Horse Shoes and Hand Grenades: Why Wanting to Be Close to God is Good Enough

horseshoesThere’s an old saying that goes, “Close only counts in horse shoes and hand grenades.”

Your boss may have said that to you when you missed a quota. Or maybe your spouse said it when you were a day late for a birthday or anniversary. Whatever the reason, when anyone says this, you’ve messed up. But is there ever a time when “close” is good enough? YES.

Close is good enough when you decide to get close to God.

I could never be good enough to get close to God,” you’re probably thinking. Well, that’s the BEST thing you could think right now, because being close to God has nothing to do with precision or with hitting a goal of any kind. That’s where the horse shoes and hand grenades come in. God Himself has freed us from all the pressure of needing to earn His love. He hit all the marks for us!

James says it this way, “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and make your hearts pure, you who are half-hearted towards God (Jas. 4:8).” The formula for being close to God is simple: want to. Simply wanting to be close to God is the quantum leap that makes it happen. You just glance at Him with a desiring heart and He’s all over it like cows on a salt lick.

You don’t have to wait until you feel righteous or holy. You probably never will. You don’t have to live a sinless life before being accepted by God. You can’t. You don’t have to achieve some superhuman spirituality, find Nirvana, or commit the ultimate selfless act of giving all you have to the poor before God will love you. All of those things are our own attempts to earn His love. It simply can’t be done. He already loves you.

So put the horse shoes and hand grenades away. Start wanting to be close to God and watch how fast He shows up and brings all sorts of good things into your life. He’s done all the work for you, so rest in it. Close is good enough for now.

ChizBESTJohn Chisum is an internationally appreciated worship leader, songwriter, mentor, and clinician. Click here for information on The Worship Leader’s One-on-One Coaching with John Chisum. For information about booking John for a worship seminar, worship concert, or special event, contact him directly at, or call 251-533-5960.

Catching My Drift

“Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it.” Hebrews 2:1

There is an inevitable drift away from the things of God when we fail to give them their proper attention on a daily basis. The tsunami of evil present in the world, the forces of darkness at work on every side, are obvious and avoidable, mostly, but the subtle trajectory of inattention to worship, prayer, study, and serving can be as damaging in the end as a tidal wave of sin.

Busyness is the enemy of intimacy. To know GOD as “Father” requires time and effort, the intentional laying aside of many good things to choose the best (think Mary and Martha here). Have you gotten to the end of a day only to realize that all you spent your time on were petty things? Duty is duty and work must be done, but what about the inner life, the interior of your being that is or can be in constant communion with the One who knows and loves you most of all?

I realize often that I have drifted into a dutiful service to God rather than a loving response to Him. It doesn’t take much to get distracted from the course, an annoyance here or a resentment there, but, by the same token, it doesn’t take much to get back on track, either. James tells us to “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” (James 4:8). When we take just one small step towards Him, He bolts toward us a million miles an hour to forgive, heal, and restore.

Catch my drift? You can’t. You can only catch your own as I must catch my own before my closeness to Him is disrupted and precious time lost. It may seem like a small thing, but one step towards Him now opens the door to all the riches that He has stored up for you (and me) in Christ.