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12/16/15 – Relationship: Always be near God

Published: Wednesday, 16 December 2015 Written by Carlton L. Arnold

Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.  James 4:8

Many of you have felt the longing to be near someone when separated by long distances.  More times than I like, I had to be separated from my family for business reasons.  These separations ranged from a few days to 3 months.  I really did not like it.  God desperately desires to have a strong and personal relationship with you, where the distance between you and God becomes shorter and shorter.  God has placed inside all of us the desire to be close to Him.  He has and will do anything to bring you closer to Him.  It stands to reason that, as Believers, we should have the longing to be near God.  However, that longing does not occur in the life of many Believers.  Why? 

 

Worldly distractions are major culprits for coming between you and God.  God knows that we are very weak in this area, and He will set in motion activities that will bring us back to Him.  Be open to the Holy Spirit to show you these activities or even people whose purpose it is to encourage you to grow closer to Him.  With worldly desires so tempting, it is too easy to quench the desire in your heart to come near to God.  Take an inventory of the desires in your heart to see if you truly long for a relationship with God or with the things of this world.

As a personal example, early in my life, I was totally and completely distracted from God by football.  On one Sunday, this obsessive desire to watch football came back to me as a wake-up call.  I had left church early to catch the pre-game football shows.  When my wife and two kids came home, my seven-year-old son told me that he had accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior while riding home in the car with his mother.  At that moment, I felt I was so far away from my family and God.  My selfish desires had destroyed an opportunity to see God at work in my own son’s life.  I realized that my son was a whole lot closer to God than I was.  I was ashamed.  God used that event to bring me closer to Him.

Another way you can grow further away from God is through the development of bad habits.  An example of a bad habit is the gradual withdrawal from attending church and Bible Study classes.  Instead of looking on these activities as moving closer to God, you begin to look at your fleshly desires and try to satisfy those.  Sunday mornings can become a bad habit without church.  Your Sunday morning may go something like this: get up and make a cup of coffee; go outside to get the newspaper; read it from cover to cover; look up at the clock, and it is too late to go to church.  Your relationship with God just took a big hit. 

Another pulling away from God is when you do not want to become involved with other Believers.  If you do not have fellowship with other Christians, it is almost a guarantee that any longing for God will slowly disappear.  There is a philosophy in the world defined as “you leave me alone and I’ll leave you alone.”  Regular fellowship with other Believers will always bring you closer to God.

Since you are a Believer, YOU have been brought near to God because of Christ.  YOU are now NEAR GOD!!   Now that you are near to God, you can have a personal and intimate relationship with the Creator and Sustainer of all of life.  AMAZING!!!

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