God is always beckoning us closer. Whether we obey is a constant choice between what we really want and what we are willing to give up.
What God offers us doesn’t always seem that appealing when we are far from Him. It’s so true that the more we are in God’s presence, the more we desire Him. And the further we stay from Him, the less we care about Him.
It’s a hard decision, because the closer we come to our holy God, the more our sinful desires and selfish pride is revealed.
And that is painful.
God purifies us as we approach Him just because of who He is. But keeping a distance from Him is also painful because, though we are free to indulge earthly cravings, eventually we have to admit – none of them satisfy. Being empty and unfulfilled honestly is more painful than anything once we really think about it. So what do we choose?
God made us and this earth. His viewpoint is not distorted by sin like ours is. He knows what will really fulfill us despite what the world constantly tells us. We have to trust Him over her own “wisdom.” It feels like it’s too much sacrifice to make a step toward God. But once we do it, choose obedience, we find we like that place eventually… we even love it!
Then we look at the next step and hesitate again. Oh man, I don’t think I can give that up. Maybe I should just stay here? If we are wise, we go with the momentum and our recent positive experience and we just keep walking toward God, willing to feel some loss and pain because it’s a loss of what doesn’t satisfy and pain of God crucifying in us what should not be there.
Because we live in a fallen world, sadly life is a struggle.
How could it be anything else? God is our Creator and Father yet our world is being run by his enemy, the prince of darkness and lies.
Where do we fall in that mess? Who do we listen to? The enemy does have some power, power to deceive us, to offer us countless substitutes for God. He’s a liar and cares only for himself. False contentment and cheap happiness is his favorite distraction. “I just want to relax! Have fun! Think about happy things! I don’t want to think about a war going on, about sacrifice and difficulty.” I know I’ve thought those things.
But real life, life that matters and sees what’s going on and stops obsessing only about feeling good – that life hurts. It’s a tough decision, but goodness and truth will prevail and should prevail now as well. We can live this hundred years well. We can accept that life is very hard sometimes and we will persevere and enjoy the eventual victory. It really does come down to
100 years of enjoying myself and shunning God to receive an eternity of suffering apart from God.
Or 100 years of struggle and sacrifice obeying God to receive an eternity of peace and joy with God.
It’s time to make the hard decisions, isn’t it? Real life feels like a slap in the face, but one we appreciate because at least now we are actually awake and facing reality, not wasting our years trying to live in a fantasy world.
It’s true, there’s a war going on and I’m sad to say can be difficult. But once we get used to it, learn to be effective soldiers on the right side,