“Draw nigh (near) to God, and He will draw nigh (near) to you” (JS 4:8).
This is one of the greatest promises in all of the Holy Scripture. A wonderful reminder that if we make the deliberate choice to DRAW NEAR TO GOD, GOD WILL DRAW NEAR TO US!
The Scriptures, beginning in the Old Testament, and continuing on into the New Testament, if anything, reveal a God who desires a people who will love Him with all of their hearts [MATT 22:37-39] and pursue Him with all of their lives [PSA 27:4, 8; 42:1-3; 63:1-8; 84:2; ISA 26:3, 8-9; JER 9:23-24; 29:11-13; MIC 6:8; PHIL 3:7-10]!
As we mentioned recently, if we are not careful, we can actually BELIEVE the right things, DO the right things, and even STAND for the right things, and yet, have LEFT OUR FIRST LOVE [REV 2:1-7]!
A.W. Tozer once said, “Every man is as good of a Christian as he wants (or chooses) to be.” Is this not true? Does it not line up with Jesus’ words found in Matthew 5:6, “Blessed are they which do HUNGER and THIRST after righteousness: FOR THEY SHALL BE FILLED”?
It was this same Tozer, who also wrote the following words in his classic book The Pursuit of God:
Thanks to our splendid Bible societies and to other effective agencies for the dissemination of the Word, there are today many millions of people who hold “right opinions,” probably more than ever before in the history of the Church. Yet I wonder if there was ever a time when true spiritual worship was at a lower ebb. To great sections of the Church the art of worship has been lost entirely, and in its place has come that strange and foreign thing called the “program.” This word has been borrowed from the stage and applied with sad wisdom to the type of public service which now passes for worship among us. … For it is not mere words that nourish the soul, but God Himself, and unless and until the hearers find God in personal experience they are not the better for having heard the truth. The Bible is not an end in itself, but a means to bring men to an intimate and satisfying knowledge of God, that they may enter into Him, that they may delight in His Presence, may taste and know the inner sweetness of the very God Himself in the core and center of their hearts.
Strong words there; but true words nonetheless. Reminds me a little bit of the words found in JER 2:11-13!
In JAS 4:1-10, we find a handful of conditions that must be met if we are going to DRAW NEAR TO GOD. And, we can rest assured, if we do, GOD WILL DRAW NEAR TO US!
This is definitely a passage worth pondering that’s for sure!!!
O Lord, forgive us for replacing YOUR PRESENCE with OUR PROGRAMS!