Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Drawing Near Has Its Costs

What an incredible day!  I rose early this morning to spend time in the presence of the King of Kings.  I can truthfully say one cannot avoid being changed in His presence.  There is something wonderfully supernatural about waiting before the Lord of Lords.  This morning was no exception.  I emerged from my time with Him full of joy, peace, and a better perspective of who He is in me.

I must say though, drawing near to Him has its costs.  I am not talking about a one-time occurrence.  I'm referring to the desperately, hungry heart that yearns to draw closer to Him.  We all come to points in our lives in which we cannot deny the truth - we need to be closer to Him.  Many of those times are initiated by Him and it is our prerogative to respond.  Other times we feel the void of the intimacy we were designed to experience with Him.  Whatever the case, we realize we need Him more...and that we need more of Him!  If we long for Him enough...we will do what we must do to find more of Him.

James explains the cost in Chapter 4 and verse 8.  "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded."  First of all, God gives us a promise through James.  The promise:  Draw near to God and He will draw near to you and me.  This promise is eternal which means it will never be revoked.  But like all of God's promises there are conditions, or as I said...costs.  Here James tells us that in order to draw near to God (and for Him to draw near to us), we must do two things:  Cleanse our hands and purify our hearts.  There must be a change of behavior, born from a heart longing to be purified.  James goes on to say, "Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom."  (Verse 9)  The realization of our need for Him should bring us to weeping and a forsaking of the joys of this world in order to gain the eternal joy that intimacy with Him produces. This is truly life-changing.

Do you long to be closer to God?  Do you desire a deeper intimacy with Him?  Do you feel the void of intimacy with Him?  If so, do as James instructs all of us.  Cleanse you hands and purify your heart as you draw into His presence.  According to James, as you draw closer to Him, He will draw closer to you.  The truth is (I know I say that a lot), the cost is worth the joy, peace, and intimacy one gains from drawing near to Him.  

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