What Does It Take to Grow Close to God?

Biblical Authority Devotional: Claims of Scripture, Part 11

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The Bible functions as a “sword” in its ability to cut through to the innermost depths of a person’s heart and soul.

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)

Today’s big question: what does it take to grow close to God?

The Bible functions as a “sword” in its ability to cut through to the innermost depths of a person’s heart and soul. God’s Word can penetrate through all the layers of impurity and get to the true central issues of life. In combination with using Bible as a “sword” to penetrate hearts and souls, the Word of God acts as a mirror by giving us an accurate picture of who we really are (James 1:22–25). Once we see that image, God can begin to change us into what we really ought to be.

In line with this concept, we can see that the Bible has two edges: condemnation and restoration. These two edges represent the beauty and wonder of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Let me explain.

First of all, the Bible condemns us. Now, this may sound rather bleak to you, but it is a critical part of your journey toward enjoying a full relationship with God. Before you can connect with God on an intimate level and enjoy His presence in your life each day, you must come to a proper recognition of the depth of evil in your heart. When we read God’s Word, we get a clear picture of just how bad we are in light of God’s holiness. We must get this. We must have an accurate picture of the state of our own heart.

Once we understand our need for a Savior and His forgiveness, then we can begin to experience His restoration. When we confess our sins to Him, He will forgive us and redeem us (1 John 1:9). Redeem means, “to buy back” (i.e., receive us back to Himself).

I’ve heard it said that “we must be lost before we can be found.” In other words, you won’t turn to your Savior until you realize your need to do so. You won’t confess your sins until He shows you the true darkness of your heart.

So dig into His Word in order to experience both the sobering reality of your own condition and as the healing forgiveness that you need to walk with God.

Today’s big idea: there are two edges to the sword of God’s Word, which work together to help you walk with God.

What to pray: ask God to reveal your true condition through His Word, and then confess those things that are hindering your journey with Him.

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