Here’s a promise you can really hang your hat on. You can build your life on this promise. It’s from the book of James.
Draw near to God and he will draw near to you. (James 4:8 NKJV)
James is not talking about merely a one-time event. He’s talking about a lifestyle. The first time you draw near to God, he draws near to you. And every time you draw near to God, he draws near to you.
In drawing near to God, I recommend three things. First…
1. Draw near early.
Make it a habit to begin each day in the presence of God.
The best way to start your day is spending a few minutes making a conscious choice to draw near to God. King David said,
In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation. (Psalm 5:3)
Draw near early. Secondly…
2. Draw near often.
But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. (Luke 5:16)
Look for every opportunity to grab a few minutes of solitude to spend in prayer. It doesn’t have to be an entire weekend. It can be a few minutes alone in your office, a few minutes alone in your car. The idea is that you do often, throughout the day.
I’ve heard people say, almost boastingly, “I spend one hour a day in prayer.” This is good, but you’re still about 15 or 16 hours short, depending on how much sleep you get. That’s because Paul said…
Pray without ceasing. (1 Thessalonians 5:16)
It’s great to spend time alone in your prayer closet in focused, intense prayer. Even better is to spend the entire day in prayer, seeking God, drawing near to him, reflecting on his presence. So make it a habit to draw near to God often throughout the day.
3. Draw near now.
Don’t wait until you’re better, because you never will be. Some people say, “When I get such and such cleared up in my life, I’ll get serious about seeking God.” Don’t wait. It’ll probably never get cleared up without God’s help. Start drawing near to him and let him make the changes in you that need to be made.
Most goals take a long time to accomplish. Getting through college. Saving up a nest egg. Losing weight – and that’s if it ever happens; I’m beginning to think it doesn’t. Even becoming holy, becoming conformed to the image of Christ, takes a long time – a life time.
But there’s one goal you can accomplish immediately. You can be closer to God … right now. Draw near to God and he will draw near to you.
Draw near early, draw near often, draw near now. That’s how you get started!