Discipleship Series #13 – A disciples heart was made for intimacy with God

Discipleship Series #13
A Disciples Heart Was Made For INTIMACY WITH GOD
By

Pastor George Lehman

(Our heart was made to be God’s home.)

 

The word Intimacy means: – * closely acquainted (to know a person /

up close and personal)

* Intimate friend – Someone you can trust

and confide in

* Relationship between – It’s a strong

bond, it’s always two sided

Paul’s greatest desire was for intimacy with God
Philippians 3:8 and 10 (Amp) – 8But more than that, I count everything as loss compared to the priceless privilege and supreme advantage of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord [and of growing more deeply and thoroughly acquainted with Him-a joy unequalled]. For His sake I have lost everything and I consider it all garbage, so that I may gain Christ.
10And this, so that I may know Him [experientially, becoming more thoroughly acquainted with Him, understanding the remarkable wonders of His Person more completely] and [in that same way experience] the power of His resurrection [which overflows and is active in believers], and [that I may share] the fellowship of His sufferings, by being continually conformed [inwardly into His likeness even] to His death [dying as He did].
How intimately do you want to know God?

It is possible to go through the motions of obeying God and His commands.

All this and yet: – not have an intimate relationship with God.                           So busy with the things of God and miss the God of the things.

Isaiah 45:5 (Msg) – “I AM GOD, the only God there is. Besides Me there are no real gods. I’m the One who armed you for this work, though you don’t even know Me.”

Did you know that Moses had this type of relationship in the beginning of his ministry with God?
Exodus 33:12-13 (Amp) – 12Moses said to the Lord, “See, You say to me, ‘Bring up this people,’ but You have not let me know whom You will send with me. Yet You have said, ‘I know you by name and you have also found favour in My sight.’ 13Now therefore, I pray you, if I have found favour in Your sight, let me know Your ways so that I may know You[becoming more deeply and intimately acquainted with You, recognizing and understanding Your ways more clearly] and that I may find grace and favour in Your sight. And consider also, that this nation is Your people.”
At this point in Moses’ life he had been obedient to God’s instructions
For example: –

He led Israel out of Egyptian bondage.

1A     This is a type of us coming out of bondage to a new life in Christ.

He helped Israel pass through the Red Sea.

2A     It’s a type of crossing over from death to life – through the obedience of baptism.
I Corinthians 10:1-2 (NIV) – For I do not want you to be ignorant of that fact, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. 2They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea
Acts 2:38 (NIV) – Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, everyone of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

He led Israel to Mount Sinai where God gave him the 10

Commandments.

3A     This is a type of the clear instructions of how we should live as God’s children – as per His word.

The amazing thing is Moses obeyed Gods instructions.

But yet he never knew God in an intimate way.

Note Exodus 33:13(NIV) – “If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favour with you.”

The sad similarity to this story is:

Some Christians today are following God’s commandments and instructions.

But do not “know Him” in an up close personal intimate way.

How I remember serving God in my own life, out of fear, legalistic, keeping rules, trying to be obedient. In case God zapped me.

When I see this scripture, I realise God is not only a God of wrath, fury, anger, just and Righteous.

But a God of love who longs for His children to have an intimate relationship with Him.
Exodus 34:5-7(NIV) – 5Then the Lord came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed his name, the Lord. 6And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, 7maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.”
This passage, God reveals Himself in a personal way.  Then Moses said, “Now show me your Glory” Exodus 33:18

Moses asks to see God’s glory and God shows him His character.

Gods glory is: – * Gods character * God’s Nature

The way He relates to the prince of his creation “mankind”.

God never gave Moses some vision of His great majesty, a tour of the universe, or showed Him all his wealth.  No!!!

Here are 3 wonderful characteristics of God that I trust will help us understand something about our awesome God.

So we can develop a more intimate relationship with God.

(Note Moses’ reaction)

Exodus 34:8 “Moses bowed to the ground at once and worshiped.” (Draws into an intimacy with God)

Romans 2:4 (NIV) – “Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?”

Firstly 1.

First to know God in an intimate way.

We must understand that God is a compassionate and gracious God.

David sums it up:

Psalm 145:7-9 (NIV) – 7They celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness. 8The Lord is gracious and compassionate; slow to anger and rich in love. 9The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made.

God is so compassionate that when we sin, He graciously and mercifully forgives us.

God is so compassionate that He blesses us with food, a roof over our heads, jobs, provision and protection

Words cannot express how great our God is.

James 5:11b – The Lord is full of pity and compassion and tenderness and mercy.

You can this week go to God and thank Him for being so wonderful to you.
Secondly 2
To know God in an intimate way – we must understand that God is slow to anger.

Some people think God is like our earthly father.

They think God is quick to become angry with us when we make a mistake.

However, the truth is that when we make a mistake, God is patient with us and slow to anger.
Psalm 103:8-11 (NIV) – 8The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. 9He will not always accuse, nor will he harbour his anger forever; 10he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. 11For as high as the heavens are above the earth. So great is his love for those who fear him.
God is not like us.

Isaiah 55:8-9 (NIV) – 8”For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. 9”As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

When we get angry, we want to get even – we hold grudges, we become bitter, we live with Unforgiveness, we act Love-less

Thank God He does not treat us as our sins deserve.

He is slow to anger.
Thirdly 3
To know God in an intimate way we must understand that God is abounding in LOVE.
John 3:16-17(NIV) – 16For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
No greater act of love has ever been demonstrated than when Jesus gave His life to save ours. To reconnect us to have an intimate relationship with Him.

Romans 5:8 NIV “That God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us”.

I John 4:8 – God is LOVE.

Aren’t you glad you can have an intimate relationship with this kind of God? Who is compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love.

Conclusion
If you do not have an intimate relationship with God – it’s probably because you don’t know Him very well or maybe you’ve never met Him in a personal way.