What does it mean to “come near to God”?
From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Q: What does it mean to “come near to God”? – N.G.
A: God has made it possible for us to come near to Him with assurance that He will come close to us – so close that we become conscious of an intimate, personal relationship with Almighty God. Nothing is more hopeful than this reality. How is this possible? By submitting ourselves to Jesus Christ in repentance of sin, receiving His forgiveness, and walking with Him in obedience.
Every Christian is closely bound up with the life of God because in Him we move and have our being. He breathed into us the breath of life, and put something within us that is like unto Himself, something capable of developing into the quality of Christlike character.
That “something” is actually Someone – the Holy Spirit. Because God is the giver and source of our life, He has a legitimate claim upon our lives. He is our Father, and He has the right to expect us to be loyal and loving children. He longs to have fellowship with us.
The story of the Prodigal Son is a revelation of God’s desire for human fellowship. He yearns over His children who have wandered far from Him and longs for them to come home and be near to Him. All through the Bible we see God’s patience and perseverance as He pursues misguided and obstinate people.
From the beginning to the end of the Bible, God is constantly saying, “Return to me, and I will return to you.” Incredible as it may seem, God wants our companionship. He wants to have us close to Him. He wants to be a Father to us, to shield us, protect us, and counsel us every step of the way. What a wonderful promise. “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8).
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)(c)2020 BILLY GRAHAM DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.