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by David Truman

















It can be... but can it be for you and me?

Our doubts about our worthiness

God's unconditional love

Why DOES God love us? (and what that tells us about ourselves)

Two views of forgiveness

God's invitation: "Come as you are!"

Self-acceptance is the key to love acceptance

Clear out the obstacles to intimacy with God

eloved reader, do you ever yearn to be closer to God? Then take heart: you couldn't be any closer to God than you are. God is always here with us, because that's what God WANTS

-- to be with us. The problem is, we don't feel much benefit from God's Presence when we're UNAWARE of it. We want and need the EXPERIENCE of a close personal relationship with God. So, we keep seeking.

A man holding a crumpled piece of paper stands on a sidewalk, puzzling over some written directions. It seems like he followed the instructions correctly, but he still can't seem to find the address he's seeking. He folds up the paper, puts it in his pocket, and looks around.

Seeing a woman sitting on the porch of the house in front of him, he approaches her. "Can I help you?" she asks, solicitously.

He nods. "I'm looking for 123 High Street, but I can't seem to find it. Can you tell me how to get there from here?"

Her pleasant face breaks into a broad smile. "This is 123 High Street."

His concern undiminished, the man replies, "Well, should I go up the street, or down the street?"

"Did you hear me? This IS 123 High Street."

Sticking to his original line of questioning, he asks again: "Would it be south of here, or to the north? Perhaps you can direct me to a service station where I could get a map."

"My friend, you must be hard of hearing. You are AT 123 High Street."

"Well, thanks anyway for your time," says he, turning to leave. "I'll keep looking. I know I'll find it eventually."

That's actually how most people respond when they're told "God is here." It's one thing to HEAR those words, and quite another to FEEL the reality of it.

To take off our blindfold and see that God is here, we need only accept our nearness to God, and take God's hand. The problem is, we're stuck on the idea that God is distant -- in spite of what we're told, what we know, etc. So, like the man in the story about 123 High Street, we insist on looking everywhere ELSE for God -- everywhere but where we are!

Before we can feel close to God, we MUST stop asserting that God is far from us. This article will carefully and deliberately help you untangle the mental web that holds that belief in place.


It can be... but can it be for you and me?

Intimate companionship, sweet togetherness, is what God dearly wants FROM us -- and offers TO us. Why don't we accept it? We KNOW such Divine intimacy is possible. There are many people who enjoy a most personal, intimate relationship with God. Many not only walk with God consciously; they even talk to God "person to person." But we mistakenly tend to believe that such cosmic intimacy is the exclusive property of spiritual giants: saints, sages, mystics, etc. So, on that basis, we count ourselves OUT. THAT is a problem. Here's what's TRUE:


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It's the right and privilege of EVERYONE to enjoy that same high degree of intimacy with God. Yes, everyone -- including YOU.

From God's perspective, you aren't LESS than the saints, less than other great lovers of God. All God's children are EQUALLY BELOVED of God. All of God's children are EQUAL in their capacity to walk with God. God does not, in that sense, play favorites.

God wants EACH OF US as a constant friend, a permanent companion. God wants each of us to consciously EXPERIENCE that Immediate Presence, to fully ENJOY that Intimate Companionship, and to confidently USE that unfailing guidance.

Even so, there can be no doubt that God responds differently to different people. God responds more to some, less to others; to some in this way, to some in that way. Why the differences? God's response varies only because different individuals RELATE to God differently. In that respect, God is like you: In each of YOUR relationships, you respond differently according to the way people approach you. And likewise, every person you know responds uniquely to you, according to how you approach them. Should it be surprising, then, that different approaches TO God evoke different responses FROM God? God would have to be insensitive for it to be otherwise. God is infinitely sensitive!

Furthermore, God is a great respecter of persons: God respects His children's free will choices, and will not impose a greater intimacy on them than they actively choose. Make no mistake about this:

What's of Supreme Value in this Universe is easy to get, but also easy to refuse.

Let's go slowly in order to understand that crucial point completely: Since God hears and responds to every whisper of our heart, God is easy to get. And for the same reason -- because God hears and responds to every whisper -- God is also easy to refuse. God is easy to refuse because God won't force anything upon us. If somewhere in our hearts and minds we don't WANT intimacy with God, God will give us the space we want.

That puts the ball back in our court . . .


Our doubts about our worthiness

If there's no difference in our capacity for intimacy with God, and no difference in God's love for us, what creates this difference in the way we approach God? Self-image is the main factor. Self-image determines our personal sense of worthiness or unworthiness. Low self-esteem makes us feel undeserving and unpresentable. We may want to be seen and known but, at the same time, we want to hide. Obviously, the desire to hide tends to reduce our openness to God. As long as we have low self-esteem, our intimacy with God will be limited -- by US.

Our inclination to play hide-and-seek with God reflects the dilemma we feel getting to know someone new. ESPECIALLY when they're oh-so-important to us, we may agonize over what to reveal, and what to hold back. We want to be known, but we're afraid that might ruin it. "I want you to know me entirely; but I'm AFRAID if you knew everything about me, you'd find a reason not to love me."

What relationship could be more important to us than our relationship with God? So, despite what we've heard about God's all-forgiving nature, we feel that same ambivalence toward God. YES, we dearly want to talk and walk with God. But NO, we don't want God to see our shame, or be burdened with our inadequacy. So, we choose (consciously or unconsciously) to keep a respectful distance.

Wait a minute -- doesn't God see ALL and know EVERYTHING? Therefore, logically, we can't REALLY hide anything from God. True! But when we start to make a personal, intimate approach to our Creator, that naturally triggers all the same thoughts and feelings we experience when creating a human intimacy. Understandable enough. But, does that earthly shoe fit God's heavenly foot?

Is it fair to project on God our concern that God may not like us, or may reject us, or otherwise judge us? Not really. Such fears may reflect OUR (presumed) smallness, OUR (mistaken) self-judgments, OUR intolerance, and our experience with other human beings of similar judgmental mentality -- but that has nothing to do with God. Nevertheless, that unfortunate association reinforces our desire to maintain a "respectful distance" from God. As long as we feel like it's dangerous to be truly seen and known by God, we'll continue to severely limit our intimacy with God. Therefore, we absolutely MUST take a more generous view of God's love in order to accept an open, intimate, unbroken relationship with God.


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God's unconditional love

God IS all-knowing, but that's no cause for fear. Just the opposite! God has already seen it all, God always sees it all, and God loves us just the same. What does that mean? Think about it! It means God loves us REGARDLESS of anything and everything we could possibly feel ashamed of. God loves us REGARDLESS of who we THINK we are, and regardless of all the flawed things we've ever done. But we need to KNOW that -- not just intellectually. Truly. Fully. To our own complete satisfaction. That's real acceptance. Real acceptance alone allows for secure, openhearted intimacy.

To achieve real acceptance, we must release our fears that God's unconditional love is "too good to be true." We need to be absolutely sure, in our own minds, that we ARE completely known and seen by God. The only way to be sure of that is to be fully, completely intimate with God -- and test those waters.

Of course, God WON'T fail any valid love test. So, confidently spread your dirty laundry right out on the table, confiding all things to God. Only after you openly share what's been hidden and find out you're STILL LOVED do you enjoy the relief of KNOWING God loves you UNCONDITIONALLY.

Then, knowing that God does not judge you, RELAX. Stop judging yourself -- and stop fearing/judging God (even if unconsciously, in the usual ways).


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Why DOES God love us? (and what that tells us about ourselves)

The next question we need to consider is this: WHY does God love me? Until we understand God's perspective correctly, feelings of unworthiness can sneak back in again. Let's consider some possible explanations for God's love:


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(a)

(b)


(c)

(d)

God is half blind, and is unaware of my faults.

I'm doing a good job at hiding my secrets and my faults from God.

God is a master of overlooking and forgiveness.

God knows who I really AM.

The correct answer, friends, is (d) -- "God knows who I really AM."

God loves us so perfectly because God knows and sees who we really ARE. That's all the reason God needs! God doesn't say, "You're not good enough for Me until you correct all your flaws." God doesn't even say, "You're good enough for Me EVEN THOUGH you're imperfect, because I'M perfectly FORGIVING." What God says is simply this:

"You are perfect. You're perfect just as you are."

That, friends, is a crucial revelation. Here's what it means:

God knows what we think about who we are, and why, and God STILL disagrees with our self-estimation. Clearly, who we REALLY are is generally quite different than who we believe ourselves to be.

We've all made many, many mistakes and regrettable choices. We've done wrong by others, at times, and ignored our own conscience. Naturally, we believe all our flawed actions PROVE that we ourselves are flawed. "How can someone who is perfect act in a flawed fashion? Since I do, I must not be perfect."

God begs to differ. God says, "None of your flawed actions in any way change the fact that you are My pure and perfect child." That's God's opinion; take it for what it's worth. It's worth A LOT! God knows we are pure and perfect, as God made us and knows us to be, EVEN THOUGH we act poorly at times. In God's larger perspective, perfect people can, under the influence of mistaken ideas, and by the exercise of sovereign free will, do imperfect things and still BE perfect.

We when think we deserve punishment, or at least need a lot of forgiveness, God can't even relate. Here's a typical scenario: We say to God, "I've been avoiding telling You this, but now, so that You can understand me better, I want You to know: A couple of years ago I missed a few credit card payments, and my credit card was cancelled." Having made our dreadful confession, we lower our eyes in fearful anticipation. What happens next, however, is so different than our script: God raises our chin, gazes into our eyes, and says, "So what? That's not YOU! And besides, do you really, seriously think that something like that like could affect My opinion of YOU?"

Of course, a little credit card mess is relatively EASY to overlook. What about all the mistakes we take far more seriously -- like being habitually mean to a loved one, or even copping a nasty attitude towards God? Whatever we've got hidden away in those dark corners may SEEM, in our minds, to reflect quite poorly on our character, on who we are. But to God, NONE of those things change the truth of about us any more than a credit card problem, or a bit of mud on our shoes. That's all it is.


Two views of forgiveness

Now you know why God isn't concerned about the things we fret about and feel ashamed of. Man's negative self-view is but a mistaken conclusion that man creates, believes, and holds in mind. To God, those notions are entirely unreal. However, the pain they cause us and others is quite real, and therefore, that pain is something God is anxious to heal. This is the true function of Divine forgiveness: to heal the pain of misunderstanding by providing true understanding.

Forgiveness in human terms means, "I love you anyway. I love you even though you have done me wrong. I love you even though you are imperfect." This kind of "forgiveness" leaves us with a painful belief in our own imperfection, along with a feeling of debt to someone who, out of kindness, has soothed our pain. Forgiveness in God's terms has a very different meaning: "I love your reality. Your reality is this: You are perfect, and your perfection is unblemished by any mistakes you've made in thought or action. You HAVE no imperfections." This kind of forgiveness corrects the illusion of imperfect selfhood. And, once accepted, it fully heals the pain caused by the misunderstanding.


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God's invitation: "Come as you are!"

Yes! God sees us perfectly. And, based on perfect seeing, God knows that we're perfect JUST AS WE ARE, and immensely lovable in our endearing perfection. So God says, "Don't hide! And don't worry about changing! Come as you are!"

All the things we might wish to hide reflect our misconceptions about who we are. The only reason WE'RE afraid of damaging facts is because we really believe that those facts have SOMETHING to do with WHO WE ARE. But remember: Misconceptions don't matter to God -- only the CORRECTION of misconceptions matters. God knows this junk has nothing to do with who we really ARE. To be on the same page with God, WE just need to accept our reality -- the reality that God accepts. That's the challenge for us. We need to admit:

"I know why God loves me the way God does: God knows who I AM. God isn't busy forgiving all kinds of horrible things in order to love me. God isn't busy overlooking things about me. I've been wrong about myself, but God isn't wrong about me. And when my friends love me, they aren't deluded either. Everyone who loves me, loves me because of who I AM."

What's really happening in our lives, then, is this: While we're busy questioning ourselves and our worthiness to be close to God, God is busy loving us, appreciating our absolute beauty, wanting us to realize who we are. God says, "Come to Me as you are. Don't dress up specially. Don't put on a holy act. Just come as you are -- I love you that way." Thus, God invites us to enjoy a great and Divine love affair.


Self-acceptance is the key to love acceptance

We have a great need to resolve the contradiction between our relatively negative self-views and God's positive views of us. We'll never be able to accept God's invitation to intimacy until we do.

True self-acceptance is the prerequisite for accepting God's love -- or any true love, for that matter. Everything we do comes out of who we think we are. And everything we think about how others would judge us comes out of that as well.

So: Who are you? That's the question.

Answering that question correctly should be easy at this point. Surely, if there's a difference of opinion, God's right. God's very different opinion of us clearly shows how inaccurate and unnecessary our negative self-images are -- and how much we need to RELEASE them. In condemning ourselves, we're judging something that is truly beyond all judgments. We sorely need to stop judging ourselves, and stop thinking that our self-judgment is true. The only escape from the ill effects of negative self-image is to let it go -- COMPLETELY.

Indeed, once we're on the same page as God about who we really are, we're going to be free -- much more free than we thought possible. We just won't identify with our mistakes anymore. So, we'll never again believe this old lie: "When someone is finding out about one nasty habit or other, they're finding out about ME." That trepidation is gone -- for good! We will have permanently and thoroughly left behind our illusory low self-image.

Knowing ourselves as pure and perfect does not mean we won't correct our mistakes or take responsibility for our flawed actions. As we said earlier, the pain caused by wrong thinking (and wrong thinking's expression in wrongdoing) is real, even if the underlying presumptions are unreal (existing only in our minds). So, even without self-concern and shame, we still have PLENTY of motivation to correct our mistakes, and act rightly and wisely.

True self-acceptance -- knowing who we REALLY are -- changes everything. It eliminates guilt and shame. It evaporates the walls that result from the illusions we've thought were real, and opens us to one and all. Self-acceptance brings us home to what GOD knows as Reality.


The most important relationship you can have

Self-acceptance also improves our relationship with God immeasurably. When we know the Truth of who we are:


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We understand how and why God loves us, and we can accept His Love in its fullness

We feel free to love God back, without reservations or hesitations

THAT'S exactly what we need to restore our true intimacy with God. Having accepted ourselves, we can have real, two-way communication: we can talk to God about anything and everything, and without fear of what God might say in reply.

God NEEDS this precious intimacy just as we do, for without it, God's work with us and through us is severely hampered. A person who thinks she's at a great distance from God has less ability to be used by God. And, she has less ability to be healed by God, SO THAT she can be more useful. To receive God's love and gifts, to convey God's love messages to our fellow humans, and to love God in all of that -- all those things work best when we stick close to God, and just keep holding God's hand.

We also need intimacy with God to be at our best as human beings. Intimacy with God boosts our morale. It gives us the well-being needed for positive thinking, for strength, for endurance, for understanding. And last but not least, it greatly improves our sensitivity to the still small voice within us -- which makes everything we do more effective.

Click here to read about Loving God as God is


Clear out the obstacles to intimacy with God

Always remember, the main REASON for not accepting intimacy with God is the failure to accept ourselves AS WHO WE ARE. So it's essential to remember -- remember, remember, remember -- the truth of who we are.


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We're already perfect in our being, just as God made us.

We're already beloved of God, just as God made us.

We're already perfectly close to God.

Just remember those few things, and, truly ACCEPT them. Accept! Accept, accept, accept!

In addition, if ever they consciously arise, or even if they lie dormant, RELEASE illusions of unworthiness. Release illusions about God's unavailability. Whenever such a thought enters your mind, "Get-thee-behind-me!" Don't go there! Don't buy it! Release! Release, release, release!

Remember that ONLY those wrong ideas stand in the way of the greatest romance in the Universe. And since those thoughts are untrue and unreal -- there's really NOTHING in your way!

by David Truman

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