What in the World is “Intimacy” with God?

Every now and then, I will hear a pastor make reference to the concept of intimacy with God. Unfortunately, that is all it ever is: a vague hint at an idea that never gets explained to the rest of us.

What is intimacy? Well, we should probably start with what it is not.

Intimacy with God is not an achievement. This was hard for me to get past. I always assumed that one found intimacy after being a better Christian than everyone else.

It is not a state of bliss. Sure, it can be, but it is not likely to be.

Intimacy with God is where we learn to quiet ourselves to the point where we can hear the whispers of the Holy Spirit. At first, we may literally have to quiet our environment, stop what we are doing, and get completely still before God, not asking for anything, but just tuning our hearts to His. With practice, as Hebrews 5:14 refers to, you may not need to quiet your environment nearly as much. You may train yourself to hear the voice of God in your heart, in the midst of chaos and confusion. And, I might add, that is exactly where you will want to be able to hear Him.

Intimacy with God means that you interact with God, that you hear His voice within you, and that you respond to His promptings.

It does not mean that you have arrived at the pinnacle of spirituality, that you have reached maturity, or that you are actively pursuing your Father’s business. After all, the Bible is full of examples where God spoke to ungodly people and even to people in the middle of their sin. Hearing God’s voice within you is not a measure of your spirituality-there is nothing you can boast of.

If you cannot decipher His voice from all the other noise, it is most helpful to pray with other believers who do hear Him. Beyond this, if you feel really stuck, there may be some personal baggage, i.e. perspectives, that are blocking you from hearing Him.

If you cannot hear Him, how will you receive your unique calling? Intimacy is for every child of God, and I guarantee you He is communicating with you, whether you can yet distinguish His voice or not.

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One response to “What in the World is “Intimacy” with God?

  • J Steele

    Thanks for delving into that (Brandon?) Those of us that grew up with religion get used to terms like ‘intimacy’ and forget the real meaning or how it truly plays out in our journey.
    Intimacy is a relational thing for sure and God knows we all need help with our relationships, with Him and with others. The best relationships usually come about by being introduced and connected. If it’s a functional, healthy one then the intimacy just grows naturally over time. It is a travesty that it can be framed in a canned, religious way.
    Thanks for the fresh view on the core of our existence!

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