“The eternal life of which Jesus speaks is not knowledge about God, but an intimately interactive relationship with him.” – Dallas Willard
The song by folksinger Karen Money touches me every time I hear it. She sings, “. . . all I long for most is mine when He draws close to me.”
What is it you long for most? Surely we long for God’s gifts, including joy, peace, blessings, and answered prayers, but at some point we find our deepest longing is for God himself and not just his gifts. We desire . . .
- To have a heart-stirring awareness of his presence
- To know he’s leading our thoughts and decisions
- To receive his love in life-changing ways
- To be amazed at his holiness and power
If this kind of closeness to our Creator becomes our experience, we want it again and again. Why? Because that vibrant, feeling-level relationship with God is what satisfies the deepest needs we have. He truly is the One we long for most.
The amazing thing to me is that Jesus has the same longings for intimacy with us. He wants it so much he came to earth, lived with humans, gave himself to a terrifying death so we could relate to him. Coming to him for salvation is only the first step. After that, not to respond to his ongoing presence by communicating with him constantly is to reject the relationship he desires even more than we do.
Our acknowledgment of his unseen presence is what we need to meet our deepest longings. Every moment of every day, knowing he is with me, I want to be engaged in mental or verbal conversation with him, inviting him into my activities, decisions, and relationships. That interaction thrills us both!
“Come near to God and he will come near to you.” – James 4:8