Draw Near to God

Hungering for God's presence in worship.
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In order to know God, you will need to put forth some effort. But if you love Him, it won't seem like any effort at all. When you met your spouse, did it seem like effort to get to know him or her? When you became friends with someone you really liked and found that you had a lot in common, did it seem like an effort to get to know that person? Of course not. When you fall in love with God, you want to know everything about Him. You could live a million lifetimes and there would still be more you would like to learn about God.

One of the keys to getting to know God is at the heart of Moses' prayer: hunger. Moses hungered for God. Moses longed for God. Moses realized that nothing else in the world could compare to the experience of being with God. Moses had a passion for His presence. Moses had lost his appetite for other people and other things. He was hungry for God. And guess what? God will always answer that kind of prayer.

It was James, the brother of Jesus, who wrote to the believers in Jerusalem, "Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, sinners, and purify your hearts, double-minded people!" (James 4:8). If we draw near to God, he will reciprocate and draw near to us. Drawing near to God is spending time with Him, worshiping Him, praying and talking to Him, inviting Him into every aspect of our lives.

James then gives us the formula for drawing near. If you've committed sin, confess it, get rid of it, and put it under the blood of Jesus (in other words, keep a short sin account). Next, ask the Lord to examine your heart, your motives, and the things that make you do what you do. Bring your heart under His lordship as well. May our actions be manifestations of a clean heart and conscience.

Notice that when he writes about this he says, "Purify your hearts, double-minded people." What does he mean by "double-minded"? A person who is double-minded is drawn in two completely different directions. Thus, he will get nowhere fast because his loyalty is divided and he vacillates between faith and unbelief. A double-minded person is unstable in all her ways and her spiritual walk is inconsistent because she tries to serve God and her own interests at the game time. We've all learned that this kind of living never works. You cannot serve two masters.

I learned a long time ago that I am not going to get very far with God by playing spiritual games. God doesn't play games! I soon discovered that the only people playing the game were me, myself, and I. It's just like people thinking that they can "ride the fence" into the kingdom. There is no riding the fence, there is no lukewarm support group—you're either in or out. If I really want to know Him, I'm going to have to get serious about my relationship with Him.

God our Father sent His Son, Jesus, in order that we might know Him more fully. Jesus was Emmanuel, God with us, God in the flesh, and God incarnate. God was willing to love us through a veil for awhile, but when the time was right, Jesus came and ripped the veil in two. He opened up a new and living way. He opened up permanent and perpetual access to God the Father by shedding His blood once and for all. His blood paved the way to restore God's relationship with you and me. Praise the Lord!

God loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son so that whoever believes in Him would never perish but enjoy an eternal relationship with Him. Again, it's all about relationship. It has always been about relationship. From the moment Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, God sought to reestablish relationship with His children. We couldn't get to where He was, so He came to us through Jesus. Until that time He loved us from afar, through or from behind a veil, because sin cannot exist in the same place as God's glory.

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