Draw near to God
James 4:8 “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you”
Here James tells us plainly and clearly that if we want and desire to be close to God it is up to us to make the first move. God moves when we do.
You might say the word tells us that He will never leave us or forsake us and Lo I am with you always even unto the end of the world. Matthew 28:20 These are precious promises to us and yes on the one hand we know that God is “omnipresent” which is a big word that means that God is everywhere at the same time yet there is a difference between God being present and being in God's presents. It is clear in scripture that there is an intimacy that we can have with the Lord that sadly most people hardly ever experience. I have been in the same room with someone yet have felt all alone. You can be in someones presents and yet be far away from them at the very same time. To be intimate with someone, it requires more than just being physically near them. We can be in a crowd and yet be totally alone. There must be an intentional involvment with someone, we listen to them, focus upon them, there is an open channel of communication with them.
God desires to have a relationship with us just as any good parent would desire to have a close loving relationship with their child.
“And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying Abba Father. Gal. 4:6
It is totally natural for the regenerated man or woman to desire to have an intimate relationship with our heavenly Father.
Like any good relationship, we must cultivate it and not neglect it.
#1 “Have faith in God”
One very important thing to keep in mind and essential for a close relationship with God is Faith.
“Have faith in God”. The Bible say's, “Without faith it is impossible to please God”
He wants us to trust Him.
Think of how it feels when someone you are close to reveals that he does not trust you, your motives or your judgment. It is very discouraging and hurtful and does no good for the relationship. You feel suspect and spurned.
Our lack of trust in God hurts him as well.
Knowing the price He paid for us on the Cross and the great lengths that He went to on our behalf to then have us doubt and not trust Him is a great insult to our loving Lord.
It is impossible to be close to someone if you do not trust them.
#2 Sin will prevent us from being close to God.
Remember the close intimate relationship that God had with Adam and Eve before they sinned. The bible tells us that God would walk with them in the cool of the day. He and Adam and Eve had such a wonderful intimate relationship but after they gave in to temptation and disobeyed, their relationship with God was broken and this broke God's heart. Gen. 3:-10 “And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden. And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?”
And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.”
I believe that these words spoken by our Heavenly Father, “Where art thou?” are possibly the saddest words written in scripture. You can almost feel the sorrow in the heart of God as he comes into the garden to share sweet fellowship with his beloved creation only to find that they went into hiding because they were afraid.
“Behold the Lords hand is not shortened that it cannot save neither His ear heavy that it cannot hear, But your iniquities have separated between you and your God and your sins have hid His face from you” Isaiah 59:1-3
James 4:8 also tells us, Cleanse your hands, ye sinners: and purify your hearts, ye double minded”
Remember you cannot Run with the Devil and Walk with God.
The first sermon that Jesus ever preached was “Repent and Believe”
David said in Psalms 66:18
“If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me”.
James also instructs us, Chap. 4:6and7 “God resisteth the proud but giveth Grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God: resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
(It is only when we Submit ourselves to God that we are able to Resist the devil.)
And as the writer of Hebrews tells us in Hebrews chapter 10:22
“Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.”
I heard a story of this lady who got upset with the Lord. She read in the bible of when the Apostle John rested his head on the chest of Jesus and she began to think that Jesus had “Favorites” and showed partiality to him. But then the Lord said to her that “Everyone of my disciples could have gotten that close to me if they wanted to, only John wanted to.”
We are ALL welcome to be close to Jesus if we want to.
BE BLESSED, Randy Davenport