Former procrastinators, we were singing in church when truth in the hymn and truth in life came together for me.
The hymn “Draw Me Nearer” (Fanny Crosby and William Doane) is a prayer for the Lord to pull me closer to Himself. Down a few verses it goes:
“Consecrate me now to Thy service Lord – by the power of grace divine.
Let my soul look up with a steadfast hope – and my will be lost in Thine.
There are depths of love that I cannot know – till I cross the narrow sea
There are heights of joy that I may not reach – till I rest in peace with Thee.”
Two things hit me. First, that space between the verses is where we live. There is life to live here on earth between our commitment to Him and our arrival in heaven.
Next, indeed, we cannot know ultimate love and joy until we are in heaven. But in life here, there are unexpected depths of love and joy we cannot know until we obey the Lord.
John 14:21 came immediately to mind. “He who has my commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.”
We cannot earn our way to heaven. Only the blood of Jesus over us makes us acceptable to God. Then we live in the space between the verses. When we abide in Christ and obey Him, He shows us more of Himself. He reveals to us love, joy, peace, power we would never know without acting on His commands.
Obedience takes us into uncomfortable places – and into deeper experience with Him. Obeying, we have the privilege of getting to know Him better, getting to enjoy His characteristics and provision in ways we would not if we did not obey.
When we reach out to the neighbors, He provides the courage and expands our hearts to love them. When we’re honest about the account numbers, we’ll have peace and opportunity we would’ve missed out on. When we declutter the office, we know liberty we’ve never had. Acting on what God prompts makes us dependent on Him and opens us to His deep blessings.
If we go there – into obedience – He shows Himself to us. We grow in boldness, love, joy, faith, and many other ways. If we don’t go there – choose not to act on what He prompts – we miss getting to know Him better, getting to enjoy Him and His provision.
For us former procrastinators, I’d like to add a verse between the two above:
“You give strength and power that I cannot know – till I trust you and obey
You give love and joy that I may not reach – till I go do what you say.”
How has God taken you deeper with Him when you obeyed? How will you obey God this week – and enjoy Him and His rich gifts?