disconnect from God, the most fitting inspirational counsel is “Draw nigh to God” James 4:8. Our hearts are prone to wander away from God, supposedly thinking we can find gratification in things. More often, we are left bereft of the deep satisfaction, peace and contentment that only God can offer. In the mad chase of our elusive dreams, we sink deeper and deeper into the mire of disappointment, disillusionment and depression. It is a sad commentary that many lives are fractured and frustrated, because in rushing and racing to the top, they discovered that there is nothing there! The problem is, God is left behind!
Realizing the futile efforts of man to cover his nakedness with the fig leaves of self-discovery and self-efforts after the Fall, God sent His Son to show us the way back to God, the Spring and Source of our deepest need. In Christ can our souls find rest.
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest”
If you have passion for God and you seek Him earnestly, you will experience His presence.
“Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you…” James 4:8.
1. Passion: The flame of intimacy with God
“O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee:
my soul thirsteth for thee,
my flesh longeth for thee
in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is”
The hunger of David for God reached its highest intensity when he was a vagabond in the wilderness of Judah.
In the desolate wilderness of this world, our greatest need is intimacy with God. Our souls, in a state of detachment from God, cannot be sustained for long. Substitutes may avail for a while, leaving us empty and vain; but for sustainable joy, peace, satisfaction and freedom, the food of the soul is intimacy with God.
Only those with intense desire and insatiable quest will find God.
Before you go too far, know that you cannot reach Him without passing through the Mediator.
“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus”
2. Prayer: The fuel of intimacy with God
“Seek ye the Lord while he may be found,
call ye upon him while he is near”
To get through to God, you must have a heart for Him. Nothing short of effectual, fervent prayer can reach God. Seeking the Lord early is not an hobby, but a business; it is not a recreation but a vocation. Those who are flippant about morning and evening devotions will have listless mornings and lonesome nights.
God cannot dwell in a heart imprisoned by the siege of vain pursuits. Christ must brake the barricades of satanic siege to free the heart of man to seek God and find Him.
O weary soul, “Be of good comfort, rise; He calleth thee” to the place of prayer. Mark 10:49.
3. Purity: The fruit of intimacy with God
“Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded”
Passion and prayer for intimacy with God will purify the heart and sanctify the soul for sustainable fellowship with God. We must be ready to seek the Lord wholeheartedly.
The route to the higher plane of intimacy with God is contrition. At this juncture, self is crucified, all substitutes, however appealing, are denounced, and intimacy with God becomes our ardent craving and deepest longing.
“For thus saith the high and lofty One
that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy;
I dwell in the high and holy place,
with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit,
to revive the spirit of the humble,
and to revive the heart of the contrite ones”
What are the fruits of intimacy with God?
intimacy with God gives:
If you draw near to God, he will draw near to you!