The other night I had a bible study with a group of men who were making excuses as to why they had spent so little time with Christ the previous week. As they were speaking, all I could think about is the incredible love God has for them and what they are missing by allowing secondary issues to crowd out personal time with our loving God. Consider:
Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose usHe is so rich in kindness and grace that He purchased our freedom with the blood of His Son and forgave our sins But God is so rich in mercy, and He loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, He gave us life So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of His grace and kindness toward usMay you have the power to understand, as all Gods people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully (Eph. 1:4, 7; 2:4, 5, 7; 3:18, 19 NLT Selected).
J. I. Packer writes, What matters supremelyis not, in the last analysis, the fact that I know God, but the larger fact that underlies it the fact that He knows me. I am graven on the palms of His hands, I am never out of His mind. All my knowledge of Him depends on His sustained initiative in knowing me. I know Him because He first knew me and continues to know me. He knows me as a friendThere is tremendous relief in knowing that His love to me is utterly realistic based on every point on prior knowledge of the worst about me, so that no discovery can now disillusion Him about me. 1
The fact is that we are as close to God as we want to be. We, not God, determine the degree of intimacy we experience with Him. The 70, the 12, the 3 and the 1 (John?) decided their closeness, not God. He has no favorites. The truth is that most of us are unwilling to pay the price of choosing the right priorities and exercising the necessary discipline to carve out the time necessary to cultivate that intimacy with Him. Thus, the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things have come in and choked the word, making it unfruitful (Mark 4:19).
It would seem that admission to the inner circle of deepening intimacy with God is the outcome of deep desire. Only those who count such intimacy a prize worth sacrificing anything else for are likely to attain it. If other intimacies are more desirable to us, we will not gain entry to that circle. 2
I am currently discipling two men who hit the bottom in their lives through varied circumstances. In a word they had become desperate men. I had the privilege of leading one of them to Christ in the ICU of a hospital. Over the following weeks and months I have been coaching these two men on how to spend meaningful time with Christ. Today, they are truly desperate to know God and are growing like wild men, ravenously seeking and discovering Christ as if their very lives depended on it. Is it any wonder God informs us that, you will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart (Jer. 29:13).
QUESTION: If Christ seems distant to you I wonder who moved?
This week may you experience His grace, peace and protection.
R. Dwight Hill
1Knowing God London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1973, 41 2 Oswald J. Sanders – Enjoying Intimacy with Christ: Grand Rapids: Discovery House Publishers 1992, p. 17Views: 188