Day 5: We have intimacy with God. 
Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, 20 by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.Hebrews 10:19-25 ESV
This passage in Hebrews is the perfect summation of intimacy with God in my opinion. I’ve taken quite a while to consider this particular topic. I’ve even written other things about it, only to take more time to think about it. (Bear with me!)
But I just keep coming back to the Scriptures–the many of them I’ve read through lately. So I thought I might take a different approach than I had at first and work through the progression of intimacy with God in a more historical sense as found in the Bible.
What follows will be a survey of Scripture with brief commentary to follow. My hope is that the Scriptures will do most of the talking as we consider the topic of Spiritual Intimacy with God.
The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” 18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”Genesis 2:15-18
Here we see God together with his creation (Adam and later Eve) in the garden he made for them. God speaks to Adam. In His love, God extends a warning to Adam. And He sees to Adam’s welfare by making him a companion, or helpmate with Eve. The most important observation here, other than man is existing in the presence of God, is that we see God mindful about Adam’s purpose, welfare, and happiness. God has good and beneficial provisions for his creation.
So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.Genesis 3:6
Adam and Eve broke God’s command, introducing sin to the world and their relationship with God.
Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—” 23 therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. 24 He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.Genesis 3:22-24
Neither Adam nor Eve nor any of their descendants would be permitted to stay in God’s presence because they decided to sin against God by eating the fruit from the forbidden tree. God is holy and does not allow sin to exist in His presence. They and their once close fellowship and intimacy with God was broken.
Promise of a Restoration of Intimacy with God
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.Isaiah 9:6
The prophet Isaiah speaks of the future Redeemer. He ascribes to him titles that bear witness to his character and authority.
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim and the war horse from Jerusalem; and the battle bow shall be cut off, and he shall speak peace to the nations; his rule shall be from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth. As for you also, because of the blood of my covenant with you, I will set your prisoners free from the waterless pit. Return to your stronghold, O prisoners of hope; today I declare that I will restore to you double.Zechariah 9:9-12
The prophet Zechariah speaks of how the future Messiah will enter Jerusalem and of the many wonderous things he will do.
Who has believed what he has heard from us? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? 2 For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. 3 He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 4 Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. 7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth. 8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people? 9 And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth. 10 Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. 11 Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors.isaiah 53:1-12
Isaiah describes in incredible detail what the Messiah would be like. He most importantly discloses how the Messiah would be integral in the redemption of lost intimacy with God from the fall.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.john 3:16-18
The disciple/apostle of Christ, John, describes in this passage how God chose to redeem lost intimacy with us through the giving of his Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for our sins.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”john 14:6
Jesus clarifies for his hearers that He, himself, is the way for our inherited, broken intimacy with God to be restored.
I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins.john 8:24
Jesus then explains that it is faith in him by which we can have restored personal intimacy with God and salvation from our sins.
Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. 16 For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham. 17 Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. 18 For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.hEBREWS 2:14-18
This is why Jesus is so incredible, and why the Father chose to save us like He did. Jesus is the only way our relationship and personal intimacy with God can be fully restored. As God’s son, he took on flesh so that he could live in every way like us, understanding weakness and temptation. He lived a life without sin, then took upon himself our sin and died in our place on the cross. However, when Jesus rose from the grave, the power of death and the eternal loss of our intimacy with God were forever broken.
Slight Delay in Total Intimacy Restoration
But now I am going to him who sent me, and none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ 6 But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. 7 Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.jOHN 6:5-7
Jesus himself explains that he must leave the earth with his disciples so that the Holy Spirit would come and be with them. The Spirit is the presence of God within us who believe in Jesus Christ.
In fact, this time while Christ is away is meant for us, his church, to spread the word of the good news that he has died for the forgiveness of sin. It is meant to extend the opportunity of God’s grace to people all around the world. (“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8)
A Future with Total Intimacy with God
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.jOHN 14:3
Jesus explains what he is doing while he is physically apart from us. He also makes mention of his future return to collect us to himself. This future realization of intimacy with Jesus and the Father will be at Christ’s 2nd coming. At the end of the age, Christ will return to collect his church of believers and render God’s judgment for those who do not believe. The believers will dwell with God, and they will be blessed with His goodness forever. However, the unbelieving will perish experiencing the wrath of God for all eternity.
Intimacy with God is a plethora of things. It’s at the heart of who God is. It’s what He most desires with us. When you consider the scope of all the planning He’s done to establish it, communicate it, redeem it, and preserve it, it’s overwhelming.
Intimacy with God is personal in a way that no other human relationship can match, though each our earthly relationships seem to shadow it.
It’s worth pursuing if you ask me. Whole-heartedly. With everything you’ve got. Because intimacy with God is a precious thing.
In fact, it’s a privilege. He doesn’t owe us anything. We’re the ones who owe a debt to Him. And yet, He paid it. With his only Son.
My gratitude today stems from this last point. My intimacy with God is a lot of things. But it makes me exceedingly grateful when I consider the privilege of it. And the high cost of it.
Intimacy with God should never become something we view like a load of laundry or a box we can check off our daily to do’s. It really is extraordinary. Intimacy with God deserves a place of high honor in our lives.
That the God of all things would even care to know us, let alone fellowship with us each day is remarkable. And then it hits you in the face. It’s not who we are, but who He is!
Yes, it IS a privilege to know Him and to be known by Him.
There is probably no other chapter of the Bible that so profoundly and perfectly communicates what intimacy with God is other than John 17. Who else but Jesus can so eloquently illustrate what it means to have intimacy with God:
When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, 2 since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. 3 And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. 4 I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed. 6 “I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. 7 Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you. 8 For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. 9 I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. 10 All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. 11 And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. 12 While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. 13 But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. 14 I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth. 20 “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. 24 Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. 26 I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”jOHN 17
 “Thanksgiving Every Day.” Charles Stanley. In Touch Ministries, showtime, November 19, 2023, YouTube Video app.