Divine Intimacy is that innermost, familiar, closely-related fellowship that Jesus encourages and even demands of all saints of God and most especially we who are called into the ministry of preaching. I have found it next to impossible to be an intimate friend of Jesus without maintaining a prayer closet. I find unbroken fellowship with Jesus to be impossible without being obedient to He who said, "But you, when you pray, go into your closet room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees in secret will repay you openly."
Divine intimacy is a must if we are to live victoriously in this world. Innermost fellowship demands a coming apart from the world and coming into the secret place that Jesus calls "the closet."
God's Word gives simple instructions as to how to establish intimacy with Jehovah God. It is not enough to be forgiven and saved by His Grace; we must accept the Savior's complete invitation..."come and abide."
God says to me His child, "Draw close to me and I will draw close to you." (James 4:8) This promise of God to be intimate with me has a condition. I must first draw near to Him. Jesus said, "Go into your closet and I'll meet you there." Always, anytime, anywhere I have the privilege of praying to God but if I wish to linger in His presence and fellowship in conversation, I must establish a place, a closet.
A THRILLING TIME
The thrilling thing about approaching God is that I am never turned away. In the closet with God is an exciting time. I can get as close to God as my heart desires. The Devil cannot keep me from Him, even though He tries. I have learned something, while the devil will challenge you even in the closet, He does not hang around long because Jesus is there.
To be intimate with God is to be a favorite child of His. Leonard Ravenhill expressed it: "Intimacy with 'the great' usually means favors. A common saying among the redeemed is this, ' God has no favorites.' but I think the whole of revealed truth completely destroys that premise. Closeness to God inevitable leads to affection, and affection for Him to yet greater nearness. The God-intoxicated person ever thrills to sing, 'Draw me nearer, nearer, nearer, blessed Lord.'
THE CLOSET MAKES THE DIFFERENCE
My purpose is to convince all saved people to establish a prayer closet. THE PRAYER LIFE is a monthly magazine that was established in 1988 for the purpose of promoting the establishing of prayer closets in the lives of the redeemed. My files are full of testimonies of those who have found victory and success in what was before a failing effort but is now a thrilling, fruitful overflowing ministry. A closet makes the difference!
Communion in the closet develops intimate fellowship with God. The closet is that uninterrupted secret place where one can share the heart and mind with Jesus; that secret place where God gives personal instructions for keeping His perfect will. This Christian life is a battle field. There are strategy plans that God gives to His individual soldiers that have only to do with a particular personal battle that is being fought. Jesus tells us to share our personal needs with Him and in secret He will reward us openly.
There are times on the battle field when we need to run for cover. There are times when you will not be able to stand up against the pressures of these days and hours that are before you unless you have proper instant instructions from our Lord Who often times tells us to run for cover. There are times when we must run to the closet.
Let me share with you a moving story that a friend once shared with A. C. Dixon: Rising early one morning, he said, I heard the baying of a score of deer hounds in pursuit of their quarry. Looking away to a broad, open field in front of me, I saw a young fawn making it's way across, and giving signs, moreover, that it's race was well-nigh run. Reaching the rails of the enclosure, it leaped over and crouched within ten feet from where I stood. A moment later two of the hounds came over, and the fawn ran in my direction and pushed it's head between my legs. I lifted the little thing to my breast, and, swinging round and round, fought off the dogs. I felt, just then, that all the dogs in the world could not, and should not capture that fawn after it's weakness had appealed to my strength. A. C. Dixon then wrote, "So is it, when human helplessness appeals to almighty God. Well do I remember when the hounds of sin were after my soul, until at last, I ran into the arms of almighty God." There is a Scripture, Isaiah 26:20-21 that is in some way akin to the New Testament Scripture Matthew 6:6, "Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee. Hid thyself, as it were, for a little while, a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. For behold, the Lord cometh out of the place to punish the inhabitants of the earth disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain."
The first thing that came to my mind on that infamous 9/11 day, 2001 was; I must go to Higher Ground, and I must close the door and not come out until God's wrath is past.
I appeal to you my dear brothers and sisters, if you do not have an established closet where you visit frequently, establish such a place of secrecy where you may in obedience to the Master's command, enter in and shut the door and fellowship with God Who loves to be with His children intimately.
(Excerpts taken from message delivered to a Monday morning Pastors Association).