Do you feel that God is close to you? Do you ever feel as if He is so far away He can’t possibly know what you are going through today? I believer all of us can answer both questions yes and no depending on what’s going on in our lives, rather than dependent on what the real truth is. I’ve been challenged lately, to see the gulf between what I believe (or what I think I believe) and how I view troubles going on in the present.
If you read through the Psalms or most parts of the OT, you will see that God is in heaven and we are on earth and the plea of the writer is that God would come near them, rescue them, heal them, bless them and not take His Spirit away from them. In the Old Covenant that’s how it was. But I fear that many New Covenant/Testament believers today still see God as in heaven and us on earth and that the gulf between us depends on how good we are or how hard we try to feel or get close to God. We tend to pray hard thinking that our hard praying will get the results we want. We pray to God as if He is far away, not near us. Allow me to share from some verses in John that God is in us – nearer than we could ever imagine.
“Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me.” Jn 14:11. Jesus said many times that He and the Father were one. It’s this closeness that Jesus wants to share with us, all the time, for all ages.
“In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.” Jn 14:20. Here one step further is the revelation that Jesus is in the Father and that we are in Him and vice versa. This is an intimacy no human on earth can have. I doubt the disciples got any of this before the Spirit of truth came upon them. John wrote his gospel roughly 50 years after the cross and it’s my belief he “got it” after 50 years.
“If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.” Jn 14:23. Here it’s stated even clearer – He’s going to come and live inside of us and it’s to love, not give more laws or reprimand on the spot. So many of us still have an incorrect fear of God. We don’t want this much intimacy because it might wreck havoc with what we’re doing here on earth. I think most of us would rather have God at a distance, that way we get to choose when we want to relate to Him.
“But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you.” Jn 16:13-15. This word disclose means to announce and declare, to make known. Jesus calls us His friends in John 15. He desires to make Himself known to us and the Spirit is here to make known Jesus to us in every way possible and to bring the intimacy all of us crave but look to worldly things to give us that closeness.
“But God…made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” Eph 2:5-6. Positionally we are at the Father’s right hand, seated, IN Christ. We are not far off, or in any remote way far away from God.
If we were to truly believe that Christ is IN us and the Father and Spirit as well, how would that change our outlook on the troubles that face us? When something happens, would we have to cry loudly, “Father, hear me, save me, deliver me!” as if God were far away and did not know what was going on? I rather think it would sound like this: “The Spirit is always with me and will never leave nor forsake me. Therefore this thing that’s going on is already known to Him who dwells closer to me than I can ever realize. I need not cry as if you can’t hear me Father! So I just rest right now knowing that You see the situation and know what to do even before it happened to me. May the truth rise to the surface of my heart and mind so that if there is anything I need do, I will have the wisdom of Christ to do it. I rest in the Spirit’s ability to resolve the situation. In Jesus’ name amen”
God hears all our prayers of course and how we come to Him really doesn’t matter! He can translate the groans of our hearts as we cry for help at any given moment. But I think God desires us to know how close He already is in the believer’s heart. He wants us to sit down at His right hand confident that He is aware of our needs each day. He wants us to receive all the benefit of the Spirit that Jesus left us until He comes again. He wants to disclose Himself to us. Let us really grab a hold of the truth of these verses and allow His love to deepen in us. I believe fear will exit your heart as His perfect love will cast it out!