Cary Allen
28 Jun

David saw many good and bad times in life, but through it all, he knew that life with God was much better than without Him. He wanted to dwell in the house of the Lord forever because he had drawn near to God and knew that He was so very good. [Psa 27:4, 6 NIV] 4 One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple. ... 6 Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the LORD. 

That's the kind of heart that God wants to build and refine in each of us, one that desires to draw near to Him and know Him more. 

We see in (1Ch 13:3-14) that David wanted to bring the ark of the Lord near to him in Jerusalem but learned that we don’t come near to God on our terms, but only in His prescribed way.  

Here are David’s instructions: [1Ch 15:12-13 NIV] 12 He said to them, "You are the heads of the Levitical families; you and your fellow Levites are to consecrate yourselves and bring up the ark of the LORD, the God of Israel, to the place I have prepared for it. 13 It was because you, the Levites, did not bring it up the first time that the LORD our God broke out in anger against us. We did not inquire of him about how to do it in the prescribed way." 

Only the Levites who had consecrated themselves were to carry the ark using specified poles (Ex 25:14) on their shoulders. In other words, there was a prescribed way of carrying the ark of the Lord by a chosen group of people who were consecrated and set aside for the Lord. 

Later, after Solomon had dedicated the temple in Jerusalem, the Lord appears to him and gives him His prescribed way of how to return to Him after His people sin: 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV) if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land

This is very similar to the prescribed way of how Christians are to draw near to God since we are also a chosen group of people who were consecrated and set aside for the Lord. [1Pe 2:9 NIV] 9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession, ….

 God’s prescribed way of how Christians are to draw near to Him: Jas 4:8, 10 NASB95] 8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. ... 10 Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.   

[1Jo 1:9 NASB95] 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 

Drawing near to God is a choice that we may not even realize we need to make.  Yet it is the very life of a believer because without it, our hearts drift away.  We need to regularly humble ourselves in the presence of the Lord (Jas 4:10a) and pray confessing our sin (1Jo 1:9). Sin is so insidious and subtle that we may not think we even have sin we need to confess and before long, we find ourselves just going through the motions: [Mat 15:8 NIV] 8 " 'These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. 

So, choose this day to enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. (Ps 100:4a). Draw near to God and He will draw near to you (Jas 4:8a).  It’s a promise!  Lift the Lord high and exalt Him (Is 6:1).  Contemplate the Lord’s glory and be transformed into His image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit (2Cor 3:18 NIV) 

Choose to regularly draw near and enjoy abundant life in Christ!

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