September 2 & 9, 2012
Making a Commitment to Closeness
“. . . then I will cause him to draw near, and he shall approach Me; for who is this who pledged his heart to approach Me?" says the Lord (Jeremiah 30:21).
It is strange that religion is so often seen as something for the weak and the timid. Nothing could be further from the truth. The business of rightly relating ourselves to God’s glory is not for the fainthearted, and the enjoyment of fellowship with God is not something that results from a whim or a mood. Closeness to God comes from commitment, and we will not draw near to God unless that nearness is a strong and serious goal.
Many of us would say that we love God. If we actually do, that’s a good thing. But the truth about whether we love God or not is revealed by the depth of our determination to be close to God. So, how easily are we distracted from thinking about God? How much time do we spend actually working on our relationship with God? What price would we pay to keep from losing God?
Not all who start out to seek God will enjoy God in eternity. Alluding to Israel’s failure of faith in the wilderness, the Hebrew writer said, “There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. . . . Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience” (Hebrews 4:9,11).
Are we willing, then, to make closeness to God the single requirement of our daily work? Are we willing to stake it all on this one possibility: that the God who made us can be approached in love? Are we willing to dedicate every day of our mortal pilgrimage to the learning of this love? If we are, then great goodness awaits us. Drawing near to God would be impossible if God had not opened the door in Jesus Christ, but even so, it takes a courageous commitment to draw near. “Who is this,” God once asked, “who pledged his heart to approach Me?” Unrivaled in the glory of God’s love, this same God is our King, and in the end, none will come near God who have not devoted themselves to doing so.
What God in his sovereignty may yet do on a world scale I do not claim to know, but what he will do for the plain man or woman who seeks his face I believe I do know and can tell others. Let any man turn to God in earnest, let him begin to exercise himself unto godliness, let him seek to develop his powers of spiritual receptivity by trust and obedience and humility, and the results will exceed anything he may have hoped for in his leaner and weaker days.