An idea to draw closer to God

A few months ago our church memorized James 4:8: “Come near to God and he will come near to you.”

It’s one of my favourites, and I’ve quoted it many times. Writing about this very verse, biblical commentator Matthew Henry said: “If there be not a close communion between God and us, it is our fault, and not his.”

In other words, if there isn’t a close communion between you and God, don’t blame him.

This isn’t to make you feel bad. I’m sure you’re a very nice person. But the reason I say this is because we can sometimes blame God for not “being there” for us, especially when we’re going through something challenging.

But the fact of the matter is that he is always there for us. When, as a sincere follower of Jesus, you draw close to him, he draws close to you.

Studying his word draws you close. So does prayer, fasting, sharing the Lord’s Supper, worship, or acts of service.

But let me name one more idea that might be really helpful: Join a group.

This might be a study group, fellowship group, or small group. It could be a Bible study, in person or online. It could be an outreach team or service ministry.

God’s church includes people—plural. And when we get to know others, let them get to know us, seek God together, and prayerfully consider each other’s insights and gifts on the journey of life, we draw closer to God.

I realize that during a global pandemic this might look a bit differently than normal, but it’s still possible.

God cares about you. He wants to be close to you. To help you with that he put people in your life—people you can bless with your presence, and people who can bless you with theirs.

By Matthew Ruttan

–“Up!” is published 5 days a week (Monday-Friday) and returns on December 21.
–Bible quotes are from the NIV.

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