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  • Writer's pictureWayne Hoag

Nearer, Still Nearer

A precious old hymn says, “Nearer, still nearer, close to Thy heart, draw me, my Savior so precious Thou art.”

I’ve been thinking about life in Christ and how it is not a destination but a journey. It may begin with a profession of faith and an embracing of the work that He did for us on the Cross but to know the depth of the new life in Christ, to know the joy of new life in Christ, one must ever be pressing into His heart of hearts. His heart is infinite in regard to the treasures to be discovered, and because that is true, Jesus calls us to keep seeking, keep knocking, and keep asking (Matthew 7:7-8).

For the past twenty-three years, I have begun my day by reading from Oswald Chamber’s My Utmost for His Highest. Along the way, Oswald has gained a companion in my devotional reading, Charles Spurgeon. Listen to these words from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening Devotions, “The Holy Spirit enables you to grow in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior. He who grows not in the knowledge of Jesus is refusing God’s blessing. To know Him is “eternal life” and to advance in the knowledge of Him is to increase in happiness. He who does not long to know more of Christ, knows nothing of Him yet. For whoever has sipped of this wine will thirst for more. Though Christ satisfies, it is a satisfaction, that does not erase the appetite, but whets it. Love for Christ always cries, ‘Nearer, nearer.'”

On the wall of my office is a pen and ink drawing of an eagle in flight. The person who drew this for me also added an inscription by an unknown author. It says, “A man will know when he is chosen by God for a life of quest. The restless urge within him is an eagle in his breast. Let him turn from seeking and the eagle will eat his heart. Rest? There is no rest for the seeker with an eagle in his breast.”

When I came to faith in Christ, He satisfied my deepest longings, but, having said that, He also created greater longings than I have ever known. I am consumed by the longing for more, more of Him. On one hand I am immanently satisfied, on the other hand, I hunger and thirst for more. Like C.S. Lewis, I find that this longing can only be satisfied by the one who created the longing, nothing else will do. And believe me when I say this, I’ve tried, I’ve spent, I’ve embraced, I’ve ran after things that the world continues to tell me will satisfy that internal longing. I guess it is time for me to confess that I am an addict. I’m addicted to Christ! I need more! I want more! I long to be nearer, still nearer to Him.

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