“Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” (James 4:8a NIV)
I recently had long-Covid and had to slow down a lot. Overall, it was a blessed time of spiritual growth, but it didn’t start out that way. Given hours of sitting still, why did it take weeks until I began to spend regular time with God, giving him my undivided attention (or at least trying to)? My priorities were in a muddle.
I had to be reminded that the bible DOESN’T say “come to YouTube all you who are weary and burdened and it will give you rest”!!
Today’s verse comes in a chapter about loyalties and priorities. It exhorts us to choose God above all else.
When we spend time with God, we get to know him and his ways, we better understand the choices we are making and can decide to follow him in everything. Our actions and words begin to stem from our love for God. Our priorities take the right order.
“Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.”
This is reciprocal. Read it again. It’s not just that you need to draw near to him, it’s that he will draw near to YOU! Wow!
I think of drawing near to God as pulling up a chair to share a meal at his table, talking with him and developing a real intimacy with him. It’s not the same as knowing he’s there, glancing at him through an open door or shouting a comment or request to him from our busy-ness. It’s slowing down long enough to sit in his presence and getting to know him better. It’s about putting him first and giving him our undivided attention.
“Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you”
Questions to Ponder:
Do I draw near to God?
Do I allow God to lead me in crafting my life or do I try to squeeze God into the life I have crafted?
Where do I turn to for rest, help, instruction, comfort…?
Prayer of Response:
Lord, I know I need to draw near to you. Please help me do that.
—Submitted by Sylvana Botterill
Sylvana lives in England with her husband Dave. They have been adventuring with God together for 28 years and as their house begins to empty of children, they continue to find new adventures. Recent adventures include moving home, finding new friends and new avenues for ministry, a period of illness and healing, the marriage of their eldest child and a return to hiking together. Sylvana has recently returned to good health, more active ministry, running and rowing.