“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” James 4:8
Quite likely, if any of us were asked if we would like to be nearer to God in intimacy, we would say that we would. There are probably several reasons why we are not more intimate with God than we are and the reasons may be different for each one of us. However, they could probably all be summarised under one heading which James gives us in the preceding verse. The one heading comes in two aspects, a positive and a negative. “Submit to God. Resist the devil. ”
The devil would have us believe that we can draw near to God and still dabble in sin but this is contrary to what God says. James says that “friendship with the world is enmity with God” and goes on to say, “whoever wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” Jesus said, “if we are not for Him we are against Him.”
Clearly we must be continually choosing to draw near to God and continually resisting the world that is under the devil’s power if we would be friends with Jesus Christ.
There will be obvious expressions of this in our life style as well. These are not manufactured by deliberate choice but will come spontaneously from the heart. James tells us some in this passage: we won’t speak evil of other Christians (v11); we won’t make inflexible plans but allow the Lord to lead us (vv 13-16); we will do the good we know today because we know that tomorrow is no certainty (v17).
When these expressions are coming from the heart it will be because we are resisting the devil and submitting to God. This is outward evidence that we are experiencing inward intimacy with God. Refuse to believe the devil’s lies but readily believe all that God has said and you will be drawn nearer to the heart of God.