Let’s consider this a part two of sorts to the article I wrote last month, “What’s good for me.” I shared my personal convictions and applications from the beautifully written 73rd Psalm. The article simply repeatedly spoke of how good it is to draw near to God, and how drawing near to God provides proper perspective as He is the source of all goodness. This piece I think will relay some more of the benefits I’ve observed in drawing and staying near to God, particularly those most obvious to me in this season of my life.
Strength for life
Two passages I often repeat are “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to[a] his own glory and excellence” (2 Peter chapter 1 verse 3) and “For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” (Philippians chapter 2 verse 13) Without going into any deep exegetical exploration of the texts, though I believe there is much value in that. I think a plain observation could be that God is involved in both of these processes, in 1 Peter, His divine power is granting and in Philippians He is working. An interpretation and a subsequent application I think for me is that God, who I have come to know as capable, strong and powerful is involved in my life and that is quite an encouraging reminder. Strength and its synonyms have found a significant place in my life, as I am ever so aware of my fickleness and my need for God. I have found that though my devotional times are not a legalistic checkbox, I’m growing to appreciate the need for them in my life. One of the major reasons being the strength and vitality found in the secret place.
Strength for renewed vision
Strength is probably an odd word to use but it is the word picture that closely resembles what I feel happens when I am with God. A bolstering of frail places, weak mindsets, an empowering and enabling to otherwise puny ways of living. In the last article I shared how the Psalmist’s perspective was changed as a result of drawing near to God. I too relate quite deeply with that, as it is quiet moments with the Lord that have provided clarity of perspective on many things. Outlooks that were not aligned with the Word are destroyed and my vision renewed and strengthened. I have also found that in the quiet place I receive the strength I need to choose continuously proper perspective and not revert to old ways of seeing things.
Strength to choose right
A Segway from that previous paragraph is this reality; that as I spend more time with the Lord, I become more acquainted with His character and what He approves and disapproves of. There is an analogy given quite frequently, about security forces that deal with fraud cases, spending most of their time looking and examining real money versus counterfeit. The takeaway is usually that as one gazes on what is real it becomes easier to identify what is false. I believe there is also some merit that can be applied to our journey with the Lord. As I have tried to be deliberate in drawing and staying near to God there is a heightened awareness regarding imposters; those things that come to steal my attention with promises of contentment and satisfaction - but more often than not ultimately lead to death. I believe we are able to identify false versions of contentment and satisfaction when we gaze on the real deal.
Strength to be satisfied
I’ve been meditating on satisfaction as I reread a book that challenged me greatly in my late teens, “Life’s Highest Delight” by Ron Williams. In this book the author challenges the reader to examine the source of their satisfaction. There is a myriad of things that we have chosen to believe have the capacity to provide some sort of satisfaction. Like robots we go after these things many times unconsciously thinking that the end result is contentment. As I said earlier the Word strength paints a picture of God bolstering weak areas of thinking and this was one such. My mind needs to be strengthened to understand that there is no source outside of God that can provide the truest level of satisfaction. In the quiet place I am reminded of that reality and the strength I gain from the quiet place enables me to choose God over sin and my carnality.
Jhonelle is a Jesus enthusiast and Christian youth leader. She’s a lover of all things related to discipleship and a freelance writer.