TBU: The Bible Unpacked: Intermediate Edition

I.  Being Close to God

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Chapter 24  Part I

Being Close to God

Being or growing close to God involves consciously seeking God and focusing on him. Additionally, we can actually meet with God and also should live throughout each day in awareness of his presence. In growing close to God, we come to know him – the importance of which is emphatically stated by the Bible.

Seek God

“Seeking” typically entails intense effort, which is very much applicable to seeking God and fellowship with him. Seeking God also requires prayer, worship and obedience – along with persistently focusing on God, as per the following section, Focus on God.

Seek God wholeheartedly

Now seek the Lord your God wholeheartedly and with your entire being!   1 Chronicles 22:19a  NET

[A psalmist, to God:] With all my heart I seek you. Do not allow me to stray from your commands!   Psalms 119:10  NET

If you seek God wholeheartedly, you will find him

[Moses, to the Israelites:] But if you seek the Lord your God from there [in exile], you will find him, if, indeed, you seek him with all your heart and soul.   Deuteronomy 4:29  NET

Seeking God should be accompanied by obedience to him

He [Asa] ordered Judah to seek the Lord God of their ancestors and to observe his law and commands.   2 Chronicles 14:4  NET

Seeking God brings great blessings

Even young lions sometimes lack food and are hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.   Psalms 34:10  NET

The Lord is good to those who trust in him, to the one who seeks him.   Lamentations 3:25  NET

Focus on God

See also:

Keep thinking about God

[David, to God:] I remember you while I’m lying in bed; I think about you through the night.   Psalms 63:6  NCV™

[David, to God:] For I am ever aware of your faithfulness, and your loyalty continually motivates me.   Psalms 26:3  NET

Keep thinking about what God has done

[David, to God:] I recall the old days; I meditate on all you have done; I reflect on your accomplishments.   Psalms 143:5  NET

Meet with God and Live before Him

Come before God, meeting with him

[Moses, to leaders of Israel:] … when all Israel comes to appear before the Lord your God in the place he chooses, you must read this law before them within their hearing.   Deuteronomy 31:11  NET

Like the Israelites came before God, believers can both corporately and individually come before God, in awareness of his presence, to meet with him. Individual Christians typically do this daily – reading the Bible, praying and even meditating.

Live before God . . .

Paul said, “Brothers, I have lived my life before God in all good conscience up to this day.”   Acts 23:1b  ESV

We are to constantly live before God in the sense of living in awareness of his presence, companionship, help and discernment of our lives. As such we should think, speak and act accordingly.

. . . “Walk” with God

He [Noah] walked with God.   Genesis 6:9  NET

To “walk” with God involves living before him. It suggests a personal and interactive relationship, inclusive of such things as prayer and trust in God.

Know God

Know God and Jesus Christ

[John, to believers:] I write to you, children, because you know the Father. I write to you, parents, because you know the One who existed from the beginning [Christ].   1 John 2:14a  NCV™

[God:] If people want to boast, they should boast about this: They should boast that they understand and know me. They should boast that they know and understand that I, the Lord, act out of faithfulness, fairness, and justice in the earth and that I desire people to do these things,” says the Lord.   Jeremiah 9:24  NET

We are to understand and know God – which includes appreciating that he acts in “faithfulness, fairness, and justice”.

Knowing God is linked to obeying his commands

Now by this we know that we have come to know God: if we keep his commandments. 4The one who says “I have come to know God” and yet does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in such a person.   1 John 2:3-4  NET

Knowing God is linked with loving and caring for others

[John, to believers:] Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been fathered by God and knows God. 8The person who does not love does not know God, because God is love.   1 John 4:7-8  NET

He [King Josiah] upheld the cause of the poor and needy. So things went well for Judah.’ The Lord says, ‘That is a good example of what it means to know me.’   Jeremiah 22:16  NET

Knowing God is manifested in caring for the poor and needy, amongst other things. Note that like 1 John 4:7-8 above, this verse may be implying that one who knows God reflects his character and deeds.

Knowing God is vital for understanding

Wisdom begins with respect for the Lord, and understanding begins with knowing the Holy One.   Proverbs 9:10  NCV™

Pray for persecuted Christians