Do you feel close to the Lord? Life’s distractions and duties can compete with our desire to spend time with God—then before we know it, we’ve drifted in our devotion to Him. But the Father desires to commune with us on a daily basis.
1. Every individual is important to the Lord. You might feel unworthy of the Father’s attention, but the truth is, you are a unique creation and beloved in His sight. Every one of us was created in God’s image (Gen. 1:26); He designed us with the emotional and spiritual capacity to have an intimate relationship with Him.
- According to Psalm 8:4-5, what special place does man hold in creation?
- Do you ever feel undeserving of God’s notice? Why or why not?
- Jesus called His disciples “friends” (John 15:15-16). In what way is your relationship with Him like a friendship? How does it differ?
2. No one is too sinful to have a close relationship with God. According to Romans 3:23, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (emphasis added). In other words, no one is righteous enough on his own to fellowship with God, who is perfectly holy. Instead of friendship with our Creator, we deserve death and hell—everlasting separation from Him. However, Jesus took the guilt of our sin on Himself and gave us the gift of eternal life (Rom. 6:22-23).
- We typically think of eternal life as the promise of heaven after death. How does John 17:3 define it?
- What is surprising about this definition?
- Read Romans 4:7-8. Reflect on the sins you committed and confessed this past week. How does it feel to know you are completely clean in God’s sight?
3. Cultivating an intimate relationship requires a commitment. A. Choose a special place where you can meet with God. Even if you don’t have a large home, devote one section of it to your time with God. You might choose a chair, a small rug, or even a closet. Eventually, that place will take on a sacred quality. There, you will find it easy to focus on the Lord and His still, small voice.
- Read Luke 5:15-16. Where did Jesus go when He needed time alone?
- Why do you think He sought the Father after the events of verse 15?
- What prompted Jesus to seek solitude in Matthew 14:13?
- What types of life crises prompt you to seek a solitary place to pray?
B. Invest a significant amount of time in getting to know your Maker. Just like a close friendship or good marriage, an intimate relationship with the Lord requires time. Biblical writers often referred to “waiting on God.” By this, they meant trusting in the Lord and giving Him time to speak to their hearts, encourage them, or answer their prayers.
- What benefits are associated with “waiting on the Lord”? Psalm 25:3 Psalm 27:14 Psalm 62:5
- What do you enjoy most about sitting quietly before the Lord?
C. Include Bible reading. Reading and meditating on Scripture should be a regular part of your time with God. It will teach you how the Lord thinks, remind you of His promises, and reveal areas of your life that need His correction. Before you read from the Bible, ask God to speak to you. He will be faithful to reveal His truth and show you how to apply it to your life.
- List at least four benefits to making the Word of God a priority in your time alone with Him (Psalm 119).
D. Humility and trust As we approach God, we must come with an attitude of humility. Proud people don’t see their need for the Lord and, consequently, resist His guidance and correction.
- Read James 4:6-7. What does “God resists the proud” mean to you?
- Describe what submitting to God would look like for you today.
- What analogy did David use to describe his humility before the Lord (Psalm 131:1-3)? How is this an accurate picture of the attitude we should have in approaching God?
4. If you are willing to invest in your relationship with God, you will reap a great reward.
- In Psalm 63:3-5, “fat” or “marrow and fatness” refers to rich, satisfying food. What comparison does David make between physical sustenance and his time alone with God?
- Read Psalm 16:11. Have you felt this kind of joy in the Lord’s presence?
Prayer: We were designed to fellowship with God, and it is the greatest pleasure our souls will ever know on earth. Ask the Lord to draw you closer to Him in this new year. If you have been too busy or distracted to dedicate time on a daily basis, pray for the grace to make fellowship with Him a priority. Wait on the Lord, and He will fill you with incredible joy in His presence.