Moses said to God that it was His presence that made them distinct in all the earth. If God’s presence did not go with them, Moses did not want to go. Do we want God’s presence? Do we believe that God’s presence makes us distinct in all the earth? Do we even want to be distinct from the world? It may be easy to answer yes to any of those questions, but what does our yes truly mean?
James gives a great promise saying, “Draw near to God and he will draw near to you.” As come to God through Jesus Christ, the Almighty, Creator God comes to us. He dwells within us as individuals and dwells within as a corporate body. As the gathered church, we are the temple of the Holy Spirit. (1 Cor. 3:16) We need God’s presence. It is not enough to say you want God’s presence. We must draw near to God through Jesus Christ so that He will draw near to us.
James tells us how we are to draw near to God. We draw near to God through repentance. We must cleanse our hands and purify our hearts. We must turn from sin and the ways of the world. We must put on the mind of Christ and be filled with the Spirit. We must humble ourselves under God’s mighty hand so that He will exalt us. As a church, I am praying that God brings us into a season of repentance and holy pursuit of His presence. We need to pray for God to meet with us. We need to study His Word. We need to fight sin and pursue true holiness. We need to love one another from a pure heart.
As I said Sunday morning, we are entering a critical time in the life of our church and I pray that we corporately humble ourselves in pursuit of God’s presence knowing that He will honor His Word and draw near to us. Do we want the presence of God? Are we willing to turn from sinful thoughts and selfish desires? Are we willing to cut out unhelpful activities and worldly pursuits? God has promised us His presence, if we draw near to Him in repentance. It is God’s presence that makes us distinct in all the earth. Therefore let us be distinct in all the earth by drawing near to God so He will draw near to us. What would happen to our church family if we all corporately redoubled our efforts to pursue the Lord? What if we all personally draw near God? What would our church become?