When I first gave my life over to God I was learning so much about Jesus Christ and who He is. I had heard the term “having a personal relationship with Jesus” but I wasn’t really sure what that meant. How can you have a relationship with someone you can’t actually see or hear? It was very confusing to me. Yet my heart cried out for more of God. I wanted desperately to be able to see and hear Him and know Him on a personal level. I didn’t see how that was even possible. That is until I had my first intimate encounter with Jesus.
For most of my life I was very depressed. I remember being very new to Christianity and sitting on the couch weeping uncontrollably because sadness has swept over me like a northern wind. I wanted nothing more than for Jesus to be there holding me. And then suddenly He was. All it took was opening myself to the possibility that it could be so. I felt comfort wash over me. His love became so real in that moment, and I knew that Jesus really was there, holding me and comforting me. This experience revolutionized my intimacy with Jesus. Once I had but a taste of that kind of intimacy with Him, I wanted more, more, more!
I have been very hurt in my past. I was abused and felt abandoned by God. So even as a child I began building up a wall around myself, so I could be protected from being hurt. Unfortunately I was also blocking out the love of God trying to penetrate through to me. God is a gentlemen, and He does not barge His way in. He waits for us to ask Him to come in, and only then does He invade our heart and mind. It took me a long time before I was ready to let down some walls and let in God, but once I did I have never regretted it. It has only led me to healing all of the pain and damage that has been done through my life. Little by little the walls come down, and I am able to know my Lord more and more. Intimacy with God is the most wonderful thing in the world. We do not have to wait until we go to heaven to have Jesus – we can have Him right now!!
My heart says of you, “Seek his face!” Your face, LORD, I will seek.
As I look around the church, I fear that many Christians do not have an intimacy with God. They have not experienced Him personally and may not even realize they can. It is very easy to get caught up in the distractions of the world and not realize that you have made God your second best. I often wonder how many people are teaching their children how to live a life with God, not just for Him. When we focus on living our life for God, we might get caught up in justifying ourselves through our good works. We must also partner with Jesus, hand in hand, so that we can really know Him and His amazing love for us. Jesus said we would do even greater things that he did – that is going to happen through intimacy and fellowship with our Lord.
How many people are sending their children to church every Sunday and letting the Sunday school teacher do all the work of teaching their children about Jesus? Do they talk about God at home? Do they read the Word of God to them and pray with them? Do they help them to foster intimacy with our Lord Jesus? Do they do these same thing for themselves, modeling it for their children? Or do they get caught up in the ways of the world, and forget about the passion they once had for God. If they ever had it in the first place. It is never to late to have a passion for God. He is graciously extending His hand to you for intimacy, with no condemnation whatsoever. He longs for you; earnestly desires to sit and talk with you. He already knows the deepest desires of your heart. Do you know His?
God is calling you out right now, and asking you to be still and bend a listening ear to Him. Find a quiet place to get comfortable and begin to know intimacy with your Father. You can sit or kneel, or whatever you find to be best. Close your eyes and begin to praise God. Praise Him for being Holy and Perfect and True. Praise Him for loving you and for Jesus shedding His blood on the cross for you. Praise Him for creating our beautiful world and giving us so many wonderful blessings. Praise Him for how amazing and wonderful He is; slow to anger, abounding in love, full of grace and mercy. Praise Him for calling you sons and daughters of the Most High God.
I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him.
2 Corinthians 11:2
Praise and worship invites God right into the room and your heart. Tell Him you are sorry for not being available in this relationship with Him. Thank Him for always being available for you, and for not looking down on you for walking away from intimacy with Him. Ask Him to come in and invade your heart and mind in that very moment. Ask Him to release His power right where you are. Ask Him to fill you with His love. Tell Him that you desire Him. More of Him. Then sit and be still, and quiet. Allow your senses to be flooded with His holy presence. Do not fear things that you may see or feel. You may begin to have visions or have a supernatural experience. You may not understand some of the things that happen. Just relax and let God work in you. Ask Him what He is showing you or telling you. If you fear it is not of God, then ask for confirmation from Him, and if it lines up with who God tells us He is in scripture.
As you sit during this quiet time, imagine what it would be like if Jesus was right there with you. What does He look like? I love the description in Revelation that says He has eyes like blazing fire and feet like bronze glowing in a furnace. He is powerful and majestic! If Jesus were with you in that very moment, what would He be doing? Would He sit next to you? Hold His hand out to you? Embrace you? Open yourself to His presence fully. What does He have to say to you? Embrace this moment of intimacy with the one that who died for you.
God wants to invade your life in a powerful way through this amazing intimacy with Him. We were created as spiritual beings in a physical shell. We need to remember that the spiritual realm is all around us, and we are a part of it. If we ignore it and pretend it’s not real, we are missing out on an amazing intimacy with God that we were created for. God made us to experience the supernatural, but we relegate Him to that which we can understand in our own limited minds. Growing intimacy with Jesus everyday does not have to take hours. You could start with just 10 minutes a day! I guarantee you that once you begin to experience God in a very real way, 10 minutes will not be nearly long enough! You will begin to long for intimacy with Him, just like He is longing for you!
I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things.
During times I have sat down alone with Jesus, I have had many wonderful experiences. I have seen Jesus Christ Himself, and felt His great love. I have grown my intimacy with Him, which has allowed me to hear His voice more clearly. I have doubted and wondered if the things I was seeing or experiencing were real, but I had scriptural confirmation on all of my experiences. I told my husband how to invite Jesus in to sit with Him during His quiet time, and he too was revolutionized in His intimacy with Jesus Christ. He saw Jesus come and sit right next to Him on the couch. He felt His presence and heard Him speak to Him. My husband has such a wonderful intimacy with God, he can clearly hear His voice when he talks to Him. This is not something that just some people can experience. You don’t have to be special, or well versed in the Bible or have been a Christian for a long time. This intimacy with God is for everyone! We are all sons and daughters of the King and are welcome into the very throne room of God! It is up to us to make the first move and invite Him into our lives.
Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me. Revelation 3:20
If you have tried growing intimacy with God, but can’t see improvement, there is something much bigger going on that just distractions of the world. If you find that no matter what you can’t hear God or feel God, you need to start looking inside to see if you have built a wall up. You may also be dealing with demonic oppression. Satan looks to steal us away from intimacy with God and kill our desire for Him. If you find yourself unable to read the Word of God or unable to understand it, you are looking at demonic oppression. If you cannot sit still and praise Him and wait on His presence, that is another sign of demonic oppression. Look at the life of Jesus Christ. It was full of intimacy with God the Father. He would often steal Himself away to pray and talk with His Father. We were created to have this same intimacy with God, so if you cannot find it no matter what you do, that is a sign that the devil has gotten a stronghold in you.
Strongholds are more common than you think. It is all to easy to fall prey to the ways of. the devil. Some of us let him in through past sins, and some let him in through current sins. Sometimes we also have generational and ancestral curses over our families, which bring strongholds into our lives. Jesus always has a way out of these strongholds, and always wants to bring us healing, so we can grow in our intimacy with Him. Never stop striving to grow your intimacy with Jesus Christ. He is within you and you have the power to rebuke the devil and his devices in your life. Stand firm against him and pray for God to give you wisdom on what brought the demonic oppression into your life. (I will be writing more about how to fight this very soon.)
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”