Sunday Worship at 11AM | 4967 Fincher Rd., Canton, GA 30114

Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. (James 4:8 ESV)

Here is a secret: no great relationship happens by accident. If I wasn’t intentional, consistent, thoughtful, and concerned about my relationship with my wife, I shouldn’t be surprised if our relationship felt distant and cold. Why do we think our relationship with God is any different?

Early on in this Prayer and Fasting devotion, we need to understand a hard truth: you are going to make time for what (or who) is important to you. Recently I heard about a study conducted by Lifeway Research about discipleship that said the three primary contributors to a person’s spiritual growth were: (1) regular church attendance, (2) regular personal time in the Word, and (3) regular participation in a small group environment. I wonder… when life gets hectic, how often do these three things fall on the backburner?

James tells us that if we “draw near to God” that He will draw near to us. How can we draw near to God, on purpose? Although I’m confident there are additional ways, there are at least five ways to draw near to God that I want to discuss: (1) prayer, (2) Bible study, (3) personal and family devotion, (4) corporate and private worship, (5) church attendance and participation. Chances are incredibly likely that there are one or two of these five that you are quick to think, I’m really consistent with those. Some of the others you may think, I could never be good at those.

As a teacher I have heard more than once about the struggle people have trying to find time for things like prayer and Bible study. I don’t want to diminish the hectic schedules that many of us struggle to balance daily. What I do want to do is remind you of this truth: if Satan can’t defeat you, he will distract you. Drawing near to God may mean eliminating some avoidable distractions in your life. Don’t tune me out here… in order to have time for important things like Bible study and prayer, you might need to stop doing some other things. I heard a study that the average American watches about 35 hours of TV a week… imagine taking that time and intentionally giving it back to God.

If you could experience an incredible intimacy with God if you were willing to intentionally make time for Him, would you? My heart is hopeful that more of us would say “yes” and actually begin living that out intentionally. Zig Ziglar is quoted as saying: you don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great. What’s the point? You may not be “great” at the five areas we draw near to God, but it isn’t about being great, it is about getting started. Take a step towards God in humility and with purpose and watch as He runs out to meet you.

Father, help me draw near to you. I confess an overwhelming desire to intentionally and consistently make time to get to know you more. Lord, I know that until my relationship with you has the attention it deserves, every other relationship in my life will suffer. Help me to have the courage to lay aside lesser things for You, the Greatest thing. Help me not just say You are important but help me to live my life with that truth being lived out daily. In Jesus’ name, amen.


Categories: Devotion