Near to God

Spiritual intimacy requires intention and initiative.

“Draw close to God and God will draw close to you.” James 4:8 NLT.

Have you noticed that you feel loneliness when isolated from the company of others? You are at your best and happiest when enjoying a comfortable lifestyle that allows plenty of room for others. God created you to enjoy community with others and fellowship with Him. Your Adversary desires your isolation from others and your separation from God, if you will allow it. The Incarnation, when God came into our world, evidenced God’s desire for your fellowship. John marveled that “The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us . .” John 1:14 NIV. Spiritually, you are safest when nearest to God and living happily alongside others.

James, the brother of Jesus, urged, “Draw close to God and God will draw close to you.” James 4:8 NLT. Spiritual intimacy requires intention and initiative. What would being “close to God” mean to you? The promise is clear; the process is just as evident. When you move in God’s direction, you will always find God responding in kind. But how do you draw close to God? James describes the process simply. Drawing close to God is evidenced by two deliberate actions by you, “Humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil . .” and a corresponding reaction by the Devil, “. . and he will flee from you!” James 4:7 NLT. The sincerity of the first determines the success of the latter. I am reminded of Solomon’s proverb, “When a man’s ways please the Lord, He makes even his enemies live at peace with him.” Proverbs 16:7 NIV. Get things right with God and you will find things better with others.

Humility is the proper posture of heart for a right relationship with God and others. How you walk with others will often reflect your heart attitude before God. Peter echoed the principle of humility this way, “All of you, [young and old], clothe yourselves with humility toward one another because, ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’ Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may exalt you in due time” . . when you bow down before the Lord and admit your dependence on Him [humble yourself], He will lift you up and give you honor.” 1 Peter 5:5-6/10 NIV. Read Colossians 3:12-17 NKJV.

Any relationship either grows or diminishes, not long remaining as they were.By their nature, relationships are dynamic, not static. That is also true of your personal and spiritual relationship with God. Any distance that occurs between you and God results from your lack of initiative, not His. A healthy, growing relationship requires your vigilance in giving a priority of time and attention.

Jesus’ coming gave lasting proof of God’s passion for closeness with you, who are made “in His image and likeness.” The invitation is His; the initiative is yours, “Draw close to God and God will draw close to you.” James 4:8 NLT. When you are closer, it just feels right. “For You created everything, and it is for Your pleasure that they exist and were created.” Revelation 4:11 NLT. God finds pleasure in your company; you will find your ultimate fulfillment in His.

My prayer for you today is that your heart draws ever closer to God’s heart.