Whether you are flying high in your relationship with God or your spiritual life is as parched as a desert, you can nourish and deepen your intimacy with our Comforter, Provider, Protector, and Daddy in 2019. 

But all the resources in the world are useless unless we approach our relationship with God with the right mindset.

 

1. We have to make time for God. 

“You don’t create intimacy; you make room for it.  This is true whether you are talking about your spouse, your friend, or God. You need space to be together. Efficiency, multitasking, and busyness all kill intimacy. In short, you can’t get to know God on the fly.” Paul Miller, A Praying Life

Luke 5:16 says that Jesus himself had to make room for God in his busy schedule. Why should we be any different?

 

2. Prayer and Bible study are equally important.

Show me a relationship where one partner does all the talking (and never listens), and I’ll show you a dysfunctional relationship. All relationships require two-way communication. Why would we think our relationship with God should be any different? 

Praying is not enough. 

I’ll say it again: Praying is not enough. If we are the only one doing the talking in our relationship with God, then we are being selfish and self-centered. 

As spouses of addicted or unfaithful partners, we have been devastated by our partner’s selfishness. So why would we treat God the same way our unfaithful spouses treat us? 

I’m not talking about audibly hearing God’s voice. God speaks to us loud and clear through His Word. That’s why studying the scriptures to know God is so imperative for building intimacy with the Father.

 

3. Do it consistently

Do you have one of those friends that only calls you when something bad happens? After a while, we stop answering the phone when they call. Why? Because they’re not really interested in us. They only want what they can get from us—to be a sounding board. They dump all their garbage on us, thank us, then walk away.

In his book, With, Sky Jethani calls that, “Life from God.” And it’s a far cry from the kind of relationship God wants with us.

God doesn’t only want to hear from us when things are challenging. He wants to be included in our life when things are going great or even just okay. In fact, life will probably go better (or our view of it will change) when we are spending time with Him consistently and not just when we feel like it or when it’s convenient.

Spend time with Him every day, even if it’s just 20-30 minutes.

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Use a Paper Bible (Optional, but highly recommended)

It may sound old-fashioned in our digital age, but I highly recommend a paper Bible for your personal study. Yes, I use dozens of online resources, but there’s nothing quite like having a paper Bible in front of you to make God’s Word concrete. It gives authenticity to Isaiah 40:8, “Your wifi withers and your battery dies, but the word of our God will stand forever.” (Okay, so I took some liberties, but you get my point.)

Neuroscience teaches us that the more senses we use in our learning, the better we learn. So don’t just use your eyes to learn God’s Word. Feel the pages, write on them, underline scriptures and take notes right in your Bible (I promise you won’t be struck by lightning). Write scriptures you want to memorize on notecards and carry them with you in your pocket or purse.

Take your Bible with you to work, to school or to the park. It’s a much better reminder of your commitment to God, his commitment to you, and the incredible resource you have at your fingertips than a tiny app icon on your smartphone.

 

Top 20 Resources

Okay, now that we have our mindset adjusted, here’s my top 20 recommended resources for 2019 to help intensify your intimacy with God. There are Resources for Everyone and specific resources for Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced Bible students.

Remember, it’s your job to be like a Berean (Acts 17:10-12) and affirm these authors use Scripture in context and teach the truth. 

 

Resources for Everyone

Bible Gateway

Designed to allow easy reading, listening, studying, searching, and sharing of the scriptures in different versions and translations.

Bible Hub

Online Bible Study Suite with topical, Greek and Hebrew study tools, concordances, commentaries, sermons and devotionals.

Douglas Jacoby International Teaching Ministry

Help people “think about faith” with thousands of free articles and podcasts covering many aspects of the Christian faith.

Enduring Word

A Bible commentary from David Guzik for anyone wanting to study and understand God’s Word.

Blue-Letter Bible

A searchable online Bible providing access to different Bible translations, in-depth study tools including commentaries, encyclopedias, dictionaries, and other theological resources. 

Bible Study Tools

An online Bible website for verse search and in-depth studies in different versions. Also includes commentaries, concordances, dictionaries, encyclopedias, reading plans, and popular church history books.

For BEGINNING Bible students

Foundations of Faith

Read and get your own convictions on faith, conversion, and a relationship with Christ.

40 Days of Quiet Times

A broad, elementary view of the scriptures

The Intimacy Manifesto

Redefining and Committing to Intimate Relationships with God and a Circle of Safe Others

A Praying Life

Connecting with God in a Distracting World

With

Reimagining the Way You Relate to God

For INTERMEDIATE Bible students

A Contrast of Hearts

A study comparing the hearts of King David and King Saul. By Dave Pocta.

74 Days of Quiet Times

Studies and podcasts from the Old and New Testaments.

A Quick Overview of the Bible

Understanding How All the Pieces Fit Together

Grace Calls

Spiritual Recovery After Abandonment, Addiction, and Abuse

Jesus: An Interview Across Time

An unparalleled look into the daily life, formative events, and personal feelings of Jesus. Creative non-fiction.

For ADVANCED Bible students

The Gospel of Matthew

A crowning of the King. A practical and indepth exposition of the first gospel of the New Testament.

List of Recommended Books by Category

More than 3,000 books recommended by writer and speaker, Dr. Douglas Jacoby.

Deep Dive into Hebrews

An in-depth look at the New Testament book written to Jewish Christians.

Struggling? Schedule a free Breakthrough Call

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