Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. - Hebrews 4:16
Has God ever asked you to do something that made you feel like he was asking too much? Has he ever asked you to sacrifice your plans, or make a decision that would disrupt your plans? Perhaps it's time for you to get closer to God.
Maybe you've gotten to where you stay at a "minimum safe distance" from God, for fear of what he might ask—what assignment he might put on your heart, what calling he might put on your life. Maybe you worry, if you allow yourself to get too close, he might leverage his position to press you to become . . . say . . . a monk in the mountains; or missionary to Africa; or evangelist at your work; or confessor to your friends; or something else, equally disrupting to your plans.
But here's the thing: get too far away from God and you miss out on his presence and protection. Get too close and it's easy for him to use that proximity for good—to use the power of his love and grace to guide and guard your steps through life.
Before I met my wife Michelle...I remember thinking a lot about that moment when you realize you are falling in love with someone. The moment when you know what those feelings mean and how they will change your life forever.
The truth is, that moment can be terrifying.
We live in a culture where we set our own rules for happiness and success. We think we know what it takes to be happy, and we think we know what it takes to succeed. So when someone else comes along who challenges those things? Well, then there might be trouble brewing on the horizon!
For many of us, fears like these characterize our relationships with God. You see, we know the plans we have for ourselves—plans for good things ahead—and we trust ourselves to know what’s “good.” So, we’re wary of potential disruptions, even from the God we love.
King David wrote, though, it’s precisely when we close the distance to God that we actually discover what we’ve been looking for, all along:
Not the “boredom of your heart” or “annoyance of your heart” or “frustration of your heart”—the “desires of your heart”—what you’ve always wanted, but haven’t found. The key, warrior, is trust (Psalm 37:5). We must trust that the God of the universe might know better what is, in fact, “good” for us. And we must trust that he wills our good and knows how to bring it about (Psalm 37:5-6).
Okay, so what do we do?
I've been there, too. I know what it's like to feel like you're not where you should be—in life, in faith, in whatever you're doing. But there's something that always helps me when I'm feeling like this:
God wants you to get closer to him. He wants that for all of us! And he wants us to get closer by actually getting closer.
That means stepping out in faith and taking the next step he has for us. Maybe it means reading Scripture more often or joining a community group at church or simply confessing your sins and needs aloud. Whatever it is, God has put it on your heart so that he can bring you closer to him.
Are you ready?