The cost of being close to God

Published 11:24 am Tuesday, January 16, 2024

By Billy Holland

Contributing Columnist

We talked about taking a stand for Christ last week, but being a Christian is also a walk which in the light of scripture refers to conduct. Ephesians the second chapter mentions how we once walked with the world fulfilling the lust of our flesh, and Romans the sixth chapter talks about how once we are transformed by His saving power we now walk in a new spiritually transformed identity. While these passages help explain our salvation experience, what about how we are to walk after we are saved?

Colossians 1:10 describes our new lifestyle as a “walk worthy of the Lord” and then we notice another road sign in Ephesians chapter five saying, “Walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” Since God demands for us to seek wisdom and pray for self-discipline, we should comprehend that what we say and do speaks volumes about who we are. When we leave this world, how we lived will reveal what we believed was important. Our testimony and conduct are what everyone sees, which is why it’s so important to surrender our will to be like Christ.

Many are involved with religious works, and will raise their hand when asked if they believe in God, but does doing a good deed always prove our love for Him? Can we not manage our own desires in the name of religion? So, what is the key to walking with God in this life? What is the difference between wanting Jesus as our Savior and having Christ as our Lord? Luke 6:46 sums it up, “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?” Since we know the Rhema Word of God penetrates our spirit, our mind, emotions, and even our bodies, this revelation has the power to change us.

If we are not obeying God’s commands and following His voice, He is not our Lord. We have given our worship and love to someone or something else. In Romans 6:16 we find another sobering statement, “Do you not comprehend that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient servants, you are loyal to the one you obey, whether you are devoted to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?” There is a good reason why we should conduct a daily examination of our conscience to make sure we have not drifted away from our commitment and love for God.

Each moment we are tempted and distracted to focus our attention on something other than Jesus Christ. We hardly notice this subtle persuasion from the dark side, but stop for a moment and observe. This is certainly not a game, but conduct a serious experiment and you will realize that all of us are in the middle of fierce spiritual warfare. The idea from Satan is if he can keep our thoughts occupied with anything except God, he can control us. The question is, do we care? Do we not see the danger of being led around by Satan whose mission according to John 10:10 is to kill, steal, and destroy? The good news is we have a choice about how we live as the second part of that verse says, “but Jesus has come that we might have life, and have it more abundantly.”

I have two passages to share with you before we close. The first is Matthew 6:33, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.” The second is found in James 4:7-8, “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” If we meditate on seeking and drawing near to God, we notice it demands an intentional act on our behalf to pursue with a passionate determination. Could the principle of reaping and sowing pertain here? I believe so.

If God’s response to us is based on the level of our desire to know Him, then how many steps do you intend to take to meet Him? If something prevents you from embracing and giving yourself completely to Him, what is it? There is a reality within the Christian faith and a worthy consideration; we can be as close to God as we want.

Learn more about the Christian life at billyhollandministries.com.