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God’s Purpose for Intimacy

By Charles F. Stanley

For most of my life, I believed that the heavenly Father and I shared a relationship for my benefit. However, His primary purpose for creating intimacy with believers is to reveal Himself. The greatest tragedy for anyone, but especially for a churchgoer, is to die without knowing the Lord personally. But like any friendship, intimacy with God requires effort.

In a genuinely loving relationship, each person wants to know more about the other. As believers, we’re sometimes guilty of taking a more self-interested approach and forget that God is the rightful center of attention. Instead, we head to church or into quiet time looking for something to inspire us, motivate us, or help us.

Part of the problem is that we would like to practice our faith in the safest way possible. Bible study, prayer, and church are relatively easy, compared to stepping out in faith or enduring persecution. But to know God intimately is not a purely intellectual pursuit. A truth about the Lord is not truly ours until He works it into our daily life.

First, we must spend time with Him. Bible studies and church are good, but they don't count toward this requirement. We need to be alone with God, away from distractions and anything that might interfere with our communion. Susanna Wesley was mother to 18th-century evangelist John, hymn-writer Charles, and seven other children who survived to adulthood. She had her quiet time on a kitchen stool with her apron pulled over her head. When was the last time you got alone with the Lord and asked Him to speak to your heart?

Second, intimacy with God depends on our ability to listen. Most of the time, He will speak through Scripture. That's why we need to give reading and meditation high priority.

Third, we must speak to God transparently and hold nothing back. A loving relationship is built upon honesty. Each person should feel comfortable expressing both positive and negative emotions while still trusting the other's love. Of course, God already knows what is in our heart. But we must learn to trust Him with our deepest secrets.

Our Father wants His children to understand how He operates. The only way to gain that knowledge is by allowing God to unveil Himself in our life experiences. That means we must be willing to go through difficulty and pain as well as happiness and peace. A man can read that the Holy Spirit is the believer’s Comforter, but he does not know this truth until he has need of solace.

None of us would dare say that the God who saved us is not worthy of our attention. Yet many Christians act as if this were true. Intimacy with the Lord is a privilege. Do not waste the opportunity to be close to Him.

The Christian life is not about feeling good and deriving the greatest personal benefit from our connection to God. Rather, the Lord builds an intimate relationship with each of His followers. In that way, He can reveal more about Himself—truth by truth—as a believer needs that knowledge. What a privilege!

Copyright 2014 In Touch Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved. www.intouch.org. In Touch grants permission to print for personal use only.

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  • January 19, 2012 09:07 PM

    by

    Dr. Stanley, it is a blessing and truly a great encouragment to read your articles and daily devotions. Since I've been receiving "In Touch" magazine and studying "Life Principles Bible" my walk and talks with the Lord is totally new. Thank you Dr. Stanley! Through some of my most difficult moments of uncertainties.....God has spoken to me while studying the magazine and the bible. God bless..... "Walking In His Favor"
  • April 09, 2011 11:39 AM

    by

    Your words are words that connects one to the WORLD OF LIFE. Thanks sir! May more of it proceeds from your mouth, Amen!
  • April 08, 2011 08:47 AM

    by MaryB49

    Thank you so much, Dr. Stanley, for another truly inspiring and uplifiting message. I thank the Lord for you and your ministry. You are truly an awesome man of God.
  • April 07, 2011 10:57 PM

    by

    Thank you Dr Stanley for your down to earth services on the Vision Channel. I pray and trust the Lord every day and night for my his strength and wisdon daily and to watch over me at night. I ask and keep asking the Lord to speak to me but I only find peaceful sleep so when he's ready to speak to me I know he will and he always helps me in my finanical need and one day it will be a big big help full filled with his doing. Thank you and may God bless you richly every day.
  • April 07, 2011 02:36 AM

    by

    Dr. Stanley, You are truly a great pastor. Not only do you talk about God and His son Jesus in such a clear and concise way, you also teach people how to have an awesome relationship with the Lord. And for that I am truly grateful. Thank-you.
  • April 06, 2011 03:50 PM

    by

    Dr. Stanley, I look forward to your sermons every Sunday morning. When you speak the Word of God, I receive it like it was my own personal message. I try to apply the message to my daily living. Thank you, it means so much to me.
  • April 06, 2011 12:30 PM

    by

    God bless you ptr Stanley. Thank God thank you
  • April 06, 2011 05:47 AM

    by

    Imagine tha\\t, God desires to know us and to have us know Him. What a wonderfull comunionthat is. Thank you, Dr. Stanley.
  • April 05, 2011 02:07 PM

    by

    Wow! A whole new angle to knowing God. God has used you to minister to my very need of knowing him more than i do. It may be difficult atimes but i'll learn to trust and depend on him. Nseabasi, Nigeria
  • April 05, 2011 12:42 PM

    by

    Thank You Pastor Charles Stanley,
    Your topics are very inspiring and encourages my soul. You are a blessed man, May God richly bless you and up hold you with te right hand of his righteousness, that you will continue to bring inspiration to others. from the Cayman Islands
  • April 05, 2011 12:09 PM

    by

    God really used each one of us to extend His words to help other to see His ways.J2M2
  • April 04, 2011 12:50 PM

    by

    Pastor Stanley, Thank you for sharing.. I will try harder to listen to what God has to say to me.
  • April 04, 2011 11:39 AM

    by

    God Bless you all!
  • April 04, 2011 05:23 AM

    by

    I am SO blessed beyond what I could have imagined.This is something I have been going through personally as far as me trying to get something out of the Lord, when that is not the case at all. Its about Him not me or my feelings. I Love when He uses these snippets to speak directly to my heart !!
  • April 03, 2011 09:17 PM

    by

    I am so grateful for this inspiring message. God inspired me to turn on the TV and lhear just the words I needed to hear at this time. I m so thankful for this food for my soul. God bless you.
  • April 03, 2011 08:32 PM

    by

    A prior reader hit the nail on the head. Life is so distracting that I feel I need to be reminded everyday. Whenever I have the thought or am asked if I have been saved, I thank God that I am where I am (in America) and that I have the right to read the Bible and Serve the Lord in freedom. I have so many blessings in my life and have so much to be thankful for. God's Love for us is amazing and I just want to thank you Jesus for the incredible gift of love that You gave for our salvation. Thank you for the many gifts in my daily life and for always being in my life. I will try with more effort to Love and Serve you, to pray more and to come to know my Lord and Savior more intimately. With so much Love and Adoration, your loving daughter, Suzanne.
  • April 03, 2011 05:03 PM

    by

    Thankyou Paster Charles Stanley !!!!
    What a message .
    Amen.
  • April 03, 2011 04:59 PM

    by

    Thank you Pastor Stanley, this, along with your message this morning has been a tremendous blessing to me.
  • April 03, 2011 04:59 PM

    by

    thank you for such a revealation about intimacy with God. this ministration came when i needed it the most.
  • April 03, 2011 01:57 PM

    by

    Thank you for this message. Yes, you are so right. It is such a privlege to have an intimate relationship with our Lord and Savior and this is exactly what I need!!!!
  • April 03, 2011 01:34 PM

    by

    Excellent message. Thank you Dr. Stanley.
  • April 03, 2011 01:06 PM

    by

    I was searching this morning and your message really touched me! Thanks.
  • April 03, 2011 12:24 PM

    by

    Thank You Dr. Stanley. Your message my relationship with God was an answered prayer first with my relationship with God; and in my physical marriage. I prayed last night for a word from GOD and he answered my prayer through your message from him. I hope to see you on the Cruise to Alaska.
  • April 03, 2011 11:54 AM

    by

    i thank God everyday for being there, thank-you dr. stanley for helping me see Him
  • April 03, 2011 10:28 AM

    by

    Dr. Stanley, I thank God for you and your ministry. You are truly an anointed man of God.

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