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Today, God's intimate presence with us is still His voice. We hear it in a variety of ways--through signs, gifts of the Spirit and other such experiences; and whenever God speaks directly to our hearts. But one aspect of His voice that is always available is His written Word, the Bible. Even when we don't feel His presence, His voice is with us in His Word.
Jesus Himself pointed out the role of His Word in establishing relationship. "'If you love Me, keep My commandments. He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him'" (John 14:15, 21, NKJV).
The presence of God in His Word is the way He daily establishes intimacy with us. It is the way we come to know His innermost thoughts and ways.
As a wife, I listen for the voice of my husband and appreciate the words he speaks to me. It is a high priority for me to set aside time every day to be with him.
Can I do any less as a Christian and still have an intimate relationship with God? We must take time very day to fellowship with God as He speaks to us intimately and personally through His Word.
3. Commit yourself to God. We can never achieve intimacy through a casual encounter or an on-again, off-again relationship. The Bible teaches us that sexual experience without commitment is fornication. Let us beware lest we become fornicators in our relationship with God, seeking only pleasure and experience without commitment.
The Israelites fell short on commitment, and they never entered into fullness of relationship with God (see 1 Cor. 10:5-11). Intimacy with God cannot be realized by attending church for a few hours on Sunday morning or going to conferences and seminars once in a while. We can know God only to the extent that we commit to Him.
In the final analysis, faith is not concerned with what we believe. The essence of our faith is whom we believe. The what of faith can be known by study and even experienced by emotions. The whom of faith, on the other hand, must be encountered through intimate relationship.
Let us pursue intimacy with God. Let us serve Him because we know Him. Let us determine that we will seek relationship, not experiences. Let us know that all we really need is the ever-present voice of God in His Word.
I have been a Christian for 45 years and Spirit-filled for 30 of those years. Take it from me: It really doesn't get any better than this.
June Evans travels throughout the nation and overseas teaching in conferences and churches. She serves on the board of directors for Women of the Word conferences and as Minister of Education at Believers Church in Douglasville, Georgia, where her husband, Gene, is pastor.
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