God's Character

Intimacy with God: Do we really understand what kind of relationship we can have with our creator?

One of the most misunderstood and undervalued gifts we have received is the opportunity to have a deeply intimate, personal relationship with God, but we often completely ignore him as we go through our day as if he wasn’t there.

If we don’t have a vibrant, passionate relationship with God, how can we explain to others that faith is the only thing we base our “belief” on and expect them to become Christians themselves?

God Has High Standards For Intimate Friendship

Everyone knows that Moses walked closely with God

From the time that he called him through the burning bush, to the time that he passed and was buried by God himself, Moses knew God intimately

Exodus 3:2-4
There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.”

When the LORD saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!”

And Moses said, “Here I am.”

Deuteronomy 34:5-6
And Moses the servant of the LORD died there in Moab, as the LORD had said. He buried him in Moab, in the valley opposite Beth Peor, but to this day no one knows where his grave is

During this time, God did amazing things through, and with, Moses, but the most amazing part of their relationship was the intimacy and closeness that not only defined it, but was the source and reason for all of the amazing miracles that God did at the time–God trusted Moses to not let everything go to his head

Deuteronomy 34:10-12
Since then, no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face, who did all those signs and wonders the LORD sent him to do in Egypt—to Pharaoh and to all his officials and to his whole land. For no one has ever shown the mighty power or performed the awesome deeds that Moses did in the sight of all Israel

The reality is, God was not going to do miracles through someone that was going to turn and say “I did this” or let it get to their head that they are great instead of giving God all of the glory, and it was ultimately why God told Moses he was not allowed to enter the promised land–he made a claim that one of the miracles was his, not God’s

Numbers 20:9-12
“Take the staff, and you and your brother Aaron gather the assembly together. Speak to that rock before their eyes and it will pour out its water. You will bring water out of the rock for the community so they and their livestock can drink.”

So Moses took the staff from the LORD’s presence, just as he commanded him. He and Aaron gathered the assembly together in front of the rock and Moses said to them, “Listen, you rebels, must we bring you water out of this rock?” Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff. Water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank.

But the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them.”


It is important to note that as soon as this happened, God immediately told them that they had disobeyed and what their punishment was


An Intimate Relationship With God Is What Separates Us From The Rest Of The World

Just as Moses walked intimately with God, he did not want to be separated from God for any reasons and always sought after God’s presence, not just his blessings

Exodus 33:12-17
Moses said to the LORD, “You have been telling me, ‘Lead these people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. You have said, ‘I know you by name and you have found favor with me.’ If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. Remember that this nation is your people.”

The LORD replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?”

And the LORD said to Moses, “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.”

This same hunger is what should motivate us in our daily lives, as our relationship with God is not limited by God, but by our own actions and choices as each one determines how intimate the relationship is

This is an important point, as Jesus was clear that when we are sinners who do not yet know God, the Father will call us, but once the relationship is formed, we are largely responsible for maintaining intimacy

John 6:44
No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day

James 4:8
Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded

This doesn’t mean God won’t stay close to us, but it means we have ability to choose how close the relationship is, and if we do not live in a way that welcomes God in a personal, intimate way based on our lives of righteousness and love, then God’s presence will not be as strong, and our “belief” in God will not be much different than other religions of the world


And if this is the case, where God is not richly present in our lives, we should hunger to the point where we want and pursue what is available to all of us–a completely intimate, passionate relationship with God where we are one, this is what Jesus paid his life to give us

Psalm 84:2
My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God

John 17:20-23
“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me

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  • Hmmm, funny question on a detail here. How would you say that Christ’s message that “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him” would impact on evangelism? Should we take this to mean, in a sense, that we should be “preaching constantly, and if necessary, speaking”, and lead others to God by example? That is, rather than going out to talk to others and try to convince them, to lead lives that make them want what we have?

    Because, as this would imply (and my understanding of spiritual growth in humans seems to indicate), preaching at others often winds up running into those old farmhand cliches about horses and water, pearls before swine, etc.

    I even have a good friend who patently refuses to directly discuss her relationship with or understanding of God, for lots of reasons, one of which is that she wants to have no direct influence over anyone else’s relationship or decisions there.

    I find that to be a bit too extreme, but I wonder if there isn’t something to be said for a bit more, hrm… discretion? It’s a line I’m trying to discover.


    (BTW, good image for this message)

    • Hi Bennett,

      Regardless of any philosophical and scriptural discussion, balance is key when navigating conversations with people we hope to bring to God–that is an exercise of listening to God as well as your listener

      The way Jesus lived, matched with his guidance to the apostles, provided a strong set of guidelines for us to live by:

      Matthew 28:18-20
      Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

      Jesus also instructed and taught that sometimes we just won’t be able to speak to an audience, sometimes through no fault of our own

      Mark 6:1-6
      Jesus left there and went to his hometown, accompanied by his disciples. When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed.

      “Where did this man get these things?” they asked. “What’s this wisdom that has been given him, that he even does miracles! Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him.

      Jesus said to them, “Only in his hometown, among his relatives and in his own house is a prophet without honor.” He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. And he was amazed at their lack of faith

      Mark 6:11
      And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave, as a testimony against them

      It is pretty entertaining to think that even Jesus had a tough time witnessing to people sometimes–he really was human!

      Even when people do not listen, we never know if a seed gets planted and

      John 4:36-37
      Even now the reaper draws his wages, even now he harvests the crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. Thus the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true

      Luke 8:4-16
      While a large crowd was gathering and people were coming to Jesus from town after town, he told this parable: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds of the air ate it up. Some fell on rock, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.”

      When he said this, he called out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

      His disciples asked him what this parable meant. He said, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that, “‘though seeing, they may not see; though hearing, they may not understand.’

      “This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.

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