Draw near to God.

It is interesting to note that in James’ epistle, we are instructed not that God draws near to man, but that man needs to draw near to God. Mankind is inherently evil and wicked as the entire counsel of Scripture speaks to.

Jeremiah 17:9 – “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; Who can understand it?

Romans 3:10-18 – “…there is none righteous, not even one; there is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God; all have turned aside, together they have become useless; there is none who does good, there is not even one. Their throat is an open grave, with their lips they keep deceiving, the poison of asps is under their lips. Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood, destruction and misery are in their paths, and the path of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

God of course is holy. Holy. Holy. Can that which is holy dwell with that which is unholy and yet remain holy? Can that which is pure mix with that which is un-pure and remain pure? I think the answer that is clearly no. In light of this, I believe James states what he does about our need to cleanse ourselves of evil and draw near to God.

James 4:6a-10 – “GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE. Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord and He will exalt you.”

There is a lot in this section worth consideration, but for a moment, let’s focus on what we can learn about our relationship and proximity to God. We need to draw near to God. We also need to cleanse our hands and purify our hearts. These are all actions we must take. They are not something that miraculously happen at our baptism that will then keep us right for life. I believe we do that by taking active steps in our lives now.

If we are in the world (doing the things of the world, looking, talking like the world, etc) we need to stop and change our ways. However, I think that is the general statement regarding what we need to do. “What do I need to do” and “what do you need to do” are the questions we really need to be asking. There are practical steps we can all take.

Let us draw near to God until the day we are perfected so that he will finally be able to dwell upon the earth. Praise be to our holy God. May that day come soon.

Let’s talk about what some of the practical steps we can take this week, today even to draw near to God.

Recently, for me, keeping the television off in my home has been a practical step towards God. My wife and I do not want allow the glorification of sin and evil to be used as entertainment in our house any longer. At the same time, we have been working to seek alternatives that we can fill our time with, especially in ways that can be relaxing. In light of this, we’ve enjoyed more time together (and with God) by going for walks, reading, or inviting other believers over for dinner. We’ve gone bowling, played cards and visited a nice coffee shop in our city.

At the same time, we have really seen the LORD working in our lives. He has been showing us some amazing things. We have been going to prayer more often about things. We’ve been having more opportunities for evangelism. We have had more time to minister to people with needs. Also, I’ve seen more things that I have in my life that are not right. This is an exciting process for me because I know that it is all because as I draw closer to God and His glory, my filth will be exposed more and more. That’s fine with me.

The past three weeks have been amazing for me to see the LORD’s hand on my life. I’m looking forward to what’s next. It hasn’t been that the LORD hasn’t been doing His job, I haven’t been doing mine.

What about you? I encourage your to seek the LORD on this matter.

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3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by sean on December 19, 2006 at 1:36 am

    so long as I assumed I was living righteously I never looked for things to change but when I was confronted with other preachers who had a much closer relationship with God (i.e. they were holy) I knew I needed to change.

    Reply

  2. Posted by JohnO on December 19, 2006 at 3:20 am

    Amen, I always thought I was ok, that I was just as good as someone else. Until I heard what real preaching was – and that we were supposed to preach like that. Then, I realized I couldn’t preach like that until I lived like that 🙂

    Reply

  3. Posted by Michael D.A. on November 10, 2008 at 5:03 pm

    Brethren, to draw closer to God involved our self discipline, studing the Bible and effective prayer life.

    Reply

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