The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
In one sense, God has drawn so near to born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ that He spiritually dwells within us.
"God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts" (Galatians 4:6).
James nevertheless writes to believers, "Draw nigh to God and He will draw nigh unto you" (James 4:8).
Which is it? Is our Lord so with us, He dwells within us? Or must He come to us as we come to Him? As is often the case, the Apostle Paul provides the definitive answer by quoting the Lord's promise to all who trust Him:
"I will dwell in them and walk in them" (II Corinthians 6:16).
In spiritual presence and relationship to us, God is always nearer than our next breath. He dwells within us forevermore through the Holy Spirit to the degree He is both here and near. However, our "walk," or rather the practical outworking and experience of such proximity, involves a different matter. We must "draw nigh to God" in faith and the accessing of His reality in order to know our Lord is actively with us. Again, Paul greatly helps us in our understanding. "We have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand and rejoice in hope of the glory of God" (Romans 5;2). As we trust our Lord and His promises, He comes near in the sense of engaging His leadership and enabling on our behalf. We may not consciously perceive or feel His presence because "we walk by faith, not by sight" (II Corinthians 5:7). Based on His promises, however, we can be sure He has drawn near in working because we have drawn near in trusting.
God loves human hearts to the degree He makes them His eternal dwellingplace when we trust in Christ. He also loves human hearts to the degree He gives us a role in the outworking of such wondrous grace. We "draw nigh" in practical terms by relating to Him in faith and submission to His glory and will. We are persons rather than programmed machines. Thus, and we speak reverently here, God responds to our responding. That is, when we act in accordance with the moving of His Spirit in our hearts, He acts by moving in our footsteps and circumstances to reveal His presence and working. In this sense, God draws nigh when we draw nigh.
Great and sublime mystery exists in the relationship of the eternal, infinite God with creatures such as ourselves. We will never fully understand the wonder of God's presence in us and our response to Him. However, this we can know: His Spirit dwells within us if we have believed, having drawn more near than we can imagine. We can also know that our consistent experience of such marvelous grace ebbs and flows according to our response of drawing near by faith. Our Father could give us no greater gift than the gift of Himself dwelling with us, and the gift of granting us the privileged responsibility of availing ourselves of such grace by faith.
God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus."
"Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, to obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need."
Weekly Memory Verse
"Draw nigh to God and He will draw nigh unto you" (James 4:8)