Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. (James 4:8 NKJV)
God is for all men in all places for all time. He is omniscient (all-knowing), omnipresent (ever-present, everywhere) and omnipotent (all-powerful). He told us He would never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews13:5; Deuteronomy 31:6,8) and He is not a man that He should lie (Numbers 23:19). So if we find ourselves feeling alienated from Him and alone. Who moved? I’ll give you a hint… It was not God.
He tells us in His word to “draw near.” If we do that, He promises to draw near to us. You will notice that it is not God who moves sovereignly on our behalf. We move first. We have to make a conscious decision to get up off of our “blessed assurance” and draw closer.
In Exodus 3, Moses was tending sheep and as he walked he noticed a bush that was on fire but not being consumed. He could have kept walking but he made a decision to turn aside from the path he was on. You will notice in verse 4 it says, “So when the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush.” Once Moses approached, God was able to lay out His plan for the deliverance of the children of Israel. But take note—God didn’t speak until Moses drew near.
Paul and Silas made a similar decision in Acts 16:16-34. They were beaten…with rods and then thrown in prison. The purpose of beating someone with a rod is to cause the most pain possible. Not only to bruise the flesh but the bone. Flesh heals much quicker than bone so a bone bruise is a more excruciating pain by far. As they sat in jail in horrendous pain they had a choice to make. Verses 25-26 tell us, “But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening. Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were open and everyone’s chains were loosed.”
You will notice in the stories of Moses, and Paul and Silas that not only did they get the benefit of being close to God but those around them benefited as well. Moses drew near and an entire nation was delivered from bondage. Paul and Silas drew near and every last prisoner in that jail was loosed from their chains and even the jailer and his whole family were saved.
So how do we draw near? It really is quite simple. You choose to. You meditate on His words, you talk to Him. And the beautiful thing is that when we do make that decision to draw near to Him the God of the universe draws near to us and makes Himself known to us. For me it is not a difficult decision. Live everyday as an ordinary person or live as one who walks with the God who breathes out the stars (Psalm 33:6.) Make the choice, my friends. Draw near.