Intimacy and obedience are essential for a thriving relationship with God, You cannot have one without the other and they go hand in hand for a true follower of Christ. To be obedient without intimacy we become dry and religious and to be without obedience we can become subject to deception by the enemy and become acceptable to the pitfalls of sin. In this backslidden state we can think we are still intimate with the Lord and begin to confuse our desires with God’s voice. Being in this position is a dangerous pitfall for a believer.
Jesus is our example to show us what it is like to have intimacy with the Father and to be obedient. In Matthew 4:14 we see where the Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted. He fasted for forty days and nights and became hungry. The tempter came to Him and tried to get Jesus to question His identity and then told Him to command the stones to become bread because He was hungry. Jesus replied “It written. ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” (Paraphrased in my own words.) Jesus withstood the temptation of hunger because He had a profound understanding what it is to be obedient and to have an intimate relationship with God. By being intimate he could differentiate the voice of God over the tempter. He showed that it is more important to live on each word that proceeds from the mouth of God than to satisfy fleshly desires apart from the will of God
In the book by Randy Clark, The Power to Heal, he gives us some insight in our intimacy with God. He states: God has four unique qualities in an intimate relationship: revelation, manifestation, visitation and habitation. Jesus tells His disciple in John 14:15-20 “If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. “A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also. At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?” Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.
In the scripture above, Jesus is wanting to bring a revelation to us and to pay very close attention to what He is saying here: “To the person who loves Me, I will reveal Myself and to the person who keeps my commands and obeys Me, I will reveal Myself.” There is a very strong connection between revelation, hearing from the Father and obeying His commands. To obey is to love Him and vise versa to love Him is to obey. When we maintain an intimate relationship with Jesus, the manifestation of Himself will become an outward and a visible expression through us with the help of the Holy Spirit that resides in us. Because of the love for Jesus we will obey or keep His word and commands, the Father will love us, and the Father and the Son make their home (habitation) with us.
In closing Randy Clark makes the following comment from the book: “We are not saved by obedience, but we can enjoy intimacy with Jesus if we obey Him. If we start violating this request for obedience by saying yes to the things we want to do and no to things we don’t want to without regard to His will, it will affect our intimacy and our revelation.”
Pray/Altar Ministry Leader