Your discipleship is up to you. Your level of commitment is your choice. It’s one of the beautiful aspects of free will: God chooses us, but we are free to decide if we will choose Him. If we are not as close to God as we say we’d like to be, it is because we are choosing not to be. God desires that we would know Him and experience all He is.
He has already made the first move. Now it’s our turn. If we want to pursue God, we can. He is waiting for us to find Him. There is no further action required of Him. Jesus left nothing undone on the cross, and we have an all-access pass to the Father through the blood of His Son.
No one is closer to or further away from God than they choose to be. That may sound harsh, but the truth often is. God does not move closer and further away. He is always present with us. Jesus waits for us to access His power through His Spirit living within us. He will not force Himself into your life, He waits for you to invite Him in. We move closer and further away from Christ, but it is never the other way around.
Desiring to be close to God, to have more of Jesus, is a hallmark of a true disciple and believer. If you aren’t longing for more of Jesus, I question whether you’ve ever come to know Him at all. When you meet Jesus, your hunger for more of Him will be insatiable. There is no way to encounter the all-loving, all-powerful God of the universe, and walk away unchanged. When you meet Jesus, your life will never be the same. Even if you try to ignore Him, you can’t because you have been fundamentally and forever changed.
To be close to God requires us to commit to Him fully. We can’t come to Him clutching anything this world offers. Nothing unholy, no matter how good we may deem it, can exist in His presence. It is only because of His grace, mercy, and shed blood that we can come into His presence at all. When we approach Him empty-handed and fully surrendered, we are ready to be as close to Him as we can hope or imagine. We must come without pretense or demands. Our only desire must be Jesus Himself.
Every true follower of Christ desires to be close to God. It drives and consumes us. What keeps us from drawing closer is our reluctance to let go of those temporary things we hold so dear that they blind us to the true beauty of our King. There is nothing we have on earth—no relationship, no amount of wealth, no comfort, and no possession—that compares to the beauty of Jesus. He is all we need. When we move beyond an intellectual understanding of this into a practical manifestation of it in the way we live, then we can draw as close to God as we desire. So, the choice is ours. How close to God do we want to be?