Summary: God wants more than a casual relationship with you. He desires to be intimate.

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July 22, 2007

Morning Worship

Text: Isaiah 40:27-31

Subject: Intimacy with God

Title: What Are You Waiting For?

I want to share with you today about a topic that might scare you. I want to talk to you about relationships, specifically, your relationship with God. Relationships can be confusing.

If you think your family has problems, consider the marriage mayhem created when 76-year-old Bill Baker of London recently wed Edna Harvey. She happened to be his granddaughter’s husband’s mother. That’s where the confusion began, according to Baker’s granddaughter, Lynn.

"My mother-in-law is now my step-grandmother. My grandfather is now my stepfather-in-law. My mom is my sister-in-law and my brother is my nephew. But even crazier is that I’m now married to my uncle and my own children are my cousins."

From this experience, Lynn should gain profound insight into the theory of relativity.

Campus Life, March, 1981, p. 31.

The reason that a personal relationship can be frightening for some is because it contains a concept that, for many people, creates an image of a place where we become exposed to those around us and open ourselves to being seen at our most basic level – the inner man. I’m talking about the word “intimacy”. For many intimacy is just a word that is used but not one that has truly been experienced. Webster’s dictionary defines “intimacy” as, “the quality or state of being intimate…” and intimate is, “being on familiar especially affectionate personal terms…” One of the definitions that is also given refers to sexual relations. That is the world’s rendition of intimacy. True intimacy goes beyond the physical realm and reaches into the spiritual.

And that leads us to the place I want to take you today – intimacy with God. Maybe I’m being naïve, but I would hope that each of you would really desire to reach the place in your spiritual life where you can have the deep kind of relationship with God that could only be termed as “intimate”. You see, intimacy involves two people knowing the deepest secrets about one another. The good news is that, if you want to be in that place, you’re already half way there. God already knows your innermost thoughts. He knows what is taking place in your inner man. He knows the real you. Now for this to be a real intimate relationship you must know and understand the heart of God. You can do that!

Let’s look today at the three steps towards achieving intimacy with God.

I. THE FIRST STEP TOWARDS INTIMACY WITH GOD IS RECOGNIZING THAT GOD KNOWS YOU. (27-28) I believe that the world is divided into three categories of people. #1 - There are people who deny the very existence of God or at the very least do not want to make the effort to find out if there is a God. These are the people of whom the Psalmist speaks in Psalm 53:1, “The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” #2 - These people believe that there is a God but deny that He is willing to be involved in their lives. Psalm 8:4, “What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him?” People deny that God desires to be intimate with mankind because to them it just doesn’t make sense. 27Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel: “My way is hidden from the LORD, and my just claim is passed over by my God”? Even though God has revealed Himself as a loving and caring God throughout history man’s “intelligence” stands as a roadblock to intimacy. #3 – This group of people know God’s nature and His desire for intimacy. 28Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. Isaiah is asking the question, “After all that God has done to make Himself known to mankind, how can you doubt?” I had a conversation with an acquaintance the other day. I asked him if he had a church home. His response was, “I find God in the creation – in nature – and that is good enough for me.” Then I asked him this question. “Did you ever stop to consider the kind of relationship that God wants to have with you? By saying that you can sense God better in nature than in church is saying that you want a relationship with God but that you want it on your terms. And those terms are rather one-sided because all that happens in nature is that you can know there is a God. God isn’t going to teach you about your sin by you looking at a mountain. He won’t show you your need for a Savior by displaying the stars in the night sky. You’ll never know that Jesus died on a cross for your sin by listening to the sound of the sea crashing on a rocky shore. And you’ll never hear a rosebud tell you, “Jesus is alive.” Nature will never tell you that His understanding of you is more than you can ever fathom. He knows you better than you know yourself. The first step towards intimacy with God is confessing that. Hebrews 11:6, “6But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

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