This is where it all begins – drawing near. Everything must start with drawing near and opening up to the Father of our spirits.
Drawing near to seek God is both a desire of His heart and a desire of our own hearts, too. Our hearts can never find rest and our lives can never find true meaning or purpose except we abide in God.
He doesn’t just want us to visit once in a while and keep in touch with Him. He wants us to abide, stay close and know Him:
Oh, that we might know the Lord! Let us press on to know him. He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn or the coming of rains in early spring…I want you to show love, not offer sacrifices. I want you to know me more than I want burnt offerings (Hosea 6:3 & 6).
Practical ways to help you draw near to God:
1. Approach the Lord in prayer and repent of known sins. He is aware of your sins, of course. He is merely waiting for you to come into His presence and acknowledge them so that you can receive His forgiveness and receive refreshment and strengths from Him. (Acts 3:19-20)
2. Thank Him for His love for you which He has demonstrated in different ways – gifts of life, repentance, forgiveness, righteousness, provision, health, family, and so many others. The realm of God is one of praise and thanksgiving.
3. Open up to Him. This may not come naturally, because we tend to hide parts of ourselves from other people (we even hide from ourselves if we find an area of our lives unpalatable). But now, we’re coming before the Lover of our soul and it’s time to open up, even if it’s a gradual process.
Tell the Lord about your fears, about your concerns, about your challenges. Tell Him about the things that bring you joy and the things that get you excited. Tell Him about your dreams or lack of them. Tell Him everything. In response, He will give you healing, light, boldness and peace.
4. Repeat as necessary. Starting is only just that- starting. We must continue to return to Him, carry on conversations with Him, create and schedule times of communion and fellowship with Him.
We need to be deliberate and intentional about it. This is important because we all drift away from time to time. The world, our flesh and even our legitimate obligations can distract us. But we must always return to retreat with the Lover of our souls.
Drawing near and staying close to the Lord is the foundation of a joyful and purposeful life.