How to Build Intimacy with God: 3 Ways to Hold on to the Treasures God Reveals

Dwight Robertson

September 7, 2023

As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, My God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?– Psalm 42:1-2, NIV

At the beginning of my relationship with God, I remember how rushed my daily devotional time always seemed to be. As I sought to build intimacy with God, I usually ended up cramming like crazy to beat the clock. I was thirsty for God and a little drink from His cup wasn’t enough.

Often, I went away more thirsty than when I started.

Like the Psalmist, I longed for time with God that wouldn’t have to end before it really got started. I wanted to go deeper with Him than a few minutes here and there would allow.

When an unexpected snowstorm or an open Saturday morning allowed me to spend extra time with God, I loved it—it was almost like a surprise date. But those opportunities didn’t happen very often.

I longed for more.

Is God Waiting for a Date with You?

Finally, I realized that I didn’t have to wait for those rare and unexpected times to happen before I spent extended time alone with God. I didn’t have to wait until I was dry and thirsty for His living water before I drank to my fill.

Why not plan times with God in order to build intimacy with Him that would help our relationship thrive?

Why not have dates with Him?

Wise husbands and wives don’t wait until their marriage is struggling to put their marriage relationship first. They make spending time with each other a priority.

And best friends don’t wait to see if they might end up with unexpected time together. They proactively make time for each other. They plan times together and protect those times by putting them on a calendar. If they don’t, they probably won’t be best friends for very long.

I decided to be proactive, too, with the most important relationship in my life. I began scheduling times with God on purpose and in advance—and I would guard them on my calendar.

Sometimes it would be a Saturday morning, a Sunday afternoon, or a weeknight. Other times it might be almost an entire day. The point was to schedule times with and build intimacy with God.

Receiving the Treasures God Reveals

I quickly found that increasing the quantity of time I could spend with God also increased the quality of time we had together. I didn’t have to rush things, and that made my time with Him richer and deeper than it had ever been.

I was giving Him so much more of myself and receiving so much more of Him in return.

I found myself looking forward to these unhurried times. They allowed me to read more…think longer…meditate more deeply on God and His Word…reflect more fully on my life…and talk with God about everything.

And I grew. I grew more in my understanding of God and I grew more in my love for Him. The more time I spent with Him, the more I valued what He values, and I loved more like He loves. I had found a simple tool that was bringing transformation to my life and helping me build intimacy with God: regular dates with Him.

It’s Time to Get Started and Build Intimacy with God

Perhaps I’ve introduced you to a new concept. Does a date with God sound good to you?

Why not put a date on your calendar right now? Yes, right now! Go do it before the pressing issues of your life crowd in again. You can come back to finish reading!

I think God would smile to see you write in His name for a date at a specific time on a specific day. He loves you and He’s waiting eagerly for a date with you!

3 Ways to Hold on to the Treasures God Reveals

So now you have a date on the calendar to spend time with God. Awesome! That's a great way to build intimacy with God. Here are three ways to hold on to the treasures He reveals during your time with Him:

1. Get into Scripture (and Let It Get into You)

God speaks and confirms what He is revealing through His Word, and a date with God is a perfect opportunity to read more of His Word than is normally possible.

  • Meditate on the Scripture and pray about how to apply it to your life. You will be amazed how the Holy Spirit leads and shows you Scripture in ways that cover His specific plan and will for situations in your life.
  • You could read a longer book of the Bible from start to finish, experiencing its overall impact, or absorb a shorter book by reading it several times. Read aloud if it keeps your mind better focused.
  • Try memorizing a verse or reviewing verses you already know. Ask God to bring you verses that reveal what He wants to show you. Notate in your Bible with dates and short titles or descriptions of what God speaks to you through specific verses.

I highly recommend that you take away from a date with God one “big idea” or verse that reminds you often of that intimate date. Put it on a sticky note somewhere you will see it daily—you can even write it with dry-erase markers on your bathroom mirror.

Have fun and enjoy God’s love letter to you!

2. Journal and Record Your Experience

You might want to write down new insights you gain from His Word, thoughts and prayers to Him, or notes about what He seems to be teaching you. Sitting down with a notebook and pen (or even a digital device) is a great way to slow down and reflect, allowing God to align your heart with His.

Journal entries can become a special record of your times alone with Him—they’re a valuable way to acknowledge and remember His faithful activity in your life. Luke 2:19 tells of how Mary “treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart” (NIV).

Part of treasuring what God is speaking is recording it.

A Spiritual Life Notebook, available on the Forge Resources page, is a wonderful tool for keeping a record of scriptural study, prayers, journaling, and other elements of spiritual growth. I’ve been using one for years and it makes all the difference in the world!

You can also download the Forge App to use the digital Spiritual Life Notebook totally free on your smartphone.

3. Sing and Make Music in Your Heart

Let music stimulate your senses, expressing thoughts and feelings and creating memories in ways words alone can’t capture. Take your music along, create a playlist especially for your date, or find some new music that could stir fresh thoughts. Psalm 96:1 tells us to “sing to the LORD a new song.”

Another option is to take along a hymnal or a book of praise songs. You can play your own instrument or sing—even if you’re not a gifted singer. (That’s another good reason to choose a place where you’re alone!)

A friend of mine (definitely not a gifted singer) told me that on one date with God, he sang “A Mighty Fortress is Our God” from a hymnal five times. He sang it once, twice, again and again until the fifth time he was singing triumphantly at the top of his voice!

Make this a time for passionate worship and jubilant praise. Sometimes I don’t even know the tune of some of the hymns and choruses, but if the words strike me deeply, I’ll try out my own tune. My songs may not sound wonderful, but my Audience of One is more interested in my heart expression than in the perfection of my skill. It allows me to build intimacy with God.

More Ways to Hold on to the Treasures God Reveals

There is something about involving as many of our senses as possible that makes it easier to retain what God is speaking as we build intimacy with Him.

  • Consider painting or drawing something related to what God is revealing.
  • Take digital pictures or even search for images online if you want to start with already-designed visuals.

God told Israel to build memorials of stones to help them and their descendants remember how He took them across the Jordan River: “We will use these stones to build a memorial. In the future your children will ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ Then you can tell them, ‘They remind us that the Jordan River stopped flowing when the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant went across.’ These stones will stand as a memorial among the people of Israel forever” (Joshua 4:6-7, NLT).

Maybe you want to gather or stack actual stones to keep on your front porch or in your backyard! You can even write words or scripture references on the stones.

Sharing and Using Your Treasures

We can also hold on to the treasures God reveals by sharing them with others! Testifying what God is doing and speaking to us allows us to process and re-experience the steps God took or is taking us through as He gives us His treasures. Often, I learn things I did not know before when I share my treasures with others.

This might seem like it goes without saying, but be certain if God shows you a specific action step or change to make in your life, to follow through quickly and align with His direction. Obedience stewards God’s treasures and ensures we remain clear and ready to continuously receive more and more from Him as we build intimacy with God.

In fact, John tells us in his second letter that “Love means doing what God has commanded us” (2 John 1:6, NLT). Obedience is one of the greatest ways we can love God and hold on to His treasures!

Build Intimacy with God Today!

If you didn’t pause your reading earlier to look for a date or time you can mark off to spend alone with God, you have another opportunity, RIGHT NOW! Why would you wait to set aside time to meet with the most important Person in your life? He has treasures He can’t wait to reveal to you! And you can begin building intimacy with God now.

This post has been adapted from the booklet Is God Waiting for a Date with You? For more helpful tips and advice on planning your date alone with God, check out the full booklet: Is God Waiting for a Date with You? on the Forge Resources page.