2000-05-16 - The Nearness of God

Jeremiah 23:23,24 Am I a God who is near" declares the Lord, "And not a God far off?" "Can a man hide himself in hiding places, so I do not see him?" declares the Lord. "Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?" declares the Lord.

God has been described as a great circle, whose center is nowhere and whose circumference everywhere. The real presence of God is everywhere. David knew this when he said, "Where shall I go from Your Spirit? And where shall I flee from Your presence? If I ascend up into heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there; if I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there shall Your hand lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me," Psalm 139:7,8.

There is a great promise in James 4:8, "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you … " Be sure you do not miss what is being said here. It is not, draw near to God and you might get close to Him. It is not, draw near to God and maybe He will notice you. But it is a promise, draw near to God and He will, He shall, there is no doubt, that He will draw near to you.

How can sinful people be near to a holy God? Even Scripture says, "But your iniquities have separated between you and your God and your sins have hid his face from you, that He will not hear," Isaiah 59:2. It would seem like a hopeless and helpless condition. But into such darkness comes Christ as a mediator between us and God. "For Christ has once suffered for sins; the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God," 1 Peter 3:18.

To live in a state of nearness to God, we must love Him and walk with Him, as Enoch did, Genesis 5:24. To live in a state of nearness to God we must always set the Lord continually before us, as David did, Psalm 16:8, "I have set the Lord continually before me; because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken."

The way we draw near to God is to come to Him with a pure heart. Hebrews 10:22, "Let us draw near with a true heart, in full assurance of faith, having a heart sprinkled clean from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water." And we come by the mercy of Jesus Christ. Because in Christ we have the boldness to draw near to God and by faith we have access to all His benefits. (Ephesians 3:12)

"A heathen philosopher once asked: 'Where is God?' The Christian answered: 'Let me first ask you, where is He not?'" John Arrowsmith

"Within thy circling power I stand; On every side I find thy hand; Awake, asleep, at home, abroad, I am surrounded still with God. --Isaac Watts

Soli Deo Gloria,