Obstacles to intimacy with God

More quotes from Francis Chan’s The Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit, David C. Cook, 2009.

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“It’s breathtaking to picture Almighty God saying, ‘I know Francis Chan. He’s my son. I love him.’ Are you confident this is what God would say if I asked him about you?” (105)

Having cited Galatians 4:4-7, Chan writes:

“Maybe you are reading this and thinking, ‘Well, I just don’t experience that kind of intimacy with God. The Spirit in me never cries ‘Abba, Father’.” If this is you, I don’t have a four step guide to connecting with the Holy Spirit. I would, however, like to suggest two potential obstacles for you to consider: comfort and volume.

“1. Comfort. Maybe your life is too safe. From my own experience I have felt closest to God when nearness to him was a necessity. The Bible says the Spirit comes through in situations where we would normally be afraid (Luke 12:11-12) …

Jesus refers to the Holy Spirit as the ‘Helper’ or ‘Comforter’. Let me ask you a simple question: Why would we need to experience the Comforter if our lives are already comfortable? It is those who put their lives at risk and suffer for the gospel who are most will often experience his being with you always even to the end of the age as Matthew 28:20 says …

“2. Volume. Maybe your life is too loud. Multitasking has become the norm. When was the last time you have an uninterrupted conversation with anyone … In my quest to accomplish much I have lost the art of focusing on one thing or one person. This in turn has affected my prayer life as I’m sure it has affected yours. I find it harder to be simply with God, to focus only on him, while spending intentional time with him … Jesus certainly understood what it means to have multitudes of people pursuing at once … Because of the priority of his relationship with his Father, he found ways to escape. He took the time to focus and be quiet (Mark 1:35). He was willing to remove himself from people’s reach in order to pray and commune with the Father. Our lack of intimacy is often due to our refusal to unplug and shut off communications from all others so we can be alone with him … For some of you reading this book may be a form of noise that keeps you from him. You may already hear lots of sermons and read lots of books. What you need is direct communication with him.” (106-109)
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2 thoughts on “Obstacles to intimacy with God

  1. The sentence: “It is those who put their lives at risk and suffer for the gospel who are most will often experience his being with you always even to the end of the age as Matthew 28:20 says …” needs rewording. The part: “who are most will often experience his being”, should read: “who most often experience his being.”

    I appreciate the review and look forward to a study of Chan’s book.

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