Our Intimacy with God
Charles F. Stanley
Scripture: Psalm 63:1-8
I. Introduction: Do you have an intimate connection with God? The Father designed us with the emotional and spiritual capacity to have a loving, personal relationship with Him.
King David knew how to have an intimate relationship with the Lord. Although he was far from perfect, David had learned that only the Father's love could satisfy his heart's deepest longings (Ps. 63:3). The king passionately sought God through prayer, repentance, and obedience. From his example, you and I can learn how to enjoy closeness with the Father.
II. Man's Relationship with God
A. Direct. The Lord is the ultimate authority over each and every person's lifeóeven those who refuse to acknowledge His sovereignty.
B. Distinct. If you have trusted in Jesus' death on the cross to pay for your sin-debt, you've become one of God's children and have a unique relationship with Him.
C. Distant. Sometimes God's children allow their relationship with Him to suffer. They may attend church, but might not read their Bibles faithfully or know how to relate to the Lord in prayer. As a result, they excuse sin in their lives and don't have a sense of oneness with Him.
D. Developing. Some believers passionately pursue relationship with the Father on a continual, daily basisóregardless of life's circumstances.
III. Requirements for an Intimate Relationship with God
A. A Spiritual Focus. For most people, the word "intimacy" is associated primarily with sexuality. But genuine fellowship with God involves relating to Him on an emotional and spiritual level rather than a physical one.
B. Personal Involvement. The Lord created humans in His image so that all people could relate to Him on an individual basis. The Holy Spirit lives within every believer, giving each one the ability to develop a personal friendship with Christ.
C. Trust. Intimacy cannot exist without trust. If you and I refuse to surrender to and obey God, we can't expect to have an intimate relationship with Him.
D. Love. Oneness with God must be motivated out of love, not duty. Remember that God forgave you on the basis of Christ's death on the cross. You don't have to earn His affection. Let that fact motivate you to freely and genuinely devote yourself to knowing Him better.
E. Openness and Transparency. Confess specific sins and shortcomings to the Lord. Be honest with Him, and intimacy will grow.
F. Two-way Communication. Ask the Father to show you how to hear His guidance for your life, and set aside time to listen to Him.
G. Time and Effort. You must devote yourself to knowing the Lord if you want to experience the fullness of friendship with Him.
IV. Benefits of Intimacy with the Father
A. Stability. In the midst of life's storms, a solid relationship with God is your anchor.
B. Security. You can have the assurance that He is always with you, ready to help in any situation or circumstance.
C. Serenity. Intimacy gives you quietness and peace in your spirit, no matter what happens. You can trust that the Lord will guide you through difficulty.
D. Sensitivity. God will give you greater spiritual understanding and increased awareness to the needs of others. .
V. Barriers to Intimacy
A. Pride. Some put their trust in themselves and pursue relationships, accomplishments, or possessions instead of a relationship with the Father.
B. Rebellion. When we deliberately disobey the Lord, we cannot have intimacy with Him.
C. Hurry. Some people never find intimacy with God because they are always impatient.
VI. Conclusion: I pray your relationship with God is characterized by unity, surrender, and joy. But if you aren't experiencing intimacy with the Lord, He desires to reveal Himself in a personal way to you. Let go of pride, confess your sin and rebellion, and devote yourself to a relationship with Him. David wrote, "In Your presence is fullness of joy; in Your right hand there are pleasures forever" (Ps. 16:11). Only God can satisfy the deepest longings of your heart. Take time to discover the awesome depth of the Father's love through an intimate relationship with Him.
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