Faithlife Sermons

Intimacy Issues

Can't Buy Me Love  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Intimacyexperience of completely knowing and being known by someone
Intimacy with God is not only possible, but it’s God’s best plan for us. In fact, God desires an intimate relationship with you. It’s one thing to want it, but it’s another thing to make it possible. The finished work of the cross makes intimacy with God available to us through the Holy Spirit.

1. When you draw near to Him, He draws near to you.

James 4:8
Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
Intimacy with God is a benefit for you.
Psalm 73:28
But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all your works.
God is never running away from you; He’s responding to your pursuit of Him. He never draws back from a heart that’s chasing after Him. He’s not hiding from you; He’s not playing hard to get. He desires to be known by you and makes Himself available for it when we pursue Him.

2. Intimacy requires complete trust.

God is worthy of your trust. He’s not the boy who broke your heart. He’s not the parent who treated your poorly. He’s not even the church that judged you unfairly. Your intimacy and closeness with Him will grow as you trust Him more.
Separation from God is often a result of a violation of trust, but it’s never God who violates it. Maybe it’s sin or disappointment we’ve associated with God due to our own poor understanding. Either way, trust is essential to intimacy.

3. Intimacy is more than knowing about God.

You can know everything about someone and not know them personally. The Word is available to us in abundance, but just reading it will not produce intimacy with Him. You have to read it with faith and you have to invite Him into that time. It can’t simply be academic and automatic. Scripture is God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16-17), which means that we have to allow the living God into our time of understanding. Reading someone’s biography is different than going to dinner with them.
Jesus admonishes the religious leaders of His day by telling them that even though the Scriptures bear witness about Him, their refusal to get close to Him is standing in the way of their having eternal life.
John 5:39–40
You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.
The Bible is meant to enhance our intimacy with Him, not replace it.
Knowing a lot about something creates space for pride; knowing someone intimately creates space for transformation.

4. Building our faith draws us closer to God.

God is pleased with our faith in His Word, His character, and His power.
Hebrews 11:6
And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
When we obey Him, He responds with love and intimacy. We must value knowing Him above all else and not just for the sake of convenience.
Philippians 3:7–11
But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

5. Developing intimacy with God is a process that requires time and commitment.

You can’t decide to know God better one day and then be frustrated the next when your life doesn’t seem to be better. Intimacy is built, not spontaneously created.
Learning His voice requires exposure to it. When you know someone’s voice, you don’t fall for a counterfeit. When you know how He talks and what He says and the way that He operates, you grow closer.
John 10:1–5
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.”
Don’t give up. Your faith will be tested in your pursuit of knowing Him more, but staying true to Him will lead to maturity in your relationship.
James 1:3
for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.

6. Vulnerability requires humility.

It makes no sense to hide from God. He already knows you completely. Half the battle toward an intimate relationship with Him is done. He created you and knows you.
Psalm 139:1–24
O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it. Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,” even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you. For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you. Oh that you would slay the wicked, O God! O men of blood, depart from me! They speak against you with malicious intent; your enemies take your name in vain. Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord? And do I not loathe those who rise up against you? I hate them with complete hatred; I count them my enemies. Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!
You can’t hide from God. That should be a comfort to you. There’s nothing you can do that can make Him love you less.
Hebrews 4:13–15
And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account. Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.
God’s love for you and desire for intimacy with you is not dependent upon your righteousness. Nothing you’ve done or could ever do will separate you from that love.
Romans 8:38–39
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
His desire for intimacy is unchanging. Your ability to accomplish it does require you to do something different. If you don’t start doing what He says to do, you can’t expect to grow in your intimacy with Him.
John 14:15
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
Obedience yields closeness. If you’re frustrated and feel far from God, maybe it’s as simple as doing what He says to do. What does the Word say to do? What is the Spirit inside you telling you to do? Remember that those two things won’t conflict with one another.
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