How do you feel about being near God? Bored? Eager? Disinterested? Scared?
The prospect of being near God is a magnifying glass for our heart. Our reaction to being near God, in our thoughts or in our final state, reveals the spiritual health of our soul and our understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The gospel changes two things. First, it changes God’s impending punishment to overwhelming, Fatherly affection. In the gospel God satisfies his anger toward our sin and renders himself propitious, or favorable toward us–working always for our good.
Second, the gospel changes our heart. When the the gospel penetrates our heart through the presence of the Holy Spirit we begin to love what we used to hate, and hate what we used to love. Of course our flesh resists this change, which is why even Christians can find the nearness of God boring or frightening, rather than exciting and comforting. But the Spirit is stronger than our flesh and he is renewing us so that we can say, truly, that the nearness of God is our greatest joy.
So, how does the prospect of the nearness of God strike your heart today? In the gospel, the nearness of God is your good, your true joy. Truly there is no reason to be afraid of his judgement if you have believed in Jesus. And in the Spirit you can enjoy what is truly enjoyable, you can delight in real delightfulness.
In Christ, the nearness of God is our highest, greatest good. Let us draw near, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our records cleansed through the blood of Christ.
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