By Holly Goddard
God, I want to experience your presence in my life. Help me see the ways I am attempting life on my own without your help.
In the book of James, we are encouraged with these words:
Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. James 4:8–10
Let’s be honest—the passage’s first and last sentences are encouraging, but the middle part can seem like a downer. It’s not easy, but we’re called to look at our sin and remember that our tendencies can be to stray and self-protect. The good news is that God promises to come near. Here’s what he does…
God is always near. We aren’t always aware of his presence, but he’s always there. His love is better than we can imagine, and he wants us to draw near.
He washes us clean. He makes us new. We can ask God to purify our hearts and our motives. We can turn back to his ever-present help.
God gives grace to the humble. When we humble ourselves, we recognize that we are utterly dependent on him. God is the one who will make a way through the confusion and chaos.
When God makes all this available to us, why would we not draw near to him? He won’t, however, force his presence on us. We must turn to him, inviting him into our lives and declaring our full dependence on him.
Do you feel far from God? Could it be you’ve chosen to self-protect or attempt to handle life on your own? What steps will you take to come near to him?