For several years as a young believer, I longed for the kind of intimate relationship with Jesus that I’d heard others speak about and had sensed in my heart was possible. Yet, I didn’t know how to get close to a God I couldn’t see or touch. Initially, I set out to get to know him better by reading and studying the Bible. Although this helped, there still seemed to be something missing in our relationship.

Everything changed when I went to live as a missionary in Brazil. At first, I didn’t know the Portuguese language, so I had no close friends to speak with and share my deepest thoughts. During this time, I began to sit at my window and have long talks alone with Jesus. I poured out my feelings and let him know my hidden fears. However, not everything I shared was serious. I chatted with him about my day, or laughed with him over the latest blooper I’d spoken in my broken Portuguese. Before long, I realized I had a whole new relationship with God, and inside I felt profoundly different. Trust in the Lord replaced fear. The old inner-turmoil and anxiety I had often experienced was exchanged for peace. I sensed a more constant, abiding presence of the Lord throughout my day. At last, I had tapped into an intimate relationship with Jesus, and it’s been building and strengthening ever since.

Perhaps you hunger for an intimate relationship with Jesus, but at the same time feel confused over how to go about it. In this devotional, Jack Zavada of lays out the practical and spiritual principles you’ll need to understand in order to build an intimate relationship with Jesus.