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To apply this lesson this new year, join us in 40 Days of PrayerSee also the kids edition of this lesson.

Christians are often told that we’re supposed to pray and read our Bibles, so we renew our commitment to improve those disciplines. But why? Out of duty? To earn God’s approval? As you consider your spiritual goals, the best motivation for getting better at them is because God cares about you and wants an intimate relationship with you.

God is everything we need

In Psalm 27, David was facing challenges that made him vulnerable and afraid. Those threats led him to reflect on and reaffirm what God is like. What he needed was someone to deliver and protect him from his enemies. He realized that God is that Savior and Protector.

Psalm 27:1 The Lord is my light and my salvation – so why should I be afraid? The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble?

No matter what we face in life, God is the answer. He wants us to turn to him. Each one of us really matters to God. What an amazing God who wants to be involved in our lives!

God deserves a response from us

When you see a wonderful sunset or majestic storm, you respond with awe. In the same way, when people realize who God is, they want to acknowledge him – and rightly so. David’s first response was to trust in God.

Psalm 27:14 Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.

God also deserves our worship.

Psalm 27:6 At his sanctuary I will offer sacrifices with shouts of joy, singing and praising the Lord with music.

In light of the threats against him, David responded with obedience. He wanted to live life God’s way.

Psalm 27:11 Teach me how to live, O Lord. Lead me along the right path, for my enemies are waiting for me.

A person can respond to God without ever knowing God deeply. But God invites us to more.

God invites us to know him intimately

As David wrote this Psalm, he longed for intimacy with God. For him, the safest place of refuge was in the presence of God.

Psalm 27:4 The one thing I ask of the Lord – the thing I seek most – is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, delighting in the Lord’s perfections and meditating in his Temple.

The Temple was the visible sign of God’s presence. But since Jesus came, God is present with all of his people. So we can draw near to God, not just in tough times, but any time. In fact, David desired God’s presence more than any other priority in life. What is truly amazing is that God also longs for intimacy with us.

Psalm 27:8 My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.” And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.”

God wants to enter into a living conversation with you. This is why Christians engage in spiritual habits like the ones David exemplifies.

  • Solitude (4). Solitude and silence help us focus on God’s presence without distraction.
  • Meditation (4). Meditation is filling the mind with delight over who God is (“the Lord’s perfections”) and consciously reflecting on what he has said.
  • Worship (6). Worship is a great way to express your heart toward God.
  • Prayer (7). Prayer is one side of a conversation, as we share our hearts with God.
  • Bible reading. Reading God’s word is the other side of the conversation, as he speaks to us. Psalm 19 and Psalm 119 show that Scripture was at the heart of David’s relationship with God.

[Related: Practicing biblical meditation]

Seeking intimacy with an invisible God is a challenge. It takes time. We’re not used to it. But God says, “Come and talk with me.” Jesus made the way for that to happen. So be intentional. Stick with it. Get around others who can help you. Above all, be assured that God invites you to grow deeply in your relationship with him.

[Related: Christian Basics – 5 Habits for the Christian Life]

[Related: Spiritual Disciplines]

Discussion Questions:

  1. Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
  2. What is your initial reaction to this video? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
  3. Read Psalm 27:1. What does this tell us about what God is like? How is this exactly what David needed?
  4. How have you discovered that God is everything you need? Give examples.
  5. Quickly scan Psalm 27. What does David feel and do in response to who God is?
  6. How would you define “intimacy with God”? What human examples might help illustrate this?
  7. Read Psalm 27:4. What would your friends and family say is “the thing you seek most”?
  8. How does thinking about prayer and Bible reading as two sides of a conversation help you approach God?
  9. Read Psalm 27:8. Has your heart heard God say “Come and talk with me?” Explain.
  10. What is the biggest obstacle you face in developing an intimate relationship with God? Explain.
  11. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.

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