Intimacy with God, what does or what should that look like? If you spend any time at all around Christians you’ve probably heard the prayer request “pray that I would be/feel closer to God”. What exactly do we mean by that? How can Christians grow in their relationship with God? The temptation is to think that simply doing stuff will work, or that there is a secret formula somewhere that will sweep you into a new spiritual level. But our spiritual life isn’t like a computer game.
I’d like to introduce you to a book ‘Intimacy With God‘ by John Hannah, the subtitle of the book is ‘A practical guide in our struggles‘. In this book Hanna unpacks what a spiritual life is, what some fo the misconceptions are and what are some of the unhelpful things that have been taught in the past. I like this book because it is honest and don’t give cheesy Christian advice, but real talk that every believer will resonate with. There are some really great quotes in this book and some solid advice that will really help you think through your spiritual health and growth.
The book begins with a general overview of what a healthy spiritual life looks like, explaining why a Christian should strive for a strong spiritual life. Here’s just one quote from that section…
“The normal Christian life is one ordered in such a manner to reflect increasingly the character of God. The fact of struggle is proof that we are in the family of God because we have experienced a radically renovating experience that has brought to us new perspectives, priorities, and passions.”
He then gives a few summary points before moving on to the specifics;
- Walking with God involves intimacy with the Bible, an acquaintance with the great book beyond the merely intellectual, content level.
- Walking with God involves the realization that it is not a matter of mastering a particular technique or a specific routine.
- Walking with God involved the harsh reality of coming to grips with our weaknesses.
- Walking with God involves the recognition that the spiritual life is a process.
In part two Hannah walks through some of the things that God has done and the provisions He has made to help His people grow spiritually. In part three he helps the reader see some of the helpful things that they can do in their own lives to promote spiritual growth. In part four Hannah talks about negative things that can have a positive effect on a person’s spiritual growth.
This book helpfully addresses one of the big questions Christians ask “how can I be ‘closer’ to God?” Hannah is honest, to the point and he helpfully bats unhelpful ideas out of the park. There are no quick fixes, no shortcuts, no magic beans. This book has practical wisdom that will help you follow Christ everyday until He returns or you go to be with Him in glory.
If you’re looking for a book that can act as a spiritual health check, a bit of encouragement to keep on going I the Christian life, this book will be a huge help. The book isn’t long, only 188 pages, but you’ll whizz through it! Well worth buying a copy here from Christian Focus.
John D. Hannah has been a professor at Dallas Theological Seminary for forty years, specialising in theology and history. He is also an author, and frequently speaks at churches and conferences.