What does it mean when Christians talk about having intimacy, or a deep relationship, with Jesus? There are many ways to describe it and experience it. I will talk about one way of entering into that intimacy or fellowship with Jesus and continuing in it all day.
Read a passage in the Word and meditate on it. For instance, this morning I meditated on the first few verses in John 14. I read the verses and then talked to the Father about them:
Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. I pray, “Father, I am often troubled by things at work and home. People can tell me not to worry, but when Jesus says it, when the almighty God says it, then that is enough. He can actually do something with all my troubles; He can support me through them and use them for good. So I cast my burdens on You. I will believe you for them. I believe in a God who cannot lie; in the same way I will believe in Jesus and His promises, for He cannot lie either.”
In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. “Father, thank you for the glorious future you have in mind. No matter what man, demon, or nature throws our way, Your destined future will come to pass. I will end up in a palace with the Lord of Glory to light my way. The one who laid down His life for me in love is building a place of astonishing splendor for me and those who love Him. I can’t wait to see it! You who have laid down Your sinless life for my sake and blessed me with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places want to bless me with an incalculably great future. What a wonderful Savior I have. What troubles I experience here are nothing compared to the glory you have in store for me.
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. “Father, I look forward to the coming of Jesus Christ. He will usher in the new kingdom, new creation, new heaven and earth. With Him will be filled to overflowing every blessing promised in Your Word. He is coming for me and everyone who loves Him. We will be together, and never again be separated, not by place nor by sin. My greatest desire will finally be fulfilled. Jesus is my exceedingly great reward. All that I long for in a perfect world will be found in Him and His reign here. Come Lord Jesus! Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven.”
What happens after a morning time with meditation and prayer? We get up and walk into the world. That moment is critical, for the moment we get up to greet the day is the moment with the day’s worries and tensions start to crush us. So we take note of this and put on the armor of light – perhaps it is the word we received just that morning. We get ready to fight the good fight of faith. We are aware that the devil, like a bird, wants to snatch away the seed we received, that we may be unfruitful and ashamed when we stand before the Lord.
So we enter the world with a mind to fight to retain what we’ve received. When the cares enter in, we immediately recognize how different their tone is from the Word we received that morning and we reject it; we give it to God and stop the thoughts immediately. We notice the work of the flesh raising its weapon to cut off our meditation, to draw us out of our Christ-centeredness and into the mud. We notice that the worlds draws us away from the Lord by its many delights of the eye and ear. We are watchful because we know our weaknesses and His strength; He will not tempt us beyond what we are able to bear.
The treasures we received that morning are worth fighting for. In those words are eternal life. We read that we are to believe Christ, so we reject all that contradicts Him. We bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. We fight the good fight of faith. We reject all the “whys” we plaintively ask of God that drain us of faith.
When the enemy attacks, you fight with victory verses. “Greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world.” “To him who overcomes, I will grant to sit with Me on My throne.” “In the world you will have tribulation. But be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” You do have memory verses, don’t you?
In time, God sees that we are serious about a life with Him and He responds by embellishing our works with His joy and peace. We do not need to fake it with phony smiles; Christ’s life is lived through us as we choose to follow Him in earnest (where in the past it was just believing things about Him). When we get these greater treasures, we hunger for more and mourn what we have lost over the years we have spent following the values of a foolish world. We had chosen the American Dream instead of the Almighty to save; we chose ease and comfort over the heavenly Comforter. We wanted the world’s present riches instead of the rewards which won’t perish with the using, nor rust corrupt, nor thief steal. Knowing what we have, we are watchful against sin, lest we endanger what we’ve gained.
With this approach, there’s no room for boredom in the Christian life. It’s warfare, but it’s joy too. It’s worth fighting for, because though the Bill of Rights gives us Americans the right of the pursuit of happiness, only God can actually fulfill it with that deep and abiding sense of His life within. And with a pursuit of intimacy with God, that very life dawns in us.
Are you bored? Then you have laid your armor down. You have not been fighting, but melting in the heat as a chocolate soldier. You have succumbed to the shallow ways of the world that don’t satisfy. You have not seen the beauty of the Lord and desired it for yourself. The surpassing riches He promises to those who overcome are overlooked in favor of silly baubles.
Intimacy can be yours, but it comes at a price. You can’t find it on Twitter, YouTube, apps, email, Facebook, Flipbook, or a thousand other ever-updating, addictive streams. The promises of God are in a Person, and that means building up a relationship of trust in Him. It takes time and commitment, two things sadly lacking in churchgoers today who are committed instead to the frenzied digital juggernaut.
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.” These are not only words in a book, but the heartfelt assurance that David enjoyed with God. “He restores my soul.” In a world of turmoil, David looked to the Resurrection and the Life for sustenance – and found it again and again. “I will fear no evil, for You are with me.” God was not a mere religious belief to David; his experiences of God’s past deliverance his given him hope for future troubles.
It’s never too late to experience the love of God for yourself. Start a life of intimacy with God. Open the Book and read, and talk to the Lord about what you find. And fight the good fight of faith, believing what you read, because it’s a treasure that will give dividends for a long time to come, and sustain you in every need.