Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

Index by Subject

Developing Intimacy With God

How would you characterize your relationship with God? Do you have the deist’s view of God?

de · ism: a movement or system of thought advocating natural religion based on human reason rather than revelation, emphasizing morality, and in the 18th century denying the interference of the Creator with the laws of the universe. (my emphasis, SC)

(Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary)

Many people today advocate a deistic attitude toward God. In their way of thinking, God exists, and perhaps is responsible for our existence, but has no direct interaction with man. This allows us to believe what we want, do what we want, all without fearing any consequence from a deity which is, after all, far removed from and uninterested in the existence of His creation.

The scriptures paint a far different picture of God. For example, Jesus revealed that God is intimately acquainted with each one of us, “But the very hairs of your head are all numbered” (Matthew 10:30). Consider the prophet’s message to Israel, indicating God’s love for His chosen people, “As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you; and you shall be comforted in Jerusalem” (Isaiah 66:13).

For the Christian, at conversion a new relationship is forged with our Creator. We become His adopted children. Paul wrote, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, ‘Abba Father.’ The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs – heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together” (Romans 8:14-17). God loves all of His children individually, and longs to shower blessings upon us, even to eternity in heaven.

We should have the same affection for God! Such affection exhibits itself in daily Bible study, meditation and prayer. In effect, we become intimate with God by applying ourselves to know Him and his will for man. As the Psalmist wrote, “Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night (Psalm 1:1-2).

Consider some examples of those who have become intimate in their relationship with God:

  • Enoch: “And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him” (Genesis 5:24).

  • David: “…The LORD has sought for Himself a man after His own heart, and the LORD has commanded him to be commander over His people…” (1 Samuel 13:14).
  • Abraham: “And the scripture was fulfilled which says, ‘Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.’ And he was called the friend of God (James 2:23).

To become a friend of God it is necessary that we express our interest in Him. As we immerse ourselves in His word, and pray often for his guidance and protection, we grow closer and closer to Him. This is as it should be for all who would call themselves His children.

In order for us to love God, the scriptures reveal that we must first love our brothers and sisters in Christ. “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth (1 John 3:16-18).

Further, our love must extend to those in the world who are lost and in need of salvation. God loved the world enough to send His only begotten son. We must have the same care and concern for those who are in need of salvation.

Everyone needs to be a friend of God. He stands ready to befriend us, to bestow upon us whatever is needed, and to protect and guide us all the way to heaven. Jesus loved us enough to die on the cross for us. If we are lacking an intimate relationship with God, it is because we have not desired it sufficiently. How about you? Are you a friend of God?