“‘Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall name him Emmanuel,’
which means, ‘God is with us.’”
~Matthew 1:23 (NRSV).
John Ortberg wrote a book a few years ago called, God is Closer Than You Think (2005). Its main premise was that the Presence of the Almighty God is with us all the time, even (and especially even) when we don’t detect it.
The issue with regard to the abovementioned title is simply this: we cannot get physically closer to God than we already are. God is here. But we can get spiritually closer to God—the ‘felt’ perspective.
Achieving Closeness with God
We can know that the closer we draw to God—the more we focus on the cross—the closer we feel God’s Presence, mostly.
The more we do supposedly godly things the more we draw closer to God. As we learn to listen to the Spirit’s whisper and then as we heed it immediately—doing the things willed by God—we’re blessed.
As we include God in our lives, and to the measure of our honesty with ourselves, God is there and increasingly so—so far as our perception of his Presence is concerned.
As we spend ourselves for others—over and above what anyone and even ourselves would expect—we invite the visitation (by our perception) of the holy God. Even more, in helping someone through their anguish by simply being there, and not trying to fix their problems—in this, God’s made closer to us.
As we worship, alone or in company, focussing on the words of praise and thanksgiving hymns and music, letting ourselves go, we enjoy the blessings of God, at times to the baptism in and of the Holy Spirit.
There are a thousand and one, and more, ways to feel this Presence of God more and more.
As we mature more and more in the faith we’re also growing in our perspectives of this closeness.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.