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“Draw Near To God And He Will Draw Near To You”

By Rich Carmicheal

    The Lord’s desire is that we know Him and be in close fellowship with Him.  This is clear from Genesis where He sought fellowship with Adam and Eve in the Garden (Gen. 3:8) to Revelation where He promises to be forever with His people and to be their God (Rev. 21:3).  He loves us beyond comprehension, and desires that we love Him with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our mind, and with all our strength (Mark 12:30).  To this end, He works in our lives to bring us into an ever deeper relationship with Him.  And if we stray from that relationship, He works to bring us to repentance that we may return to Him.

    The Herald staff believes the Lord’s main purpose for the messages in this issue is to draw all of us into deeper fellowship with Him.  If you are already walking closely with Him, He wants your relationship to deepen all the more.  If you are not in close fellowship with Him, He wants you to repent and to begin to seek Him wholeheartedly.

    If your situation is the latter one, then consider the Lord’s call to you to be a wonderful gift, for it is His kindness that leads us to repentance (Rom. 2:4).  Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your heart (Heb. 4:7), but open your heart fully to Him.  His promise is that when we seek Him, we will find Him if we seek Him with all of our heart and soul (Deut. 4:29).

Longing for the Lord

    David’s heart for the Lord is a wonderful example for us.  Notice his intense longing for the Lord – “O God, You are my God; early will I seek You; my soul thirsts for You; my flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water.  So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, to see Your power and Your glory” (Psa. 63:1-2); “One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek:  that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple” (Psa. 27:4); “When You said, ‘Seek My face,’ my heart said to You, ‘Your face, Lord, I will seek’” (v. 8).

    Notice as well how David was concerned over the impact his sin could have on his relationship with the Lord – “Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Your sight....  Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me” (Psa. 51:4, 11).  The Lord did not choose David because he was perfect, but because he was a man after God’s own heart.  David loved the Lord and desired fellowship with Him.  He loved the Lord’s Word and His ways, and was eager to please Him.  He trusted the Lord, even in the most desperate situations.  And he was filled with praise and thanksgiving toward the Lord, and desired to see the Lord glorified in all things.

When God Draws Near

    The Lord desires that we have a similar longing for Him, and that we turn our hearts and attention to Him more fully than we ever have.  The main reason for this is because He has created us to know Him and to live in fellowship with Him.  He is the true and living God, worthy of all we are, all we have, and all that we can do for Him.  We are created to love and worship Him.

    But when we do this, we discover that He, in turn, draws near to us – “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you...” (Jas. 4:8).  And what happens when God draws near?  He touches our lives with His love, His life, His power, His grace, His character, His compassion, His purpose, His truth, His victory, His strength, His hope, His peace and His joy.  And as He does this, not only are our lives deeply blessed, but others’ lives are blessed through His life in us as we minister to them – and all the glory is His!

    As a new year begins, may we devote ourselves more fully to our relationship with the Lord, and to our time with Him in prayer and in His Word.  This is not only His heart for us, but it is the great need in our lives and in the lives of those around us.

    “...I have been anointed with fresh oil.  ...Those who are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God.  They shall still bear fruit in old age; they shall be fresh and flourishing, to declare that the Lord is upright...” (Psa. 92:10-15).