Learning to Draw Near
One of the most amazing truths of the Bible is that the almighty God of the universe is near to us. Even more, He wants to be near to us! He is not like the powerful and popular people in our world who are distant, remote and inaccessible. He is near, involved, and accessible.
In our current sermon series, ‘Awake and Alive: Enjoying the Presence of God’, we are exploring what it means to enjoy and experience the presence of God. I don’t know whether you long for more of God in your life? Or whether there is something holding you back? Whatever the case may be, God is not holding back from you!
James 4:8 says ‘Draw near to God and he will draw near to you’. Psalm 16:11 promises that we will experience everlasting joy in God’s presence. To be aware of, and to enjoy, God’s presence is to have joy ‘come-what-may’. It is to be sure of His involvement, His nearness, His promises. As Adam reminded us last Sunday, “It is God being real to you right in the midst of everything else!”
How often is God’s presence real to us in the midst of everything else? I know for me, His presence is real, and His promises are loud, when I am frequently in prayer and devotion with Him. Just like any relationship, investing time and energy brings closeness and intimacy.
I heard this story a while ago in an Alpha talk that I’d like to share with you. ‘I heard about a couple who had been married for 50 years, they were celebrating their golden wedding anniversary. This couple had argued all the way through their marriage. They argued day-in day-out, week-in week-out, month-in month-out. The family were astonished they reached their 50th wedding anniversary. They (the family) got together and thought, what on earth can we get this couple for their wedding anniversary? The only thing they could think of was a visit to a top consultant psychiatrist. So, the family agreed to send them to this psychiatrist. The couple couldn’t agree whether to accept it! All the way to the appointment they argued. As they went through the door, they were still arguing! They went into the psychiatrist’s office, he had a big desk… and he only asked them one question before they started arguing again. He said “Stop! Look I am going to do something I have never done before in my entire professional career.” He got up from behind the desk, he walked around the other side, he took the little old lady in his arms, he hugged her, and he kissed her on the lips for a very long time. Then he turned to the husband and said, “Now that is what this woman needs. Three times a week.” The husband paused and said, “OK doctor if that’s what you say. I’ll bring her in Monday’s, Wednesday’s, and Friday’s.”’
I don’t share this story with you just because it makes me laugh. I share it because this is sometimes how we treat our relationship with God. We think someone else or something else can help us find God’s closeness, His presence. The thing is, we need to be actively seeking God’s presence for ourselves. We can do this through prayer, reading His Word, worshiping Him in song, meeting together as a Church, and in smaller groups. The more time we spend with a person the closer we become with them. God longs for us to draw near to Him and to spend time with Him.
It’s amazing, but true: the almighty God of the universe is not far from each of us. He longs to draw near to us. Let’s draw near to Him.
See you on Sunday!