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To understand what it means to draw near to God, we first need to look at the context of the apostle James in James 4:8.
When we draw near to God, He will never hesitate to come near to us. The phrase is what James 4:8 teaches us. We need to learn how to draw near to Him to experience His blessings in our lives.
In this post, we will discuss what it means to draw near to God and some of its benefits. We’ll also examine some Bible verses related to this topic and see what they say about it. Finally, we’ll conclude with a few thoughts on how you can apply all of this information in your own life.
What Does it Mean to Draw Near to God?
If it’s your first time going to church or if you are still new to the Christian life, this phrase is something we often hear. We are called to draw near to our Lord God. But what does that mean? In simple terms, it means to get closer to Him. That sounds easy enough, but it can be overwhelming to know where to start.
Well, it doesn’t have to be that way. Jesus Christ has made everything available and straightforward for us. When we draw near God, it is both a decision and an invitation. Christ Jesus invites us to be in a relationship with Him.
When you make that decision with a sincere heart, the Holy Spirit will equip you and guide your steps.
What is the Context of James 4:8
To understand what it means to draw near to God, we first need to look at the context of James. The author addresses a group of Christians scattered abroad due to persecution in this book. They lived when it was difficult to remain faithful to the Lord. Despite these circumstances, they were still able to draw near to Him.
In James, we see that the Christians underwent trials and tribulations. Despite all of their struggles, they did not give up on God. Instead, they continued to seek Him and draw near to Him. It’s not just a physical act; it’s an attitude of the heart. When we have this attitude, we are saying that we want to draw near to God no matter what happens in our lives.
How to Draw Near to God?
There are many ways that we can draw near to God. Here are a few:
When we receive Jesus Christ into our lives, we are drawing near to God. We can draw near to God because Jesus has bridged the gap between God and us through His death and resurrection. He has made it possible for us to have a relationship with God.
How do we receive Jesus Christ? It doesn’t have to be grand. It can be as simple as being in your room and a whispered prayer telling Christ Jesus that you are ready to surrender your life to Him and receive Him as your personal Lord and Savior.
If you just did that, our Lord Jesus Christ and all the angels in heaven celebrate with you.
You are now a new creation, no longer a double-minded man, with bodies washed by His grace and your guilty conscience made clean by God.
Study the Bible
When we study the Bible, we learn about God and what He has done for us. As we learn more about Him, we naturally want to get to know Him better.
You can choose to study and read the Holy Bible on your own. There are many study guides that you can download online. Always remember to ask for the help of the Holy Spirit before you start studying His Word.
You can also join Bible study groups to help you get to know God’s Word better. What’s good about doing it with a group is you can also build relationships with fellow believers. We all need a strong circle of believers if we are to finish this race strong.
Pray and Worship
Praying and worshiping are other ways that we can draw near to God. When we pray, we talk to God and tell Him what is on our hearts. When we worship, we express our love and adoration for Him. Both of these things help us to draw closer to God.
God made us so we can worship Him all the days of our lives. Worship is not a switch you and I can turn on and off. Worship doesn’t just happen in a church building. Our living God instructs us to worship Christ Jesus in spirit and truth. Everything that we do shall be an act of worship to Christ.
Our bodies, washed by His grace of pure water, are our holy place of worship. Wherever you are, you can worship God.
Another way that we can draw near to God is by having faith in Him. Having faith in Christ means that we trust Him and His promises. We believe He is who He says He is and will do what He says He will do.
When we profess our faith to Christ with our mouths, we say that we will love God will all our being. And love is not a word we say, but an action word.
We have to say it, but we need to show that we love God.
How? By obeying His Word and walking by faith.
Finally, getting involved in His work is another way to draw near God. Getting involved can mean serving in the church, going on mission trips, or doing anything else that furthers the Kingdom of God. When we get involved in these things, we show God we want to be close to Him.
All those who love, they serve. But not all who do and get involved mean that they love Christ.
We can be serving in the Kingdom – cooking food for the King, washing His feet, or even serving His people, but not talking and building a closer relationship with Him.
When we get involved, our relationship with Him should overflow – a result of our hearts sprinkled with His love.
What Happens When I Draw Near to God?
So what happens when we draw near to God? The Bible tells us that “He draws near to us.” As we get closer to God, He gets closer to us.
Drawing near to God is a two-way street. As we draw near and close to Him, He draws near to us and sometimes even takes the big steps toward us.
The benefits of drawing near to God are many. As we get closer to God, we experience His love, joy, peace, and presence in our lives.
We also find strength and comfort in Him during difficult times.
Additionally, when we draw near God, He entrusts us with His plans and purposes for our lives. All these things are possible because of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.
Bible Verses Related to “Draw Near to God”
Many Bible verses talk about drawing near to God. Here are a few of them:
“Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners, and purify your hearts, ye double-minded.” (James 4:8, King James Version)
James urges his fellow believers to have a more intimate relationship with God since God does not overlook those who are meek and contrite in heart. Because He chooses to love us even in our most unlovable state, He has a deep desire to have fellowship with us.
“Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.” (Hebrews 10:22, ESV)
We find an invitation to get closer to God and a description of how to do that. It is presented not in terms of methods but of having the right mindset and heart-set. We draw near to God with full assurance of His love for us and our hearts and bodies, no longer of evil conscience but made clean and new by Christ.
“Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near.” (Isaiah 55:6, NIV)
The days that we live in now are days of grace. A day will unfold when He will come as a Judge. So we must never take these days for granted and seek Him with a sincere heart.
“And without faith, it is impossible to please God because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6, NIV)
If you need help in building your faith, ask the Holy Spirit today. Allow the Holy Spirit to move your spiritual growth to another level.
“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16, NIV)
If you grew up in a healthy family, you would never doubt your parents. You have confidence that they have your best interest, whatever happens, so your approach is filled with assurance. That’s the same attitude Christ wants for us when we approach Him – with complete confidence and expectant to receive.
Drawing near to God is something that we are all called to do. When we draw near to God, we experience His goodness, mercy, peace, and love in our lives. We also find rest and assurance in Him during hard times. So let us all strive to draw near to God daily, by His grace and for His glory.
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