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Drawing Near to God by Mthobisi.

James 4:8(NKJV) DRAW NEAR TO GOD AND HE WILL DRAW NEAR TO YOU. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. When God made man there was a purpose behind it, He could have just made angels or animals and left it at that but He didn't. He made man for a SPECIFIC reason and when that one man, Adam, by which all the world was to be born sinned, it became harder and harder for God to accomplish what He intended for man - it didn't become harder for us as we did not even acknowledge God, the Spirit says in David "God looks down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there are any who understand, who seek God. Every one of them has turned aside; They have together become corrupt; There is none who does good ,No, not one."(Psalm 53:2-3). In the process of us inheriting the fallen nature of Adam, sin didn't just disconnect us from God, it also made us forget about Him, even though the purpose was "that we should seek the Lord, in the hope that we might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us."(Acts 17:27). Now David says God looked, searching to see if there was any man who SOUGHT after Him, but only to find out that ALL OF US had turned aside. Nonetheless God was not going to leave it at that, God refused failure, He cant fail, He had planned that at a coming time according to His purpose, a Savior, a Light of the world, would come who would bring back and reconcile humanity to Him. Peter says it this way "He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake."(1 Peter 1:20) and Paul magnifies Him this way "and through Him to RECONCILE to Himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross."(Colossians 1:20) - now this Him is NONE OTHER THAN Jesus Christ. Jesus, that blessed Lamb of God was the price for our REDEMPTION, but even more the object of our RECONCILIATION, its lovely what Paul says when he says "that is, that God was in Christ RECONCILING the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation."(2 Corinthians 5:19) - the plan in Christ was to for God to RECONCILE the world to Himself, does the Christ not even say concerning the world "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."(John 3:16)? Now that we have been SO LOVED, we have been given the PRIVILEGE to be named the sons and daughters of God, even in LOVE as John testifies, "Behold what MANNER OF LOVE the Father has bestowed on us, THAT WE SHOULD BE CALLED THE CHILDREN OF GOD!..."(1 John 3:1). The relationship we have with God cannot be BROKEN, even though fathers have denied their children, God can never deny us, O the Spirit in Isaiah says "Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I WILL NOT FORGET YOU!"(Isaiah 49:15), is it not that same Spirit Paul speaks of saying "The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God,"(Romans 8:16)? Nonetheless even though we can confirm that we are called to FELLOWSHIP through and with Jesus Christ, there is a level of FELLOWSHIP that God wants us to reach while still in this world, A DEEP and INTIMATE FELLOWSHIP with Him.

There is a relationship that the Father had with Jesus, that is too deep for words to even express, John in his writing of his account of the Gospel says "No one has ever seen God. The only One, Himself God, who is in CLOSEST FELLOWSHIP with the Father, has made God known."(John 1:18) - this scripture is taken from the NET version of the bible however the KJV says "No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the BOSOM of the Father, he hath declared him.". Bosom is the word they used for chest in the olden days and if someone was in your BOSOM, it meant they were VERY CLOSE to you AND VERY BELOVED. Now Jesus was the closest to the Father, as at that time He was the ONLY begotten of the Father, however after His resurrection, we also who believed in Him were given that RIGHT to become children of God (John 1:12), born of the Holy Spirit as He was. Now if Jesus the Son was that close to the Father, having the opportunity from Him by virtue of His relationship, don't we think that we have also been given that opportunity since we are also called to that same relationship? John says of Jesus "He existed in the beginning with God"(John 1:2) but does He not say "For those God FOREKNEW he also predestined TO BE CONFORMED TO THE IMAGE OF HIS SON, that he might be THE FIRSTBORN AMONG MANY BROTHERS AND SISTERS."(Romans 8:29), are we not foreknown? O yes but we are, for He also says "For he chose us in him before the creation of the world..."(Ephesians 1:4). God wanted us to be in exact likeness to Jesus, to resemble Him in everything, in deed and in character and what Jesus had He gave us also, John says "...as he is so also are we in this world"(1 John 4:17). God doesn't want us to be less or experience any less of what Jesus experienced in this world in His walk with Him, sometimes I think He wants us to experience even more, Jesus even says "Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, AND THEY WILL DO EVEN GREATER THINGS THAN THESE, because I am going to the Father."(John 14:12) - glory to God. However its not just the WORKS but the RELATIONSHIP as well. God has given us an opportunity to draw nearer to Him, to be closer to Him than ever THROUGH JESUS. This drawing near thing is a kind of magnetic effect actually, as we read in the opening scripture we see that. When you have two magnets facing each other on opposite ends, you only need to draw one close enough to attract the other and that is how it works also with drawing close to God - O does not even nature itself teach us spiritual things. Anyway James says "DRAW NEAR TO GOD AND HE WILL DRAW NEAR TO YOU", he didn't say He might, he said He will, its a law of the Spirit. God has allowed us to take the first step, to make that decision that we want to be close as possible to Him, Enoch made that decision, as the bible says Enoch "walking in CLOSE FELLOWSHIP with God. Then one day he disappeared, because God took him."(Genesis 5:24). Believe you me, you will never ever walk that way with God and not have supernatural experiences and the Spirit of God has taught me through the years that whatever God has provided provision for experience, it stands at the mercy of every man's decision by faith to enter that experience. Let me tell you, an electricity company like Eskom can transport megawatts of electric power to a house, even with power inside the house, it can be dark at night not because there is no electric power (theres a lot) but because the owner of the house has not decided to turn on the lights. We can experience anything that God had given to us to experience when we decide by faith. This closeness with God is up to us and as one man of God once said that will determine your position and rank in heaven; how closely you walked with Jesus. Look at this decision; there's a time that God appears to Abraham by the terebinth trees of Mamre and when Abraham recognizes God accompanied by two angels the bible says "he ran from the tent door to meet them, and bowed himself to the ground, and said, My Lord, if I have now found favor in Your sight, do not pass on by

Your servant. PLEASE LET A LITTLE WATER BE BROUGHT, AND WASH YOUR FEET, AND REST YOURSELVES UNDER THE TREE. AND I WILL BRING A MORSEL OF BREAD, THAT YOU MAY REFRESH YOUR HEARTS. After that you may pass by, inasmuch as you have come to your servant."(Genesis 18:2) - O my God, can you see the hospitality that Abraham provided for God and the angels? well God wants to be in a place where He is received and appreciated, He is looking for a heart that is hospitable to His Spirit. Nobody wants to stay in hotel with poor HOSPITALITY AND SERVICE, Ive been in one of the worst hotels and I didnt want to spend the night there but I had already paid so I didnt want to sound rude by asking for a refund, now imagine the Holy Spirit, Paul says Do you not know that your bodies are TEMPLES of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;(1 Corinthians 6:19) Jesus made you a five star hotel for the Holy Spirit, dont become a two star. Anyway the story continues and God talks with Abraham and his wife and after all that Abraham walks God out [(laughs) my God, just the thought of this moves my spirit to heaven], and on their way to Sodom the angels depart and God is left alone with Abraham, and bible records something extraordinary, its remarkable, it says "Then Abraham DREW NEAR and said, Will you indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked?"(Genesis 18:23) - Lord Jesus, I can't imagine being alone with God, I would think of all the sins and the bad thoughts I've had, in fact I would try to be as far away from Him as possible, but no, Abraham knew what to do, he drew near. If Abraham who was not covered by the blood of Jesus could draw near, how much more we, it is said "Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, "(Hebrews 10:16). There was even a time in the Old Testament where holiness brought a man close to God, in the times of Moses and a man called Korah and a few of his followers started a rebellion against Moses and Aaron and the bible says "They came as a group to oppose Moses and Aaron and said to them, You have gone too far! The whole community is holy, every one of them, and the Lord is with them. Why then do you set yourselves above the Lords assembly?When Moses heard this, he fell face down. Then he said to Korah and all his followers: In the morning the Lord will show WHO BELONGS TO HIM AND WHO IS HOLY, AND HE WILL HAVE THAT PERSON COME NEAR HIM. The man he chooses he will cause to COME NEAR HIM."(Numbers 16:3-5), Moses alerted Korah, that the holy man is the one God will cause to approach Him, today the blood of Jesus determines that because unlike in the law, a man in Christ is not holy because of the deeds of the law. I remember once I wrote about yielding to God, and that is the first step, Abraham had yielded himself to God some time ago, Amos says "Do two walk together, unless they have agreed to do so?"(Amos 3:3), Jesus yielded His spirit to God (Matthew 27:50), God is calling us to do the same. Fellowship is one thing that can draw you nearer and nearer to God; prayer is an important element in that fellowship, the writer of Lamentations says something like this "You DREW NEAR on the day I called on You, And said, Do not fear!(Lamentations 3:57) - on the day you decide to call on God, He will draw near, even David says "The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth."(Psalm 145:18). Prayer is really not a formal thing, prayer means talking to God, sometimes just worshiping Him, the bible speaks of how God appeared to Jacob on his way from Padan Aram and began blessing him and the bible says "Then God went up from him in the place where He TALKED with him."(Genesis 35:13) - Jacob it appears was just talking to Him. Why is He called the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob? FELLOWSHIP - Abraham, the friend of God (Isaiah 48:9), was it not Jacob who wrestled with God till the breaking of dawn and the bible says "Then the Man said, Let me go, for it is daybreak.But Jacob replied, I will not let you go unless you bless me.(Genesis 32:26).

It is a decision whether you will let go of God or not, whether you will live that life of closeness with Him or not, David says something else, its explosive I tell you, he says "I keep my eyes always on the Lord. with him at my right hand, I will not be shaken."(Psalm 16:8) apparently David had his eyes always fixed on the Lord, he saw Him, and He was as close to him as his right hand and if you study Davids life you will find proof of that. In these days many of God's children are missing out on a close relationship with God because they don't think its possible to be really close to Him, they believe it is all about not sinning and getting to heaven but that is really not the point, understand Jesus freed us from sin, sin is not an issue anymore. Sometimes it is because we have never met people who are really close to God that we think there is no such thing, listen even in the days of Moses, he was the only one close to God, the bible says in one instance "and the people stood in a distance but Moses DREW NEAR TO THE THICK DARKNESS WHERE GOD WAS"(Exodus 20:21) powerful The Spirit of God ministered in my heart that I should never stand in a distance and God is asking all of us not to stand in a distance but to draw near to Him, to where He is, Peter was the only one who asked to come to the Lord when He was walking on water (Matthew 14:28), while the rest remained safe in the boat where storm and winds have little effect on them, which is today, the children of God's comfort zone. You cannot desire to be close to God and not have persecutions from the enemy and thats what most of us are scared of, PERSECUTIONS. Job was one man who also attained a friendship with God by virtue of his closeness to Him, he says speaking concerning his former days "I long for the years gone by when God took care of me, when he lit up the way before me and I walked safely through the darkness. When I was in my prime, GODS FRIENDSHIP FELT IN MY HOME"(Job 29:2-4) - how sad are the words of Job - unlike Job don't let the experience be a former thing, let it grow more and more, it is said "The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,"(Haggai 2:9). God wants to walk with all of us on a higher level, until that day when we depart and be with the Lord, God wants our relationship with Him to increase more and more, if for instance I'm 22 years of age now, by the time I reach 30 I should have grown so much in a relationship with God. In Ezekiel's commissioning to prophesy the bible records Ezekiel says "Then the Spirit came into me and set me on my feet. He spoke to me and said, Go to your house and SHUT YOURSELF IN."(Ezekiel 3:24), and the Spirit of God has been indicating that He wants to bring most of us to the obedience of Ezekiel, to have us shut ourselves in our prayer closets, to try and bring us as close to Him as possible. Now at last He is saying "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I WILL COME IN TO HIM AND DINE WITH HIM, AND HE WITH ME."(Revelation 3:20) - this is it. God Bless You.