Christian living

THAT I MAY KNOW HIM: DEVELOPING INTIMACY WITH JESUS

Have you ever been faced with a challenge that overwhelmed you and you cried and decided you weren’t going to continue with Christ because you felt it wasn’t worth following the Lord anymore? But after an hour or more, you went down on your knees asking God for help and telling Him how much you trust and love him.

There is a level you’ll get to in your relationship with God where you become so deeply rooted in Christ that even when God doesn’t make sense, your faith in Jesus remains unshaken.

I have learnt, growing roots downwards is dependent on the intimacy we have with Jesus.

Believers seeking intimacy with Christ study the word and pray because they have one driving force: Jesus!

We are not looking to impress God with our hours of personal study or to show how long we can blast in tongues. All we desire to see is Jesus!

Do you know God sees the intent of every man’s heart?

He knows those who are longing to see growth in their relationship with Him. He sees the self-righteousness and confidence you place in your ability to diligently carry out spiritual activities. He sees all of our motives.

If you are sincerely hungry to experience Jesus more, you will find what you are looking for. God has already promised that whoever will seek Him diligently will find Him. God is committed to keeping His word.

Who’s desiring to enter into a fresh intimacy with Jesus in 2019?

First things first.

Ask God to put in you a desire for intimacy

Many times, we struggle in our spiritual walk because we are trying so hard to pray and study, hoping we’ll be able to prove to ourselves and to others that we have a close relationship with God.

When God himself plants a longing for the knowledge of His Son in our hearts, nothing else will matter. Your heart will pant after Him.

Take a look at Paul’s statement in Philippians 3:10(AMP)

….my determined purpose is that I may know him and progressively become deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His person more strongly and clearly….

Don’t ever think Paul’s determination came out of his own strength. Something happened before that resolute determination was birthed.

There were prayers Paul had prayed that moved his heart to boldly stand and say, ‘All these things I have counted as dung that I may gain Christ.’

Earlier in Chapter 2, he stated that It is God works in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure. Ephesians 1:17 also pointed us to the secret that made Paul so resolute in his decision.

Let’s get more practical with this:

1. There are certain scriptural prayers that should form the basis of your daily prayer life. Put forth these prayers every day and you will see a desire for God spring up like never before. I’ll share two out of the scriptures. You can find others scriptural prayers here.

…That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the father of glory may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him. Ephesians 1:17.

… For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man. Ephesians 3:16

Your line of prayers must change if you really desire to go deeper with the Lord.

You can’t spend most of your prayer time asking for material blessings and binding all the demons while you brush over prayer requests that center on your spiritual growth. Is your excitement in top gear when prayers on how to overtake your enemies are raised? Do we find ourselves only in prayer meetings that addresses our early needs?

Whatever you greatly desire to see will take priority in your thoughts and prayers. If you really want to delve into the mysteries of the wonders of Jesus, it will reflect in the kind of prayers you pray. As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.

What really is your heart cry? Philippians 3:10? Then translate that into prayers. But if your priority is your job, career, ministry, rat race, you’d become proficient in those things but at the expense of your spiritual life.

2. What kind of sermons do you listen to? Where do you feed from? Do they teach about the finished works of Jesus? Do they stir your heart towards Jesus and a deeper relationship with God? Are you filling your mind with junks?

Are you just motivated to aspire so you can acquire the things you desire? Is your head saturated with the names of demons and the operation of arrows sent from your father’s house or are you constantly being reminded of the victory already won on the cross by Jesus?

How many times do you hear sermons on your identity in Christ? What about the immeasurable riches available through your union in Christ?

What you listen to will either steer you towards Christ or self. I don’t listen to just any sermon. There are preachers I can never listen to. You can’t even find them anywhere near my phone.

It’s not enough that the name of Jesus is mentioned. Merely mentioning Jesus does not translate to revelation knowledge.

Find sermons that’ll open your eyes to the finished works of Calvary. Sermons that reveal Jesus. Ask God to bring you in contact with men who’ll point you to Christ and Him alone.

3. Spend time with the word. I can’t overemphasize this. Even if it isn’t making so much sense, keep reading while you pray for enlightenment from the Holy Spirit.

Read: 5 practical steps to become a woman of the word.

Now that your focus is developing intimacy, spend time with the epistles of Paul. The New living Translation and the Living Bible are versions that’ll aid your understanding.

3. Praying in the spirit has drawn my heart closer to the Lord over the years. I remember a time I was really struggling in my spiritual walk. I couldn’t pray like I used to. But the few times I prayed in tongues, even though for just a couple of minutes, I felt strengthened.

Let your spirit connect with God’s spirit. Praying in tongues is a wonderful way to edify your spirit and build your faith.

Exercise yourself unto godliness by doing this. It quietens your mind so much that when you finally settle down for a personal study, revelation flows.

Read: What to do when spiritual activities become boring. 

Let me end by saying;

The ministry of the Holy Spirit is to reveal Christ. John 16:14.

What else brings lasting joy apart from growing in Christ and enjoying life in Him. Material blessings and ministerial progress are important but they cannot be compared to the joy of knowing Jesus.

The more we know him, the more we want to know him. May we come to a point where everything we possess and the pursuit of life’s gain becomes nothing to us, compared with the privilege and overwhelming preciousness of knowing Christ Jesus our Lord.

Nothing between our soul and the Savior. Nothing of this world will take His place in our hearts.

Because of his finished works, we have renounced the love for the pleasures of this world. Nothing between even when the storms hit so hard. Nothing between, when temptation knocks.

We fix our gaze on Jesus.

Read: A short story: What really happened on the cross? 

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