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How To Grow in Intimacy with the Holy Spirit

1. Discover how you Uniquely Connect with the Holy Spirit (and put it into Practice)

Every relationship requires communication, and intimacy grows when we have special times together. Our relationship with God will benefit from learning how we personally relate best to Him. [2]

I value walking and praying outdoors. In the wide-open spaces of creation I have freedom to talk to my Father and listen to the Holy Spirit without interruptions. However, it will be different for you.

Do you enjoy quiet times aside with God, or do you encounter Him best in the company of others? Do you connect with Him in an intellectual way, or in the context of worship and music?

Your Father created you the way you are and loves and relates to you in your individuality. In the Bible, every person was unique in the way they journeyed and related with God (for example, look at Jesus and His disciples).

2. Study what the Bible says about Intimacy with the Holy Spirit

God’s anointing, gifts and power are not sourced in an impersonal force or ability. They are the manifestation of a Person—the Holy Spirit.

Being grounded in Scripture ensures that we have a strong foundation for developing an intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit. The Bible reveals that the Holy Spirit has a will and emotions. He has a voice and communicates in many different ways. [1]

In your quest for intimacy with the Holy Spirit, take time to study what the Bible says about the Holy Spirit as well as how people in Scripture lived and walked in an intimate relationship with God.


 


3. Pay Attention to, and Cultivate an Awareness of the Holy Spirit

Cultivating an awareness of God’s Presence does not mean that we will always feel Him physically. It begins with the revelation of His nearness—the Bible says that the Holy Spirit is present in and with us and so we believe it. He is our constant Companion.

Throughout Scripture we learn of how God spoke to people in many different times—not only when they were waiting, but also when they were travelling and working.

The Holy Spirit will communicate with you ‘on the go’. He desires to be a part of your life in the busy times, as well as in the quiet spaces and in the night hours.

Operating in a spiritual gift is also a powerful opportunity to seek and lean in closer to an intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit.

You can grow in sensitivity to Him!

There are many ways that the Holy Spirit communicates, and He longs to share what is on the Father’s heart for you. Primarily, this will be through the Bible. You will also discover that there are one or more ways that you mostly hear from the Holy Spirit. [3]

I love the expression Bill Johnson often uses: ‘turning our affection towards God.’ All it takes is a moment to respond. It is simple; it is about developing an intimate love relationship with His Spirit and Presence with us.


4. Be Real and Authentic with God

In an intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit, there is nothing to hide and no need to perform. A helpful word-play on ‘intimacy’ is ‘in-to-me-see.’ You can be yourself, with both your strengths and your weaknesses.

In our leadership culture today, we tend to deny emotions we perceive as ‘weak’, and strive to always act in strong, faith-filled way. But Father’s arms are waiting. He longs for us to express our grief or distress to Him and receive His comfort. (2 Cor 1:3-4) Faith then arises out of that encounter with the Comforter.

Don’t hold God at arms length when you need His love, grace and comfort. The presence of weakness does not diminish the quality of your faith—it enhances it and is a powerful witness to others.

5. Relate to the Holy Spirit in a Natural Way

There should be nothing strange or weird about our intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit. It should provoke others to desire what we have, not put them off.

Our relationship with Holy Spirit should be natural and life giving, just as our relationship with Father and Jesus is. [4]

Some of the ways we can intimately relate to the Holy Spirit include:

  • As Helper and Comforter—the One who comes alongside us. (John 14:16)
  • Our teacher and guide (John 16:13)
  • The revealer of Father’s purpose and everything God has made available to us (John 16:14-15)
  • The Anointing who is within and upon us (1 John 2:27, Acts 10:38, Luke 4:18)
  • As our prayer partner (Rom 8:26)
  • As God’s intimate Presence with us (John 15:15-18)

 


6. Practice Accountability in Your Spiritual Experiences

Intimacy with the Holy Spirit is not about having a relationship in isolation. The New Testament demonstrates a life with God that is lived in the context of community, with accountability. [5]

I regularly share descriptions of my encounters with God with my leaders and fellow team members. They help clarify what God is doing in my life and provide a means of accountability and growth. This is not always comfortable. However, I recognise that it is one of the most beneficial (and Biblical) things I can do. As a result, there is no ceiling on my ministry and intimate relationship with God.


7. Pray and ask for Greater Intimacy with the Holy Spirit

Does the desire to have an intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit resonate with you? Today, take time to pray and ask God to stir up the desire for a greater level of encounter and intimacy with Him. (Luke 11:9-13)

Finally, remember that ‘praying in the Spirit’ is one of the most intimate encounters you can have with the Holy Spirit. In those moments of prayer, you unite with the Holy Spirit to establish Father’s purposes for your life and those who are on His heart. (Jude 1:20, 1 Cor 14:2, Rom 8:26)

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