Drawing Near to God
Dear Friend, Do you ever feel distant from the Lord? Like somehow, He is just beyond your reach? Are you in a dry season where you could really use a touch from Him? That sense of separation you and I sometimes experience can happen for a number of reasons. Hectic schedules, weariness, the trials of life—they can all contribute to the distance we feel. To be totally transparent, I have just been through that kind of a season. For me, writing this letter is a deliberate step of faith on my part to draw closer to the Lord. Despite what we sometimes feel, God is not far removed from us. He is very close—and reaching Him is just one intentional step away. How does it happen? By drawing near.A Clear Declaration
One of the songs I regularly incorporate in my worship is Matt Redman’s, “Better Is One Day.” It is based on Psalm 84:10: “For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere” (NIV). The bridge (transition section) in “Better Is One Day” goes like this: “My heart and flesh cry out for You, the living God. Your Spirit’s water for my soul. I’ve tasted and I’ve seen—come once again to me. I will draw near to You; I will draw near to You.” Often, when I am worshiping by myself at the keyboard, I find myself repeating the closing words of that bridge as a clear proclamation of my heart’s desire: “I will draw near to You; I will draw near to You.” When I worship in this way, I know I am expressing my heart to Jesus; and I know He is hearing and responding. That kind of intentionality is an integral part of drawing near.The Hope We Have
One of the clearest, most encouraging promises of Scripture on this topic is found in James 4:8: “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” What an amazing promise! Every deliberate step we take toward the Lord is matched by a step He takes toward us. Does this truth instill hope in you? That hope is exactly what Hebrews 7:19 is referring to when it says “…there is the bringing in of a better hope [Jesus], through which we draw near to God.” Because of our hope in Jesus, “…let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience” (Heb. 10:22). Jesus has removed any barrier on our side that places distance between us and the Father. Are you ready to take some action that will help you in drawing near?
Making Your Approach
One of Derek Prince’s signature teachings was his series of messages from Hebrews called “Twelve Steps to a Good Year.” In his treatment of this theme, Derek focused on the frequent appearance of the phrase “let us” throughout the book of Hebrews. In the following excerpt, taken from “Let Us Draw Near to the Throne of Grace,” a message from a three-week radio series, Derek talks about the mercy and grace which the Lord provides when we take a step toward Him. (Later in this letter, we will offer you this entire week of radio messages: “Twelve Steps to a Good Year, Part 2.” It will include other themes as well, giving you a lot more than just a single teaching from Derek Prince.)
In regard to our approaching the throne of grace, we are told to come for two things: mercy and grace. It is my conviction that if God invites us in His Word to come (and if we meet the conditions which I’ve briefly outlined)—and God says there is mercy and grace waiting for us, then I believe we can count on mercy and grace. I don’t believe we ever need to be disappointed. I don’t believe that God ever gives us an invitation that He doesn’t stand behind. So many of the promises and the invitations in the Bible are conditional. God says, “If you do this, I’ll do that.” I believe God is saying to us here, “If you’ll approach My throne, having met the conditions, and you’ll acknowledge your need of My mercy and My grace, then you can count on it. I will make My mercy and My grace available to you.” We don’t need to be in any doubt about that. I believe that is why the Scripture says, “Let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace.” If we come as God’s children, we don’t come as beggars. We are invited. God has no second-class children. He never holds us at a distance if we have met the conditions for approach. It is very important that we come with confidence. That is faith in action. It is faith that won’t be denied. It is faith that takes God at His word and believes that God is as good as His word. It is faith in God’s faithfulness. So that is how we are to approach the throne—with confidence.
Stepping Closer to the Lord
Are you ready for the mercy and grace Derek talks about in the excerpt above? Are you ready to end that dry season by drawing near to the Lord? Let’s do so right now.
Dear Lord, I am ready to draw closer to You. I want to end this season of feeling distant from You. With this prayer, I take a step toward You, and I receive Your promise that You are drawing near to me as I draw near to You. I affirm what Derek said in his teaching—that You have invited me to come to You with confidence. I am not a second-class citizen in the kingdom of God, and You will make good on Your promise to receive me as I come to You. Thank You for opening Your arms to me as I draw near to You now. I receive Your mercy and grace, in the precious Name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
A Good Move
There are so many biblical promises that affirm the step you and I have just taken. If you have any doubts, simply look at Psalm 73:28: “But it is good for me to draw near to God.” (I especially like the New American Standard translation of this verse: “But as for me, the nearness of God is my good.”) You and I have just taken a very good step. All of us here at DPM also affirm the action you have just taken. If we can support you in your intention to draw nearer to the Lord, it would be our greatest honor. Although much of Derek’s teaching will reinforce this move you have made, the first resource you may want to receive—free of charge—is the second week of the radio series we cited: “Twelve Steps to a Good Year, Part 2.” Just use the download link below. Speaking of compliments, I want to take this opportunity to thank you again for your prayers and financial gifts. You are a vital part of the outreach of DPM. Your love and generosity are a constant encouragement to us in this work.
A New Season
Welcome to a new season of your Christian life! The dryness and distance you may have been experiencing will begin to give way to a palpable sense of the presence of the Lord in your life. This is not based on feelings. It is a biblical fact you can rely upon. Perhaps you had already been experiencing a time of vitality and closeness in your relationship with Jesus Christ. If so, we rejoice with you. You can simply file this letter away as not being pertinent to your present situation. I am so glad that is the case. If, however, there comes a time in the future when the pressures of life produce the dryness and distance mentioned in this letter, you will have a helpful resource to remedy the situation. Now you and I know what is needed—the deliberate action of drawing near.