Intimacy With God: Drawing Ever Closer to the Almighty, by Dr. Benjamin A. Sawatsky

As is the case with so many of us at this time in history, someone can be acquainted with us on a number of different levels at church or even as colleagues in ministry together without receiving an up-close and personal window into our abiding walk with our Lord.  In the pages of Intimacy With God (IWG) we get the very rare opportunity and privilege to peek with complete transparency into what essentially amounts to a thoughtfully written journal of a FULLY devoted follower of Jesus Christ.  We are granted access to Scriptural insights, personal prayers penned in the margins of Ben’s Bible, and very personal reflections on multiple facets of Christian living and worldview. 

In these pages I unmistakably experienced what I can only describe as being “discipled” and better equipped “for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ.”  My own first reading of IWG came at a particularly dry time when I was experiencing some overwhelmingly strong cynicism and skepticism about the state of some churches under our care and stewardship.  The Holy Spirit used Ben’s essays and prayers to bring spiritual renewal to my soul. 

Are you possibly suffering some doubts about your faith or the state of the Church today?  Is your walk with God a little dry, stagnating or in need of a “jump-start?”  Are you longing to be discipled into a deeper walk with God and/or to be equipped for more fruitful service to God in your relational spheres of influence? Has superficial interaction with others in the body of Christ left you longing for some mentoring by a brother in Christ whose exemplary walk you would do well to emulate? 

It is my conviction that IWG will ignite an authentic, wholesome passion to a more comprehensive following of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, whether you are in a 1:1 discipling relationship, a life-transformation group or triad, or a small group.  Few contemporary or historical writings, in my opinion, possess as great a potential as IWG to foster transformation and to promote our sanctification.  Ben doesn’t use the vernacular of “spiritual formation” so common today, but his words inspire and stimulate more transformation in our walk with God than many authors who use that language. 

In my estimation, Ben’s original articles—now lovingly formatted into this book with his dear friends, Jim and Tom—constitute a very unique volume of devotional, inspirational literature.  Ben’s deep devotion to God is intimately shared with all those who pick up the book.  I recommend it without reservation to those wanting to deepen their walk and foster greater “intimacy with God.” 

 Note: Dr. Benjamin Sawatsky served as an EFCA missionary in Singapore and Malaysia in then various leadership roles in the mission. His last 12 years of service were as the Executive Director.  Ben’s monthly encouragements to the EFCA missionary family have recently been published as Intimacy With God.  Ben and his wife, Muriel, were active member at Central EFC in Minneapolis and are now attending Trinity EFC in Lakeville.

(Intimacy With God is available through NextStep Resources.)

–Tom Mouw