Intimacy is defined as being closely acquainted or very familiar with someone. Often when we think about intimacy we think of it in relation to marriage. Intimacy is knowing someone; it’s knowing what they like and dislike, what hurts them, what makes them feel valued. But intimacy goes beyond that-intimacy is engaging each other’s hearts.
How do we engage Jesus’ heart when we can’t visibly see Him, reach out and touch Him, or audibly hear Him? How do we KNOW HIM?
Three ways that help to facilitate intimacy with Jesus are spending time reading His Word, praying and fasting.
Reading the Word is like reading a biography. It tells us so much about God, what He values, what He’s like. If we’re not reading it, we are missing one of the easiest ways available to know more about Him.
Spending time in prayer is a great way to build intimacy! Jesus longs to hear our thoughts and feelings as well as tell us things about Himself. Prayer is both listening to God and talking to Him.
Fasting is voluntarily humbling ourselves and requires us to depend on God’s strength and power to sustain us. Fasting drives us to a constant awareness of our need for God.
I think that religion is the opposite of intimacy with Jesus. We can do all 3 of these things (and many more!) in an effort to become more intimate with Jesus, but we’re caught in religion if we are doing these things to be good and well-thought of, rather than doing them in obedience to Christ! Real obedience to Christ comes out of wanting to know Him and have an intimate relationship with Him!
The Pharisees, the “good, righteous” leaders of the first century, spent lots of time memorizing the Law and praying and fasting publicly, but they were doing it for all the wrong reasons and completely missed Who Jesus was. They spent time with Him but completely missed Him!
The body of Christ needs to recognize again that KNOWING JESUS is completely what it’s all about! It’s not knowing Jesus AND…anything!! Knowing Jesus is where it’s at! Everything else will flow from that!
What steps have helped you to get to know Jesus better? Have you ever “discovered” that religion was motivating you rather than wanting to know Jesus?