Stay close to Him. She kept her explanation simple and didn’t embellish. I knew her words were important and intentional in that moment. Since then, I have held those words close to my heart. To this day, I consider it the best counsel I’ve ever received. They are words that steady me when busyness, distractions, and anxiety attempt to trump the peace in my life. They are the trumpet call that refocuses me when my own selfishness, self-centeredness, and personal agenda cause me to wander away from the path to which God has called me.
It’s crucial that we keep a firm grip on what we’ve heard so that we don’t drift off. (Hebrews 2:1)
The word drift in Hebrews 2:1 is the Greek word parrero. According to the Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament, it is the only use of the word in the Bible. It means to float or drift away as a river. The figurative use indicates a slipping away—a gradual and almost unnoticed movement past a certain point. It’s a warning to pay close attention to the truths we know in order to avoid this drifting away. The implication is that we have a responsibility to attend to what we have learned and stay the course.
Issues of life will always get in the way…. Jesus told Martha that Mary had chosen the better thing when she made the decision to sit at His feet versus running here and there to make preparations. There will always be a myriad of choices which seek to usurp the place of the better thing. The better thing will always be whatever it takes to remain close to Him.
I confess that most days find me smacking around the Mini–Martha in me. I’m a doer by personality. I can be pretty “all over the place” if I’m not careful. I have to intentionally narrow my focus to the task at hand and follow through to get things done. I get a lot done, but I have to work hard at it. It takes a tremendous effort to keep Mini-Martha still especially at the beginning of my day––the time I most enjoy personal devotions. Again, it is at those times I hear “stay close to Him.” The words call me to a more consistent devotional life. They remind me to be intentional about prayer. They remind me of the value of fellowship with other believers. They remind me of what is most important even when circumstances, trials, and crises would argue otherwise.
But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. (1 Corinthians 9:27)
The Apostle Paul clearly understood the need to make his own will bow in subjection to our heavenly Father’s will. He knew discipline was necessary to consistently live a victorious life. He also knew his discipline must be motivated by love for and devotion to God.
Staying close to Him is not my natural propensity. I suspect that is the reason it has become such an important insight in my life. It is a reminder that I am prone to wander. I am prone to pursue my own agenda. I am prone to think I do not need Him and that I have a handle on everything. In short, I am prone to think I can do all things for me, through me, and by me. That propensity speaks to the greatness of my need for Christ. It is a perfect example of how necessary it is for the blood of Christ to atone for my sin and for me to be refined by the fire of His presence. It is the reason that I endeavor to stay close to Him….
Stay close to Him. Live beautiful.