Thursday, September 02, 2010

The Jailer Touches the Prisoner

How do I get close to God?

By living according to his word. There is a doctrine called transcendence. This means that God is totally other than his creation. He is not a created being and everything else is created. This puts God in another category altogether. The temptation is to think that because God is totally other that we can’t have anything to do with him.

The flaw with this thinking is that while we can’t reach out and touch God, he can reach down and touch us. It is similar to a prisoner in jail. He is stuck, chained to his cell wall and can’t touch his jailer. But just because the prisoner can’t touch the jailer does not mean that the jailer can’t touch the prisoner. And so it is with God. He created everything and nothing can go outside its realm to reach God. But God, because he is the creator, can and does reach inside our existence to touch our hearts.

Typically when we say, “walk closer to God.” We mean live in a way that more consistently pleases God. Because of Jesus’ death on the cross we have a familial relationship with God. He is our father and we are his sons. This means that we can be more friendly with him or less friendly with him. He will not be satisfied with a less friendly relationship with us and so when we sin, he disciplines us (cf. Heb. 12:5-11).

Consequently, we walk closer to God by spending time with him. We do this in prayer, Bible study, fellowship with other believers, corporate worship, celebration of the sacraments, fasting, participating in ministries, etc. But if we do these things and forget that we are communing with God we sin and we are not really walking closer to him, we are faking it and being hypocrites. And as we know, God hates hypocrites.

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