Knowing God intimately is something every believer should strive towards. Intimacy with God refers to a thriving relationship where it goes from just knowing about God to knowing him experientially (Greek word- Ginosko).
This is a higher level of knowledge, one where you are not told about God instead you have the privilege of enjoying intimacy or on-one conversations with Him.
Yes, one-on-one conversations, because God is always speaking to us. He has a lot to say to us, the question is how willing are we to listen?
To sit at his feet? Jesus told his disciples in John 16:12: I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. So, it is not a God problem if you lack intimacy with Him.
There are several ways to know God intimately. The easiest way would be to approach your relationship with God like a love relationship with your spouse.
The only difference is, with God, it’s even deeper. When you’re in love, you crave attention, you crave communication and you crave proximity. So below are 15 ways to know God more intimately:
1.) Get Acquainted With The Holy Spirit.
John 16:7 “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.”When Jesus was leaving earth, He didn’t abandon us, the Comforter came.
The Holy Spirit is God living in us. How can we know God intimately if we do not know the Holy Spirit?
How can we connect with God if we don’t listen for the voice of His Spirit in our hearts? The Holy Spirit is a guide. He guides the believer into all truth…John 16:13. Without the Holy Spirit, our Christian walk would be empty and meaningless.
He walks with us every step of the way, and as long as our hearts are open to Him, we have no reason to fear being led wrongly. It is trite for the believer to develop a close relationship with the Holy Spirit because He is God.
Perhaps this should have been the first point, but in truth, the Holy Spirit was indwelling in us before we began to desire intimacy.
It is not when we desire intimacy with God that the Holy Spirit would enter our lives; He had been there from the moment we gave our lives to Jesus.
He had probably been quiet because you had not activated your desire to know Him. The Holy Spirit is a gentle spirit and would never force Himself on anyone.
Psalm 27:4 “One thing I ask of the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.” God works with the heart; He sees what we desire in our hearts even before we speak.
Before you can know God intimately, you have to desire Him. No lover wants to come home to someone who doesn’t desire him, someone who gets irritated by his presence. This is the same with God. He loves you and craves your attention, but you have to desire to be with Him, desire to know Him more.
3) Communicate with God
We hear the word ‘communicate’ and think “oh crap.” Look at it this way. A married couple living together without talking, what does that make them? In my dictionary, it makes them strangers living in the same house. How do you know God intimately without talking with Him?
Talking with someone means there’s a back-and-forth communication. There’s a call-and-response, it’s not a one-sided conversation.
You don’t yell at the person and leave without waiting to hear what he says; you don’t pour out your heart to the person and shut him up when he speaks. You definitely don’t ‘always’ talk.
Sometimes you listen because listening means that you value that person enough to listen when he speaks.
This is what communication with God means. There’s nothing spooky about it. Just a Father and child having a conversation. You don’t have to even assume a particular posture. It’s okay to sit on the toilet seat and have a conversation with Him because there are no barriers in your relationship, all He wants is you.
Until you see God as Father, Friend, and Lover, you would never fully embrace intimacy with Him. As a Father, He advises and guides you, as a Friend, He listens to your silly jokes, your worries and makes you comfortable and as a Lover, He draws you into His arms and showers you with love unspeakable.
Then you begin to look Iike Him, talk like Him and act like Him, because you’ve spent so much time talking with Him. Ever wondered why Judas had to betray Jesus with a kiss? Because they couldn’t tell him apart from the disciples!
Related Article: 8 Reasons Why You Need A Prayer Journal.
4) Study the Word.
John 1:1 says “In the beginning was the world and the world was with God and the Word was God.”Many of the things God would say to us, would find confirmation in His Word. But how would you know if you spend little time with the Word?
While you study and meditate on God’s word, your eyes are enlightened; the spirit of the word enters you and cause you to know God intimately. Ezekiel 2:2 (NIV) “As he spoke, the Spirit came into me and raised me to my feet, and I heard him speaking to me.”
Heb. 10:25, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”Spending time with the brethren cannot be overemphasized.
Humans by nature are a people of fellowship, this is why there is the popular saying ‘…no man is an island.’
We are designed to be ‘people-persons’, we grow better in the midst of people, we learn better with people too. That is why the Bible expressly makes provision for fellowshipping with each other.
When we gather together, sharing God’s word and praying, we are inching closer to God in various ways. Sometimes God becomes more real to us, in the midst of others. Acts 2:1, “On the day of Pentecost all the believers were meeting together in one place.” (NLT). The Holy Spirit came upon them when they were together.
6) Love, don’t just Know.
Intimacy is more than just knowing. Acquiring knowledge about something or someone doesn’t mean you have an intimate relationship with that person. An intimate relationship with God requires more than knowing about His great works or knowing His many names; real intimacy is borne out of love.
It says; ‘I love you so much, I want to know all of you. I want to know what you like, what you dislike, I want to please you. I want all of you overflowing in me.’ Until we get to the point where we love God this much, we will not know Him intimately.
7) Spend time Praising and Worshiping.
Psalm 100:1- 2 “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.”There are some things God will reveal to you only in the place of praises and worship.
Praises are so important to God that the only recorded barren woman in the Bible – Micah, became that way because she dared ridicule someone praising God.
David was an intimate friend of God, why? He knew how to attend to God in different capacities. He was the lover, the praiser, the worshipper, the giver.
He was the one who knew how to get God’s head to swell, hence he was termed ‘the man after God’s heart’. Was he perfect? No. Did he ever sin? He committed murder. He took another man’s wife.
Nobody could be more unworthy to be called ‘the man after God’s heart’ than this man. But he was a man who thirsted after God. He was a worshipper. He was a man who knew God intimately.
John 4:24 …”God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” Worship will get you to a deeper level of intimacy with God. It is a form of oneness with God’s Spirit.
Related Article: 12 Ways To Experience God Manifest Presence.
8) Trust God
An important ingredient for a thriving relationship is trust. Couples who do not trust each other end up with a breakdown in communication. One person would be saying something, while the other is thinking about something else.
On the other hand, couples who choose to trust each other enjoy an invaluable level of intimacy. It is the same with God. When Jesus asked Peter to come out to him on the water, Peter trusted Jesus enough to take those few steps and when he began to falter, Jesus met him halfway and helped him up.
That is what trust does to our relationship with God. When we decide to trust God in/with everything, we are opening our hearts to a higher level of intimacy with him.
To know God more intimately, you have to entrust Him with everything that concerns you. Proverbs 3: 5 says “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart…” When you go through a situation anchored on your trust in God and you emerge victoriously, your relationship with God goes to another level.
9) Walk with God
Genesis 5:24 “And Enoch walked with God: and he was not, for God took him.”Where is God’s place in your daily activities? If you desire to know God more intimately, perhaps it’s time to include Him in every facet of your life: career, education, relationships, finances, marriage.
God wants to be involved in our lives, but you have to open the door to grant Him access. Rev 3:20 “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hears my voice, and opens the door, I will come into him and will sup with him, and he with me.”
10) Be Committed.
Luke 16:13 “No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”Commitment, in every relationship, is important.
Your spouse wants to know that you are committed to him/her before he/she opens up to you. When seeking to know God intimately, we ought to approach Him with commitment, with the mindset that it’s God or nothing.
No idols tucked in any corner of our hearts, nothing to distract us from our relationship with God.
Matthew 6:17-18 “But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.”
Don’t get this wrong; fasting will not get God to answer your prayers. Some believers fast only when they’re faced with a major problem or decision, thinking it would turn ‘help’ God.
Fasting is for our benefit. It helps us be less conscious of our flesh and more conscious of our spirit man. This makes it one of the best ways of getting to know God more intimately.
Related Article: 12 Ways To have Intimacy With God Through Pray.
12) Do God’s Word
James 1:22 “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”It’s not enough for us to know about God or His Word, doing the word is a way of getting to know God more intimately.
When you hear the word, it doesn’t become real to you until you apply it. The application of His word is what gives life to every situation in our lives.
The Bible made us understand His word is powerful, and putting it into action through faith is one sure way to get closer and more intimate with him.
13) Be patient
Knowing God intimately is a process, it is a journey, not a destination. You don’t get it all in one day. It is not a quick fix; like every great thing, it takes its due process. Job 14:14 “If a man dies, shall he live again? All the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come.”
Lamentations 3:25 “The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.”
Patience is a virtue that is required when it comes to strengthening our intimacy with God. No great relationship was ever rushed. Think about it.
14) Pray often
Prayer is not necessarily spooky and noisy. As we mentioned above, it simply means communicating with God.
However, there many forms of prayer; intercessory, thanksgiving, etc. We cannot enjoy intimacy with God if we don’t pray often. When we pray, God’s mind for us becomes clearer.
The clarity that helps us know ourselves even better and draw us closer and closer to Him.Phil 4: 6 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
15) Remember that it’s a ‘you’ thing.
Knowing God more intimately is not God’s responsibility; it’s yours. God is always reaching out. It’s left for us, you to embrace Him and accept that invitation of intimacy. Philippians 3:10 “That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection…”God is always available to us, the question is how available are we to Him? How far are we willing to go to know Him? What is the level of your drive to know God more intimately?
Remember this: at the end of the day, it is you that determines how intimate your relationship with God will be.
“The Christian knows no change with regard to God. He may be rich to-day and poor tomorrow; he may be sickly to-day and well tomorrow; he may be in happiness to-day, to-morrow he may be distressed but there is no change with regard to his relationship to God. If He loved me yesterday, He loves me to-day.”
― Charles Haddon Spurgeon