Guest Writer: Segun Olumid
As a Christian, we want a deeper more intimate relationship with God, but how do we do this? In this article, I explain five steps you can start taking today to have greater intimacy with God.
1. SET A TIME TO BE ALONE WITH GOD DAILY
In Mark 1:35, the Scripture says, “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, JESUS GOT UP, LEFT THE HOUSE and WENT OFF TO A SOLITARY PLACE, where HE PRAYED.” I believe the Lord Jesus had the good habit of waking up every day to commune with the Father. He did that daily before daybreak apparently because he needed to have had ENOUGH TIME with the Father before the busy day would begin.
More so, he needed to begin his day with God rather than with men, especially the early riser. Yes, he had to wisely put MINISTERING TO GOD far ahead of MINISTERING TO MAN. Some years ago, I had a prophetic dream in which God was showing me that I had to wake up at 5 o’clock every morning and spend time with him. He specifically gave me that time. And interestingly, by the time I woke up, it was some few minutes to 5 in the morning! As much as I have obeyed him, my spiritual life and ministry have been enhanced and impacted. I experienced strength in place of weakness.
Looking at that scripture again, it says, “JESUS GOT UP.” So he didn’t just wake up and lay on the bed to pray. Some people wake up to pray, but the just lie down on the bed to do so; and before you could say Jack Robinson, there are already back in the dream world fast asleep! Who is fooling who?
Similarly, the scripture says about Daniel: “But when Daniel learned that the law had been signed, he went home and knelt down AS USUAL in his upstairs room, with its windows opened towards Jerusalem. He prayed THREE TIMES A DAY, JUST AS HE HAD ALWAYS DONE, GIVING THANKS TO GOD” (Dan 6:10, New Living Translation). In addition to that, the psalmist wrote, “SEVEN TIMES A DAY and all day long DO I PRAISE YOU because of your righteous decrees” (Ps 119:164, Amplified Bible).
2. GET A QUIET PLACE TO BE ALONE WITH GOD DAILY
Also Mark 1:35 says Jesus “LEFT THE HOUSE and WENT OFF TO A SOLITARY PLACE.”
That means you have to leave anywhere there could be disturbance, interruption, or distraction.
Like Jesus, Charles Finney, the great evangelist and revivalist had his covenant time with God every morning from 4 to 8. He preferred to go to the woods where no one will hear him groaning for souls of sinners amongst other things.
Mark 1:35 ends with “where HE PRAYED.” It did not say, “Where he complained” nor “Where he worried” nor “Where he dozed off.” God wants his people to know that the issue is not just spending time with Him, but rather spending QUALITY TIME ? ADEQUATE TIME ? ENOUGH TIME ? SUFFICIENT TIME ? SATISFACTORY TIME with Him!
Matthew 14:22-23 reveals: “And straightaway Jesus CONSTRAINED HIS DISCIPLES to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away. And when he had sent the multitudes away, HE WENT UP INTO A MOUNTAIN APART TO PRAY: AND WHEN EVENING WAS COME, HE WAS THERE ALONE.”
The scripture also says: “But when Daniel learned that the law had been signed, HE WENT HOME AND KNELT DOWN AS USUAL IN HIS UPSTAIRS ROOM, with its windows opened towards Jerusalem. He prayed three times a day, just as he had always done, giving thanks to god” (Dan 6:10, New Living Translation).
3. PRAY AND FEED ON THE WORD ADEQUATELY WHILE ALONE WITH GOD DAILY
It is imperative to understand that this covenant time with God is meant to be a fellowship with divinity.
1 John 1:3 reveals, “And truly our FELLOWSHIP is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.” The Greek word translated “fellowship” is the word “koinonia,” which means “sharing, partnership, participation, communion, intercourse (not sexual but spiritual or social), fellowship recognized and enjoyed or communication.”
So you need to talk to God and expect him to talk to you during you covenant time daily. Imagine yourself talking to your natural father for some moments, minutes, or hours on a daily basis, but without any response from him! How would you feel? Thank God he speaks to us, though, sometimes it is difficult for one to hear his voice if one is not near him enough. This is one of the reasons why James exhorted us: “Come near to God and he will come near to you” (James 4:8, NIV). The King James Version puts it this way: “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.” If you are very far away from me, you will not hear whatever I am saying, even if I shout at the top of my voice. But the nearer or closer you are to me, then the clearer you hear my voice, every other thing being equal. You talk to him through thanksgiving, praises, intercession (for others), and personal requests. Then he talks to you primarily through his scriptures via your human spirit.
Solomon wrote, “The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD” (Proverbs 20:27). Candles give light in the midst of darkness helping you to see where you are going without stumbling because of darkness?
In the same way, spiritually speaking, your recreated human spirit is God’s spiritual candle that he uses to enlighten, direct, lead, or guide you in this dark and wicked world! Therefore, endeavor to spend ENOUGH time studying the word, confessing it and applying it personally to your peculiar situation in practical terms.
Spending QUALITY TIME with God will infuse strength into your spirit. Daniel had the self-discipline to pray 3 times to God three times daily (Daniel 6:10-11). David gave thanks to God 7 times daily (Psalms 119:164). Yonggi Cho prays three hours daily. Kenneth E. Hagin used to study the Bible five hours daily.
When I inculcated the habit of spending good time with God daily and continually, I began to notice that I found it easier to forgive people who offended me. In fact, some of the things that used to get me offended did not cause me to be offended anymore. Psalms 84:7 says, “THEY GO FROM STRENGTH TO STRENGTH, every one of them, in Zion APPEARETH BEFORE GOD.” That means as you spend quality time with God daily, you will go from strength to strength. But if you refuse to spend quality time with him, you will go from weakness to weakness!
God revealed some deep truths to me through Rick Joyner in his book, “The Call.” The Lord told him, “God is seeking true worshippers to worship him in truth and in spirit.” Your worship in the midst of your trials touches God more than all the worship of heaven. Such is worship in spirit and in truth.
“Don’t waste your trials. Worship the Father, not for what you will receive, but to bring Him joy. “True worship, when you are going through hard times, brings joy to the Father, and his joy brings strength to you for the joy of the Lord is your strength” (paraphrased). Nehemiah 8:10 declares, “For the joy of the LORD is your strength.”
Anyone who has the habit of spending adequate quality time with God daily will tell you that it has helped them to stand more easily against temptation. Of course, I know that it helps one to be emotionally balanced and mentally sound and spiritually strong! From experience, I know that it helps one to enforce our God-given victory over sins. Are you struggling with anger, hatred, envy, lust, masturbation, fornication, drunkenness, smoking, adultery, lesbianism, homosexuality, pride, lying, unforgiveness, worry, fear, unbelief, greed, or something else? Then inculcate the habit of spending enough quality time with the Lord daily. Before long, you will have a testimony in Jesus’ name!
Another great benefit of spending enough quality time with God daily in his word and prayer, especially prayer of praise and thanksgiving is that it helps you to hear his voice so that you can know his will or mind on a particular matter.
Yes, it may take you hours, days, weeks, or months, but eventually you will know beyond any shadow of doubt what to do, whom to marry, which career or job to choose, which city to live in, which business to invest in, a member of which local church to be, whether or not you are called to be an apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, teacher, healing minister, drama minister, or something else! Occasionally, as the need arises, you may need to seek his face more earnestly for a day or more so that you can hear his voice more clearly (see Acts 13:1-3).
4. LET YOUR HEART COMMUNE WITH GOD DAY AND NIGHT
You don’t have to imbibe the habit of pray only in the mornings or evenings whenever you are at home, then all throughout the day just forget about prayer. That’s unscriptural. The Bible says: “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thess 5:17). The New International Version puts it as: “Pray continually.”The psalmist had this in mind when he wrote: “Seven times a day and ALL DAY LONG DO I PRAISE YOU because of your righteous decrees” (Ps 119:164, Amplified Bible). It was in this fashion that Brother Lawrence (see list of recommended books below) prayed. He communed with God even while in the kitchen washing plates or cooking. He enjoyed that sweet communion with God through the Holy Spirit. I believed that changed his life.
Smith Wigglesworth said, “I don’t pray for more than 30 minutes [at a go].” Then he concluded it, “I don’t spend 30 minutes without praying.”I want to suggest to you to pray silently in an unknown tongue as you walk in the street, as you sit in the bus, in the barbershop, beauty salon, classroom, office, and so on (see 1 Cor 14:2, 4, 14). Like Hannah, only your lips may be moving without anyone hearing your voice (see 1 Sam 1:13-17). More importantly, you need to meditate on the word of God whether your Bible is open in front of you or not. So meditate or think deeply on God’s word day and night, even as go about your daily activities, as you play with your friends, as you eat and drink, and so on (Josh 1:8). There is open-Bible meditation and closed-Bible meditation. You should also charge your spirit continually by singing songs, especially praises full of God’s word.
If you are not yet born-again, say this: I choose to repent today. Also I choose to believe that Jesus died for my sins and rose up for my justification. The Scripture says, “If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Rom 10:9).
Therefore, I believe in Jesus in my heart and confess Him as my Lord. Now I am born-again (Amen).
5. SAY THIS ALOUD TO RECEIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT
I command every foul spirit [spirit of fear, spirit of unbelief, spirit of doubt, religious spirit, unforgiving spirit] wanting to hinder me to stop in its evil operation in my life in Jesus’ name.
Thank you God for filling me with your Spirit in Jesus’ name (Amen).
1. Drawing Near by John Bevere
2. Living Contact by Gloria Copeland
3. The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence
ABOUT THE MINISTER
Segun Olumide is an apostolic leader at the Glorious Family Church International and the New Apostolic Movement both in Lagos, Nigeria. He has a mandate to align the church with God’s purpose. Amen.