In my devotion today the scripture reference was Matthew 26:58, Jesus has been arrested and the officials are walking Him to the house of the high priest and the Bible says, “But Peter was following him at a distance.”
Distance. It’s a hot topic right now, a trending word, something society has been asked to create in order to stem a pandemic. Here’s the thing though, distance has been happening long before Covid-19. For centuries humans have distanced themselves from things, people, ideas, that either require too much of them, irritate them, frighten them, or go against their beliefs. In Christianity, some people keep distance between themselves and Jesus because of what it cost to follow Him. For a lot of us though, we create distance from Christ one gradual step at a time; and with the way things are going in the world right now, it can be easier than we realize to “unintentionally” fall away.
We may think things like “I’ll just watch church another time after all it’s pre-recorded.” “Engaging in worship from my living room is awkward so I’ll do laundry or housework while it’s happening.” “Keeping a set schedule for quiet time and devotions isn’t needed right now, I’ll get to it at some point during the day, since I’m home for the unforeseeable future.” There are thousands of reasons we could give to explain away the gap between our hearts and God’s presence.
We create distance casually and gradually, never instantly and now, more than ever we HAVE to make an intentional decision to pursue Jesus Every. Single. Day.
Christianity is lived on an incline, and if you’re not moving forward, you’re slipping backwards. What’s creating space between you and Jesus? Is it excessive amounts of unstructured time? Is it worry? Is it the strain of finances? Maybe it’s your desire to help others, or an outreach that you can be involved with during this time, or a staff position at a church. I’ve realized that the more noble the cause, the more we justify the distance from the cross, allowing what we DO to replace our relationship with Him.
We, on our own, are no match for the devil. We, on our own, can NOT fight what is happening in the world today. We NEED Jesus. We have power, through Him, but we access His power through PROXIMITY. We tap into His power by intentionally moving our hearts closer to Him.
I want to encourage you to use this time, especially if you have extra time, to really dig in and be extra mindful of the distance between you and Jesus. He is our greatest comforter and the greatest source of power and the closer we are to Him the more powerful we can be and the more comfort and peace we can have.