“Faith on Trial: Drawing Near to God”

Apostle Islands
Faith on Trial: Drawing Near to God

… a synopsis of the writing of D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

In Psalm 73, the Psalmist laments at the prosperity of the wicked, and undertakes a journey of self-examination and reflection. Having completed a review of the past, and as he faces the  future, he arrives at a resolution:  “It is good for me to draw near to God.”

Living in this world sometimes makes us focus intently on our need for certain things, and we are led to believe that our happiness depends upon favorable events and circumstances. It was because of this line of thinking that the Psalmist fell into a state of misery. He witnessed the prosperity of the ungodly while he was suffering, and this brought him to the depths of self-pity and despair. Upon further thought, he eventually realized that he had not been keeping close to God.

The moment we move away from God, we lose our bearings like a ship at sea that loses sight of the North Star, or when its navigation aids fail.

At the sanctuary of God, the Psalmist became enlightened and he discovered that there is only one thing that matters: our relationship to God.  “If I am near to God, it does not matter what happens to me; if I am far from God, nothing can eventually be right.” ¹ This was his profound conclusion.

The Psalmist contemplates upon God’s character: His goodness, majesty and glory are among its many facets. If we can comprehend the character of God, there would be nothing in the world we would desire more than to be in His presence. Amidst all the instability and uncertainty in this world, it is wonderful to know that in Christ, we can enter into the presence of the “Father of lights, with whom there is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” ²

Being near to God is also the place of safety and deliverance. He holds every blessing that we need, He is the Giver of “every good and perfect gift”. He has put them all in Christ, and He has given Christ to us. When we draw close to God, we know our sins are forgiven. We are aware of His love, and He gives us a joy that the world cannot give nor take away.

Finally, the Psalmist wants to draw near to God in order that he may declare all of God’s wondrous works.  Experiencing God’s character, His salvation, peace and joy eventually leads us to praise and glorify God, and to testify about Him to others and to the world.

Scripture Reference:
“But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord Godthat I may declare all thy works. “ Psalm 73:28

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1965), Faith on Trial, Grand Rapids, Michigan: WM. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, pp. 116-124

1 Martyn Lloyd Jones, Faith on Trial, p. 117
2 James 2:17, King James Version

17 thoughts on ““Faith on Trial: Drawing Near to God”

  1. Timely. I’ve been reading through my grandmother’s prayer book. It is old and I read it aloud; morning and evening prayer (Episcopal). I put it in a place that I must see it every morning and every evening. Dee – I dread it, honestly. And then of course there is that pinch of guilt because I dread it but honestly, I think to myself, how often can the psalmist lament injustice? And then, it seemed to me, well he is only underscoring that injustice thrives for millennia. Frankly, the readings were getting daunting. HOWEVER, I will take what you’ve written with me this evening and see perhaps another angle and look upon it as not a lament but a step by step movement to moving closer to Him.

    • I am very interested in reading your grandmother’s prayer book, Sandy. I will look it up. Yes indeed, you have nailed the truth from the psalmst that injustice thrives for millennia. I am glad that you glean from this post the step by step movement to getting closer to Him. Thank you for reading and understanding.

  2. In this breath, my inheritance…………. my soul opened wide. I love this, Dee. A reminder that all we need, we have……… We can never miss what we give away. Our greatest commandment – to LOVE. Always, Bobbie

  3. This is so in line with where I have been lately with the world and our own country in disarray in so many ways. Yet, drawing near to God and comprehending His character as best we can holds us steady and on His path for us. I am so glad you stopped by Being Woven for you drew me here. Your words dovetail with those I wrote today. Thanks.
    Caring through Christ, ~ linda

    • God’s ways are wonderful, and it is a blessing to know my post dovetails with yours. How true that as we see the instability of the times, and witness disconcerting events, we have our Heavenly Father Who is our stability and strength. God bless you! Love in Him, Dee

  4. Hello 🙂 Greetings from Indonesia. Thank you for the liked my post. i appreciated it.
    I love your blog and what you write. I find the nourishing spiritual food. I will gladly be your follower.
    About this post, I love the sentence : “If I am near to God, it does not matter what happens to me; if I am far from God, nothing can eventually be right.” and “He holds every blessing that we need, He is the Giver of “every good and perfect gift”
    By the way, how should I call you?

  5. I’ve heard priests preach this and felt their words fell on rock. Perhaps for many of them, it has lost the allure of their formative calling and became a chore. Upon reflection, it matters not how they deliver but only – how I receive.

    Thank you Dee, my friend.

    Your words touched this rock. I shall reflect upon your words.

    Peace ane blessings,

    • I am touched by the humility of your words, Eric. Oftentimes I am “betwixt” between keeping silent and following the call to “preach the gospel”, and it takes a lot of sensitivity and prudence not to be a “bull in a china shop” as to the method of delivery. Because the word and the very action of “preaching” predominantly has a negative bent to it. I endeavor to follow the ways of the “Great Master and Teacher”, and so oftentimes, my humanity and shortcomings get in the way. It is humbling to know that these words touched a rocky part of your heart. I am but a messenger. Thank you for your reflection upon this post. Peace and blessings, Dee

  6. “The moment we move away from God, we lose our bearings like a ship at sea that loses sight of the North Star, or when its navigation aids fail.”

    What a wonderful quote that summarizes the essence of our need to stay close to our Lord. Thanks so much for this synopsis. May the Lord continue to bless you through His Word.

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