God wants to know you, but one-sided relationships don't really work. Are you ready to be an active participant in a relationship with God? What is He asking you to do?
God wants relationship with people. At its core, that is the message of the Bible. God has taken major steps toward building relationship with us. He made us, He loves us, He sent his son to die on the cross for us, He reaches out to us, and He has planned a wonderful future for us. But relationships cannot just be a one-sided interaction.
Yes, God is there for you, but there is an expectation that for the relationship to work, you will need to participate. And that’s exactly what James meant in his brief, but insightful book. So... take some steps in God’s direction. Draw near to God and God will draw near you.
Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you. James 4:8A
Examine yourself. Examine your life. What things get in the way of your relationship with God? Are there destructive habits that are holding you back? James gives some very simple, practical advice for handling your relational obstacles: Cleanse your hands! Purify your hearts!
Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. James 4:8B
Easier said than done? God will help you with that too. Read the Bible in earnest - it will help build up your faith so that you can take the steps you need to take. And remember, Jesus said, “seek and you will find.” Jesus will help you if you seek his help.
Seek God's Help
Not sure how to start? Ask for help drawing near to God and strength to embrace freedom from the obstacles in your life. Try this simple prayer:
Dear Father, Thank you for taking steps to have a relationship with me. Thank you that I do not need to live my life without you. Thank you for giving me Jesus. Now, help me understand how to draw near to you. Help me identify the obstacles in my life that keep me from a full relationship with you. And give me resolve, give me strength and give me direction so that I can put those obstacles behind me. I want a rich relationship with you. Amen
Ready to "read the Bible in earnest?" The Gospels and the story of Jesus are a great place to start. Much of the rest of the New Testament is made up of letters to new and growing believers, helping them to understand what the gospel message is all about - much like James! Dig in and read earnestly. Seek and ye shall find!