Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Closeness with God

I said in an earlier post that I would discuss the impact that the music and message of Keith Green has had on my life. 

Well, my earliest memories of Keith come from 1982-1983.  My best friend at the time was the son of the local Anglican minister.  Being the son of the local Pentecostal minister, our parents were well acquainted.  I can’t remember the exact occasion but for some reason my friend’s family gave my parent’s a recording of Keith’s album “Songs for the Shepherd”. 

I have a distinct recollection of listening to the record with my mother one day and of her showing me the liner notes which described the plane crash in June of 1982 which had killed Keith.

From then until 1993 I was acquainted with Keith’s music, however I can’t say that it had much of an impact on my life.

All of that changed around November 1993 when I was in grade 13.  I read his biography “No Compromise”, written by his wife Melody.  This book shook me out of my complacency and put me on a search for a deeper relationship with God.

That same month another pivotal event took place in my life.  I attended a retreat for the children of Pentecostal ministers.  A PK retreat as it was called.  PK being the term used for “preachers kids.”

Together these two events focused my determination to no longer live on the coattails of my parents faith, but to appropriate it as my own.

The most immediate effect was on my prayer life.  From November 1993 through the end of my senior year I awoke daily at 5:30 and spent the next hour in prayer before school.  Also during those months practically the only music I listened to was by Keith Green.  I had both the silver and gold compilation albums which contained every song ever published by Keith and I knew them practically by heart.

It was during this time that I experienced a closeness with God that I have never experienced before or since.

I relate this because I desire to experience that closeness once more.  I want to desire God more than I currently do and I know from my own past that it is possible.

I guess it comes down to priorities.  I say that God is first in my life, but do my actions back it up.  Right now they don’t.  I think about a line in one of Keith’s songs spoken from the perspective of God.

“If you can’t come to me every day, then don’t bother coming at all.”

Strong words yes, but are they any stronger than the very words of Christ?

“Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.”  Matt 19:37.

My heart’s cry today is the same as that of St. Paul in his letter to the Philippians.

“I want to know Christ, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.”

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