“But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all your works.” (Ps. 3:28)
“Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.” (Jas. 4:8)
“And without faith it is IMPOSSIBLE to please Him, for whoever would draw near to God MUST believe THAT HE EXISTS and that He rewards those who seek Him.” (Heb. 11:6)
“The Lord is near to ALL who call on Him, to ALL who call on Him in truth.” (Ps. 145:18)
Charles Spurgeon says of Psalm 73:28, “The greater our nearness to God, the less we are affected by the attractions and distractions of earth. Access into the most holy place is a great privilege, and a cure for a multitude of ills.”
In my opinion, to “draw near” to God means that I approach Him having already made a decision that I am willing to let go of everything I have clenched inside my dirty little fists….EVERYTHING! For me to draw near to God is to approach a holy, sacred place and space before Him; it requires action on my part, a choice of a premeditated action of humility, and repentance of sin.
“Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart…” (Ps. 24:3-4)
I LIVE to draw near to God, but I keep getting in the way! Dang it!!
There is great personal cost in drawing near! It is a very narrow road, and we are told in the Word that this road to life is HARD. (See Matt. 7:12-14) It is like choosing to walk through a million little furnaces, each one stripping away more of our fleshly desires and passions. The part of us that remains exposed either reveals purity of intention of ascent to the Holy Hill, or it will reveal a layer of flesh that is intent on one person, ITSELF.
Can we not just skip across the little rocks that lay above the flames of refinement? Must we face ourselves as we draw near? Do I have to walk the narrow road?
Do you really think that it could be otherwise?
Look at the marriage relationship. My hubby and I have been married for 25 years; we have had some VERY painful years; There were days I desired to walk away, and I know he did too, but we chose not to; we made a covenant vow before God that we would be together until “death do us part”.
The pain was BECAUSE OF the growing depth of love and understanding we were “acquiring” towards one another AS we were growing closer. The “understanding” part was revealing the truth about who I really was. YIKES! (The descriptive word that comes to mind is not a word I will type!).
All those years ago, all that pain, and unforgiveness and anger and bitterness surfaced BECAUSE we continued walking towards each other, NOT away from each other.
If a human relationship is designed this way; (we are taught in the Word that marriage is to be a picture of Christ’s love for the church; Eph. 5:22-30), would we not expect a walk through the hall of mirrors as we draw near to God? Would you not expect to face yourself in the presence of a Holy God?
Have you struggled with knowing the presence of God? Has this led to a life of sitting on the big white fence? Disillusionment settles deep, and the heart makes a decision of unbelief. (see Heb. 11:6 above)
Are you willing to allow God to probe your life? Are you willing for Him to convict you of your unbelief? Are you willing to step onto the narrow road, knowing that as you do you are beginning the ascent to the “Holy Hill’? What is it that you are refusing to let go of OR FACE?
I think perhaps we are all just ….
“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is NARROW and the way IS HARD that LEADS TO LIFE, and those who find it are few.” (Matt. 7:13-14)