I grew up in a day when people’s hearts were deeply longing for something more and higher than this physical, material world. Many believers in Christ had a seemingly unquenchable hunger to know the Lord more in a deeper way. This desire was clearly evident by the kind of songs sung in Churches, the kind of prayers prayed in our prayer meetings, the kind of sermons preached, and the kind of fellowship among the brethren. The prayer meetings were packed with spiritually hungry hearts – people with ardent desire for God. But when you juxtapose those days and these days, one would want to ask ‘what’s gone wrong?’ Today, it seems our hunger for God has been cheaply satisfied with physical substances. Our songs are more focused on our physical needs than our need for the Lord, our selfish agendas come first in our prayer meetings, the sermons are regulated by the laws of demand and supply, altar calls for salvation seem not to be the priority of the day and the conversation among brethren is clouded by other selfish desires. Whatever had gone wrong, we earnestly pray that there be a restoration to the Divine order in Jesus’ Name!
Intimacy with God doesn’t just happen, it is built overtime. Intimacy with God is a personal thing just as it is with every other relationship. The more mature we become as believers the richer our fellowship with God becomes if we are truly cultivating it. There are things that don’t just happen to us in life, we make them happen. The decision to develop intimacy with God is the second most important decision we’d have to make in life. The first most important decision is to receive Jesus Christ as our only Saviour and Lord because there can’t be any fellowship or intimacy without a relationship – that’s the foundation for everything else. However, fellowship is the life of every relationship. To develop intimacy with God (just as it is with anyone else), we must spend quality time and attention on Him. What you spend the most of your time on or give the most of your attention to really tell your definition of value. You can’t say that God is the number one in your life and you don’t spend quality time with Him. You can’t give God the leftovers of your time or other things and claim to have Him as the number one in your life.
The Lord says in 1Samuel 2:30 “...for them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed.” Honouring the Lord is based on the principle of the first and the best. It simply means that if we truly honour the Lord, He must come first in our lives and He must get the best of our everything! And when we’re not honouring the Lord this way, we’re simply despising Him – there are no middle grounds! We must stop those things that stop our advancement in developing our intimacy with God, those things that seem to want to take the first place in our lives instead of God. We must fight anything that wants to come between us and the Lord. Yes! It’s worth fighting for. It is very important you know that if you must go deeper in God, it can’t just happen with the time of the day you set aside for prayer. He must occupy your every thought, action, word etc. 24 hours of the day! You must be saturated with the consciousness of His presence. You must involve the Lord in every single thing you’re involved with. You must care about what He has to say concerning what you do. Your every decision must stem from your fellowship with Him. This helps you live from within, uninhibited by external forces! This helps you to easily hear when He speaks to you at any time. God is always speaking and only those who care to listen hear what He’s saying, just like tuning to a radio station.
In Psalm 42:7, the psalmist, by the Spirit of God, expresses a very powerful dimension to our intimacy with God. He says “Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me.” This helps us see that it is not the Lord who decides how deep we go with Him. We decide! It means that it’s up to us to decide how deep our intimacy with the Lord would be. The depth of our hunger or desire for the Lord will determine the depth of the fullness of God we’d receive and that is why we are all at different levels in our spiritual experiences. People always want to put all the responsibility on God forgetting that God gave man the responsibility to choose and He’ll never do that for any man. When you see a man who has decided to value intimacy with God in his life you’ll know. God decides to honour that man with the tangible manifestation of His presence. There’s something about that man who carries the presence of the I AM Himself. That man cannot be hidden and the Lord honours him with His tangible presence in order to set him apart from other men and to also draw men to Himself through him.
It is the Holy Spirit who brings us into intimacy with God! Without the Holy Spirit just forget about it. Apostle Paul, by the Holy Spirit, expresses this in the benediction of his second epistle to the Corinthian Church: “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.” (2Cor.13:14). It is the Holy Spirit who brings us into that oneness with Divinity. The Holy Spirit is God Himself and He ushers us into and sustains in that divine fellowship. Praise God! Thank God, the Lord Jesus says He’d abide with us forever (John 14:16). Intimacy with God begins with our earnest desire to know God more. The Holy Spirit stirs up that holy desire in our hearts but we must respond accordingly to make it happen. Many a times we don’t respond to the desires the Holy Spirit stirs up in us and so we lose out on the experiences He intended for us to have. We must learn to respond. We must learn to yield to Him.
Therefore, to sustain the development of our intimacy with the Lord, we must nurture our hunger for the Lord. Never allow anything to steal away your hunger – your ardent desire for God and His Kingdom. It’s really a great experience when everything that comes to you in life stems from your intimacy with the Lord. This makes you safe and secure because you now see God as your Source for everything including the smallest details of your life. This is one thing that will help us live unspotted by the world. Our hunger for God swallows up our hunger for the world and its evil pleasures.