“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” James 4:8
Have you ever heard the phrase, “If you feel far away from God, guess who moved?”
I used to hate it when people would say that. It would make me feel like a big loser…like I was a bad person who was doing bad things and had no need for the Lord. It made me feel very guilty because I was not close to God. That phrase would eat away at me causing me to grow bitter, which would make me feel even further from God.
But you know how it makes me feel now?
First, I am thankful for the reminder of my need to draw closer to God. I go through periods of my life where I feel far away from God. This phrase brings me back to reality and helps me remember that I need to focus more on God.
Second, I am thankful because this phrase reminds me that God never moves. Ever. Nothing I do and nothing I say can ever make God move away from me. It’s like He is glued to my side and won’t ever leave.
However, sometimes I seem to wiggle my way out of that bond He and I share. And it’s not God that has moved…it’s me. So how do I draw close to God and remember the promise that He will draw near to me?
I think this verse from Hebrews 10:22 gives us a great way to draw near to God. The NIRV is my favorite version of this verse: “So let us come near to God with a sincere heart. Let us come near boldly because of our faith. Our hearts have been sprinkled. Our minds have been cleansed from a sense of guilt. Our bodies have been washed with pure water.”
First, we can draw close to God by having sincere hearts. Do you really want to be near to God or are you just faking it? Do you want that personal relationship with Him because you know you love Him or because you think you are supposed to love Him? What is your true, deep desire for being close to God? God knows your heart and He knows when you are being sincere and when you are not. We need to examine our own hearts first and make sure we are coming before Him with genuine and sincere hearts.
Second, we can draw close to God by boldly coming before Him. We can do this because of the faith we have in Him. We know He is faithful. We know He is not going anywhere so we can boldly approach Him because we are confident in Him. How do we know all these things? Because we spend time with Him…by reading His Word and by talking with Him. Come to the Lord each and every day. Pray to Him with boldness. Dive deep into the Word that He wrote. Seek Him with all that you have.
Finally, we can draw close to God by remembering that “our hearts have been sprinkled with the blood of Jesus, our minds have been cleansed of guilt, and our bodies have been washed with pure water.” We remember the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ and how when we came to know Him as our Savior, our bodies were made new. Why wouldn’t we want to draw close to our God who loves us so much that He had His own Son take our place?
Friends, God has not moved. He has promised that when we draw near to Him, He will be there. Seek Him with a sincere heart, boldly come before him because of your faith in Him, and remember the sacrifice of Jesus. God is always near us.
If you feel far away from God, guess who moved?
Prayer: Holy Father, thank You for drawing near to us all the time. I pray for each person reading this that they earnestly seek You and draw close to You. Remind them of Your presence and help them daily practice drawing close to You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
1. How does that phrase make you feel?
2. How can you do a better job at remaining close with God?