Pleasing God, Making Disciples of Jesus Christ

As Close As We Want To Be

Proverbs 6:6-11 – Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. 7 Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, 8 she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest. 9 How long will you lie there, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep? 10 A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, 11 and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man.

THEME OF THE DAY. AS CLOSE AS WE WANT TO BE. I would like for us to sit back, pause, and think for a moment about the staggering truth of what it means to be a Christian in possession of eternal life. Now, before we do, it is important we understand precisely the definition of “eternal life.” First, what eternal life is not. The primary definition of eternal life is not living forever. That is the definition of immortality and every human being is immortal. Christian and non-Christians do not cease to exist at death. There will be a forever consciousness. Regardless of our condition before God, we are immortal souls who will exist forever in one of two places – heaven or hell.

So, if eternal life is not living forever, what is the proper definition? God has not left us to figure it out. The Lord Jesus defines it in the opening words of His High Priestly prayer, “When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (John 17:1-3). Eternal life is defined as the God-granted privilege of knowing Him and His Son, the Lord Jesus. Again, think on this truth. If we are Christians, we know the Triune God. He has invited us, enabled us, and desires of us to know Him; to experience Him; to be amazed by Him; to be overwhelmed by Him; to adore Him; and to grow more and more spiritually mature in all those encounters. The question is . . .. “Are we?”

Look back over the past year. I know we don’t have perfect mental recall, but generally, this is something we each can do and with accuracy since it is a spiritual recall and the Lord will help us. Simply evaluate our walks with the Lord Jesus with three questions . . .

1. Have I grown more intimate with Christ in prayer and the Word where both are becoming disciplines of delight I regularly practice for the purposes of knowing, loving, and growing in the Lord? (Philippians 3:10).
2. Have I seen in me and have others been impacted by my maturing in the Fruit of the Spirit, which is Christ’s character of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control? (Galatians 5:22-23).
3. Have I deepened my commitment and faithfulness in Christ’s interests and desires for His people in this life – self-denying participation in church, self-denying service for others, and self-denying action in the work of the Gospel? (Luke 9:23)

If we answer those questions positively, we are showing the “fruit” and giving forth the evidence of possessing eternal life, or of knowing God and the Lord Jesus. If we cannot honestly affirm these self-examination questions, today’s scripture might be a place to start in ascertaining why no growth. When it comes to all spiritual progress or getting close to the Lord, it requires effort on our part; diligent effort. Yes, God has given us eternal life, but He won’t give us a growing experience of Himself without heeding the example of the ant in today’s scripture. Without work, no growth. Without effort, no intimacy. Remember, God has made it possible for us to know Him. And we will be as close to Him as we choose to be. The only hindrance in experiencing eternal life is ourselves.

PRAYER: “Lord, I praise You for granting me the privilege to know You.”

QUOTE: “God has given us prayer and the Word to know Him, but the seeking of Him in both is up to us”