Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Cleaving Unto God
(This is a summary of Abraham Kuyper's devotional thought "Cleaving Unto Him" from his book Near Unto God)
"Therefore choose life...loving the LORD your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days,..." - Deuteronomy 30:19b-20a (ESV)
Religion, that is, the worship of the triune God, is the best means that enriches our heart. Yet it is in religion at the same time that sin best thrives. What started as true devotion to God degenerates into cold formalism, lacking in zeal and heartfelt service, because of sin.
Even though the West may appear better than the East in terms of religion, yet many have corrupted it to a great degree of disappointment. In God's point of view, out of millions who profess devotion to God only a few are really devoted to Him.
Yet God continues to issue His command, saying, "Choose life...holding fast to [the Lord]" (Deut. 30:20). Everyone of us, even the most saintly and godly among us, must hear this command: Cleave [or hold fast] unto the Lord your God. Cleaving or holding fast describes the kind of relationship that believer must have with God. It is a picture of an infant intensely clinging to his mother's breast for milk. In her breast the child finds satisfaction that separation from her makes him cry.
Cleaving to God then means loving God and depending upon Him alone with all our life. But who among us truly manifest this deep, intense, and total devotion to God? Only in Paradise was this complete dedication to God possible, yet it will again be the case when we will be perfected in glory.
Does this mean then we give up pursuing true religion here on earth? No! We continue to seek after God in holy service even though perfect devotion is unachievable in this life.
But how do we cleave to God? It is more than intellectual pursuit or confessional loyalty. It is even more than doing good works and maintaining a pious life. Those who really cleave to God do all these but if these things are done simply out of duty and not of delight, these, too, are meaningless.
Real cleaving or holding fast means continually pursuing God, in good times and bad. Even though we sin and fail, we keep on seeking His forgiveness, daily and momentarily, enjoying His fellowship to the end. Then we can truly sing with the psalmist, "As for me, it is good to be near unto God."