There are many sons of God by covenant, who are not benefiting from Him. This is because although they are related, they are not intimate with Him. Intimacy is what activates the benefits of a relationship. If a house wife for instance allows a concubine to become more intimate with her husband than she is, then the concubine will begin to benefit more from the man than the wife can boast of. Now although there is a higher level of relationship between the wife and the man than between the concubine and the same man, the concubine will benefit more because she is more intimate with the man.
Intimacy with God is more important than the relationship. In Luke 16: 38-42, Martha was busy maintaining relationship whereas Mary sat by Jesus to fellowship with Him. Jesus later told Martha, ‘only one thing is needful and Mary has chosen that part”. All your official spirituality will not move God, He is only interested in your intimate fellowship with Him, once you can be consistent in this, you can be rest assured that every other thing you do to please Him will become more valuable to Him. The success of your day’s activities is determined by what you gained in your intimate fellowship with Him at the break of that day. The strength to overcome, wisdom for good decisions and all other benefits that will make your day fulfilling is received in your intimacy with God.
In considering the benefits of intimacy which is the crux of this article, I want to take you through the parable of the prodigal son as illustrated in Luke 15:11-32.
The story begins with a young man that had a ‘sonship’ relationship with his father. He however decided to break intimacy with his father because he felt he would enjoy life better if he was distant from his father. Take note that breaking intimacy with his father did not break the ‘sonship’ relationship he had with his father. Even after squandering his father’s wealth as you will see when you read the full story, he was still a legitimate son and still had a covenant relationship with his father, however he had become distant from his father, there was no intimate relationship between them anymore and this therefore stripped him of further benefits of the father-son relationship. Covenant can establish provision, but provision is only accessible by intimacy.
‘Once you are a child of God, all that you will ever need is provided, 2Peter 1:2-4, however they only can be accessed through an intimate relationship with the father. You don’t need to beg for benefits when you are intimate with God; He naturally provides all your needs. When the prodigal son later realized himself and decided to resume an intimate relationship with his father, he did not have to beg for any of the benefits of a son. His father provided him with a ring, new clothes and slaughtered a cow for him to feed his hungry body not because he requested for them but because he knew the needs of his son. All these things had been available all the while that the young man was away, but he could not access them because there was no intimate relationship with his father, but as soon as intimacy was re-established, they became accessible.
Consequences of Not Being Intimate with God
The prodigal son suffered the following consequences when he broke his intimate relationship with his father.
1. He wasted his substance vs. 13. Anyone that wastes his time on other things and neglects intimacy with God will waste his resources.
2. Indiscipline begins vs. 13. When you are no longer intimate with God, indiscipline begins (riotous living). Many Christians still struggle with sin and bad habits because they do not spend time in intimacy with God, the more time you spend with God, the more you will be tuned to his image and likeness.
3. He began to be in want vs.14.before now, he always had surplus, all his needs were provided and he had never experienced lack before in his life. Kingdom provisions are only available to those who remain in an intimate relationship with the father, God will supply the needs of only those that fellowship regularly and consistently with Him.
4. He began to interact with insignificant persons vs. 15. Jews naturally do not associate with swine, but the son began to feed swine. When you do not give God attention, then the devil will soon take your attention by bringing irrelevant people your way. Such people will not contribute anything meaningful to your life— but will rather bring you to ruins.
5. Things he needed were no longer available vs. 16. God knows our basic needs, if he clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you Matt 6:30-34. However His provisions are for those who make Him their priority, who spend quality time daily with him in intimacy.
6. Hunger begins vs. 16 &17. Even the husks that the swine ate were not available to him. Your physical and spiritual appetite will no longer be satisfied when you stay away from God. Even when you eat, your body will not receive adequate nutrients because the diet will not be complete with the necessary classes of food which makes a balanced diet.
7. Hopelessness and Helplessness vs. 16. No man gave to him. When you stay away from God, you will struggle and struggle over things and yet no one will come to your aid. Your effort and sacrifices will not even be appreciated by men. Your skills, beauty and expertise will remain hidden; your products will not enjoy patronage.
Benefits of Intimacy
When he realized himself and decided to resume intimacy with his father, he once again began to enjoy the benefits of intimacy. Below are some benefits he enjoyed as a result of renewed fellowship with his father:
1. Access to the father to make request vs. 21. He was able to beg for forgiveness and ask for restoration. When you are intimate with God, you can make requests of Him at any time and He will be glad to grant to you the desire of your heart. I Peter 5:7.2. He received a ring of authority vs. 22. Rings are symbols of authority, as soon as the son resumed intimacy with the father, his authority as a son was restored to him. For every child of God that remains intimate with Him, you have authority to operate as a god.
2. He received a cloak of honour vs. 22. He was given the best robe to wear, this signifies great honour. Every genuine son of God that maintains consistent fellowship with God will receive honour and recognition wherever he goes because when God honours you, men have no option but to honour you too.
4. He received shoes for protection vs. 22. He had travelled the long distance barefooted, his feet were not protected against the hazards of the road. But when fellowship was restored, he received covering for his feet. Intimacy with God guarantees your protection from all the hazards of life.
5. He was celebrated vs. 23. A cow was slaughtered and a party was put together in his honour. All those that have an intimate relationship with the father are celebrated wherever they go. Gladness and rejoicing never ceases from their homes because the Lord satisfies them daily with good things.
I am very sure you will agree with me now that there is so much to gain from an intimate relationship with God. I enjoin you to begin to spend time daily in intimacy with the father and watch your life to see if dramatic improvement will not be seen.