I ask and encourage everyone to include in your prayers those who are in abusive situations and are also facing greater risk because of the pandemic and many other issues across the globe. If you are anything like me, you are saddened by the suffering and loss people are experiencing, but your heart is also swelling with gratitude for the roof over your head, the food on your table, and the health that allows you to live and breathe each day. These are things many of us have taken for granted, but one of the most precious blessings we have taken for granted is the closeness of our Heavenly Father. Many of us have overlooked how easy it is to reach out to Him, and to do so in a time when we need His strength, love, and power most.
Psalm 145:18(NLT) says, “The Lord is close to all who call on him, yes, to all who call on him in truth.” What does it mean to call on the Lord in truth? The answer to this question will require us to know a little bit about a person’s motivation for calling on the Lord. Psalm 46:1 tells us that God is our refuge and strength, that He is our ever-present help in the time of trouble. It is important to know this because we desperately need God, and many are getting woke to this reality now. But coming alive to the reality of God’s blessing and provision is more than just calling His name—plenty of folks do that in vain, and sometimes in the most offensive way. To call on Him in truth is to know who it is you’re calling.
A lot of things that we think God is interested in, He’s really not so much. He doesn’t care about designer brands or whether something is in or out of style. He is not nearly as concerned about what is on the outside as He is about what is on the inside. He wants our hearts to have a place where His truth can land and take root. In other words, we should desire to meet God with something He can latch on to. He’s an eternal God dealing with a people that He desires to give eternal life. 1John 4:8 tells us that God is love. Love is not only what He does, Love is who He is. And the thing we ought to know about this is that Love has a nature, and it’s to give richly and continually.
Some biological parents make the choice to give their kids gifts without contemplating whether their kids are ready or mature enough to receive them. Our willingness to be accountable and our ability to demonstrate gratitude are the standards that indicate the quality and potential of our stewardship. We don’t have to be perfect at it, we just have to be on the track that leads us on the path to become better as life progresses. An excellent giver is someone who contemplates the recipient’s ability to steward the gift. Personally, I wouldn’t give a Rolls Royce to a 30-year-old adult without a license, nor would I give a military grade weapon to a 5-year-old. This is based on the understanding of my tiny brain, so imagine the prowess of a God that has all power and knows everything. He is THE Excellent Giver! He knows what we need, what we’re prepared to receive, and whether we’ll be truly thankful to the point of using what He gives in the right way.
Unfortunately, this very fast-paced, instant gratification environment we live in has groomed many of us to always go for the quick-fix, or to be driven by impatience and only shoot for the just enough to get by. The reality is that these approaches don’t speak the language of love and honor, and God overwhelmingly deserves both. The truth is that when humanity was at its worse, John 3:16 tells us that God so loved the world that He gave us Son, Jesus Christ, as a sacrifice. He did this so that everyone who believes in this extreme love offering will not perish but have the gift of eternal life. Nothing or no one can do what God has done for us through Jesus Christ. And we can be assured that Heavenly Father is looking at how each of us receives this amazing gift and how we demonstrate our gratitude for it.
Jesus Christ is the Father’s only begotten Son, and He allowed him to be sacrificed to save all of us. This is love! This is truth! So, when we come to God, we don’t have to put on airs or pretense, but we DO have to recognize the unfathomable reality of His love and power. Heavenly Father loves us in all our sin, all our fear, and all our pain. This won’t mean much to us if we can’t relate to the truth of who He is, and who we can be if we allow ourselves to accept His love and get close to Him. It may get worse before it get’s better. We need the Lord, and He desires to help us. He is close, and when we call Him recognizing the truth of His love and power, He will help us. ■
Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.
“The Lord is Close”, written for overcomingdomesticviolence.org©2022. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!