Intimacy with God is so much more than reading the Bible and praying.
Intimacy with God is so much more than reading the Bible and praying. (iStock photo )

If you are a Christ follower, you have a certain level of intimacy with the Lord. You probably have already experienced it in your prayer time and through the closeness you feel with the Lord Jesus Christ in worship.

It is when we worship in spirit, freedom and truth that we start to feel His presence. I believe through those times of worship we have fellowship, relationship and communion with the Father. 

However, there is so much more to intimacy with the Lord than we realize, and we see that as we take a look at John. John 13:23 says, "Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved." It is believed that this was John.

Visualize for a moment John leaning on Jesus' bosom. What do you think Jesus was doing? Was He holding John there, so his head wouldn't slip off, wrapping His arm around him, maybe stroking John's hair or running His fingers down John's cheek? We don't know, but we do know that Jesus was full of love and full of compassion. Jesus loved John very much, and Jesus loves us all individually very much. 

Legalism and religion can prevent us from being close to the Lord and having those intimate moments, or even believing they can exist through visions, dreams, prayer and worship. Let's face it, most churches don't teach from the pulpit to have an intimate relationship with the Father; they simply teach us to pray and read the Bible, but not to aim for a deeper relationship with Him.

There is more to being a Christ follower than going to church on Sunday and reading our Bible—it is a daily walk of communion, fellowship and intimacy with Him. We haven't been taught of the closeness the Father desires to have with us.

We always talk to Him as a Father, but we also need to talk to Him as a friend—an intimate best friend. To truly have a relationship with Him, we need to get past what we have been taught as right or wrong and allow the Lord to show up. What that looks like to one person may not be what it looks like to another, but He still desires fellowship with us all. He desires us!

What if Jesus came to you right now in a vision? What if, while you are reading this, He stood in front of you? Would you say, "Whoa wait a minute! Is it really you? I don't know if I am good enough to stand up here in front of you." Or would you say, "Oh yeah! It's Jesus! We are friends and intimate and He has come out to hang out with me because He loves me."

How would you react? Do you really know about the One who loved you so much He came to be your Savior and Redeemer?

He wants to be your knight in shining armor, your bright morning star and your best friend. He wants to be your Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, the first thing you think about when you arise in the morning and the last thing you think about when you lay your head on your pillow at night. He wants you to jump up in excitement in the morning to spend time with Him and hear you say, "Oh praise the Lord! It's morning and I can't wait to spend time with my Lord and Savior again!" He wants you to be so in love with Him that you are permeated in His presence wherever you go and in whatever you say. 

How do you get that close intimate relationship with Jesus? It goes beyond our natural abilities. It goes beyond reading, worshiping, and praying. We need to trust the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us into those deep places and moments with the Lord. 

Worship

It comes through pressing into His presence. Don't simply worship. While in worship, let Him know you love Him, expect visions, worship from your heart and open your entire soul and spirit up to Him. Worship Him with everything you have. Talk to Him.

Start by praising him from your lips with words before the song starts. Shut your mind down from the daily busy activities and simply think about Him; don't concern yourself with people around you and focus on Him.

Solitude

Sit in solitude or lay prostrate before Him. Close down the cares of your mind and come into the stillness of His presence where He will speak to you and show you things. Turn the music off, remove distractions and sit quietly. Don't talk, don't pray and make yourself available to Him. Tell Him you are here for Him and asks what he wants to speak to you about. Ask Him to reveal deep truths about Himself and to reveal to you what He wants you to absorb.

Bible

Read your Bible. Discover who the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are. What are their attributes? Discover who He is. Ask the Lord how you can please Him and live your life for Him. Ask Him how you can be more like Him. As you discover who He is through reading His Word, you will discover Him.

Pray

Start your prayer time by blessing the Lord. You like it when people speak praises and adoration towards you; shouldn't we do the same to our Lord? Pray and spend five minutes at the beginning making it all about Him; blessing Him, thanking Him for what He has done and created and simply love on Him with your Words.

Soaking

Soaking is putting on some soft worship music and sitting, kneeling, or lying prostrate and allowing the music to capture you. In those moments, you will feel a sense of peace, calm and stillness and the presence of the Lord will come upon you. Receive any insights He has for you, calm your thoughts and simply focus on heaven, a previous vision or encounter you had, or picture yourself in the throne room of God.

In those times of stillness, resting and soaking in His presence He will give you peace in your situation, answer your prayers and reveal Himself to you. You can learn more about intimacy and soaking in my book A Worship Woven Life. There is no right or wrong way to do it; simply be obedient and make yourself available to get to really know Him.

Pray and ask the Father, Jesus, and Holy Spirit to help you draw closer to them. They desire a closer relationship with you; therefore He will answer the desire of your heart.

Kathy DeGraw is the founder of DeGraw Ministries a prophetic ministry releasing the love and power of God, igniting people in the prophetic and releasing people from emotional bondage. She's passionate about teaching people the power of prayer through declaring. She is the founder of Change into Colorless, an anti-racism corporation and co-pastors a church. Kathy is the author of Spiritual Warfare Declarations, A Worship Woven Life, Time to Set the Captives Free, and Flesh, Satan or God. Connect with Kathy at www.degrawministries.org.

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