Pressing in takes work.
In the past year I have been exploring Spiritual Formation. Not a detailed definition by any stretch but:
Spiritual Formation is an intentional Christian
practice that has as its goal the development of spiritual maturity
that leads to Christ-likeness.
It is a practice that can include prayer, fasting, scripture study, simplicity, solitude, worship and so on.
It is, quite literally, Pressing In – aligning yourself to God. Inching closer to Him.
And pressing in takes work. Not work in the “I must earn my salvation” way, rather in the “I love the way I feel when I expend energy to know Christ” way. Jesus-induced endorphins, if you will.
I used to think that being a Christian meant things would be simpler. I have a direction to move in and an advocate on my side – I just need to walk in His will and all will be good.
I have been a Christian for forty years and none of it has been simple.
There have been times of disappointment. When what I thought was promised to me didn’t happen.
There have been times of anger. When I raged against injustice and waited for God to intervene.
There have even been times of denial. When I said to God, “I’ll go my way, you go Yours.”
No. It has never been simple. It has been something more. Deeper and richer and more powerful and filled with grace. Turmoil, yet peace. Suffering, but still rest.
Once I accepted that complication (sin) is the way of this life it did become simpler. I realized I was never promised simplicity. I was guaranteed pain. And instead of stumbling through life with disappointment and suffering as my mantle I chose different.
I choose to believe He listens to our prayers. I choose to believe He longs for us to come closer. I believe He honours our passionate pursuit of Himself. And through these activities He brings us closer. He presses us closely to His side.
“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”
Press in to God and He will press into you.