“…Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.” James 4:8
What does it mean to draw near to God? How do we draw near to God when He is omniscient, in every place? One of the great values of the Old Testament is that it is filled with pictures. On one occasion, after the Tabernacle in the wilderness had been placed outside of the camp of Israel, we see Moses going into it to meet with God. Scripture tells us that “…the Lord talked with Moses…face to face, as a man speaks to his friend.” (Exodus 33:11) Something else happened when Moses went into the Tabernacle. “…As Moses entered into the Tabernacle, the cloudy pillar descended, and stood at the door of the Tabernacle.” (v.9) We see that this meeting with God was characterized by a simple, and yet, profound communion with God. God speaks to Moses and Moses speaks to God…Moses being very aware of the proximity, and presence of God. The second thing we note is that God reveals Himself in a very demonstrative, particular way. The point is that He does so in a very recognizable way, that there is the certainty that He is there, hence the cloudy pillar at the entrance of the Tabernacle. But, you might say, “I am not Moses, and there is no Tabernacle today, a “place of meeting” with God. I believe that Scripture makes clear that the believer’s privilege, and responsibility, in approaching God, and meeting with Him, being met BY Him, is far more than the privilege of Moses. Why, and on what basis, can we assert this? Simply stated, since the work of Christ on the Cross was accomplished, the promises that have been realized “IN HEAVEN,” pertaining to the believer on earth, are greater, more extraordinary, and far reaching.
In Hebrews 4:16, we read: “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of Grace…” In Hebrews 10:19, 22, the author writes: “Having therefore brethren, boldness to ENTER into the holiest by the blood of Jesus…let us DRAW NEAR with a true heart in full assurance of faith.” We see here that our Tabernacle is the very throne room of heaven, where Christ IS, and where our audience with God exceeds that of what was known in the earthly Tabernacle, specifically in the Holy of Holies. The call of God is for us to DRAW NEAR…to God and to His throne, with FULL assurance of faith. Why, and how can this be? It is because of one reason alone…Christ, His work and His intercession. The believer is called upon to believe this, to act upon it, and to live in the light of it. As in worship, the more we learn the truth of what our relationship is with God, His provision, and the blessings associated with Christ’s work, the more we will use His means of approaching Him, drawing near to Him.
Dear Father, Thou hast perfectly provided in Thy Son a way into Thy presence, in a very tangible and effective manner. It is a way where Thy peace is known, and the consciousness and conviction of the heart is that we know that we an have audience with Thee. Open our eyes by Thy Spirit to see and to grasp this eternally, established way into Thy presence. And give us grace to come to Thee in “full assurance of faith,” living in the light and expectancy of fellowship with Thee. In Jesus’ name, Amen.