Intimacy with God. A sermon by Minister Abby Phillips

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Scripture Reference:
Psalm 139:13-16 (New Living Translation)

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelousâ€"how well I know it. 15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. 16 You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed.
Love Relationships
Did you have a best friend growing up? Someone you shared all your secrets with? What about a brother, sister, or close cousin that you can tell anything? Do you have a spouse who you share an intense and deep bond with? These are all examples of intimate connections with people we truly know and who know us, not just on a surface level, but deeply. These relationships are based on love, respect, and trust, and they are dear and special to us.
Those ties can be wonderful, but there is one that should be even more special than all the rest: our relationship with the Lord. Without Him we wouldn’t have any of those bonds of fellowship with loved ones; we wouldn’t have food, clothing, shelter, sanity, salvation, anything. He has given us everything we have, and in return He desires a true love relationship with us.
My only goal for today is to encourage you to draw closer to our Lord. Fall in love with Him, desire closeness with Him, develop intimacy with God.

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, Oh Lord, my strength and my redeemer. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

He Knew Us First
There is a hymn that says “Oh how I love Jesus, because He first loved me.” Well He didn’t just know us before we came to a saving knowledge of His Son. He knew us before we were even created! Verse 13 of our text for today says “You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb.” He didn’t just know about us, He created all of the intricate parts of our tiny bodies while we grew inside our mothers’ wombs.
Verse 15 says “You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.” I can imagine Him lingering lovingly over us as we developed from embryo to fetus, like a mother hen brooding over her baby chicks.
This is a picture of a proud Father who loved His children long before they ever opened their newborn eyes. That loving Father wants a love relationship with you.

He Knows Everything about Us
I’ve heard it said that a true friend knows all of your faults and mistakes and loves you anyway. God is that kind of friend. Verse 16 says “You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.”
Before we drew our first breaths, He knew when we would breathe our last ones, and He knew about all of the ones we’d take in between. He knows our lives in intricate detail.
Here’s what’s so amazing to me. My favorite scripture is Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” He knew everything we’d ever do, and Jesus still went to Calvary for us. I cannot begin to fathom that kind of love.
There is nothing we can say, think, or do that will surprise or shock Him. Our innermost secrets are laid bare before Him. All of our mistakes, shortcomings, and addictions. And still He loves us and offers us fellowship with Him. That unconditional Savior wants a love relationship with you.

He Already Knows Us - Now He Wants Us to Know Him
He’s given us so much and He asks in return that we desire to know and love Him. In Matthew 11:29 (KJV) Jesus says “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” He’s not just talking about knowing about him intellectually. He wants us to go deeper than that, to a knowledge that will bring us into close fellowship with Him and give us peace.
In John 15:9-11, He says “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. 11 “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.” This is not just literate knowledge of God, it is intimate knowledge. Can you imagine? The God of the universe saying to you “I love you. Keep my commandments, which are for your good; then you will have joy and fullness in Me and I will find joy and delight in you.”

So How Do We Develop This Intimacy?
We know that He loves us dearly and that He wants our love in action, not just words. A love that goes deep into our hearts and souls and affects how we walk, talk, live, eat, sleep, and breathe. So how do we develop that kind of intimacy?

Study His Word
The Lord wants us to desire that love relationship as much as He does. He wants us to say, as David did in Psalm 119:11 “Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.” David didn’t just read and comprehend God’s word. He studied it, meditated on it, treasured it, and strove to live by it. Not to impress anyone or to appear super spiritual, but because He loved God and didn’t want to grieve Him.
Our sincere love for our Savior should cause us to want to learn and understand His word so that we can apply it to our lives and please Him.

Spend Time Alone in His Presence
In Psalm 63:1a, we find David again speaking to God. “O God, You are my God; early will I seek You.” To David, God wasn’t some far-off deity, some indifferent omnipotent being. He said “You are my God.” When he got up early in the morning, when everyone else was asleep, he spent quiet time alone in the presence of God. He prayed to Him, maybe even sang songs to Him, sought His counsel, and just desired His presence.
You know how we sometimes like to go off and snuggle up with a good book, our favorite movie, or for some of us, our spouse? We should want to steal away for some snuggling time with our heavenly Father like that. Savor it, look forward to it, get excited about it. Our hearts should say “Lord, this is our time. There are no distractions. It’s just You and me, Lord. Let’s talk.”

Develop a Lifestyle of Worship
I can’t seem to get out of the Psalms. Our example again here is David. He was a true worshipper. His songs were an outpouring of his love relationship with the Lord. Psalm 9:1, 2 says “I will praise You, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will tell of all Your marvelous works.
2 I will be glad and rejoice in You; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High.” He offered praise with his whole heart. His love for God caused him to tell others about his Lord, it brought gladness into his daily walk, and it made him want to sing praises to God. Worship was not something he did, it was part of who he was and it affected how he lived.
When we don’t just view worship as a song style, but a lifestyle that we walk in daily, we will see our level of intimacy with our Father blossom and grow. The songs and sermon we experience during our worship services will often reiterate something God already told you while you fellowshipped with Him all week long. For a true worshipper, worship service with other believers is the finale to a weeklong worship service you’ve already been having!


What Does That Level of Intimacy Look Like?
We’re not perfect and we can’t always do all of these things correctly, but we can desire them, make them a priority, and strive for them daily. And what will our relationship with the Lord look like when we do? I like to think it’ll be quite like the events of a football game a few years back. Let me explain.
My husband played semi-professional football for several years, and although I was completely clueless about the sport, I went to a lot of his games, just to support him. This particular game was the first of the season and he’d told me that his number was 92. As my children and I found a seat in the bleachers, I started looking for #92. Our team was way on the other side of the field so I had to squint to see. There were about 40 men, all dressed in blue and white uniforms, with full pads and helmets on, but amazingly I found #92. But something wasn’t right. He seemed a little too short, not quite stocky enough. His arms weren’t big enough and his skin, even from a distance, seemed a little too dark. It only took a few seconds for me to realize that #92 was not my husband.
At first I had no idea how I’d know which one was him, but then I thought “We live in the same home and share our lives together. I know his scent, how his breathing sounds when he’s asleep, and I know that little mole he has over his left ear. I could tell right away that #92 wasn’t him, and I can find him.” So I searched across that huge football field through a crowd of identically-dressed men. And I found my husband. His height, the color of the arms showing beneath the jersey, the width of those arms, the way he stood. Everything about him seemed to cry out “That’s him!” Only someone who knew another intimately could have done that. I was so excited that I’d been able to pick him out.
Then something else exciting happened. He took his index finger and tapped on the side of his helmet. That was our sign. My heart leapt because not only had I found him, but in a crowd of 200-300 fans in the bleachers, across that big field, he’d been looking for â€" and had found me.
Out of the 6 billion people on the planet, God knows each of us by name. He doesn’t even have to take the time to pick us out in the crowd. He knows exactly where we are at all times because He loves us. And the closer we get to Him the less we’ll mistake His voice for anyone else’s, despite how many other voices there are in the crowd. We can find our Father. That’s intimacy with God.
I’m so excited to know that God wants that kind of intimacy with me. And I want it with Him too. Do you?


Pray with me:
Lord, words cannot begin to express how thankful I am, how in awe I am, that You love me and want a truly intimate relationship with me. Please, please forgive me, Lord, for taking for granted how precious and undeserved that gift is; for not following as hard after You as You have followed after me. I am so sorry. Grant me the grace, the wisdom, and the sense to cherish, honor, and cultivate our love relationship. I thank You for my parents, my children, my husband, my friends, and my church family. But Lord, I know that none of them could ever love me the way You do. Help me, God, to love You the way You deserve to be loved. Oh, how I love You, Jesus, because You first loved me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


© Abby Phillips, Speak Life Ministries, 2006. .

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