“Press into the Presence”
“Come near to God and He will come near to you.” James 4:8
The fast is over. No more carefully calculated meal choices and waiting until 6pm to break. No more alarms set for scheduled prayer conferences on zoom on Sunday mornings and Monday evenings. If you’ve been limiting time spent on social media, you may slowly find yourself regularly engaging with it again. But now what? How do you maintain the spiritual high after this time of consecration ends?
Communication is key. James admonishes the believers to draw near to God. The term ‘draw near’ in the Greek is translated to ‘enisgate’ and means to “approach”. This unique opportunity is an open invitation that has been extended where it had been previously restricted. Whereas in the old testament, unauthorized access to the presence was an offense punishable by swift death (Exodus 19:12). Now Believers are encouraged to seek intimacy with the Lord, with the promise of reciprocation. However, the onus is on us to make the first move. “Come near to God” is a directive that does not just end with a singular act of pursuit. Rather, coming near to God is a guideline which instructs us as to how we should advance forward in relationship with Him.
Though it is not required that we fast in order to experience the presence of God, fasting removes the distractions and tunes out the noise which could cause us to miss God. As we spent time seeking the face of the Lord, we dedicated ourselves to more time spent in prayer and communed with Him on a deeper level. We received revelations about the many facets of His character as we resolved to discover Him with humility and sincerity. And our relationship with God grew stronger as we made Him priority and became purified through confession and repentance of our sins. The only requirement for experiencing the presence of God then, is that we desire so, and that we are intentional with our efforts. Now we don’t need a mediator to go in on our behalf to initiate an interaction for us. We do not need to wait for a signal to proceed with contact. And there are no erected barriers preventing us from ascending higher. Through Jesus we have gained the access we need, and the pleasure to enjoy relationship with Him as it is freely offered. We have moved past sporadic encounters and have committed ourselves to sustaining fellowship.
So, continue to communicate with Him as He communicates with you. In your times of prayer, pause, hear, listen and then speak. Before you embark on your various courses of action for the day, take moments to acknowledge Him. Where it may seem chaotic and busy, set aside time for communion. Make room for His Word and fix your thoughts on the scriptures. A relationship without effort becomes a meaningless interaction. But, if you plant the right seeds, you can experience optimal returns. It is no longer an exclusive privilege reserved for a select few to know the living God. Do whatever you have to do, but always make sure you press into the presence.
Father, I thank You for allowing me the privilege to approach Your throne with confidence. Thank You God for being my all, my friend that sticks closer than a brother. Even as our time of fasting has come to an end, I commit to drawing near to You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Written by Deborah Nimoh