One of my favorite promises of God is found in James 4:8, “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.” It reminds me that God isn’t playing hid-and-go-seek with us. If He were, the object for Him would be to remain hidden from our sight so that we could not find Him. But somehow I don’t think that God created us all so that He could revel in His utter dominance over us in hide-and-go-seek.
About five or six years ago, I was part of a men’s Bible study at church where we were referencing this verse, and one of the more devoted men got a look of realization on his face and said, “So… we have as much of God as we want.” Ever since that day this verse has had a profound effect on my life. He was spot on! He didn’t mean that some Christians, upon conversion, were given backstage passes to hang out with God, while the rest of the Christians had to settle for watching the show from the cheap seats. No, if you are a Christian then you have the same promises in Christ as any other Christian. What he meant was that often times we neglect our relationship with God so that we don’t experience the full joy and intimacy with Him that Christ achieved for us on the cross. We always have access to God through Jesus, but every time we choose the empty pleasures of the world over God, we deny ourselves that access and all of the glorious benefits that come with it. Haven’t you entered into seasons in your life where you complained that God had withdrawn from you and made Himself distant? This promise in James 4:8 makes it clear that if God seems distant, then the finger must be pointed at ourselves instead of God. Church, we have a responsibility to meet with God in His Word, in prayer, in praise, and with His people. You may say in response, “I’m doing all those things and God still seems like He’s hiding.” Then, examine your life and look for sin that has gone unconfessed and unaddressed and then, confess it and address it. God isn’t hiding; it’s more like we’re trying to hide from Him with our sin and neglect. We have as much of God as we want!