This site uses cookies to provide you with more responsive and personalized service and to collect certain information about your use of the site.  You can change your cookie settings through your browser.  If you continue without changing your settings, you agree to our use of cookies.  See our Privacy Policy for more information.

Being Known: Three Steps to Greater Intimacy with God

  • January 2022 Issue
Journal

A person's hands clasped over a Bible - Janurary, 2021 Journal Article

The lowest point in my relationship with God was caused by a secret. It wasn’t big or bad—just a feeling locked away in my heart. Of course, in my mind, I knew that God knew my secret feeling. I even knew the theological term for God’s all-knowing: Omniscience. But sharing the secret with anyone was just too scary. And admitting my secret feeling to God seemed even more risky. What if, once He knew, He just didn’t like me anymore?

1 Cor 13: 12 reassures us that we are “fully known” by God. While I kept my secret, that phrase felt more like a threat than a reassurance. I thought, God knows me, so I had better be good! However, the context of this phrase (found within the famous “love is” passage”) encourages me that God’s knowing is patient and kind, not angry or keeping track of my wrongs.  Awareness of the depth of God’s love for me helped me feel more comfortable with being known by Him.

When you realize that God knows and loves you, it helps you develop greater intimacy with Him.

Here are three steps that will help:

  1. Acknowledge What Is. Look inside yourself and acknowledge what you are feeling and thinking. It may not be pretty—don't try to gloss it over. Resist the temptation to make it worse, too. Just admit what is there. This step, which is a form of self-awareness, may be really hard. One technique that may be useful is looking at ourselves in layers. Focusing in on an action may be the top layer. Ask yourself, “Why did I do that?” The answer you give may reveal a feeling—the second layer. Then ask yourself, “Why did I feel that?” The answer you give to that question may reveal a belief—the third layer. Then ask yourself, “Why do I believe that?” The answer may be a memory—the fourth layer. Keep asking yourself “Why?” until the answer is “It just is.”

  2. Accept What Is. As you look inside yourself and unpeel those layers, you may be tempted to judge yourself or to justify what is. Resist that tendency for now. It may help you to remember that you are at the beginning of your journey and not at the end. Allow yourself to fully accept whatever you find inside you.

  3. Sit with God. Allow God to be with you as you take each step. Invite Him to be with you, even as you examine at each layer and look at those things you’ve held secret. Know that God loves you and His desire is to connect with you (John 15). Practice spending time in God’s presence without asking anything of Him. Instead, just focus on the fact that He is with you (It may be helpful to read Scripture like Psalm 23. Notice how the psalmist first says that God is with us, then that His rod and staff guide and correct).

I shared my secret feeling with God. I acknowledged how I felt, accepted it, and sat in the misery of it with God. Through the process I experienced His love and closeness in a new way.

Being comfortable with being known has given me confidence in other relationships too. I can share my secret feeling with you: after a traumatic experience, I felt unworthy of love. Sharing my secret feeling led to healing and greater intimacy with God and people. God longs to have an intimate connection with you. Trust Him, follow these steps and grow in experiencing His love.

BY Mary Web

Mary Webb is a student in Moody Theological Seminary's Clinical Mental Health Counseling program, where she is the current president of the MTS Honor Society as well as a Chapman Scholar. Mary currently interns at the MTS Counseling Center. Mary's areas of interest are trauma and theology, grief and loss, and emotions. She counsels individuals of all ages, couples, and families. 

Find Journal Content by Date