Closer to God

Have you ever wondered why some are closer to God than you, and why they hear His voice more clearly?

I have, and always the answer comes: You are as close to God as you have desired.

Calvinists may say that nothing is up to you, that God controls all, even your desires. Perhaps there is truth there. But, for myself, when I desire something, I begin moving toward it, no matter whether it’s a genuinely good thing or something that has little or no intrinsic worth.

I don’t know how that might work from God’s standpoint, or a Calvinist’s, but I know that it is up to me whether I cooperate with the urging and drawing of God.

I am as close to His heart as I have desired. And the distance remaining is due to my lack of desire, not His. The question is, Do I have the will and capacity to draw nearer to God? The Bible tells me I do.

“Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.” James 4:8a

At times, I have to confess, I did not desire to be closer to Him than I was. And more than once, He has drawn me nearer to Himself without any proactive decision of my own that I could recall.

At other times, I have desired it and purposefully set aside time to come close to Him. And I did come nearer.

Again, I don’t know to what degree God controls my life, but I know He gave me a command. And I know He would only do that if He intended for me to obey it. That command was to love Him with all my heart, all my mind, all my soul and all my strength.

I don’t see any wiggle room in that command, no room to love the world or anything in the world, as I have disobediently done.

He has left it up to me to draw myself to Himself, but He has – by drawing near to me – let me know He is there, as though saying, Are you going to reciprocate?

There is no room in His command for me to love things such as home, car, fame, land, position, money or even my own will. The room that stands between me and Him is due to the fact that I have not desired the closeness that He commanded.

When I pursue things in the world, I am revealing my desire to ignore His commandment. Can I close the gap between my love for God and His love for me? It’s such a huge gap, I don’t know how possible that is, but His command tells me to give it my all. All.

I do have control over my will. I can cast down thoughts and imaginations and bring every thought into alignment with God’s will, knowing that my words and actions have their genesis in my thoughts. And I can do it more effectively when I ask Him for the grace to do so.

I think those who are closer to God than I am have done that. And I can do more than just admire their desire.

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