Come Near to God

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We call God “our spiritual Father or Mother,” because we are God’s children. When we understand the hearts of our parents in this world which is a shadow, we will also fathom the hearts of our heavenly Parents in the spiritual world.

Now, let’s see what God wants most from us, through the following story.

The moment a mother wanted to see most

There was a mother who was waiting anxiously for her loving son to return from the battlefield. One day she received a message that her son had been killed in the war. After losing her son, she was in deep grief. She couldn’t even sleep well at night, missing her son so much. She earnestly prayed to God to let her see him again.

God heard her prayer and said that He would show her one moment in her son’s life just for five minutes. God asked her which moment she wanted to see most. When He asked her if she wanted to see the moment her son came home from school with an excellent grade, she said, “No.” And she shook her head when God asked her if she liked to see her son fighting bravely on the battlefield.

This was her request: One day, her son disobeyed his parents and ran away from home. But he realized his error and came back home and threw himself into her arms. She longed to see her son at that moment. Wandering off somewhere without his mother, he realized that his mother was the most precious person to him and returned to her. What the mother wanted to see the most was the moment her son needed her the most. So, she asked God to show her that moment.

This is a short story but implies something that should not be easily overlooked. Supposing that everything in our life is filmed on video tape in heaven, what do you think God most wants to see?

Of course, God will be pleased when we bear much fruit, when we preach the gospel diligently, when we live a godly and faithful life. He loves us and considers our whole life precious. However, He will be more pleased when we need Him most. As the soldier’s mother missed the moment her son needed her the most, so do our spiritual Parents. God will consider it the most beautiful moment when we need Him.

Like children who depend entirely on their mothers

Mothers recollect their children’s early childhood, saying that when they were babies, they were most precious and lovely. At midnight their babies’ crying would irritate them. However, they say that they were most happy at that time.

Children are most lovely in their early childhood, because they always need their mothers. Day and night they cry; when they are hungry or have wet diapers, they signal that they need their mothers by crying. The infants, who can do nothing for themselves, know that their mothers will run to them and satisfy all their needs only if they send an emergency signal to them.

But as they grow older, their independent spirit emerges—‘Now I can do it myself’—and they often disobey their parents with immature opposition toward them. Of course, this is a natural process of growth. However, every mother says that her children were most lovely when they were infants.

Spiritually we are all little children before God. We must not forget that we need God’s help every moment. Like little children who can do nothing for themselves, we cannot watch over ourselves unless God protects and helps us.

Israel’s being alienated from God and suffering disasters

In the history of the Old Testament, we can see that Israel departed from God and committed the sin of building the Tower of Babel when they became proud, saying, “Now we can do everything by ourselves. We don’t need God’s help.”

Whenever the Israelites sinned, God severely rebuked them through the prophets, saying that they didn’t come near to their God.

Woe to the city of oppressors, rebellious and defiled! She obeys no one, she accepts no correction. She does not trust in the LORD, she does not draw near to her God. Her officials are roaring lions, her rulers are evening wolves, who leave nothing for the morning. Her prophets are arrogant; they are treacherous men. Her priests profane the sanctuary and do violence to the law. Zep 3:1-4

… Yet you have not called upon me, O Jacob, you have not wearied yourselves for me, O Israel. You have not brought me sheep for burnt offerings, nor honored me with your sacrifices … But you have burdened me with your sins and wearied me with your ofenses. Isa 43:21-24

In the Old Testament times, the Israelites did not call upon God when they needed His help. They became alienated from God and full of wickedness, even regarding God as their tormenter. The Bible teaches us that offenses took place as the people foolishly alienated themselves from God. Even when they suffered disasters as a result of their sin, they neither sought God nor came near to Him. They depended on world power and military strength rather than God, and God caused them to be led into captivity among the nations and to fall away from His grace.

Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help, who rely on horses, who trust in the multitude of their chariots and in the great strength of their horsemen, but do not look to the Holy One of Israel, or seek help from the LORD. Yet he too is wise and can bring disaster; he does not take back his words. He will rise up against the house of the wicked, against those who help evildoers. Isa 31:1-2

God said that He would bring disaster to those relying on horses and trusting chariots and horsemen, rather than looking to God the Holy One of Israel and seeking help from Him. Thus, when the Israelites rejected God and ignored His word, their sin reached its full measure and disasters overwhelmed them.

Forefathers in faith came near to God

To those who needed God in everything, God brought all the blessings of salvation. Wherever they were—in a totally desolate place or on a bloody battlefield, God’s help and love was always with them.

David needed God’s help more than any other successive kings of Israel. The shadow of death always followed him. After he defeated the huge giant Goliath with God’s help, he was pursed continually by King Saul who was trying to kill him. After Saul’s death, he ascended to the throne. Yet, there were still constant troubles, both internal and external, and his enemies threatened his life. David was faced with more dangerous situations than others, where God’s help was needed.

David came near to God and cried to Him for salvation whenever he faced a difficult situation. As a result, he could defeat his numerous enemies and be recognized by God as “a man after His own heart.”

Apostle Paul also faced many troubles and persecutions when he preached the gospel. Every moment, he needed God and came near to Him with prayers and requests. Paul said that he would not boast about himself, except about his weaknesses. Since he realized his weaknesses, he always needed God during his ministry. That was why he became so spiritually strong that he could preach Christ wherever he went, as the “apostle to the Gentiles.”

Like David and Paul, we should always seek God. The Spirit and the Bride call the thirsty ones, who need God, and give them the water of life.

Now, we need to look at ourselves and see if we always need God and come near to Him. We should try to remain in God’s memory as the most beautiful ones. ‘I can also do it myself.’ Such a confidence may be required in teaching and leading the Church members. However, God will be even more pleased when we depend on Him for everything and seek His help.

Whenever we need God and come near to Him, God will film it and show it to us when we enter the eternal kingdom, saying, “For Me, this is the most precious and lovely moment of your life.”

The reason we have to draw near to God

The Bible explains various reasons why we must seek God. We can never satisfy our spiritual thirst for ourselves. God came to this earth to give us the water of life (Rev 22:17). We need the Spirit and the Bride who freely give us the water of life.

The Bible says that Christ will appear on this earth a second time to bring salvation to us (Heb 9:28). There is no one who can save us except the Spirit and the Bride giving us the water of life. That’s why we need the Spirit and the Bride.

To become perfect, we also need the Spirit and the Bride (Ge 1:27; Col 3:10). God said, “Let us make man in our image.” To put on the new selves, created to be like God, we need our heavenly Father and Mother. Man cannot become perfect for himself. So we need the Spirit and the Bride, who are making us perfect beings.

God came to this earth to give us eternal life (Isa 25:6). Those who have not received eternal life cannot go to the kingdom of heaven where there is no death. To change us into immortal beings and bring us into heaven, the Spirit and the Bride have come to this earth. We need the Spirit and the Bride who give us eternal life and lead us into the kingdom of heaven.

The Spirit and the Bride have come to this earth to forgive the people of Zion their sins (Isa 33:20-24). We ourselves cannot forgive our own sins, so we need the Spirit and the Bride who give forgiveness of sin in Zion.

And the Spirit and the Bride have come to deliver us from harm (Rev 7:1-4). We don’t have strength enough to endure in affliction. Since we are so weak, the Spirit and the Bride have come to help us.

The Spirit and the Bride are our Shepherds (Psalms 23). When we go astray, the Spirit and the Bride lead us into the way we are to go. They have given us hidden treasure (Mt 13:44), and allow us to have discernment and judgment between right and wrong (1 Co 4:5). We’ve been able to judge nothing for ourselves until God has come and brought to light what is hidden in darkness and exposed the motives of men’s hearts. We absolutely need the Spirit and the Bride.

Faith that depends on God

If we realize that we can do nothing apart from God, we shall come nearer to God. Like infants who cry whenever they need their mothers, we should earnestly request our spiritual Father and Mother every moment. “Pray continually.” This word implies that we must seek God always.

Those who seek God and ask for His help in everything are the most blessed ones whom God loves the most. When we are at peace with God, then all His blessings will come upon us.

Submit to God and be at peace with him; in this way prosperity will come to you. Accept instruction from his mouth and lay up his words in your heart. If you return to the Almighty, you will be restored: If you remove wickedness far from your tent and assign your nuggets to the dust, your gold of Ophir to the rocks in the ravines, then the Almighty will be your gold, the choicest silver for you. Job 22:21-25

Thinking deeply about the aforementioned passages, we can understand that if we do not seek God, there is no peace or joy.

God is our most precious treasure. We have God our Father and God our Mother whom we need most. They are the absolute treasure for us, though They seem to be ordinary to others. We should come near to Them and ask Them to help us. If we come near to the Spirit and the Bride, who are the light of truth in the dark world, we will gracefully accomplish the gospel with Their help.

The 144,000 are those who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. Every step the Spirit and the Bride have taken is needed for us; we shall try to follow in Their footsteps, without missing even a single step.

The Spirit and the Bride, who call us to receive the water of life, are our true Shepherds. Just as lambs always keep near the shepherd and follow him, we should joyfully follow the Spirit and the Bride wherever They lead until the end of time. I hope all our members of Zion will live the spiritual life in such a gracious way.