(This section is taken from the book, “The Destiny of an Overcomer.”)
Though it is our desire to have intimacy with the Father—to know His voice, to know His leading and to experience Him, it is also His desire to know us deeply. Throughout the Bible, we continuously see how the Lord wants to have this kind of relationship with us. In fact, the Bible itself being the Lord’s Word to each of us is an expression of that desire in and of itself.
In Genesis, we see the Lord walking and talking to Adam in the Garden of Eden. Exodus 33:11 tells of how the Lord would speak to Moses “face to face, as a man speaks with his friend.” Hebrews 11:5 speaks of how Enoch walked with God and was taken from this life without experiencing death because he pleased God. And in Jeremiah 31:33, 34 the Lord reveals His desire to know everyone on a personal level:
“This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time,” declares the LORD. “I will put My law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be My people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ because they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the LORD. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”
The Lord wants to know each of us individually, where every man, woman, and child comes to know Him in such an intimate way that they are able to receive from and interact with Him directly.
Even when He is commanding us to follow Him unreservedly, we can hear the desire of His heart for intimacy:
What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be My people. Therefore come out from them and be separate,” says the Lord. “Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.” I will be a Father to you, and you will be My sons and daughters,” says the Lord Almighty. (2 Cor. 6:16–18).
Can you hear the cry of the Father’s heart for intimacy and friendship in these verses? Even His corrections and commands to follow after purity are issued out of love and are an open invitation to increased intimacy. This intimacy is one where He can commune with us as close friends do; bringing us to a place where we can really know one another. Intimacy is so important, that the Lord values this type of relationship above everything else . . . even above doing great exploits in His name. Jesus said in Matthew 7:23 that some will come to Him on the basis of what they have done for Him, to which He will reply, “I never knew you. . . ” (Matt. 7:23, emphasis added).
Intimacy is what He desires above all else. He’d rather know us as a friend than have us do great exploits or all of the “right things” if they come at the expense of a personal relationship with Him. That’s why Jesus was so harsh with the Pharisees. As far as observing the Law, they were amazing. They did all of the “right things”. They spent hours praying, they sacrificed, tithed, kept the Sabbath holy, and spent years memorizing the Bible. From all outward appearances, they looked to be models of the faith. But Jesus spoke the Father’s heart, saying that they were nothing but “white washed tombs. . . full of dead men’s bones” (Matt. 23:27).He told them that the scriptures alone wouldn’t save; only those willing to come to Him could have eternal life within them (John 5:39, 40).
The Pharisees honored the Lord with their lips, but their hearts were far from Him (Mark 7:5–7). As a result, their worship was in vain, and their teachings were empty, because they knew Him not!
The Father’s chief desire is for each of us to become truly transparent with Him. He wants us to meet Him in spirit and truth, in simplicity and sincerity of heart, without the need for any artificial outward appearances or mechanical religious motions. Jesus expounds on this in Matthew 6:5, 6:
And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to Your Father, who is unseen. Then Your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
It was the Lord’s plan to reconcile us to Himself through Jesus’ death on the cross (Col. 1:19, 20) so that we would know the intimacy of His friendship and would come to see that He is the friend who sticks closer than a brother (Prov. 18:24). He gave His only Son to die for us, so that we could relate to Him on a personal level. How often we push Him aside and settle for religion, giving Him a half-hearted token gesture of our love for Him when all the while He just wants us.
This time spent with the Lord, waiting on Him and fostering intimacy, is a wonderful time of growth, especially in the area of hearing the Lord’s voice. Further, this is the foundation upon which the rest of our destiny is built and its soundness will dictate the future of our relationship with Him. The process of maturation and growth births the Lord’s plan and calling on our lives, through which we begin to minister to others out of the well of our relationship with the Father.