There is a certain kind of sickness to the way our hearts will take the best of things… I mean the absolute best of things- pious things. Godly things. Generally worshipful things. Our hearts will take these prayers, these bible readings, these hours of study and good works and our hearts… My heart, will hide there. Not wanting to face God or deal with God, fearing rejection or disappointment or worse, silence. I do stuff. Good stuff. Stuff I would do if I were experiencing rich communion with Him. But instead it all gets performed as an elaborate cover up. A cover for my spiritual shallowness or my raw, selfish ambition, or the way much of my life is mired in fruitless drifting. I cover it all over with discipline and rigor and the pretense that it all means I know that I am experiencing communion with this God. But it indicates no such thing. It soothes my conscience for a bit. It silences the voice calling me to prayer. It grants some, seeming, desperately needed reprieve from the Hound. But in the end it’s all a hoax. It isn’t real. It’s a discipline, a to do list, something I should do in order to avoid actually having to deal with God - and perhaps, an elaborate way of avoiding actually having to deal with my own heart and the devastating inconsistencies in my own life. I use the very means He ordained as a way to avoid going to Him.
But you see, we must go to Him.
There is no avoiding it, and there is no need for avoiding it. Communion with Him is our deepest need, and the most desperate longing we cover over and stuff and bury deep. Oh, pray and read and study and sing and love and order your life, but do these as a means. Do these beautiful things as a sort of drinking at the fountain of God. We can use all manner of things to avoid God. They might be moral or immoral. They might be religious or irreligious. But we must eventually, all of us, go to Him. The only real joy is to be found here. The only real cleansing is to be found here. The only real drinking is to be found here. Go to Him.
Delight grows in the garden of discipline. But aimless hoeing in the garden does not bear fruit. Aim at communion. Aim at confession. Aim at joy. Set your heart’s desire on Him and him alone. Drench yourself in the love of God for you in Jesus, and then go to Him. Know His love and comprehend His beauty… Go to Him.
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:14-19 ESV)