Russell and Duenes

The Nearness of God Is My Good

with one comment

I’ve been meditating on a number of Scriptures lately, but I keep coming back to the core of my Christian faith, where the central question for me is, as always, “Do I want to be with God?” Or as Psalm 73:28 would ask it, “Is the nearness of God my good?” This is what it all comes down to. Like anyone with any sanity, Christian or non-Christian, I want to avoid hell if there is indeed such a place, and I’m convinced there is. But avoiding hell can’t be what all of creation is aiming for. What I don’t want, or at least what I say I don’t want, is to die, show up before God, and find that showing up in heaven is, as Daniel Fuller put it, “like arriving at a party to which you were never invited.”

But then I look at my life, and I ask myself, “Do I live and breathe each day as though my highest good is to be near God, to “abide” in Him? When I have my devotions or quiet times, am I really aiming at communion with God? Do I lead others into such a thing?” Too often my highest good is striving to do that which will make me appear wise, smart and articulate to others, or reading all sorts of things so that I can be “well read” in some topic like economics or bioethics or history. I read plenty of the Bible, and am quite disciplined about it. Heck, I teach the Bible for a living. I’ve always enjoyed theology and thinking about theology. I love to sing hymns and other kinds of worship songs. But…

Do I “draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having my heart sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and my body washed with pure water?” (Heb.10:22) Do I want to? Do I look forward to uninterrupted time with and service to God, in the way that I look forward to, say, eating or being with my wife or reading my books and articles? Do I love and serve others in the hopes of seeing Christ in and through them? “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and…?” I’m afraid I know the answers is to my questions, yet I know that if I draw near to Christ, he will draw near to me. If only I want to. May God’s Holy Spirit and His people help me onward in drawing near, in knowing His presence, in worshipping Him alone and finding joy in Him. “Christ suffered for sinners, once-for-all, to bring you to God.” That’s what it’s all about.



Written by Michael Duenes

August 1, 2010 at 10:39 pm

One Response

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  1. This hits home for me like no other!! Working in ministry this should be my goal and what I am trying to instill in others but it’s a day to day thing. Thanks for sharing man! Helps to know your not alone in your walk with God.

    Nathaniel Kohfield

    August 2, 2010 at 2:15 am

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