Sunday, September 29, 2013

(Guest Post) The Importance of Having an Intimate Relationship with God (One –on –One with God)



I admit that I might not be in the best position to write on this subject, as I am also still striving in this regard; however, I am persuaded to share my thoughts with you. Without trying to justify my ‘striving’, even Apostle Paul had envisaged this awkward plight of mine when he said in Romans 7:15, “For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do”.

The very essence of Christianity is a personal, intimate relationship with a God that completely changes us and every aspect of our being.  As we grow in spiritual maturity, our desire for an intimate relationship with Jesus increases – but at the same time we find this pursuit difficult.  At such times we often come up with questions such as: “How do I get closer to an unseen God?” “How do I hold a conversation with someone who seems to be so non- vocal?”

A lot of our confusion today begins with the word “intimate,” which has become clichéd because of the ongoing mania with sex. The dictionary defines intimacy as a close, familiar, and affectionate personal relationship. Having an intimate relationship with God begins the minute we realize our need for Him, admit we are sinners, and in faith receive Jesus Christ as our personal Savior.  Before the sin of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3), they both knew God on an intimate, personal level. They walked with Him in the garden and talked directly to Him. However due to the sin of man, we became separated and disconnected from God.

This personal relationship with God can be achieved through Jesus Christ and is not as hard to get as we might think, as there is no mysterious formula for getting it. I believe Christ died so we could have a robust, vital relationship with God, not just a code of rules and regulations we're forced to follow. Yes I do agree that there are certain guidelines God wants us to follow, but His sole purpose in giving them is to protect us from the consequences of sin.


How Do I Know God?
The first step in our journey for intimacy with the Lord is getting to know God for who He is, what He is able to do, what He thinks about us, and what He expects from us. Even though God is invisible and inaudible to our extrasensory perceptions, a close relationship with Him is developed just the same way human friendships are built through spending quality time together, good communication, vulnerability, and aligned interests.

Spending Quality Time Together.
You can't expect to intensify your relationship with God by talking with Him only once a week!  We will never gain intimacy with the Lord until we devote our time and effort to getting to know Him. A deserted relationship won’t grow in any way. But how, in the midst of the busy lives we all lead, can one build an effective daily prayer life?   If these are your thoughts, then the present demands of your schedules are denying you of a beautiful, timeless fortune; a profound, delightful fellowship with God. When two people are intimate, they need not speak words. Husbands and wives, and best friends alike, appreciate the bliss of being together. They can enjoy each other’s company, even in quietness.

Good Communication.
The easiest way to knowing God personally is through one-on-one communication. You might wonder that our prayers are often monologues rather than dialogues. When we come to Him with our catalog of requests, but how often do we carefully listen for His voice? Much as it is pleasurable to God answering our prayers, He also needs us to stay calm and pay attention to Him. Just like our mundane relationships, there should be no gap in our communication with God. Since He communicates with us essentially through His Word, that’s where we will most likely hear His voice. Try dialoguing with the Lord by praying as you read the Scriptures. It is possible to speak to God face to face as he knows us personally, even by our names.

Ponder on His words and ask Him questions such as: “What are You saying to me? How does this apply to my life?” Stay still and listen, allowing Him time to minister to your spirit. Bear in mind that whatever He says will never negate His Word. The more you listen, the more you’ll hear His voice, and soon your time with Him will become a meeting to look forward to. The Bible tells us that when Jesus died on the cross, the veil was torn into two by which we were granted access through the redemptive power in the blood of Jesus.
The bible makes it very clear that we should boldly enter the throne of God (Hebrew 4:16 Ephesians 2:18-22). By the reason of Jesus’ sacrificial death, we can now confidently approach God through our Lord Jesus without having to go through any other intermediary. It doesn’t matter whether you are an accomplished "prayer warrior" or a novice, we should be confident enough to approach God directly through Jesus and not let our pastors be our toll gate to God. We should believe and trust the reconciliatory power in the Blood of Jesus since access to God is not a monopoly of any pastor on earth.

Trust.
Equally important is our eagerness to be open and sincere, exposing every area of our lives to the Lord and trusting him with our deepest and darkest secrets. No one can be coerced into an intimate friendship with God since the depth of the relationship is determined by the extent of our transparency with Him. We must bear in mind that He already knows us inside and out and loves us more than our mortal minds can ever understand. If there's one thing we need to time and again, it's that God loves us dearly. That's all there is to it. He may not like everything we do, but He's never going to stop loving us. God is not impressed with our works at all. What He cares deeply about is our hearts. I have no doubt that the greatest thing God wants to hear from us is, "I love You, Lord”, “Thank You for everything You’ve done in my life” amongst others.

Aligned Interests.
If we’re going to grow in oneness with God, we must learn to align our interests with His interests. He is always attentive to our issues, but do we pay careful attention to His plans and purposes? Are we more interested in the Lord or in what He can give us? Our narcissistic prayers, lack of study of the Word, and our everyday rat race schedules all send an implied message to Him: “I am too busy to be interested in You!” If your intimacy with the Lord seems passive, perhaps you have strayed into an egocentric arena that is interfering with your walk with God.

Jesus never dismisses anyone who seeks him. He will equip you with every help you need to develop and sustain a profound, intimate relationship with him. The uniqueness of the Bible against other books is that it is God’s medium of speaking to us. It is a love letter written specially to you. The more you yearn for an intimate relationship with Jesus, the more personal that letter becomes you.

You were made for an intimacy with Jesus. It is your most vital mission for now, and till kingdom come!

Dewunmi Odebunmi.

5 comments:

  1. This is very nice. God bless you Dewunmi.

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  2. really deep and insightful

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  3. WOW! this is an awesome post, I was really moved and touched by this, thank you for taking time to share this, God bless you!

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  4. I love dis approach 2 knowin,knowin mor nd hearin God...so clear nd strait.no ambigious scriptural stuf dat makes u feel its a mountain 2 high 2 climb. God bles u dewunmi nd u 2 koye!

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