Draw Near to God
Every Sunday of our study in becoming irresistible, becoming the people, and the church, God loves to bless, we have first looked at what it is going to take to get – and keep – us on that road. James tells us, “8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you . . . 10 Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.” (James 4:8, 10) Now, as we move to build on that idea and position ourselves for personal and corporate revival, the foundation is the same – be humble, and draw near to God.
Let’s look at the first part of that passage. If we are going to become the people that God knows we have the potential to be, and if we are going to be ready for revival, then we have to begin at the beginning – becoming close to God, and staying there as He guides and teaches us. It’s not a place we can get to on our own – and it’s not a place we can be, if we don’t camp out in the shadow of God’s presence.
There may be times in our journey, however, when God seems far away. You may feel as if your prayers go unheard. James said there is a simple reason for this, and a solution. If you are far from God, it is because sin as separated you from Him.
One of the most awesome truths about God is that He is unchanging. His character stays absolutely holy. His faithfulness remains constant. The distance comes from us – it is we who change. We allow sin into our lives. We choose our own direction. We spend less and less time with Him in Bible study and prayer. Then, one day, we realize that we have – ever so gradually – grown distant from God. And, it’s not His fault; it’s ours. The solution, according to James, is straightforward: we are to draw near to God. As we realize our need to be closer to the Father and we begin to return to Him, He meets us even as the father hurried to welcome his prodigal son home (Luke 15:20).
Drawing near to God requires us to take two actions. First we must cleanse your hands (Isaiah 1:15). Before we can enjoy the blessings God’s intimacy with us has to offer, we have to clean up. We must cleanse our way of living. If you have been actively engaged in sin, you must reject it – every bit of it. If you have done anything to offend or hurt someone, you must make it right. Second, you are to purify your heart (Psalm 51:10). You have to make certain your attitudes, thoughts, and motives are right in God’s eyes and are in harmony with God’s word. Jesus warned that you cannot serve two masters (Matthew 6:24). It is impossible to love anything else as much as you love God and still please Him.
If God seems distant, do what is necessary to cleanse your hands, purify your heart, and draw near to Him. Then you will begin to grow more and more irresistible to heaven!