As Christians grow in spiritual maturity, we hunger for an intimate relationship with Jesus, but at the same time we feel confused over how to go about it.
How do you get closer to the invisible God? How do you hold a conversation with someone who doesn’t audibly talk back?
Our confusion begins with the word “intimate,” which has become cheapened because of our culture’s obsession with sex. The essence of an intimate relationship, especially with Jesus, requires sharing.
Jesus Has Already Shared With You
The Gospels are remarkable books. Even though they are not exhaustive biographies of Jesus of Nazareth, they give us a compelling portrait of him. If you read those four accounts carefully, you will come away knowing the secrets of his heart.
The more you study Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, the better you’ll understand Jesus. When you meditate on his parables, you’ll discover the love, compassion, and tenderness that flow from him. As you read about Jesus healing people thousands of years ago, you begin to grasp that our Living God can reach out from heaven and touch your life today. Through reading God's Word, your relationship with Jesus begins to take on new and deeper significance.
Jesus revealed his emotions. He got angry at injustice, showed concern about a hungry crowd of his followers, and cried when his friend Lazarus died. But the greatest thing is how you, personally, can make this knowledge of Jesus your own. He wants you to know him.
What sets the Bible apart from other books is that through it, God speaks to individuals. The Holy Spirit unfolds Scripture so it becomes a love letter written specifically to you. The more you desire relationship with Jesus, the more personal that letter becomes.
What Jesus Wants You to Share
When you are intimate with someone else, you trust them enough to share your secrets. As God, Jesus already knows everything about you anyway, but when you choose to tell him what’s hidden deep within you, it proves you trust him.
Trust is hard. You’ve probably been betrayed by other people, and when that happened, maybe you swore you’d never open up again. But Jesus loved you and trusted you first. He laid down his life for you. That sacrifice has earned him your trust.
Many of my secrets are sad, and maybe yours are too. It hurts to bring them up again and give them to Jesus, but that is the path to intimacy. If you want the closest of relationships with Jesus, you have to risk opening your heart. There’s no other way.
When you share yourself in relationship with Jesus, when you talk to him often and step out in faith, he will reward you by giving you more of himself. Stepping out takes courage, and it takes time. Held back by our fears, we can move beyond them only through the encouragement of the Holy Spirit.
At first you may notice no difference in your connection with Jesus, but over weeks and months, Bible verses will take on new meaning for you. The bond will grow stronger. In small doses, life will make more sense. Gradually you will sense that Jesus is there, listening to your prayers, answering through Scripture and promptings in your heart. A sureness will come upon you that something wonderful is happening.
Jesus never turns away anyone who seeks him. He will give you every help you need to build an intense, intimate relationship with him.
Beyond Sharing to Enjoying
When two people are intimate, they don’t need words. Husbands and wives, as well as best friends, know the pleasure of simply being together. They can enjoy each other’s company, even in silence.
It may seem blasphemous that we could enjoy Jesus, but the old Westminster Catechism says that is part of the meaning of life:
Q. What is the chief end of man?
A. Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.
We glorify God by loving and serving him, and we can do that better when we have an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ, his Son. As an adopted member of this family, you possess the right to enjoy your Father God and your Savior as well.
You were meant for intimacy with Jesus. It is your most important calling now, and for eternity.
Jack Zavada, a career writer and guest contributor for About.com, is host to a Christian website for singles. Never married, Jack feels that the hard-won lessons he has learned may help other Christian singles make sense of their lives. His articles and ebooks offer great hope and encouragement. To contact him or for more information, visit Jack's Bio Page.