Heb 10: 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. (NKJV)
Where are you in your Christian walk?
- You don’t really know much about God.
- You know about God from what others have told you.
- You personally believe in the idea of God, but He is not truly real to you. God is a higher power, a lifestyle or set of rules to live by.
- You are faithful to the principles and idea of God, but don’t experience intimacy with Him or His very real Presence in your life.
- You enjoy an intimate personal relationship with God and His Presence is tangible, consistent, demonstrable and satisfying.
As Christians, most of us identify with one of those statements but very few with the last. We all desire the tangible, intimate Presence of God, but it is elusive for the vast majority. Why?
Is it God’s fault? Does He taunt us with promises of a personal relationship and then sidestep us just when we get close? Does He derive some perverse pleasure in dangling a carrot of intimacy that can be conceived but rarely experienced? Of course not.
God is faithful (Rev 19.11) and unmoved (Mal 3.6). To His children, He graciously makes Himself accessible, always available, ever accepting and eternally patient.
“God is not real to me.” “I don’t feel close to God.”
“God’s presence is not consistent in my life.”
“My Christian life is sporadic and unpredictable.”
As always, the problem lies with MAN, not God. There is nothing simplistic about our relationship with God, but often our problems in this area are much more simple than we care to admit. We simple are not willing to sacrifice our flesh and discipline our life enough to achieve intimacy with God.
Which of these things are true for you:
- Your love for God’s Word is weak as demonstrated by the amount of time you read the Bible.
- Your personal holiness is of little priority as demonstrated by how infrequently you confess your sin.
- Your understanding of God’s nature is shallow as demonstrated by what little time you spend worshiping Him.
- Your flesh is more important than your spirit as demonstrated by the amount of time you spend indulging it as opposed to feeding your spirit with Godliness.
- Your friendship with the Lord is neglected as demonstrated by how little time you spend talking with Him.
Notice the common thread in all these statements. TIME. SACRIFICE. DISCIPLINE.
As Americans, we tend to want everything easy, fast and without sacrifice. God doesn’t operate that way (Rom 12.1-2). You can’t have the world and God too. You can’t serve two masters. It has been said:
Defeated Christians have just enough world in them
to make them miserable at church and just enough
church in them to make them miserable out in the world.
Choose this day whom you will serve (Josh 24.15) and forsake the world (Tit 2.11). Yesterday is past. Tomorrow will come at God’s pleasure. Today has enough for us to handle (Matt 6.34). Determine that TODAY you will:
- Read God’s Word (2Tim 2.15)
- Confess your sin to Him (1Jn 1.9)
- Spend time in worship to Him (Ps 29.2)
- Pursue Godliness moment by moment (Hos 6.3)
- Talk to God, talk to Him again and then talk some more (1Thess 5.16)
- Then be still and hear Him (Ps 46.10)
Just for today. Then wake up tomorrow to a fresh start and enjoy the God of New Beginnings who will be waiting with open arms to greet you.
Father, give us the desire to draw close to you, to enjoy your Presence and the superior satisfaction of a Godly life. Amen.
Contemplation: Do you have the common roller coaster Christianity? Are you up and down, fail and fix, time after time? Have you begun to doubt that it can ever be any different?
Application: Spiritual consistency and intimacy with God is simple, but not simplistic. We overcomplicate it to excuse the obvious – like we do about being overweight or out of shape. News flash: eat less, exercise more. It’s the same with our spiritual health. More God, less world. Time, discipline and sacrifice. It merely boils down to how much we truly want it and value it. Easy? No. Simple? Yes.
- What is the most obvious Bible truth you have learned today?
- What change in your life needs to be made concerning this truth?
- What specific thing will you do today to begin that change?