8a Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.
The duty required of us here primarily entails our returning to God from our wandering away from Him. In Zechariah 1:3, the Lord declared unto Israel, “Turn ye unto me, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will turn unto you, saith the LORD of hosts.” Again, the Lord said in Malachi 3:7, “Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts.”
He calls us to draw near to Him. Though He knows that we have turned away from Him, how lovingly and tenderly He calls us to stay near Him! Oh, the graciousness of this invitation! He is calling us to return to Him from our backsliding, cold indifference and meaningless formalism. He counsels us to live in His presence with ardent prayers and cheerful devotedness to Him, for “glory and honour are in his presence; strength and gladness are in his place” (1 Chronicles 16:27).
We must draw nigh to God with a firm resolution to seek Him. We must draw nigh unto Him with sincerity of heart to serve Him. We must desire close communion with our God that we may grow in our faith and knowledge of His goodness and His perfect will. We must stand by Him in obedience to do all His good pleasure.
If there is no close communion between God and you, it is your fault and not His. He is calling you to draw nigh unto Him. “Come,” He says. So, as Hebrews 10:22 says, “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.”
God gives you great encouragement to draw near unto Him, by assuring you that “he will draw nigh to you”. You are not asked to draw near to a God who is disinterested in you. He is most willing to have you and hold you close to Him. He will make you know His presence, His grace and His greatness. Turn to Him; He will meet you there. Call on Him in repentance and faith; He will answer you. He promises you that He will draw nigh unto you. If you seek Him, He will be found of you. As Hosea 6:1-2 says, “Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.” So, arise and return to the loving presence of your God. Say now, like the prodigal son, “I will arise and go to my father” (Luke 15:18).