Bible Society of South Africa
Benescke Janse van Rensburg

Draw near to God – Day 1

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you

Bible text(s)

8Come near to God, and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners! Purify your hearts, you hypocrites!

At the beginning of 2015, I asked the listeners of my radio show to share some of their New Year’s resolutions via our SMS line. The majority of listeners, apart from wanting to live a healthier lifestyle, had the desire to build a closer relationship with God. It made me think. How do you do it? How do you grow closer to God? How do you experience His presence more tangibly in your life? And how can you be sure that it is indeed God who leads you in making important decisions?

I noticed that James 4:8a is one of the popular verses that believers usually quote as encouragement, when someone shares their desire to grow closer to God: “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” This is true; however, when last did you read the second part of that verse? “Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” (James 4:8b)

The second part of the verse is key to experiencing the first part. Why? Because, none of us can ever grow closer to God and discern His voice in our lives, if we deliberately stay in sin. Why? Because, God is holy and we need to continuously strive for holiness in order to stand with confidence in His presence. Sin robs us of our confidence to enter into His presence.

Does that mean we have to be perfect before we can go to God? Of course not. We have all sinned. This is precisely why Jesus died for us on the cross. Yet, with a desire to become more holy, the Holy Spirit also starts a process in our lives where sin, which causes the blockages in our relationship with God, is removed and our confidence to stand in God’s presence is restored.

What is blocking the flow of the Holy Spirit in your life, today? An extramarital relationship, a shady financial transaction, a short temper, worry, a love for gossip, bitterness, an unforgiving heart, an addiction, or a lack of time management? When last did you take these things to God and ask Him to set you free?

Remember, God’s desire for a relationship with you is even greater than yours. This is the reason why He created each one of us. Let’s draw close to Him today with the knowledge that His hand is already stretched out towards us. Will you take it? God bless.

Bible Society of South Africav.4.16.15
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