The Key to Greater Intimacy with God
Do you wish God would talk to you more often? I mean really speak to you, Spirit to spirit, communicating clearly with you even though it may be inaudible to the human ear?
Are you tired of never knowing what God wants you to do? Are you bored with the Bible and often think to yourself (and occasionally complain out loud) that you don’t “get anything” out of reading it?
Jesus tells us how we can change all of that.
In one plain verse in the Gospel of Mark, Jesus gives us the key to greater intimacy with God.
In the beginning of chapter 4, Jesus used a farming parable to explain to a crowd of people the different types of responses people have to the Word of God (Mark 4:1-9). Later, when they were alone, the 12 disciples asked Jesus to explain what the parable meant (Mark 4:10-23). In verse 13 Jesus asked the disciples, “Don’t you understand this parable?”
I think it is safe to assume Jesus may have been feeling frustrated and/or disappointed with the twelve men who should have understood Jesus better than anyone. Yet, they consistently demonstrated they didn’t
And I wonder, “Lord, are You frustrated and disappointed with me when I fail to understand you, after all these years of being with You?”
And then I quickly add, “Don’t answer that.”
He dissected the parable for the slow disciples, and then Jesus gave them a piece of advice we’d do well to heed ourselves.
“Consider carefully what you hear… With the measure you use, it will be measured to you—and even more,” (Mark 4:24).
In other words, “Pay attention to what I say… If you apply it, I will tell you more.”
In other words, “The key to ever-growing intimacy with Me is to, first, know My Word, and to, second, act in accordance with My Word.”
Could it be that we struggle to hear God and “get things” out of our Bible reading because God knows we won’t obey when He speaks to us? If our track record is one of hearing the Lord and then promptly ignoring Him, why would He waste His energy on continuing to try to communicate with us?
It’s only by His grace that He doesn’t completely clam up and leave us out to dry. No, He continues to be open to communicating with us despite ourselves. But, according to Jesus Himself, God is only as chatty as we are obedient.
If you want deeper intimacy with God, show Him by doing the things you already know He wants you to do, and more intimacy will follow.