The topic of drawing closer to God and living in a place of intimacy with Him is certainly not a “hot topic” in the church today. Sadly many of us are so busy seeking His hand (what he can do for us) that we have forgotten how to seek His face (to know His identity).
How can I get closer to God? James 4 offers four suggestions.
4 You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. 5 Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely?
Spend time with God, focusing on Him – which requires leaving the distractions of the world behind. You can’t spend endless hours watching TV, playing video games, shopping, drinking coffee with friends, and expect to develop a closer relationship with God. (vs. 4,5)
6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
Be honest, genuine, real, humble – no false religious facades when talking with Him. If you are upset, tell Him so. It is not like He doesn’t already know what is in your heart. David was amazingly honest with God in the Psalms. Apparently, He likes that. (v. 6)
7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Resist the lies Satan will tell you: “You are too far gone. God won’t forgive you – again.” Submit yourself to the truth in God’s Word. (Which of course means you have to spend time in His Word.) (v. 7)
8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
Be prepared to get cleaned up in actions (hands) and attitude (heart) but this happens as you come near to God. Notice, it says come near and then the washing and purifying are to be done. Notice, too, that as you take a step toward God He will not turn away. Rather, He will also come toward you. (Think of the picture of the father of the prodigal son rushing to embrace his lost and rebellious son.) (v.8)