Blog Enjoying Autumn Days With God (Intimacy With God)

As part of my missionary ministry, I answer thousands of emails in French over the course of a year. Some themes occur again and again. One of the most common questions would be, “How can I get closer to God?” I often have the sense that people are asking, “How can I feel His presence more strongly and more often?”

We’ve all been there, haven’t we? It seems we suffer from a broken “feeler” as we stumble through life wanting God to walk with us as He walked in fellowship with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Or at least like those times we’ve felt Him in the past.Yet, it seems like He’s forgotten our address. From the depth of his pain, Job longs for his “autumn” days, which to me would represent these times of closeness.

Job said, “Oh, that I were as in the months of old, as in the days when God watched over me, when his lamp shone upon my head, and by his light I walked through darkness,

“as I was in my prime, (note—in Hebrew, ‘my autumn days’) when the friendship of God was upon my tent, when the Almighty was yet with me, when my children were all around me, when my steps were washed with butter, and the rock poured out for me streams of oil!"
(Job 29:2-6)

“Autumn days.” Autumn! We’ve finished the sweaty work of summer. Harvest stuffs the barns. The temperature abates to agreeable levels. Leaves strut their stuff in an explosion of color. It’s a season to reflect. Fall.

It’s not all singing birds and pretty leaves, but those rainstorms and gray skies warning of winter ahead are part of the deepness of the season.

Called To Fellowship

Autumn appeared far away from Job. In his trials, he felt the Almighty had abandoned him.A powerful perk of knowing the Lord intimately is being able to sense His presence … usually, that is, but not always. “God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1:9, Segond 21)

We yearn for a constant feeling of closeness, warmth, and presence. That desire isn’t bad and I’m one of those “yearners.” I’m not sure that’s for this life. In God’s heavenly Kingdom, I believe He will fulfill this desire. Here we have “flashes” and special periods when the Lord Jesus seems so close, but often we walk by what we know is true without overwhelming feelings. We treasure those times when we have a special sense of His presence.

“In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (Ps. 16:11, NKJV)

“The friendship [note—or ‘the secret counsel’] of the Lord is for those who fear him, and he makes known to them his covenant.” (Psalm 25:14, ESV) We long for this closeness, this special friendship.

How Do We Enter That Place of Intimacy, Feelings Or Not?

—We lay the foundation for the manifestation of His presence by the “mundane” things we do regularly: reading the Word, praying, worshipping with others who love the Lord, listening to the teaching and preaching of the Word, witnessing, giving, etc. There is power in consistently approaching Him.

—Worship and praise “build a throne” for His presence in our hearts. (Ps. 22: 2, 3 ). When we praise Him we don’t always feel His presence as we wish at first, but as we continue and the Holy Spirit lifts our praises to heaven, it’s as if we build a throne for the King and suddenly we know that He is there.

—Praying in the Spirit helps us enter that special place. (1 Cor. 14:2—“speaking mysteries”)

—Sin interrupts God’s presence like a dead spot in our cell phone coverage blocks conversation with friends. (1 John 1:6) When we’re aware of sin, we confess and turn from it. If we fall and have to ask forgiveness again one hundred times, we do it. Eventually, we will be free.

—Make the most of your trials. I heard a fellow recently who had had a terrible bout with Covid. He said that in those dark days, He felt the presence of the Lord in a way He never had before.

—Faith. This is probably the most important factor. Jesus said He would be with us and never leave us. Either He is present, or He isn’t telling the truth. Feelings or not, what is true is true. “…he has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So we can confidently say, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?’” (Heb. 13:5, 6)

Intimacy with God develops like any other relationship—it results from walking faithfully alongside Jesus throughout life. Closeness often springs up between people who have been married for a long time. They’ve walked together through smiles and through mourning, through sunshine and through lightning storms. In the same way a deep complicity develops between the Lord and those who walk faithfully with Him.

That hunger we feel for even more closeness is a precursor of the day when faith swallows sight. We’ll be eternally in His presence in the way our heart longs for. In the meantime, He’s with us whether or not we feel Him.


French philosopher/mathematician Blaise Pascal--“In the year 1654, Monday, twenty-third November, from about half past ten in the evening until half an hour after midnight . . . FIRE . . . God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob, and not of the philosophers and of the learned. Certainty. Certainty. Feeling. Joy. Peace.”

American evangelist D. L. Moody—“I was crying all the time that God would fill me with His Spirit. Well, one day, in the city of New York — oh, what a day! — I cannot describe it, I seldom refer to it; it is almost too sacred an experience to name. Paul had an experience of which he never spoke for fourteen years. I can only say that God revealed Himself to me, and I had such an experience of His love that I had to ask Him to stay His hand. I went to preaching again. The sermons were not different; I did not present any new truths, and yet hundreds were converted. I would not now be placed back where I was before that blessed experience if you should give me all the world …”

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