"Draw near to God and He will draw near to you." James 4:8
There is none among us who do not desire things. The things we desire are many and varied as are the ways we go about obtaining them. If we want better health, we curtail or drop unhealthy habits and see medical professionals regularly to guide us along the way. If we want better looking bodies, we push back from the table and pursue the gym. If we want greater knowledge, we pursue the books and other educational outlets.
The desire of every Christian is to gain heaven. The only way to accomplish this is to pursue a closer relationship with God. Much as desiring to drop a few pounds is useless without making the necessary sacrifices to accomplish it, desiring heaven and a closer walk with the Lord is an exercise in futility if we are not willing to expend effort. Let it quickly and firmly be said that heaven cannot be earned or deserved by works, but is the free gift of God through His grace and your faith, Eph 2:8-9. Like any relationship (and the obtaining of its benefits), it must be cultivated.
Beloved, our great Father has set the table for us. We have been invited to begin, develop and enjoy a rewarding and eternal relationship with Him. In that we were made beings with choice and free will, we must choose Him. Though He has given us every reason and ability to make that positive choice, He does not make it for us. Even the angels who He created far different from us have choice as evidenced by some chosing Satan. Many of God's beloved children have also made that same tragic choice.
You are invited to choose God. And while our intuition tells us that this is a one time message for non-believers, we are challenged to continually choose God in everything we do. Jesus advises us to take up our cross DAILY and follow him. It is only through this relentless pursuit that we will develop a close, warm, personal relationship with God. It is only when we exceed the rudiments of "going to church" that we begin to understand who God is, who we are in Him and the many benefits of a relationship with Him. If we would turn and seek after Him, we will find that He is ready, willing and desirous to welcome us and has Himself come far more than halfway. Like the father of the prodigal son, He is seeking us. When He sees us on our journey toward home, He will run out to meet us, closing the distance.
Loving Like Jesus,