Drawing Near To God My Portion Forever

Drawing Near To God My Portion Forever by Thomas Boston et al
Joseph J. Adrian

For anyone who is in Christ, their chief desire should be "To Draw Near To Their God." The language of their heart ought to echo that of the Psalmist——"Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire besides thee!" John Calvin hit the bullseye in his Institutes when he set forth man's two greatest priorities in life——to know God and know yourself. Thomas Boston in the opening chapter "Of Man's Chief End and Happiness" writes, "The Psalmist's chief desire, and what he points at as his only true happiness; that is the enjoyment of God." If our chief end is to glorify God, . . then we must endeavor with all our hearts to know God better. This exposes the vanity of those who do not know their Maker, and those who profess to know him but do not give the pre-eminence to the pursuit of an ever-expanding knowledge of the one they claim to love——"so they that know Him not, can never glorify Him: and they that esteem any person or thing more than, or as much as Him, dishonor Him. We glorify Him in our wills, choosing Him as our portion and chief good."

We benefit our souls immensely when we choose God as our chief delight. George Swinnock highlights this truth—-". . . that which elevates and ennoble the soul of man must be more excellent than the soul, . . God is infinitely superior, and so advances it by joining with it." There is a sharp contrast between Swinnock's assertion of God elevating the soul and the effect of giving our affections and chief desire to this vain world. (This is why a man cannot be profited by having the whole world but at the cost of losing his own soul.) "The world cannot advance the soul in the least."

William Guthrie, the 17th-century Scottish minister of Christ, encourages believers "To Draw Near To God," . . but gives this needed emphasis (that to draw near to Him implies this), ". . . to be more and more conformed unto the image of God." As fallen sinners, in our first father Adam, we must (by God's grace) seek to have restored what was lost by him, so to be more conformed to "The Image of God," we must cleanse our hands and purify our hearts, for "the pure in heart shall see God."

One way to test or measure our spiritual health is by determining where our affections are centered. Thomas Watson notes——"The affections are the feet of the soul, by these, we move towards God." Are you moving closer to God or drawing back from Him? "A gracious soul cannot but draw near to God. . . ." "Set your mind and heart upon the things above, upon the unseen things which are eternal." Then your soul will prosper, no matter how chaotic things may be in this fallen world.

I don't see how these sermons on "Drawing Near To God," by a few of our Lord's eminent servants, would not greatly profit any of God's children who read and reflect upon them.