We can now only imagine life without sin, as it quickly became a reality in the Human race at the fall. Man in all of his natural sins, now has no desire whatsoever to communicate, or fellowship with God, and because of this, mankind's relationship with God doesn't exist except for the natural knowledge of a final judgement, and the knowledge that there is a God, written on every human heart.
It is now not natural to desire to draw near to God, and as a result, it is only possible by the Grace of God. Drawing near to God is something that cannot happen unless the soul has been spiritually changed. That is why salvation is not a work of our own free will. "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; that being justified by His grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life" Titus3:5-7
Even when we are saved, it is still not easy or natural to desire God, and to want to draw near to Him. We must consciously confront every selfish desire, and continually strive to know God more every day. The older I get, the harder it becomes to consistently draw near to God. As things fill our day, and we become "busy" with life, we can easily loose sight of the eternal perspective.
So what makes a person draw near to God, and how do you know when you are closer to God than you were before? This question has perplexed me and confused me for quite a while as I have contemplated the true meaning of drawing near to God. From searching the Scripture, I have found that drawing near to God, does not necessarily come from an individuals actions, but rather from how much a person has a relationship with Jesus Christ.
"Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; And having an high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water." Hebrews10:19-22
"But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up." James4:6-10
From the above passage, we can clearly see 10 steps of action that we can take to grow in our relationship with The Lord, and draw nigh to God in the process. The steps of action are,
- Submit yourself to God.
- Resist the devil.
- Draw nigh to God.
- Cleanse your hands.
- Purify your heart.
- Be afflicted.
- Let your laughter be turned to mourning.
- Humble yourself in the sight of The Lord.
Following these clear steps of action is The only God-given way to draw near to God. It takes a work of God's grace, and no efforts on our part can draw us closer to God. We must cry out to Him for mercy, and seek His face continually.
Don't get to the point where I got and you have to look back on the great relationship you had with God. Don't loose sight of His great love for you that surpasses all understanding. Recognize that you are the reason that it is so hard to draw near to God. You are the problem, and you are the solution. If you don't draw near to God each day, you cannot blame anyone but yourself. You are the only one who can choose to draw near to God with your thoughts, words, and actions, and you are also the one who can choose to stray form God with your words, thoughts, and actions.
Focus on God and seek to draw nearer to Him everyday. In the end all that really matters is our relationship with God, and how we apply that to everyday life. If you want your life to be significant and matter for the kingdom of God then you have to make it your goal to draw near to God at all costs. God speaks to us through His word. You must be continually in the word at all times. We should make it our goal in life to draw near to God at all costs!
"But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all thy works." Psalm 73:28