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Intimacy with God

By Dan Alderden | August 5, 2019

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Psalm 66 NLT

1 Shout joyful praises to God, all the earth!
2 Sing about the glory of his name!
Tell the world how glorious he is.
3 Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds!
Your enemies cringe before your mighty power.
4 Everything on earth will worship you;
they will sing your praises,
shouting your name in glorious songs.”

Something so powerful happens on the inside of us when we use our voice, our breath and our lungs to praise and worship our incredible God! When we acknowledge His power, His might and His glory with our voice, there’s an alignment that takes place between us and our purpose.

We use our voices for so many different things but when we use them to sing His praise and proclaim His awesome name, we are using them for their highest calling! You and I were created to worship Him. This is our privilege and our purpose.

I love how the Psalmist in this passage uses a colourful array of words to illustrate what real worship can look like. Shouting, singing, proclaiming, singing and then shouting some more, it sounds like worship has the potential to get a little loud and rowdy, and so it should!

This is the creator of the universe we’re talking about, and He’s very ok with us getting excited and passionate as we worship Him. Anything we’re putting our whole heart, soul, mind, and strength into isn’t going to be quiet and contained, and neither should worship. It’s a display of our passion for Jesus.

Let’s face it, not everyone is a natural singer, right? If we were all amazing at it, then the audition episodes of Australian Idol wouldn’t have been so funny. The good news is that real worship doesn’t require a really great voice, it just requires your voice.

Whether you sing like an angel or like a broken record, it doesn’t matter to God. Psalm 98:4 says “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.” So even if you feel like your voice sounds more like a noise than a tune, it’s all good!

He gave you your voice and He loves to hear it! He takes pleasure in it. Even if you don’t think you can sing, God says you can and He wants you to sing for Him.

My heart as Pastor of Reality Church is that every single one of us would encounter the joy and freedom that comes from personal times of worship and intimacy with God.

I love our Sunday worship sets where we experience God together corporately, but I’m equally passionate about all of us growing in our personal worship encounters Monday through Saturday, why? Because in His presence there is fullness of joy!

So here are a few things I’ve learned that have helped me in my personal worship times with God, I believe they’ll help you too.

Turn up your favourite worship song
Sometimes to get started worshiping God you have to change the atmosphere. You might be feeling discouraged, or your mind could be filled with a million thoughts about work, money, etc. The kids could be making a racket and there’s no part of you that ‘feels’ like worshiping God. That’s normal, but it doesn’t change our purpose! So change the atmosphere and you’ll change how you feel. The best way I’ve found is to just crank up my favour worship song on my stereo and start singing along. It only takes a moment for my heart to shift gears and I’m ready to worship.

Proclaim the greatness of God
God is awesome and powerful all the time but our hearts need to be reminded. When we speak out the truth about who God is, what He’s done, and what He can do, it stirs our faith and resonates in our hearts. Speaking out things like “Father, I thank you that You are good, that You are all-powerful and that you never fail! You’re the God of all power and might, there is nothing impossible for you! You’re my healer, my provider, my strength, all my hope is in you!” builds our faith because we’re hearing the truth about who He is, what He’s like and what he can do. You can find a scripture that speaks of God’s nature or one of His promises and just speak it out. As faith starts to rise, worship starts to flow.

Truth about who God is will start bubbling up out of you, and can I encourage you that if you feel the shout coming on, just go for it! This might sound a bit weird but when we shout out His praise and shout about who He is we are actually affecting the atmosphere around us. We’re shaking off things that have held us back and getting spiritual breakthrough for our lives and family. Remember the Psalm we just read, here it is from The Passion Translation: “Everyone everywhere, lift up your joyful shout to God! 3 For he’s the awe-inspiring God, great and glorious in power!”Psalm 66:1 TPT.

God specifically calls us to lift up our voices to Him and to shout about how good He is. This is a powerful way to worship, I encourage you to give it a try!

Go off script and sing a new song
Praise and worship songs are an incredible way to get started, but God loves it when we pour out our heart with our own words and sing a brand new song to Him. Psalm 96:1 says “Go ahead—sing your new song to the Lord! Let everyone in every language sing him a new song.” When you start singing out your own words in song to the Lord, something special happens between you and Him.

Your heart becomes soft before Him and you experience intimacy with God. Our song breaks through the barriers and layers that might have built up from disappointments, hurts, unmet expectations, fear, worries, doubts and all the other stuff that seems to find its way into our hearts. This is where love songs flow and we experience the Fathers love in a fresh and intimate way. God loves it so much. These are precious moments to the Lord.

Be still and know that He is God
Finally, there are moments in worship where no words are needed. We become so aware of His presence, so aware of His love, the only thing left to do is just sit, receive from Him and enjoy Him. God is longing for these moments with us, true intimacy where He has our undivided attention and we have His. The feeling of closeness with our Father that we enjoy in these moments is something hard to put into words.

Our hearts burn for Him and we find ourselves longing to be in His presence more and more. These moments are so good, you won’t want them to end.

So to help kick start your next worship time, let me leave you with Psalm 100 from The Passion Translation. I’m praying that your heart will be overflowing with joy as you spend time in His presence this week.

Psalm 100 (TPT) – A poetic song for thanksgiving
1 Lift up a great shout of joy to the Lord!
Go ahead and do it—everyone, everywhere!
2 As you serve him, be glad and worship him.
Sing your way into his presence with joy!
3 And realize what this really means—
we have the privilege of worshiping the Lord our God.
For he is our Creator and we belong to him.
We are the people of his pleasure.
4 You can pass through his open gates with the password of praise.
Come right into his presence with thanksgiving.
Come bring your thank offering to him
and affectionately bless his beautiful name!
5 For the Lord is always good and ready to receive you.
He’s so loving that it will amaze you—
so kind that it will astound you!
And he is famous for his faithfulness toward all.
Everyone knows our God can be trusted,
for he keeps his promises to every generation!

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