“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” (James 4:8)
Suppose we were able sit down with one another … share a cup of coffee … laugh a little … frown a little about the state of the world … and just get to know one another better and catch up.
Before too long, the conversation moves in the direction of our relationship with the Lord. If I were to ask you how you would describe your relationship with God … would your answer go something like the following:
- I do believe in God and I know that I am in a right relationship with Him.
- Lately, God just seems to be a little distant and I would really like to get closer to Him.
- Sometimes I feel like my prayers are just bouncing off of the wall.
- I have been real busy so I haven’t been as close to God as I could be or would like to be.
- Some might even describe themselves as simply struggling in their relationship with God.
The promise that James offers us in the opening text is a truly wonderful promise. Isn’t it so that each one of us would really like to believe that we are walking with the Lord as two would walk alone in a garden or on the hillside somewhere?
Close enough that we could speak freely … openly … humbly and honestly with Him. Close enough to believe that He was gently and completely listening to us express the needs of our heart … the burdens we are bearing … the resentment toward someone that we know we shouldn’t be harboring … the absence of the “peace that passes understanding” … and that He can help us with each of these concerns along with anything else that is troubling the waters of our soul.
When I was a young person my folks wanted me to travel by train down to some relatives that lived in Texas for two weeks. I did not want to go for one day much less two weeks … they wanted me to go … my relatives wanted me to come. You can guess what happened when I boarded the train reluctantly and went. You see I was already homesick and I hadn’t even left the train station. I wanted to be near my family.
You and I have a desire that God placed in our hearts (Ecclesiastes 3:11) that can only be satisfied with Him. Nothing else will fill the void! It is not possible to approach the Lord or draw near to Him in the sins we have committed, but it is possible that by the blood of Jesus Christ we can be reconciled to Him and find the forgiveness of our sins that we so desperately need to be free from (Romans 6).
The fact is that with our free will and His revealed will we can find the map that will lead us to a closer relationship with Him. Very simply, each one of us can be as close to God as we choose to be! May we desire to come to His throne to find all the help we could ever need in facing life. May we learn to come to Him with the confidence that He can meet all of our needs and that He will most certainly reward us with all that He has promised!
Let’s not be guilty of somehow settling for a life that could be described as distant! May we all strive to speak as the psalmist spoke in Psalm 42:2, “My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God.”
Bill Fairchild, Jr.