Drawing Closer to God
Drawing closer to God is the correct way of describing what needs to be done. For God has already drawn close to us. A fragment of His substantive nature dwells within each one of us:
“Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?”
– 1 Corinthians 3:16
We do not need to go on a quest to far away mountains or plead and beg for His audience. He truly loves us and wants us close.
“From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.”
– Acts 17:26-27
Whenever we feel the Father has abandoned us or is not with us, it is because we have not opened the door to him. He is ever present and ever willing to receive us.
When we err, the Father does not leave us. It is our own guilty conscience that causes us to turn away from Him. But as we come to understand Jesus, and the life he led and the way he worshiped the Father, we begin to grasp the significance of the forgiveness of sin. Truly, our sins are forgiven even before we ask for forgiveness. That is what Jesus was teaching us. Our challenge is to get past our guilty conscience and accept it.
To help us in that regard, Jesus encouraged a three-part program: (1) heartfelt prayer, (2) true worship, and (3) following his example of faith. As to prayer, he taught:
“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”
– Matthew 6:5-6 (See also Matthew 6:7-15; Luke 11:1-13; Luke 18:1-14)
As to worship, Jesus taught:
“Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”
– John 4:23-24
As to his own example, Jesus taught:
“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
– John 14:6-8
“I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture.”
– John 10:9
If we do these three things, we will find that all other things are taken care of. And we will find ourselves drawn to and engulfed in the spirit and the essence of the Father of All.