(“The Kimberly Joy Show: Drawing Nigh to God is a Choice”)
As I continue on the path of this brand new year, I choose to draw closer to God.
Although I have been a born-again believer for a long time, I recognize that there is always more to learn and to receive from God. It would be arrogant of me to think that I have arrived! Besides, I sense an inner pulling from the Holy Spirit to DO better and to BE better. I’m not talking about being perfect because only God is perfect. I’m talking about simply doing what I know God is telling me to do.
How about you? Is God telling you to draw closer to Him? Is God requiring that you pray more? Is God expecting you to do further study in His Word? Is God dealing with you about your attitude? Is He telling you to correct your conduct? Are you treating people the way God expects you to?
LET ME GIVE YOU AN EXAMPLE:
Maybe you are quick-tempered, and God has told you to cast down your anger and give it to Him. However, instead of doing what He has instructed you to do, you make excuses for your behavior and continue to fly off the handle. As a result, your anger has damaged your relationships with people. Your anger has gotten you written up at work. Perhaps, your anger has even gotten you arrested. To make matters worse, your anger has dimmed your light. What do I mean? People don’t respect you as a Christian. One minute you’re giving God praise, and the next minute, you’re cussing someone out.
Whether it’s anger or something else, why do we have a difficult time relinquishing certain behaviors or attitudes? It’s comfortable! Even if it brings negative consequences, it’s still comfortable! It feels good! It’s familiar! Therefore, we have to put all our faith in God. We have to just trust God and draw even closer to Him by CHOOSING to obey Him.
Drawing nigh to God is a personal choice each of us has to make. When God created man, He created him with a free will. God instilled in each of us the ability to choose how to act or behave. In Genesis 3, although God commanded Adam and Eve not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, He didn’t force them to obey Him. Adam and Eve knew God’s expectations. In fact, Eve informed the serpent (Satan) of God’s expectations. Nevertheless, in the end they chose to disobey God. So, like Adam and Eve had a choice, we have a choice to draw nigh to God. God desires that we come closer to Him. He even commands that we do so, but He doesn’t force our hands.
LET ME TELL YOU A STORY (Taken from Matthew 19 and Mark 10):
As Jesus was heading towards Jerusalem, a man came running up to Him, knelt down, and asked, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
Jesus asked the man, “Why do you call me good? Only God is truly good.” Jesus then said, “But to answer your question, you know the commandments: ‘You must not murder. You must not commit adultery. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely. You must not cheat anyone. Honor your father and mother.”
The man responded, “Teacher, I’ve obeyed all these commandments since I was young.”
Looking at the man, Jesus felt genuine love for him. He then said to him, “There is still one thing you haven’t done. Go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
Since this man was very wealthy, he just left disappointed. After he left, Jesus then looked at His disciples and said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God!”
I believe the rich man initially approached Jesus because he sensed that he needed to DO better and BE better. However, he CHOSE his possessions over having a closer relationship with God. He CHOSE his wealth over becoming the man God called him to be. He made his CHOICE, and God didn’t force him.
I want to encourage you to draw closer than you ever have before to God, even if it means letting go of those things that give you comfort. God is speaking to you. Do you know why? He CHOSE you. Think about that! God chose YOU! It reminds me of Mary the mother of Jesus. Out of all the virgins, God chose her to carry the Savior of the world. Although a virgin being with child was unheard of, by FAITH, she accepted God’s assignment for her life.
Now, Mary could have allowed doubt and fear to take over and told God no. And what if she had rejected God’s assignment? Would that have stopped His plan? Absolutely not! God would have chosen someone else, and Mary would have missed out on a tremendous blessing.
So again, just like Mary was chosen, God has chosen you. John 15:16 says, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you…” First, God chose to save you from your sins. Now He has chosen to use you to share His Good News of salvation with others.
Like the rich man, you have the choice to say no to God’s calling. But, I want you to consider something. How can you say no to such a loving, merciful, and gracious God? How can you say no to a God who believes in you more than you believe in yourself? How can you say no to a God who loves you more than anyone? How can you say no to a God who gives you life every day? How can you say no to a God who is willing to forgive you of your sins, to heal you, and to deliver you?
Think about THIS! You’re where you are because somebody, somewhere said YES to God on your behalf. That person said YES to praying for you when you were sick. Another person said YES to blessing you when you were in need. A few said YES to encouraging you when you needed it the most.
So, again I encourage you, starting right now…today…CHOOSE to draw nigh to God and turn that no into a YES!
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