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Getting Close To God

By Don Loftis | 03.16.11

Calvin Miller reminds us that we live our lives in four different zones of intimacy with people we meet. There is the public zone (12-25 feet) where we direct traffic and teach classes. There is the personal distance (4-12 feet) where we socialize and share meals. Next we experience the private zone (18 inches to 4 feet) in which we sign documents or converse with a singular, trusted person. Finally there is the intimate zone (0-18 inches) from which we propose marriage, accept a secret, or share a kiss.

Preachers encounter all of these in our ministries. We utilize public venues to preach the Gospel, but we also develop closer–even intimate relationships with people. The discipleship process demands closer contact than the Sunday morning sermon, as certainly demonstrated in Jesus’ own ministry with the twelve.

It does seem to me that in our personal relationships with God, we often try to keep Him at a distance. We are fearful to meet Him on the most intimate stages of spiritual life. Confession of fault cannot be delivered by mail. Real faith and genuine trust flow from a personal encounter with the Lord in His word and our “closet of prayer.”

Hebrews 10:22 challenges us, “Let us draw near with a sincere heart, in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.” The goal of Christian maturity is to go beyond seeing Jesus as a stranger or a distanced friend. We want to achieve intimacy with our Lord on a “face to face” and “toe to toe” level. How close are we to being there?


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