When I think about drawing close to God, I am often reminded of how far I was from God not even three years ago. Like myself, I think many of us are afraid to approach God in a close way. The idea of drawing close to an intangible God almost seems impossible. Attach shame to doubt and you’ve mixed yourself the perfect cocktail of distance.
I could explain hundreds of techniques to draw close to God: set aside a specific time, a safe place, remove distractions, meditate on a scripture, etc., etc. All of those are wonderful actions to take, and God certainly honors intentionality. However, there is a difference between spending time in God’s presence and actually being close to Him. For example, say you’re the boss of a growing company and you’re in charge of recruiting new employees. This often includes conducting multiple interviews. In an interview, you’ve also got to set aside time and find an ideal location for conversation, free of distraction. During this interview, you clearly have an intention, and you are in the presence of another person, but you are not in closeness with that person.
Now compare that to time spent with a best friend. While you are certainly in the presence of a person in an interview, you aren’t close to them the way you are with a best friend. When I think about my best friends, I think about how our relationships are so much deeper and closer because my heart is open to them. I let them see the darkest places of my heart, and that fosters a closeness and a trust unlike any other.
There are definitely ways to usher in God’s presence, but closeness starts with us. It starts on the inside, and requires a willingness to approach the throne of grace, completely unveiled and vulnerable.
I’ve come to learn that while all of that sounds easy, most of us struggle on a daily basis to be completely vulnerable with God. Recently, while reading Scary Close, by Donald Miller, I read Miller explain it best when he mentioned shame in relation to connection.
“Shame,” he said, “caused me to hide. “And that,” he said, “is a problem. Because the more we hide, the harder it is to be known. And we have to be known to connect.”
In order for us to truly connect with God, we have to be known, and to be known, we have to come out of hiding and unveil who we are behind the shame. I get it. The idea of completely letting go and letting God see your heart can be terrifying, especially because in this world we can often find ourselves burned and let down by the people we’ve let into our hearts in the past. But man’s heart wasn’t designed to carry one another’s weight, so we will inevitably fail one another.
But, that’s what makes God so beautiful. God wants your heart, even the broken pieces.
I often think about the story of the prodigal son when I think about God and the way He loves His children. Like the story, we can often go our own way and make many mistakes, and when we want to run back to God, we feel as though we have to work for His love. We feel as though we have to cover up our shame with performance. But God says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, not by works.”
There is nothing we could ever do to earn God’s love. The sooner we drop the act and unveil the true condition of our hearts, the closer we’ll start to get to the God, who never forsakes us, nor abandons us.
Drawing close starts with us, it starts in the heart.
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Arrianna Arriaga is a happy-go-lucky young lady who enjoys beauty, fashion, and spreading the love of Jesus through: Small Groups, YouTube, and Blogging. Her dream is to one day be a wife, mother and friend – but most importantly a world changer for the kingdom of God. For more about Arri CLICK HERE.