“2 Corinthians 13:14 (NLT) May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”
Paul prayed this prayer for the Christians in Corinth and because of the power that the prayer carries, it became a Doctrine in the body of Christ to recite it in every meeting. Every time we are told to say the Grace, what we all recite is what is found in 2cor 13:14. The word fellowship in the Greek text is “Koinonia” meaning communion, joint participation, intercourse, intimacy.
Therefore, the word intimacy is used as fellowship, so the more you fellowship with the person of the Holy Spirit, the more you get intimate, closely acquainted with Him.
Benjamin Franklin defines intimacy as “into me see” In other words God is saying grow your relationship with me to be able to see the deep things I have for you. However, you cannot grow intimately with God without his Spirit. Therefore, our central focus will be on the subject of the Holy Spirit; how he helps us to understand the word and to also pray.
As you grow more intimate with God, He start to reveal some hidden secret about himself/yourself to you. Those who decide to dive deeper to know more of God get to know the deep things of God and the knowledge of God becomes richer and richer in them.
“Proverbs 25:2 (KJV) It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.”
It’s your honor as a king in God’s kingdom to search out the hidden things of God and a way to do that is to dive deeper in prayer and in the word.
“Psalms 42:1-3 (TLB) As the deer pants for water, so I long for you, O God.
I thirst for God, the living God. Where can I find him to come and stand before him? Day and night I weep for his help, and all the while my enemies taunt me. “Where is this God of yours?” they scoff.”
The psalmist used an illustration of how the deer pants for water when in a dry land to describe how thirsty he is for God. In Joel 1:20, we were made to understand that the cattle cry to God for help when there is no water for them to drink. The word “panteth” and “cry” have the same Hebrew word meaning “to long for”, “to desire greatly”. In other words, when you’re thirsty for more of God, you cry out in your heart to Him as the deer and cattle cries to God for help when in need of water.
Your thirst for God determines how intimate you’ll be with God. The thirst you have for more of Him determines how long and how deep you’ll go in your search for God. It also determines your feeding (how you consume his word daily). As long as a man isn’t hungry, there’s no need to feed him. Why will I serve you food when you aren’t hungry for it? In the same way, your hunger for Him goes a long way in getting fed. Let us check Isaiah 55:1-2(KJV)
“Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.”
You see, the invitation is to as many that are thirsty and not to those who have a fat account balance or those who have spent years in church or those who are already satisfied. Your thirst in God’s kingdom is what carries you deeper in Him. And the deeper you go, the more filled you are. Consequently, the more secret that is revealed unto you. The reason why your life is still the same, is because you’re not thirsty for more of Him and you’re more comfortable with where You are presently.
YOUR THIRST FOR HIM, IS WHAT BRINGS YOU MORE OF HIM.
This thirst for more of God originated with God and God had to put that desire to want him in us to draw us nearer unto him. SOS 1:4a, “we will run after him after he has drawn us nearer unto him.”
The day you lose your hunger for God, is the day you lose everything.
“Psalms 63:6 (KJV) O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is.”
The psalmist had a kind of thirst that made him seek the Lord early in his life and early each day. A thirst that the only thing that could satisfy it was God. The kind of thirst he had was that of longing for the supernatural things of God. And after discovering God the more, he started praising Him for who He is. Therefore growing intimately with God is a continuous function of how thirsty you are for God.
Men who had an intimate relationship with God
- Enoch had this kind of intimacy with God, which came as a result of a close fellowship with God. He didn’t experience death, instead was taken away to heaven. Gen 5:21-25
- Abraham had this kind of intimate relationship with God also and at a point in his journey with God, God said “will I do anything without letting my servant Abraham know about it.” Gen 18:17
- Noah also had a similar experience when God wanted to flood the earth. Gen 6:9. To grow intimately with God, you have to consistently follow him. That was the account of Noah.
- David, Paul (Phil 3:10), the Apostles, Elijah etc.
A man who grows to have an intimate relationship with the Father, will have an experience of the supernatural. All these men had that experience. You can also if you take the decision to want more of God and follow him consistently through your itinerary in this world.
Intimacy With The Holy Spirit
One thing God gave man when he created him was the ability to fellowship with him through the Holy Spirit. Gen 2:7 says “and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living being”. Man did not only become living to the outside world, but man became living unto God. Man gained the ability to commune with the Father when he became a living being and that through the breath of life that God gave Him. Often times God will come down to commune with man and they both fellowshipped together. However, Man lost this communion through sin and the spirit of man became dead to God.
The New Testament (salvation through the blood of Jesus) brought back to man the privilege he lost at first, which is the ability to fellowship with God. 1cor 15:45-49 says “The first man Adam became a living being (an individual personality); the last Adam (Christ) became a life-giving Spirit [restoring the dead to life]”
Christ is the life-giving spirit, KJV says “he was made a quickening spirit”. So the spirit of a man becomes restored unto God when a man receives the redemption work of Christ.
Jesus promised the disciples and the believers of the coming of the Holy Spirit and also told them of the role he’s coming to play in their individual lives.
“John 14:26 (KJV) But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”
We see from this verse the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Interestingly, the key role out of his numerous roles is to “lead us to fellowship with the Father per time.”
Intimacy with God isn’t possible without the active role of the Holy Spirit in our lives. From our central text (2cor 13:14), Paul made mention of the communion of the Holy Spirit, because the more a man communes, the more he grows in knowing who the Father his. Having an understanding that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are one. Therefore, as you fellowship with the Holy Spirit, you fellowship with them all.
The work of the Holy Spirit in our lives is inexhaustible, but there are two main things he helps us with from time to time; the word and prayer.
Therefore the two main elements required to grow intimate with the Holy Spirit are
The word and Prayer. Great men in the world have given themselves to these two things and have seen the power of God performing wonders. E. M bounds once said that “men of power are men of prayer” and I include that they are also men of the word, because your prayer becomes effective and sweet as you study the word the more.
Intimacy With The Holy Spirit Through Prayer
I learnt this from Joyce Meyer and it has greatly blessed me, learn from it also. “There are three world of prayer; Asking, Seeking, Finding.”
Matt 7:7 relates the three to the Old Testament temple (the inner and outer section). If your prayer life with God isn’t beyond the outer court you’ll get tired of it quickly. The spirit of man becomes alive when he enters into the Holy of Holies and here, the soul and the body is shut out. When you enter the 2nd round of prayer, which is the seeking aspect. Ex 33:13.
However, one major thing most of us face as we try to pray each morning when we wake up is dozing off. As we start to pray, because we’re just waking up, we find it difficult to pray and hence gives in to the weakness of the body and we fall sleep. “But one thing that has helped me most times is to rise from the bed and sit on a chair, then I’ll use my earpiece to listen to songs that will lift my spirit and help me to pray.” You can always try this out, it works. But the main thing here is that you’ll remain in the outer court if you give up on prayer easily each morning because of the weakness of your body. Paul said “I will put my body under subjection.”
The knocking world is where “heart to heart” communication occurs. The asking world is where we often start as believers but it isn’t the ending point. You need to press deeper. Prayer becomes sweeter when you push ahead even if your body isn’t agreeing to. One thing God desires is the fellowship of human heart, hence, we have to pursue after our relationship with Him to grow into fellowship.
What God wants from us is fellowship with him. God literally told the Israelites that He was tired and sick of their burnt offering. He stressed that what was more important is that they know Him personally.
If you recall, in the New Testament, the prayer Jesus prayed for the disciple is that “they know Him (the Father), the only true God and Jesus Christ”.
“John 17:3 (KJV) And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”
Eternity isn’t what we’ll obtain in the future, we have eternal life the moment we accepted Jesus Christ in our life (John 3:16) and eternal life isn’t just living forever, but it’s that we may know the Father. We start knowing the Father while we’re on earth through His word and we’ll continue to know Him when we see him.
Why did Jesus pray that for them? It is because what is more important in our relationship with God is that we know Him. And knowing God comes through our fellowship with Him.
The second part of prayer that all believer should partake from is praying in tongues. Paul said in “1 Corinthians 14:4 (KJV) He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.”
The word edification means to “build up, to grow.” Therefore as you pray in tongues, you build up/grow your spirit man to become more sensitive to God. The more you build your spirit man, the more you become intimate with the Holy Spirit. The evidence that we’ve received the Holy Spirit is that we speak in new tongues. In Act 10:44-46, the household of Cornelius spoke in new tongues as the Holy Spirit fell on them.
“Romans 8:26 (KJV) Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”
There are time when we find it hard to utter understandable words in prayer, but because of the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives, he helps us make our prayer at such point. He helps us means that as we are finding it difficult to utter words in prayer, he helps us interpret that burden to God, so we don’t stop praying, we press on.
“Jude 1:20 (KJV) But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost.”
He that prays in tongues builds up himself in the most holy faith. In other words, build up his faith in God. As he prays in tongues, he prays mysteries incomprehensible to human understanding. He is also at the same time enjoying intimacy with the Holy Spirit. The more you exercise yourself in praying in tongues, the more you grow your faith in God.
The third thing on prayer I’ll like to share with us is on how the waiting periods help us to grow more intimate God.
Waiting is beyond prayer, it is a communion with God. In prayer, you make your requests known to God. And when you’re done letting him know your request, you wait on him. The period of waiting destroys the flesh and its desires in your life. The period of waiting also helps you get closer to God. And the closer you are, the more intimate you become. The period of waiting however doesn’t connote denial. It doesn’t mean God will not do what you request from him.
The first thing that happens when you wait on the Lord is the renewal of your strength. The eagle flies at its greatest potential when the wind is at is full force and that renews its strength.
The second thing is that your discernment is restored and you surrender to the wind of the Spirit and you’re been carried to the high places where you can worship God in spirit and truth. A place you begin to know the deep things of God (1cor 2:10).
The third thing is that your fellowship with God is reignited. “They will walk and not faint”, you begin to ask him for your daily bread, the bread of the spirit.
In your waiting, you wait for him to quicken you, you don’t know when he’s going to quicken you, hence it is required that you wait upon him for as long as it will take.
Fellowship with God is more than you just having peace of mind, it is where you know His heart. You can always find the riches of Christ when you fellowship with the father. The longer you stay in His presence, the real it becomes.
The period of waiting isn’t a denial of your access to God’s Presence. It serves as a period of training, building. Waiting like I said earlier may require hours, days, weeks, month and years. How long you wait on God depends on your relationship God, how close you’re to Him. What may take you 1 hour to wait on God for today, may take you few minutes next time. The reason is because you become more close to Him in your waiting period.
When you start knocking on the door of His presence with a determination not to quit till you have the access, that period of knocking and waiting brings you to a period of sweet fellowship with God.
OUT THERE YOU BEG, IN THERE YOU ENJOY, THERE’S NO BEGGING IN THERE. YOU ASK YOU SEEK, YOU RECEIVE, BECAUSE THE RICHES ARE BEYOND DESCRIPTION.
In our next publication we’ll talk more about how we grow intimate with God through His word.
In conclusion, I wouldn’t want you to be ignorant of what lies ahead of you as you take deliberate decisions to grow in your relationship with God. God’s desire is that we all live as kings and priest here on earth, but how will we live like that if we fail to do the necessary things that gives us authority as kings. It is God’s desire that we all grow intimate with Him to be able to know his secrets. This is because the secrets of the Lord are revealed to those that fear Him. Spend time to pray and trust God to help you to grow more intimate with Him.
Perhaps you have any challenges in your walk with God, feel free to contact us personally and together we can pray through those challenges. God bless you.