Summary: This series will assist you in developing and deepening your relationship with God.
SPIRITUAL INTIMACY BEGINS WITH A LIFE PHILOSOPHY.
Psalm 73:25-28 Whom have I in heaven but You? And besides You, I desire nothing on earth. 26 My flesh and my heart may fail, But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. 28 But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord GOD my refuge, That I may tell of all Your works.
Just as the Psalmist yearned for God – it should be the desire of every believer to want to go deeper in their relationship with the Father.
Augustine, The City of God ‘There is a God-shaped vacuum in every man that only Christ can fill.’
I. THE BIBLICAL EXAMPLES OF SPIRITUAL INTIMACY
When you read the Scriptures you are immediately impressed with the depth of experience that many had with God.
☛ Abraham became God’s friend - James 2:23
☛ Enoch walked with God - Gen. 5:22,24
☛ Jacob saw God face to face - Gen. 32:30
☛ Moses spoke to God face to face as a man speaks to his friend - Exodus 33:11
☛ Gideon saw the Angel of the Lord face to face - Judges 6:22
☛ David was a man after God’s own heart - Acts 13:22
☛ Daniel found favor with God - Daniel 10:11,19
☛ Mary found favor with God - Luke 1:28
In a brutal, self seeking, self serving world
✖ where sex is nothing more than a physical act
✖ where there is no sense of loyalty
✖ where marriages have prenuptial agreements.
✖ where euthanasia, abortion are the values of the day rather than honoring life and respecting the elderly....
✖ intimacy is a word that has become endangered.
Yet, God wants us to have an intimate relationship with him. He pictures this relationship in various ways in the Scripture.
A. THE SHEPHERD AND HIS SHEEP. A shepherd knows his sheep - his sheep hear his voice. He is willing to lay down his life for his sheep. He comforts and protects with his rod and staff. God is like a Shepherd.
B. A HUSBAND AND WIFE. God pictures Himself as Israel’s bridegroom in Isaiah and Jeremiah. Christ is the bridegroom for his church in Ephesians 5.
C. AS A FATHER AND CHILD. The story of the Prodigal is not given to tell us that there will be prodigals, it is given to give us insight into what the Father is like. He is loving, longing, waiting for his prodigals to come into fellowship with him.
Jesus told us that God the Father is ‘Abba’ Father. We are his children through the blood of His Son Christ Jesus.
II. THE PERSONAL NEED FOR SPIRITUAL INTIMACY.
There will forever be a tension between intimacy and keeping a holy reverence for God.
TOO MUCH EMPHASIS ON EITHER SIDE WILL LEAD US TO GET OUT OF BALANCE.
The reason many don’t have an intimate relationship with God is that they know facts about God but don’t know God.
A. W. Tozer “You and I are in little (our sins excepted) what God is in large. Being made in His image we have within us the capacity to know Him. In our sins we lack only the power. The moment the Spirit has quickened us to life in regeneration our whole being senses its kinship to God and leaps up in joyous recognition.
That is the heavenly birth without which we cannot see the kingdom of God. It is, however, not an end, but an inception, for now beings the glorious pursuit, the heart’s happy exploration of the infinite riches of the Godhead....
To have found God and still to pursue Him is the soul’s paradox of love, scorned indeed by the too-easily satisfied religionist, but justified in happy experience by the children of the burning heart.”
A. SPIRITUAL INTIMACY IS A LIFE OBJECTIVE.
ALL OVER THE WORLD - PEOPLE ARE LOOKING FOR MEANING/ PURPOSE IN LIFE.
☛ WHY AM I HERE? WHY WAS I BORN?
☛ WHAT DOES GOD WANT ME TO DO W/ MY LIFE?
The issue is - your sense of purpose – your philosophy of life. If you want your life to count for something – to have eternal value, you have to start with your philosophy of life.
R. Buckminster Fuller, ‘Philosophy gains validity by the practical application of its general principles.’
In other words – my philosophy of life is my way of life. Your world view.
HOW YOU USE THE TIME GOD HAS GIVEN YOU WILL LARGELY DETERMINE WHAT LEVEL OF INTIMACY YOU HAVE.
I want to give you the basic philosophy that has driven me most of my ministry. I want to encourage each of you to develop your own philosophy of life – your purpose statement. Then, begin to adjust your life, schedule, hobbies, interests, use of time in light of it.