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Seeds of the Kingdom

Closeness to God

by Jilly Lyon-Taylor

“‘Who is he who will devote himself to be close to me?’ declares the LORD.”
Jeremiah 30:21, NIV

I am writing this while away on holiday in Scotland with my family. My brother and his family are also with us, and my nephew has just announced his engagement to his long-standing girlfriend. This has naturally caused great excitement, and it is lovely to see the young couple so happy together and so devoted to one another.

At this stage in their relationship, there will be little thought for either of them of any potential problems. They are engrossed in one another and everything seems perfect! But every relationship takes effort and needs working at in the longer term. This is also true for us in our relationship with God.

Today’s verse speaks of someone devoting himself to be close to the Lord. This implies total commitment and priority. Do we make it a priority to remain close to the Lord, investing time and energy into our relationship with Him, or do we expect that intimacy with Him will just continue without any effort on our part?

It is clear from Scripture that God wants relationship with us above all. He has adopted us into His family so that He can be a Father to us (2 Corinthians 6:18). There are many occasions when He exhorts us to come to Him and to draw near to Him. In Mark’s account of Jesus calling the twelve disciples, it says: “He appointed twelve – designating them apostles – that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach and to have authority to drive out demons” (Mark 3:14-15). We may know that God has called us to particular ministries or tasks, but here the first priority is that the disciples were to be with Jesus. All that we do for Him needs to come out of our closeness to Him.

In Revelation 2:4, writing to the church in Ephesus, God admonishes them for having forsaken their first love. Have we also allowed our first love of the Lord to grow cold, or to become lukewarm? We need to devote ourselves to being close to Him again, making time with Him our first priority.

Prayer: Lord, please forgive me for losing my focus on You and not making time with You my first priority. I want to devote myself to being close to You and for this to come before everything else in my life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Jilly Lyon-Taylor is part of the Leadership Team at Ellel Pierrepont. She worked in publishing and then with children in Hong Kong before concentrating on being a full-time mother and serving in the local church. Her desire to see people healed led her to the Luke Nine Eleven Training Scheme(NETS) at Pierrepont, and now she teaches and ministers there.


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