Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Intimacy with God

We all want more intimacy with God. Like David who said “As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, O God” (Ps 42:1), we have a longing for Him. We would like to experience something of what Job described: “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes" (Job 42:5-6). We long to experience what great men and women have experienced. One problem that occurs for many of us is that we try to imitate the experience of others while diminishing our own experience with God.

I have seen people read books on prayer and spiritual growth and try to emulate the experience in the book. The person in the book sometimes shares their personal journey with all the wonderful and glowing reports of intimacy with God. The person reading the book and trying to duplicate the experience isn’t able to and therefore experiences disappointment. I think intimacy with God is too personal to be duplicated or copied. We do ourselves a disservice to try to imitate others.

Our goal is to love God and worship him from our own heart and experience. We do well to learn from men like David and Job, but to remember that God loves each of us uniquely. The more we know about God and the more he is revealed to us through his Word and the Holy Spirit, the more we will want to worship him. Our experience is far too personal to be compared to anyone else, no matter who they are.

The closer we get to God, the more aware we are of our own spiritual need. Isaiah had a vision of God’s greatness. He saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. There were powerful angels with six wings. They called to one another: "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory." The whole experience caused Isaiah to see his spiritual need and cry out to God. In the vision God sent an angel with a live coal and touched his lips and atoned for his sin (Isaiah 6:1-8). True intimacy with God makes us aware of our spiritual need and causes us to worship and glorify God. Often people do the opposite; they boast of their intimacy and glorify themselves. God does not share his glory with anyone (Isaiah 42:8).

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