“But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all your works.” – Psalm 73:28
Why Draw Near
When God created Adam and Eve in the beginning, he created them to be in relationship with him and with each other (Genesis 2). However, Eve was tempted by the enemy and disobeyed God which brought sin, death and suffering into this world. Because of God's holiness, God cannot be in the presence of sin, meaning we were separated from God (Genesis 3).
Luckily, God sent Jesus down to Earth to save us from our sin. He died on the cross as payment for all of our sin, allowing us to be forgiven and have eternal life with him (John 3:16) . But in order to receive that we have to choose him back. We have the choice to serve the world or God.
The very nature of who we were created to be was damaged when sin entered the world. We were separated from God, causing our relationships with God and each other to suffer. The enemy tempts us as he did Eve in the garden. He will tell us that choosing the world over God will bring happiness, success, satisfaction and so much more, but all sin really leads to is brokenness, death and eternal separation from God.
“For, behold, those who are far from you will perish; you have destroyed all those who are unfaithful to you.” – Psalm 73:27
In Psalm 73, David wrestles with deciding between giving into the world and his sin nature or drawing near to God and living in obedience to him. He concludes by saying that being near to the heart of God is good. God guides us and holds our hand. He is our strength and he is our refuge (Psalm 73:23-28). We draw near to God because it is what we were created for. We draw near to God because it allows our relationships with him and each other to be much more harmonious. We draw near to God because only he can save us from sin and eternal death.
Drawing Near by Knowing Him
Understanding God’s character is essential to being in relationship with him. In relationships with each other, we start by getting to know each other. We ask about someone’s interests, where they’re from, what they do and so on. The same goes with God. In order to draw nearer, you must know who he is. But we also can’t fully comprehend God because he is so very complex. But knowing that God desires you and longs for relationship with you should make you want to draw nearer by seeking to know him as much as we can.
Some ways we can know him more and therefore be nearer to him is by reading his word, conversing with him in prayer and studying him in other ways like church, community groups, Bible studies and so on.
Drawing Near by Submitting to Him
Submitting to God is an important aspect of being in relationship with God and drawing near to him. We have a sin nature and God cannot be in the presence of sin. But God does not leave us there, he loves us and hurts for us. God is near to the brokenhearted. So, out of his love for us, he sent Jesus to die and to save us from our sin and make us whole again, but if we want to draw nearer to the heart of God, we have to receive Christ’s gift of forgiveness and submit to him daily.
By his might, we can rely on him and ask for his help in denying our sin nature. We can also draw nearer in submission by repenting and seeking forgiveness when we do give into our sin nature. Living in submission to him by recognizing our weakness, seeking repentance and relying on his strength allows us to draw near to him.
Drawing Near by Pursuing Him
God created us, sent his Son to die for us and invites us to an eternity with him. He loves us. Even when we sin, he still loves us and chooses us. Like the prodigal son, when we return to him, he is overjoyed (Luke 15:11-32). He does not expect perfection from us but desires us to pursue him and love him back.
Pursuing goes beyond just knowing and believing in God. Just like earthly relationships, pursuing takes action. To pursue God is to obey God and invite him into every aspect of your life. To pursue God is not just to read the word and know him, but to live the word and imitate him. God never stops pursuing us, so when we pursue him back, we draw even nearer to him.
“The one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.” – 1 John 2:6
Drawing near to God is all that he desires for our lives. He just wants us to draw near to him and in return he promises to save us and bless us forever.
The nearness of God is truly my good.
Grand Canyon University is committed to following the Lord in all circumstances. If you would like to learn more about GCU’s Christian identity and mission or would like to read more devotionals please visit our website and check out the GCU Blog. Learn more about the College of Theology and their degree options by checking out our website or requesting more information with the button on this page.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University.