Your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.
How do you build intimacy with God? Remove any barriers in your life to intimacy with God.
The biggest barrier that keeps us from having a relationship with God is sin. In Isaiah 59:2, the prophet said, “Your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.” Isaiah was talking to God’s people, the Israelites. Now, we are born separated from God. There is a wall caused by the sin we inherited from Adam. You say, “How do I remove that wall?” You can’t remove it. I can’t remove it. That is why Christ came, to pay for our sins. Jesus Christ removed that wall and made access to God possible. And when you trust in Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, God takes a sledgehammer to that wall and knocks it down. He welcomes us into His presence. But after we become a Christian, we can try to erect that wall ourselves brick by brick, and when we erect our own wall, sin after sin, it’s not that God changes His attitude toward us, but we change our attitude toward God. We grow distant from God the more sins we pile on, and we build and build that wall until we can no longer see our Creator. The one brick that blocks our view of God more than any other is idolatry. Idolatry is not just bowing down before a wooden statue; idolatry is loving anyone or anything more than you love God. That is what it is to have an idol: to be obsessed with, to think about, to love anything or anyone more than we love God. And if we are going to have intimacy with God, then we have to be willing to let go of those idols in our life.
Finally, if we’re going to have intimacy with God, we must nurture our relationship with God. Here is a formula that is guaranteed to destroy any relationship you have: don’t ever talk to the other person, don’t ever listen to the other person, and don’t ever spend any time with the other person. That will destroy any relationship. You may think, “I have a great relationship with my wife or my children or my lifelong friend.” You may think you have a great relationship, but quit talking to them, listening to them, or spending time with them, and that relationship will shrivel up overnight. It’s the same in our relationship with God. You will destroy intimacy with God if you don’t ever talk to Him, don’t ever listen to Him, don’t ever spend any time with Him. We have to nurture our relationship with God if we are going to be intimate with Him. Even Jesus understood that. In Mark 1:35, the morning after the busiest recorded day in His ministry, the Bible says Jesus “got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there.” Think about it: If spending time with the heavenly Father was essential for the perfect Son of God, how much more essential is it for you and for me to have a relationship with God? How do we spend time with God? We talk with God through prayer, telling Him what is on our heart. We listen to God through reading His Word. We spend time with Him as often as we can. Choose intimacy with God. Make it a priority in your life instead of isolation from God.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Choosing Companionship over Loneliness” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2019.
Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.