Developing Intimacy With God

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

I love having intimate time with the Lord. Sometimes that happens in the middle of the night when I have awoken and can’t fall back to sleep. Instead of fretting over a loss of sleep, I read my bible, pray and spend time thanking God for every good thing in my life—and for the grace to get through the coming day! Not only is that time special, but in short order, it brings me  to where I can fall back asleep.

I have many places and times and atmospheres where I have intimate time with the Lord. Each Spring after the snows melted and everything comes back to life, I create a couple of quiet places in my garden where I can sit and spend time with Him. Frankly, I can turn just about any place into an atmosphere of intimacy with Him. I can because I’ve learned how important it is to be able to pause and bring Him into every situation.  1 John 5:13-15 (NLT) “I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may KNOW you have eternal life. And we are confident that He hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases Him. And since we know He hears us when we make our requests, we also know that He will give us what we ask for.” 

I read His Word expecting God to speak to my heart  through the scriptures in a relevant way. I pray the promises He reveals in His Word with great confidence, knowing that Heaven and earth will move because God is faithful! And these verses from God produce great confidence and intimacy in me.

Like anyone, I can have those moments where I want to experience intimacy with God but my mind is too preoccupied with the all that is going on around me. In those busy moments my time with God and in prayer could easily feel one way. Years ago as a younger Christian, I might have panicked and thought, What’s wrong? Why am I not feeling God’s presence in the same way. Did I do something wrong? God are you mad at me? Am I out of Your will? and on and on. In those times, I’m usually so preoccupied the demands of life that I’m only half focused on the Lord and not really with Him and Him alone! You know what I’ve learned to do in those times? I’ve learned to have momentary escapes—even if only for 5 minutes. I’ve learned to go into a bathroom or some place alone, close the door, and lift my arms in worship to God. Having even just a few minutes alone telling Him of your love and your confidence in His love toward you, helps bring intimacy!

As I matured in the Lord, God’s word became my truth and anchor. It kept me from drifting because of erroneous feelings. Feelings are so fickle. Good or bad, they don’t last and can’t be allowed to direct your life! Now I know better. God never leaves me. He never forsakes me. To the contrary, His word teaches me, “Draw close to God, and God will draw close to you.” (James 4:8) When we purposely draw near to God with the promise of Him drawing near to and speaking to us, then we have to remember the primary way God speaks to us. He primarily speaks to us through His Word. When Jesus taught His disciples to pray, He taught the to pray,  “Give us this day our daily bread…” He was not teaching them to pray for food or provision. He was teaching them to meditate on the scriptures—His Word, and listen for the Word of God to speak to their hearts each and every day. Why? Because we need help, direction, correction, peace, and a power boost from the Lord every day or our lives. That is what the Word of God is to us! Hebrews 4:12 (NIV) says, “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” 

Do you need wisdom? Do you have a problem? Are you feeling discouraged? Are you hungry to know God more intimately? How do you think He is going to address those desires in your heart? Through His Word! That’s how He leads you. That’s how He corrects and instructs you! That’s how He leads you into the miracles you’ll experience in your life. It’s through His Word rising up in your heart, that those personal, special, and intimate times come.

So even when I am in the grinding-it-out times during busy periods in my life, and may not be feeling any of the goosebumps of intimacy I’d love to sense when I am spending time with God, I have no doubt that the Lord is with me. I have no doubt that He hears every word, and that He appreciates that I live by faith and not by feelings. He never changes and I cannot let feelings dictate my faith. I let faith dictate my feelings.  And so, as I did today, I will continue to sing to Him, pray, and meditate on God’s word and great love for us. And I’ll continue to pray for you all! I know God hears my prayers! Spending time with God is special whether it feels intimate or not and whether I get goosebumps or not. It’s simply great to spend time with the Lord! And because I see it that way, it is intimate!

Psalm 73:28 NLT “But as for me, how good it is to draw near to God! I have made the Sovereign Lord my shelter, and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things He does.”

In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt 

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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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