“Draw nigh to God and He will draw nigh unto you.” (James 4:8)
One thing is made very clear from this scripture is that God doesn’t intend for His people to live in a spiritually stationary and stagnant state. It is possible to attend church yet, make little effort to draw near to God between Sundays. Throughout scripture we are encouraged to move closer and closer to the Lord. 2 Peter 3:18 says, “Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ”.
Sharon and I have been blessed over the course of our pastoral ministry to pastor some very precious people that made it a priority in their lives to draw closer and closer to the Lord. Regrettably, we also pastored some that seemingly, grew very little in God. I can tell you there was a marked difference in the families of those who seriously sought God and those who didn’t. When husbands and wives…moms and dads, seriously and consistently draw close to God it has a HUGE impact on marriage and family. The reason for that is every choice has a consequence. It is a spiritual law that works whether we believe it - don’t believe it - acknowledge it or ignore it: “Whatsoever a man soweth that also shall he reap.” (Galatians 6:7). When we sow our lives into the way and will of God, we (our families) reap the blessings of those choices. Jesus said: “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33). That is a promise that is true for every believer regardless of where you go to church or how you have church.
The question that begs for an answer is HOW does a person draw nigh to God? I wish I could tell you that it happens in a milli-second, at the click of a button ...and… BAM! You are close to God…but, it doesn’t work that way. There are three ways Christians draw near to God:
1) Through Reading and Studying God’s Word. One of the main ways we know God is through His Word. The Word of God reveals the wonder, the will, the way and the wisdom of God. Jesus said, “If ye continue in my Word, then are you my disciples indeed” (John 8:31). 2 Timothy 3:16 says that “all scripture is given by inspiration of God and IS PROFITABLE for doctrine, reproof, for correction and instruction in righteousness.”
2) Through Prayer. “Call unto me and I will show you great and mighty things which though knowest not.” (Jeremiah 33:3). The Apostle Paul so recognized the value of prayer that he said, “Pray without ceasing”.
3) Through Worship. Jesus said: “Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God and Him only shalt thou serve” (Matthew 4:10). In giving thanks we acknowledge God as our source. In
praise we celebrate God. In worship we seek God. Worship and praise bring the manifest Presence of God.
By the way, there is a 4th component: Hunger/Desire. Jesus said: “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled”. To draw closer, we must want more of God. James 4:8 provides us with both principle & promise: