(Thanks to Steve for inspiration on this one.)
A good friend was asked the question yesterday, "How can we have a closer relationship with the Lord?"
My friend addressed the matter to me, and the first thought that came to my mind is that we must be sure to initially direct the focus away from ourselves and unto God. That is, we must first realize how much He desires to have a close relationship with us.
"We love Him because He first loved us" (I John 4:19).
The truth of God's love for us preceding and motivating our love for Him is ongoing. We will always best respond to our Heavenly Father when we rightly view Him as earnestly desiring vital relationship with us. God's will for a closer relationship must precede our own will and need in our motivation and participation in relating to Him.
This is a challenging truth, even as it encourages us. Why would an infinite God so desire communication with creatures such as ourselves? This is a hard question to answer in the personal terms which are necessary if we are to actually break through and have the bond with the Lord Jesus Christ He so desires. Are we to believe that our hearts and minds directed to God really mean that much to His heart and mind? The Biblical answer is a resounding, "Yes!" Something about the trusting and submitted human heart inhabited by the Holy Spirit blesses the gracious heart of God, even to the degree He sacrificed His beloved Son to a cross of untold agony in order to make possible relationship with us. Most literally, God smote and forsook His innocent Son at Calvary so that He might not smite and forsake us (Isaiah 53:4-6).
This somber truth may be the most motivating factor in drawing close to God. We are "accepted in the Beloved" because the Beloved was rejected in the flaming fire of His Father's wrath against sin (Ephesians 1:3). Nothing more illustrates the intensity of desire in God for relationship with us. And nothing will more birth within the believing heart a greater intensity on our part to consciously commune with the One always nearer to us than any other.
"Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? And your labor for that which satisfieth not? Hearken diligently unto Me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. Incline your ear, and come unto Me: hear, and your soul shall live."
Tomorrow: "Draw nigh unto God, and He will draw nigh unto you" (James 4:8).