Updated: 19 hours ago
In the pursuit of a deeper connection with God, many people encounter misconceptions and misunderstandings about what intimacy with God truly entails. These misconceptions can hinder our spiritual growth and prevent us from experiencing the fullness of a relationship with our Creator.
In this article, I will address eight common misconceptions about having intimacy with God and shed light on the truth behind them. By debunking these misconceptions, I aim to provide a clearer understanding of what it means to have a genuine and transformative intimacy with God.
Not only should we want intimacy with our Father God, but he wants it with you as well.
So, let go of any self-imposed limitations and embrace the truth that you can have an intimate relationship with God. He desires to be close to you, to walk with you, and to guide you. Don't allow your past or present circumstances to hinder you from pursuing intimacy with Him. Remember, it is not about your position or level of spiritual maturity; it is about your willingness to draw near to Him.
Misconception #1: You have to be a spiritual leader or super spiritual to have intimacy with God.
Intimacy with God is not exclusive to spiritual leaders or super spiritual individuals; it is accessible to anybody and everybody. No matter who you are, you can develop a deep and personal relationship with God.
Take the apostle Paul, for example. He was once a persecutor of early Christians, but he went on to write two-thirds of the Bible and became a great apostle in the early church. His transformation and impact serve as a testament to how God can work in the lives of even the most unlikely individuals.
Don't count yourself out! God's love extends to everyone. John 3:16 declares that whoever believes in Jesus will not perish but have eternal life. This promise of eternal life is an invitation to an intimate relationship with Him, a relationship that is constant and unwavering. It doesn't require one to be a super spiritual person; rather, it is available to anyone who believes in Jesus. The Bible says in Romans 2:11, "For God does not show favoritism."
Through His obedience and sacrifice on the cross, Jesus made it possible for all of us to have an intimate connection with Him. God's love has no limits. His incredible love is available to anyone and everyone, regardless of their past or current spiritual state.
If you are willing to pursue Him with diligence, you can experience a deep and meaningful relationship with Him. James 4:8 encourages us to draw near to God, assuring us that He will also draw near to us. It doesn't matter if you feel unworthy or have made mistakes; God invites you to come close to Him, who you are, or your current titles.
Misconception #2: It requires a specific formula or set of rules to follow to have intimacy with God.
I played a game years ago that required completing tasks in a specific sequence. It was a frustrating video game where I had to turn switches, move levers, and open doors. I don't remember the name of the game, but it took hours to play, and I even cheated by seeking advice online to finish it. However, that's not how it works with God. He doesn't want a relationship based on secret formulas or hidden rules.
There are organizations that claim to be Christ-centered but pervert the Word of God. They have ceremonies and secret rituals, falsely believing that these actions are necessary for a relationship with God. But that is nonsense. God doesn't require any secret order to have a relationship with Him. Thank the Lord there are no smoke and mirrors needed.
We need to understand and have knowledge of who He is or at least be on that path in doing so. Come to Him in faith and belief. It is not difficult. Let's not overcomplicate it. Jeremiah 29:13 says, "If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me." That's what God's Word says. This should bring relief to our hearts, knowing He is there and ready to be found.
I remember going to a church in Guatemala where they had a statue called the Black Christ. People from all over Central America would come to see it and follow specific rules to approach the statue. They put their hopes in this wooden statue, treating it as if Jesus was in the statue. However, as many of us know, Jesus was not there and never was or will be. They were touching the glass that enshrined the statue and crying. I am not mocking them, but my heart goes out to them because their religion is hindering them. They are being kept from the truth; all the while, the church was making a boatload of money off the merchandise being sold and offerings they were receiving.
Seeking God is not about crawling on our hands and knees on gravel up to the steps of a church (something I saw in a movie) to prove our love. Traditions and religion may only complicate things; let's not get caught up in them. That is only man's quest to God, and as many of us know, man is great at messing things up.
What gets God's attention is faith, hope, and obedience to His Word. Have a sincere heart that pants after Him!
Misconception #3: It's all based on emotional experiences or feelings to have intimacy with God.
Intimacy with God is not solely based on emotional experiences or feelings. While it is true that as human beings, we are emotional creatures, and God created us to have emotions, our connection with Him goes beyond just our feelings and emotions. When we experience the presence of God, whether through worship or seeking His face, it is natural to have emotional responses. Some may misconceive this as an overemphasis on emotions, but it should not hinder us from seeking God.
Our intimacy with God must be more, and we can't only be chasing the emotional side. It is a day-to-day relationship that encompasses various aspects. My marriage with my wife is not just about sweeping her off her feet and dancing with her in the middle of the kitchen or long walks on the beach. It is about doing dishes, putting gas in the car, tucking the kids in bed, running the vacuum, listening to her about her day, etc. We should not discount these emotional moments but rather embrace them as part of our intimate connection with God.
Personally, I am a very practical guy. I don't really get too emotional about many things. I can cry while watching a movie, and this is a joke with my wife and me. But I am usually stone-faced over things. I love to express my love to God and am quite vocal about it. Rarely, during my time with the Lord, do I sense the heavens opening and angels singing, and that is okay.
There was this one time while driving to work, I had worship music playing. I was singing as loud as I could. It was one of those times. Then, all of a sudden, the presence of God filled the car. I was crying profusely. It was such a joyful time. I will never forget that moment. But saying all that, that is not something I chase after and place priority over. It is the little things I do on a daily basis to maintain intimacy with God, and these times are the icing on the cake.
Misconception #4: It is one-sided; it's all God, and we are not involved in having intimacy with God.
Intimacy with God is often misunderstood as a one-sided relationship, where God does all the work, and the individual does not need to participate actively. However, this misconception is not accurate. Believers in Christ Jesus are called to participate and engage in their relationship with God actively.
It is important to recognize that some individuals may hold these misconceptions, believing that their relationship with God is solely their own private matter and not something to be shared or discussed with others. However, as believers, we are called to go out and share our faith, encouraging others to live for Christ. Our relationship with God should not be passive; it should be an active and vibrant connection.
In Philippians 2:12-13, it is emphasized that believers should work hard to show the results of their salvation. This includes obeying God with reverence and fear. As believers, our faith should be accompanied by action. When someone claims to be a believer in Christ Jesus, their actions and results should reflect their faith. Apostle Paul said, "Follow me as I follow Christ." Others around us should see Jesus in us.
Salvation is an ongoing process. It is important to understand that faith without works is dead. While we are not saved by our works, but being a part of the Kingdom of God, it naturally leads to a desire to serve, to live a life free from sin, and to pursue righteousness and holiness. I have heard unbelievers say, "Why should I serve God? Christians act just like me." This is a sad commentary and goes to show the church as a whole has much work to do for the Lord.
Romans 12:2 encourages believers not to conform to the behaviors and customs of the world but to be transformed by renewing their minds. This transformation involves a radical change in our inner being, a renewal of our thoughts and perspectives according to God's Word. As believers, we are created anew in Christ Jesus to do good works that God has planned for us.
It requires active participation and obedience to His commandments. Jesus said in John 14:15, "If you love me, obey my commandments." This implies actively reading and studying the Word of God, knowing His commandments, and faithfully following them.
Believers are called to bear fruit, as mentioned in John 15:1-2. This means actively participating and producing results for the Kingdom of God. Our lives should reflect our active involvement in the Kingdom, not just as ministers or pastors but as every believer who professes the name of Jesus Christ. We are expected to participate and produce fruit in our relationship with God actively.
Misconception #5: It's all about receiving blessings and answers to prayer rather than seeking the Lord.
Intimacy with God is not solely about receiving blessings and answers to prayer, but rather about seeking a deep connection with Him. As a parent, I wouldn't want my child to only come to me when they want something. I value a relationship with my children, where we converse, spend time together, and share our lives.
Similarly, prayer to God is more than just seeking blessings and answers; it is about spending time with Him, seeking His guidance, wisdom, and direction. It's about opening up our hearts, expressing our feelings, seeking forgiveness, and repenting when we need to. It's about having conversations with God, discussing our thoughts and concerns, and seeking His perspective.
This intimate relationship with God is similar to the intimacy I have with my spouse. Sometimes, we have serious things to discuss, or we talk about random things without expecting anything in return. To me, intimacy is about knowing each other deeply, sharing our lives, and enjoying each other's presence.
Misconception #6: All our problems and challenges will just suddenly disappear.
Intimacy with God does not guarantee that all problems and challenges will magically disappear, leading to a perfect and problem-free life. This notion is far from the truth.
In James 1:2-3, it is stated, "Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy, for you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow." Similarly, 1 Peter 1:6-7 emphasizes the importance of enduring trials, stating, "So be truly glad, for there is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine, being tested as fire tests and purifies gold."
It is essential to recognize that giving our lives to Jesus does not guarantee a life without challenges. While having an intimate relationship with God provides direction, guidance, comfort, peace, and joy, it does not make problems and challenges vanish instantly. This misconception needs to be corrected.
As believers, we are called to live a life of truth and take a stand for what is right, even in the face of opposition. It is important to acknowledge that taking a stand for truth may not always result in the best circumstances for our lives. Challenges and difficulties may still arise.
However, through intimacy with God, we can experience the benefits of His presence, such as freedom from anxiety and depressive thoughts. God provides us with direction, guidance, comfort, peace, and joy. These aspects enhance our lives.
Misconception #7: Intimacy can be achieved through lengthy prayer sessions or retreats and not in everyday life.
Intimacy with God can be achieved through lengthy prayer sessions or retreats, but it is not limited to these special occasions; there is much more to it. It is not about seeking momentary experiences like attending concerts or chasing after ministers who speak in large auditoriums. While there is nothing wrong with attending such events, we must understand that real intimacy with God is to be cultivated in our everyday routines.
I have gone to meetings where nationally known ministers of the Gospel were speaking. I have been to concerts. You name it. But these events have only added to my life. They have only complimented what I have already been doing in my personal time.
Misconception #8: It is a one-time event or an instant transformation rather than a lifelong journey.
Intimacy with God is not a one-time event or an instant transformation but rather a lifelong journey of growth and deepening love. Unfortunately, there are misconceptions among some individuals who believe that once they have a relationship with God, there is no need for further growth or deepening love. However, this is far from the truth.
I am constantly seeking to deepen my relationship with the Lord and learn how to have a more intimate connection with Him. Over the years, I have utilized various resources to enhance my understanding of God's Word and improve my study time.
Recently, I purchased Bible software that has transformed my walk with the Lord, allowing me to delve even deeper into His teachings and develop a greater intimacy with Him. This experience has reaffirmed that the journey of intimacy with God is a lifetime commitment.
While it is true that salvation brings an instant transformation, making us new creatures in Christ, the process of growth and transformation continues throughout our lives. Romans 12:2 urges us not to conform to the patterns of this world but to allow God to renew our minds. Even after 32 years of serving the Lord, I can testify that God is still changing the way I think and helping me grow in my relationship with Him.
Having intimacy with God is not limited to spiritual leaders or super spiritual individuals; it is accessible to anyone and everyone. No matter who you are, you can develop a deep and personal relationship with God.
It is not about following a specific formula or set of rules but rather about seeking Him wholeheartedly, reading His Word, praying, and being obedient to His commands.
Intimacy with God goes beyond just emotional experiences or seeking blessings; it is about seeking a deep connection with Him and actively participating in the relationship.
It does not guarantee a problem-free life, but it provides guidance, comfort, and joy in the midst of challenges.
Intimacy with God is not a one-time event or limited to special occasions; it is a lifelong journey of growth and deepening love.
We must let go of misconceptions and embrace the truth that developing an intimate relationship with God is a consistent and constant pursuit. May we all continue to seek Him, draw near to Him, and experience the transformative power of His presence in our lives.
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Scriptures on Misconceptions with Intimacy with God
1 Peter 2:9
Frequently Asked Questions
What are common barriers to intimacy with God?
There are several barriers that can hinder our intimacy with God.
Busyness and distractions of life
Sin and disobedience
Fear and doubt
Lack of prioritization
To cultivate a deep and intimate relationship with God, we must address these barriers by making intentional efforts to seek Him amidst life's distractions, repenting of our sins, trusting in His promises, prioritizing our relationship with Him, and humbling ourselves before Him.
What is the mystery of intimacy with God?
I don’t think there is a mystery. By saying that, I believe you are giving people the impression that some will understand the mystery and others won’t. The Gospel is made available to all. God wishes that none shall perish. If you draw unto Him, He will draw unto you!
In saying all that, intimacy with God is a divine invitation to experience a deep and personal relationship with Him, transcending human comprehension. Through surrendering ourselves to God and allowing His Spirit to dwell within us, we become fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus. Embracing this leads to true fulfillment and purpose.
Is intimacy with God biblical?
Intimacy with God is not only biblical, but it is also the very essence of our relationship with Him. In the book of James, it says, "Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you" (James 4:8). This verse clearly emphasizes the importance of seeking intimacy with God and the promise that He will respond to our efforts.
Furthermore, the book of Psalms says, "As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God" (Psalm 42:1). This beautiful imagery portrays the deep longing and desire for intimacy with God. Just as a deer longs for water to quench its thirst, our souls long for the presence of God to satisfy our spiritual needs.
Intimacy with God is not just a religious concept, but it is a biblical principle that is woven throughout the entire Scriptures. It is through intimacy with God that we experience His love, receive His guidance, and find true fulfillment in our lives. May we all strive to cultivate a deep and intimate relationship with our Heavenly Father, knowing that it is not only biblical but also the very purpose for which we were created.
Shawn Paul is an author and missionary who has been living and working in Central America for the past 10 years. He is passionate about living for Jesus Christ and inspiring others to do the same, which is the focus of his blog, where he shares his expertise in Christianity.
In addition to his missionary work, Shawn enjoys reading books, studying God's Word, growing plants and flowers, feeding birds, and keeping up with the latest technology.
As a writer, Shawn's unique perspective and passion for his faith shine through in his work. Shawn's goal for the future is to impact people around the world for Jesus through his writing and missionary work.