Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. James 4:8 (NKJV)
Does the Bible contradict itself when in one place it says God is not far from us Acts 17:27 yet here it says draw near to God and He will draw near to you? No
God is near us. He’s Immanuel God with us. He is and lives in us for we are His temple. In Him we live move and have our being- Acts 17:28.
Yet we can be so far away from God and he can be far away from us. How? In our minds, in our attitude, in our imagination, in our belief system, in our actions.
This is like when you are talking to someone who’s as close to you as your nose yet you notice they are so far away so you tell them they are absent can they please come back and get closer?
They’re physically present but in their heart and mind they are absent and so far away.
So, when the Word tells us to draw near to God it means He wants us to be on the same page with Him in our hearts and minds.
Matthew 15:8-9 (NKJV) These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.
We can diligently perform all the religious duties – pray, fast praise, tithe, give, serve in church, preach but be far from God. This happens when our heart is not in it or when it’s not from our heart.
When is our heart in what we do or when is what we do from our hearts?
When what we do is a result of responding positively to what God did or said to us first then our heart is in what we are doing. Then what we are doing is from our heart.
Now this is also known as Faith. So, to draw near to God simply means to respond to and relate with Him in faith.
It means responding to and relating with God with a true heart in full assurance of faith.
Hebrews 10:22 (NKJV) let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
Drawing near to God is knowing and being convinced in our hearts that He is with us and for us no matter what it looks like around us. This is what enables us to be conscious of God’s presence, power and provision in our lives. It’s what the last part of James 4:8 means ….and He [God] will draw near to you.