|Posted on September 18, 2019 at 2:25 PM|
There is an old hymn that expresses the deepest desire in the heart of every believer. It is called “Just a Closer Walk with Thee” and puts in words the longing of all who have been born of the Spirit to live out their new life in Christ daily. The lyrics are beautiful:
I am weak but Thou art strong, Jesus keep me from all wrong
I'll be satisfied as long, As I walk, let me walk close to Thee
When my feeble life is o'er, Time for me will be no more
Guide me gently, safely o'er, To Thy kingdom's shore, to Thy shore
Just a closer walk with Thee, Grant it, Jesus, is my plea
Daily walking close to Thee, let it be, dear Lord, let it be
While it is often covered over with other longings and desires of the flesh, this is the heart-cry of everyone who is born of God. The new person that has been created in Christ, though still living in a body of flesh, cries out for a closer walk with Jesus. Underneath the fleshly and sensual desires of the natural persons we were is the longings of the new persons we are to live out our new, eternal life in Christ.
The apostle Paul makes it clear in Romans 7 that we cannot live the new life in our own strength and knowledge of good and evil. We need a Savior as much now as we did before we believed on Jesus. His heart-cry recorded for us in verse 24- “O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death?”-is equivalent to the plea for a closer walk with Jesus. The recognition that we, even as believers, are too weak to live like who we have been made to be in Christ keeps us from the condemnation of failure and the pride of religious self-effort. Trusting Jesus to “keep us from all wrong” is relying on him to deliver us from the fleshly desires of the old persons we were.
The satisfaction our soul longs for can never be found in the natural desires of the flesh based on our false assumptions of who we are and what will satisfy our longings. Although there are many ways to achieve temporary satisfaction in this world, eternal satisfaction comes only from that “closer walk with Jesus”. Living his life through the power of his indwelling Spirit according to his plan to love others around us is what truly satisfies the deep longings of our soul. Everything else may offer a temporary satisfaction but will soon degenerate into frustrated chaos that leaves us empty and without hope.
The “closer walk” with Jesus is the life we all are really longing for in this world. Thankfully, it’s what God wants for us as well. Despite the chaos and confusion of our flesh, we are encouraged to make this plea since God continually works in us both to will and to do his good pleasure.