Seek good, and not evil, that you may live, and so the Lord, the God of hosts, will be with you.
One of the things I love about charismatic culture is an obsession and longing for the presence of Jesus to be experienced in our midst. I believe their push for the experiential reality of our relationship with God is very good for the American church.
But one of the things that I would like to see more of is an emphasis on obedience as a means to being near Jesus.
It is good to be near Jesus always–when times are good, when times are bad, when I feel shame, when I disobey. Like a child who has done wrong, we still hold out our arms and want the nearness of our Father.
But I do not believe that that is the condition that we should be found consistently in as the people of God. This passage in Amos highlights that if you want to be near Jesus, live a life of obedience.
It is obedience which draws us into the heart of God. It is obedience which opens us to his grace. So.. if you want a tool to be intimate with Jesus… obey Him!