Community answers are sorted based on votes. The higher the vote, the further up an answer is.
We can experience intimacy with God by following Jesus, which means to keep His commandments. What are His commandments? Love squared. His commandments are much more difficult than a customary lifestyle. He says to love your neighbor like you love yourself. He first told His children that when they were in the wilderness, in their infancy as a newly founded nation (Lev 19:18). But He didn't say it once and quit. He said it in many ways: "A second commandment is like the first: You shall love your neighbor as yourself." (Mt 22:39) "You shall love the Lord your God with all your soul, strength, and mind, and your neighbor as yourself." (Lk 10:27) "For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: You shall love your neighbor as yourself " (Gal 5:14). 'If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself," you are doing well." (Jas 2:8) "The commandments, you shall not commit adultery, murder, steal, or covet, are summed up in this word: You shall love your neighbor as yourself." (Rom 13:9) Anything repeated this often must be important. He even took this "love" thing a step further: "You have heard it said,' You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, ' Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you'" (Mt 5:43,44). For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have?...(Mt 5:46) Love is the pivotal theme of the gospel. The gospel is the power of God for salvation (Rom 1:16). Salvation is more than a ticket to heaven after death. David called the LORD his light and his salvation, and said it gave him courage (Psa 27:1) Isaiah said the same: "God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; For the LORD God is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation" (Isa 12:2). Micah had this to say: "I will watch expectantly for the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation; My God will hear me" (Micah 7:7). These testimonies make God sound like a constant companion who saves in the "here and now." None of the above is about lifestyle. When you tell the average citizen he/she can be in a close relationship with God by keeping His commandments, the thought is that personal politics is the way to do it. Do's and don'ts about eating and drinking; types of music and movie ratings; observance of "special" days. And of course, abstinence from sexual immorality. Yes, personal discipline is important in maintaining a good conscience, but a good conscience is relative. Paul said to the council at Jerusalem, "Brothers, I have lived my life before God in all good conscience up to this day" (Acts 23:1) That got him struck on the mouth. Paul meant that he was a Pharisee, a strict observer of the Law of God. A "pure" lifestyle is intimacy with a "code of conduct," not with God. Those who worship God must do so in spirit and in truth (Jn 4:24). Jesus told the "lady at the well" that God was "seeking such people to worship Him." WHY? He already had the Pharisees, strict observers of good conduct... Intimacy with God is had by following and imitating Jesus, which is to put God first in all your ways. That's how we experience true intimacy. "In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths" (Prov 3:6). That's a real partnership. God puts us here to get glory from our living the life He has ordained for us; we acknowledge that simple fact, and He guides us through it all by His omniscience. He gets the glory He deserves and we get to live a life of intimacy with God. The first thing to do is stop concentrating on that which causes you to sin, the law (Heb 10:1-4). Confess your sinfulness and move on to being healed through confession (1 Jn 1:9). Repentance is a one time event. Confession is ongoing. Believe you're forgiven and you'll feel a sense of intimacy with the Lord of your faith. If you concentrate on your weaknesses you WILL be weak. Put on His armor and feel spiritually empowered (Ephesians 6:10 and following).
All answers are REVIEWED and MODERATED.
Please ensure your answer MEETS all our guidelines.
A good answer provides new insight and perspective. Here are guidelines to help facilitate a meaningful learning experience for everyone.