Nearer. There are so many things I don't know about God that He wants me to know. There are things in His Word that I don't see in my life, yet I know that Jesus bought and paid for me to have them. I want them. I do not want to waste one drop of precious Blood and have it be unfruitful in my life. And rather than explain away what I don't yet understand with conclusions that aren't even in the Bible, I am willing to admit that something isn't right. And I also know that the problem does not lie with God. He has not changed. What was available for every other person in history is available for me. Somewhere, somehow, there is either something I am doing, not doing, or missing that causes these discrepancies. So I must draw nearer to Him so that He can speak and I can hear. How do I do that?
If you want something different in your life, you have to change what you're doing. How do I draw near to God? I draw near through prayer and the Word. I meet God in the secret place, that place where all earthly distractions are turned off and tuned out. It is there that He teaches me and reveals His heart, plan and wisdom to me.
I'm not talking about taking Him a laundry list. I'm not even talking about all the things that I want to know of Him. I'm talking about going to Him and quieting myself and letting Him speak to me and give to me from His list! He knows what I need before I do. He knows what I need to fulfill His purpose for my life. He knows what will allow me closer access to Him and as I receive these things from Him, life just makes more sense.
So I have committed to spend more time with God just listening. Oh, how I love when He speaks to me. And He will speak if I listen with my whole being. I'm spending multiple times during the day in prayer and reading. This is what I know to do. My house will surely suffer. I'll be wearing a little more dog hair than usual. I'll be turning down offers from friends more often but this is burning in my heart. I must draw nearer to Him. Daniel prayed three times a day and remember what God did for him?
Clearer. When I make these changes and I draw closer to the light of God's countenance, I begin to see clearer. Not just God but myself. Then I learn what it is that is keeping from me all that God desires to see manifested in my life. I know that I will see things about God as He becomes clearer, but more importantly I see the hidden sins, the wrong attitudes, and the areas of doubt and unbelief.
I have 20/40 vision. I don't need glasses to drive or read or do most things. But, when I put my glasses on, things become crystal clear. I can live without glasses and never really notice that I'm not seeing perfectly-until I put them on. It's then I see all the things I am missing. Even though I may see what I'm looking at, my glasses bring everything nearer, thus making them clearer. I see in greater detail what I was missing without them. I see things as they really are. When I acknowledge that I am needy, when I am willing to abandon and relinquish all of my brokenness and give it to Him as He shows it to me, it is then that His plan, His knowledge and wisdom become clearer to me and they begin to work in my life.
In this time, God is revealing more of Calvary to me. I am learning to really know and understand what I've professed to know my whole Christian life. It's so easy to say we understand Calvary and all that happened there, but if our understanding does not make Christ Himself, His person, the dearest thing to us, then we have missed it somewhere along the way. And as I've sought the Lord about this in my own life, God has opened my eyes to many truths that I could have stated before but which were not reality to me in a practical, living way.
Every Christian who has prayed the sinner's prayer will say that they believe that Jesus died for their sins. That's knowledge but until we really have a revelation of our sins and the sin nature, until we understand the great cost of our sin, Calvary will not mean a whole lot to us. You see, the new covenant blessings that we all seek are found in His Blood. We receive nothing from God unless it flows through Calvary. This makes His death, which rescued me very precious.
We had a car accident and after the children were all released from the hospital, I traveled back to the fire station to thank the paramedics that had saved the lives of our children. As soon as I saw them, I burst into tears of gratitude as I hugged each one and said thank you, over and over again. Even today, the thought of what they did brings tears to my eyes. So how much more should thoughts of Jesus bring tears to our eyes. How much more should we sit at the foot of His blood stained cross and say thank you, over and over again. Those paramedics saved my children when I could not, but Jesus did something that no man in heaven or on earth could do and it saved us all from death! Without Him, we would be headed to a devil's hell for all eternity.
I meet so many who only see Jesus as the starting point. Yea, Jesus died for my sins, but I have moved on from there now and into the realm of the Holy Spirit and His works. If you are one of those people then your profession is really little more than a life assurance policy. Fire insurance. And it is not valid! If Calvary does not mean everything to us, if the person of Christ, not just what He stands for, is not what we are seeking and running toward, we have a selfish, skewed view that will cause our entire Christian life to get of course at some point. This is why we do not have all that Jesus died to give us. We must seek Him, not just what we can get from Him. When we get in His presence, everything else that we need will be found there as well.
Dearer. As I draw nearer and I see clearer, I realize all the ways that I have missed God, misinterpreted His Word, undervalued His Son, or just plain didn't know things that I needed to know. As He opens these things up to me, I see myself how He sees me. When I honestly look at my faults and failings, I could become discouraged but instead I realize that He is showing these things to me so that He can take them and replace them with what He desired to be there all along. When I realize that there is nothing in me that could ever be worthy of His love or attention, when I acknowledge that only what is of the Spirit is accepted by Him, then I am in awe to realize that He is always waiting for me in that secret place for me. How could He not be the person that is dearest to my heart, the one I long to know all about? All the other added benefits pale in comparison to just knowing Him. Then it really isn't about some cliché concerning religion, it's about relationship, for real!
It's so easy to slip into religion without even realizing it. We lump Christ in with so many other things-the things we want from Him, the things we do for Him, the things that subconsciously we believe will somehow make us deserving of Him. All He wants is for us to know Him, to love Him and to desire Him. He just wants to come to us in the cool of the day and talk with us as He did with Adam and Eve. He had already provided everything for them, yet He desired to visit with them so that they could know Him more. And they desired that too.
In our upside down world, we need more than ever to know God! The fate of souls depends on it. The deception of evil demands it. And God Himself desires it above all else. That's what I want too!