Friday, February 23, 2024

Intimacy with God: No More Limitations

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A. W. Tozer shared his thoughts about intimacy with God and what it meant: “What's closest to your heart is what you talk about, and if God is close to your heart, you'll talk about Him.” However, intimacy is a word that many frown upon. People think that being intimate with God is for special people only. People assumed intimacy with God was a special call that an average person could not experience. They felt disqualified due to compromised sinful Christian life. Others claim it is too hard to figure out the 'how' to's of being intimate with God.”  Unfortunately, those claiming intimacy with God but never describing the process of attaining it are useless to many trying to achieve it.

Moses, as the prophet of God, provided a glimpse of what intimacy meant: “11Thus the LORD used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. When Moses turned again into the camp, his assistant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, would not depart from the tent” (Exodus 33:7-11 ESV). Moses showed a glimpse of seeking intimacy with God and how God responds to genuine seekers and His willingness to accommodate those who wholeheartedly seek it. Enduring Word Commentary[1] shared this insight:

 “Moses was unique because of his personal intimacy with God. The term face to face does not literally mean “physical face to physical face,” but it has the idea of free and unhindered communication. Moses had a remarkably intimate relationship with God.”

Here’s how the Scripture described Moses and his desire for intimacy with God when he made a daring request to God, “Now therefore, if I have found favor in your sight, please show me now your ways, that I may know you in order to find favor in your sight.” (Exodus 33:13 ESV). Then God replied to Moses, “And the LORD said to Moses,This very thing that you have spoken I will do, for you have found favor in my sight, and I know you by name” (Exodus 33:17 ESV).

One important lesson about this episode: God always welcomes, with open arms, any requests for insights into His heart and purposes through intimacy with Him. Being intimate with God cannot happen without anyone seeking it with the intensity of desire and complete humility. God hears and accommodates His people, especially in matters involving intimacy with Him.

Moving forward, Jesus provided the best picture of intimacy with His Father:

At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; 26yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. 27All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” (Matthew 11:26-30, ESV)

The most important revelation is this: God sent His Son Jesus to re-establish an intimate relationship with God’s people through His Son Jesus. In the Old Testament, intimacy with God is shown only with specific individuals God chose. Thus, God, in His great love for humanity, made intimacy possible again through His Son Jesus.

From Adam and Eve’s intimacy with God, Enoch’s walk with God, and Moses’ intimacy with God, a common thread exists, i.e., each had limitations on the revelations of God and the level of intimacy experienced. However, when Jesus walked the earth, He revealed a specific distinction between His intimacy with God and the new level of intimacy with anyone who believes Him:

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.” “…Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.” (John 14:6-7, 9 ESV)

Simply stated, intimacy is God’s idea. God sent His Son Jesus and made it happen. Now, it’s your turn. When you surrender your life to Jesus, the path to intimacy with God begins.

Let me end with this insight from Malcolm Webber:[2]

When they saw the Lord Jesus, they saw the Father. When they heard the Lord Jesus, they were listening to the Father. When they touched the Lord Jesus, they were touching God. This was how Jesus lived. This was the source of all of His life and ministry, inward union with His Father.

Let’s talk again!