Not too long ago, the Lord opened my eyes in a new way about my relationship with Him.
I’m going to be very transparent here: I’ve learned that too much of my goal has been righteousness, instead of closeness with my Father.
I found myself in cycles of inconsistent prayer or reading the Word. I’d have highs and lows in my resistance to fight the attacks of the enemy.
I was frustrated and drained with my relationship with Jesus. I felt as if I was “doing” all the right things, but, I had lost the joy of my salvation.
Can you relate?
Then, one day the Holy Spirit spoke a revelation to me that calmed all my fears.
He told me that His goal has always been for me to be more focused on closeness with Him than righteousness for Him.
What’s the difference?
Righteousness simply means: “God’s way of doing right” (Deuteronomy 6:25).
You can do something “right” for God without actually being close to Him.
Here’s how to know if this is you. You are righteous, but not as close to God as you think if you:
- Are faithful to church attendance and church commitments, but lack a consistent ability to fight worry, fear, or any other attack from the enemy in your personal life.
- Pray and read the Word consistently, but find yourself in cycles where the same situation oppresses you, takes over your mind, or beats your emotions.
- Find yourself feeling like prayer, reading the Word, or serving God is a “chore,” a task, or something else that you “have” to do, rather than understanding that it’s something you “get,” to do. Your mindset of servitude is that you have to serve Christ, not that you have the privilege to do so. Consequently, your quiet time with God feels more like an up and down cycle than a consistent flow of joy.
The reasons above are why so many preachers go to hell. They do works for God, but their hearts are far from Him. (Matthew 7:22-23)
I was once in this position. I was so busy working for God, that I had lost the joy of my salvation.
If this sounds like you, the cure is simple: strive for closeness, not just righteousness.
Jesus didn’t just come to the Earth for us to learn how to be righteous, but for us to have closeness with the Father. Through Jesus’ resurrection and the power of the Holy Spirit, God can now be as close as to live in us, and not just around us.
With that level of closeness in mind, do you really think you are doing right by God simply because you pray, read the Word and serve Him?
God wants your joy back!
What’s the point of serving Him on this Earth if the people around you don’t see the joy of Jesus in you?
In the next blog, I’ll share a few simple steps to help you restore the joy of your salvation.
Don’t just strive to be righteous. Strive to be close to Jesus. When you are close to Him, the righteousness will follow.
God will draw closer to you as you draw closer to Him (James 4:7-8). This week focus your prayer life on asking God to help you draw closer to Him and to restore your joy.
Email me with your prayer requests, questions or comments at Jordone (at) JordoneWrites (dot) org