How can we know that God is near?
David was conscious of God’s nearness. “For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether.” (Psalm 139:4) David was aware that God knew all of his thoughts and words. But on an even more intimate level David wrote, “When Thou saidst, Seek ye may face; my heart said unto Thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek.” (Psalm 27:8) David heard God’s call to seek His face and he answered that call.
“The Lord spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend.” (Exodus 33:11) Moses knew God’s nearness.
In the New Testament the Lord Jesus gave us the model prayer in Matthew 6. “When thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret, and thy Father which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.” (v.6)
God is our heavenly Father who loves each of His own children and wants to meet with them each one apart, in the secret place, in order to reveal Himself to their hearts. God very much wants us to know that He is near.
When John Wesley lay dying one of the last things he uttered was, “The greatest thing is that God is with us.”
God is closer to us than the very air that we breathe.
Well did E.M. Grimes write the following:
“Speak, Lord, in the stillness,
While I wait on Thee;
Hush’d my heart to listen,
Speak, O blessed Master,
In this quiet hour;
Let me see Thy face Lord,
Feel Thy touch of power.”
At the bible school I attended our director often exhorted the students, “Preach that which you most smartingly do feel.” I think it was a quote from Spurgeon. What did he mean? It is very simple. A preacher can only effectively communicate to his congregation that which he has received from God’s Word, in fellowship with Him. The message has to grip his own heart first. It must be a message born out of fellowship with God.
We are called to KNOW Christ. He wants us to seek His face and to hear His voice. He is our Shepherd and He calls us by name. He calls us to aloneness with Him, to behold His glory, and in beholding Him, to be changed. Let us answer as David did, “Thy face, Lord, will I seek.” After all, He did pay the uttermost price to redeem us in order that we should be WITH Him. (John 14:3)