I’ve come to the understanding recently that Jesus not only wants, but yearns to have a thriving and intimate relationship with us, and is blessed when we do too.
But, what does it mean to be ‘intimate’ with Him?
I’ve narrowed down a few things I’m in the process of learning, while living on an island far far away… 😉
1. Pray. Pray. Pray.
Start by talking with Him. More than you are now. Imagine Him sitting right beside you. Bring Him into every aspect of your life. Tell Him about how your day’s going. Ask Him for words of wisdom when you aren’t sure how to respond to someone. Ask Him to keep you safe on the roads and the streets. Tell Him that the beauty He created is beautiful. Worship Him aloud with your hands lifted high. Thank Him for the day as you drift off to sleep. Be constantly engaged in conversation with the one who made you.
2. Read the Bible and be creative
Recently I bought pencil crayons and coloured pens so I could colour or underline different verses according to my key that I wrote at the front page of my Bible.
(I use Dave Overholt’s key (below) – he came and spoke at Young Adult in November)
- God’s will or commandments (ie. “Always count it joy when you fall into various trials,”) (light green)
- Promises of God (ie. “the testing of your faith produces patience.”) (orange)
- Qualities of God (ie. “God’s mercy is new every morning.”) (purple)
- Prayer (prayers by people in the Bible, or instructions to pray) (blue)
- Prophecy (ie. Ps. 22:14-18, Isaiah 7:14, 52:13-53:12, Micah 5:2.) (pink)
- Salvation/witnessing (ie. “The Kingdom of Heaven is near”) (yellow)
- Favourite verses (black)
I just finished colouring in Proverbs. You should try it. Read a Proverb a day. There’s 31 in total. Do it for a month. Follow the above key. It’ll help you slow down and give you time to chew on the words. I think you’ll love it – I definitely do. 🙂
Read the Word. Learn from the Word. Dig deep into the Word. Apply the Word to your life.
3. Exercise listening
“Jesus is a gentleman. His voice is soft and gentle. All we need to do is listen”. – Dave Overholt.
I have an exercise for you to do. Grab a pen and paper, or open your notes app on your phone, and have a conversation with God. Here’s the question I was given when I was encouraged to do this exercise:
“Your Word tells me that you think about me everyday. Could you reveal some of your thoughts about me now?”
Now take a moment to close your eyes. Put some instrumental music on if you have it. And just listen.
Next, write down any thoughts that you think God placed in your head. And GO.
When I did that, I was in tears instantly. I experienced God in a way I never thought I could. And at that moment, I discovered that being intimate with God doesn’t mean verbal conversations. It’s not weird. It’s not uncomfortable. In fact, it’s quite amazing.
4. Be ready to hear from God – be ready to act
Romans 3:14 says, “For all those who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.”
Dave Overholt shared with us story after story about how God gave him a thought to do or words to tell someone, and how he was often given the gift of seeing how his actions came full circle when he listened and acted.
When you think of something odd to do, or something that blatantly makes you feel uncomfortable (in an out-of-your-comfort-zone kinda way), OR, if you have this reoccurring thought that doesn’t seem to go away, it’s probably from God! Dave calls them ‘God Taps’ and he followed that by saying “they’re an idea from God for someone else’s good.”.
…Because that’s God’s heart and character. Sacrifice. Humility. Grace. Love. (etc.) Attributes that we’re called to replicate. Jesus lived a very uncomfortable life – when He didn’t need to. He also doesn’t need us to live uncomfortably so he can use us; rather He wants us to so He can change us. How else will we learn to trust Him with our whole being? How else will He stretch us for our character to change? How else will He prepare us for what He has in store for us in Heaven? In other words, our lives are God’s projects. He’s holding the reigns. He’s ready to pour into us and let us thrive using the gifts He’s given us. All we need to do is let Him.
Listen to Him. Just listen. Be quiet and enjoy your moments with God. Seek out His Word. Give Him access to your heart. Let Him guide you in your everyday decisions. Be best friends with Jesus.
I’m praying for you, my friend. That you will experience Him in ways that can’t be described with words. That your intimacy with the One who holds you in the palm of His hand will flourish.