Summary: Why are so many people unable to obtain intimacy with God the way Paul did? Intimacy with God means that one has such a tight relationship that your thoughts are closely related with His all of His attributes
Illustration:Consider the postage stamp: Its usefulness consists in the ability to stick to one thing till it gets there.
1. Why are so many people unable to obtain intimacy with God the way Paul did?
Intimacy with God means that one has such a tight relationship that your thoughts are closely related with His all of His attributes.
Example: Paul knew from the beginning of His relationship with Christ that intimacy begins by surrendering to the will of God. Paul said, "Lord, who are you and what do you want me to do?" Here was a man, like many who are yet to personally meet Christ, who did whatever was right in his own eyes. Paul knew that when he became a believer he was called to be a follower not a director any longer. OH what a sweet surrender.
Application: Ask the Lord to help you to be willing to allow the Lord to have reign in all areas of your personal life, relationships and activities in order to grow in your intimacy with Him.
2. Paul never forgot his true identity in Christ. Most people are good at assuming a Christian identity on Sunday morning, but tend to not live up to their identity the rest of the week. Learning to live up to your identity in Christ gives a person a greater sense of oneness with Him.
Example: Those who struggle from teenage, mid-life or personal identity crisis are uncertain of their feelings about who they are and their life’s purpose. When a person becomes intimate with Jesus Christ they do not have to wonder who they are or what they are expected to do.
Application: Ask the Lord to help you gain a greater depth of understanding into your identity in Christ and His plans for your activities.
3. Paul learned how to gain greater intimacy after he demonstrated obedience. Notice that the Lord does not immediately give Paul an answer to his questions. Instead, the Lord says to Paul, "Go into the city and you will be told what you must do." Before we can learn the whole will of God we must be willing to obey before He reveals Himself to us. The more we obey, the more He will reveal.
Application: Ask the Lord to help you to learn how to be obedient to Him in all aspects of your lifestyle and relationships so you can grow in greater intimacy with Him and His will for your life.
4. Paul’s journey toward intimacy was not dependent on human help. Too many people grow angry or fearful of people who may not approve of your growing intimacy with the Lord. Even the parents of Jesus did not understand His need to remain intimate with the heavenly Father.
Application: Do not get discouraged, frustrated or misdirected when people misunderstand your need to become more intimately acquainted with the Lord.
5. Paul said, "I have seen the Lord Christ." Only people who have learned how to see the Lord Jesus in His word are able to gain greater intimacy with God. Learn to look for Christ in every portion of scripture. Trust the Lord to help you to have your own spiritual eyes opened so that you can see how Christâs personage, power and purposes are carried out throughout the entire Bible.
Example: John wrote, "The word became flesh and fixed his tent among us and we saw His glory, honor and majesty as from the Father, full of grace, loving-kindness and truth." (John 1:14)
Application: Ask the Lord to help you focus more on Jesus and less on your own problems.
6. Paulâs eyes were shut that they might be opened. Do not think you can expect to grow intimate with the Lord unless you are willing to shift your focus away from your circumstances and on to the word of Life.
Application: Trust the Lord to help you see more spiritual realities and less personal problems. Everyone who wants to become intimate with the Lord needs a time of quiet meditation in the scriptures. Discipline yourself to have a time alone with God everyday that is free from distractions.
Example: Even Mark wrote of Jesus, "Early in the morning while it was still dark He went out to a lonely place and prayed." (Mark 1:35)
Application; Ask the Lord to help you to grow more intimate with the Holy One through a deeper, richer and lengthier time in your personal devotions.
7. Paul gained a greater intimate picture of Christâs compassion, grace and miraculous power through His Damascus road experience. Be attentive to how the Lord will use all kinds of situations to draw you closer to Himself. These encounters may not be pleasant, but such suffering might be the best way to help you to be drawn nearer to the cross.