Nearer My God To Thee

Michael Beck

“Lord, all my desire is before thee; and my groaning is not hid from thee.” (Psalm 38:9)

David was not ashamed to be transparent and vulnerable before his God. We read in Hebrews: “Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.” (Heb. 4:13)

Our Creator is well-acquainted with our hearts because He has made us after His own image and likeness. The deepest desires within the human heart are those within the heart of God. What is our greatest shared desire?

The desire for intimacy – to know and be known.

Our desires are before Him, and our groanings are also not hid from Him. On numerous occasions we read that Jesus “groaned” in His spirit. We groan in our spirit when our desires are not fully met. Jesus was tempted in all points, even as we are, but He stood faithful in all the trials He faced. On the high mountain the tempter showed Him all the glory of the world from a distance. Oh how Jesus wanted to be closer to His creation! But He would not worship the god of this world to gain the intimacy His heart craved.

Satan approaches us as a provider of our deepest desires. He would connect us to a world we long to be a part of. He promises to get us nearer to what our eyes long to see and our hands long to hold. But it is all a ruse: in connecting us to flesh and blood, he would separate us from the living God. He would take advantage of our thirst in order to disconnect us from the Fountain of Living Waters.

We may be groaning inside because we desire greater closeness with this one or that one. But despite how distant we might be from anyone else, God wants us to cleave to Him in a love relationship that all others can only imperfectly reflect. “That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days …” (Deuteronomy 30:20)

God has given us richly all things to enjoy, but not to idolize. He has created us first and foremost for Himself. He is our Life. Knowing Him is life eternal. Let us love the Lord our God with all of our heart, and mind, and soul, and strength. May every ache we feel in the depth of our soul be a signal to draw near to Him. The intimacy we want is the intimacy He wants. He will draw near to us.

“Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts …” (Psalm 42:7)

Michael Beck is a pastor in the Dallas, TX area and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.