“The Importance of Proximity”
With Autumn just around the corner and expectations of cooler weather, plans of camping and warming oneself by the campfire while roasting marshmallows can’t seem to get here quickly enough. So many life lessons and times of laughter have been had while sitting by the fire and sharing life moments with the closest of friends.
I believe that our relationship with the Father can be much like that of friends sitting around the campfire. The weather and the sting of the cold all seem to fade depending on our proximity to the fire. A campfire can dry, warm and bring a settling to whatever may have tried you during the day. This is the picture I believe that James had when by the Holy Spirit he was inspired to write James 4:8a, which reads, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” It is the idea of joining yourself to the Father and all that accompanies such a decision, for in doing so all the characteristics of the Father stand ready to bring the needed supply to your life.
The Lord spoke to me many years ago a very simple phrase. He said, “Dustin, the atmosphere of your life is up to you.” At that time, I was in a place where worry and lack were trying to dominate my mind and place me in complete bondage. The Lord continued to speak, encouraging me that in times of attack what I draw near to would have a direct impact on the outcome. When you draw near to God’s presence in prayer and study of His word, the peace of God that passes all understanding will guard your heart and mind through Christ Jesus and eliminate the anxiety. (Philippians 4:6-7) You cannot draw close to God and not be consumed by all that He is. In the same way that light banishes darkness, the unrest and chaos that surrounds you is eliminated without question.
Jesus spoke in John 7:37-38 saying, “On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. 38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” I imagine Jesus in this scene completely different from how I normally would.
Instead of a crowd gathered around Him as He sits on a rock teaching, I see Him standing on a table with complete abandonment of reputation compassionately beckoning all those oppressed by the enemy and at enmity with God the Father because of sin. Jesus cried out knowing that we individually determine the flow of God’s abundant life by making the decision to come to Him.
We can draw out the necessary needs of life by our closeness to Him. It’s not that He distances Himself or is absent in any way. Instead, distance occurs when we give place to the lies of the enemy and the thoughts that he places in our minds through meditation and speaking words of doubt. We move away from the manifested presence of the Father which was given to us by the obedience of Christ, and are affected by what we draw near to.
We must remember and solidify in our hearts that God is love and that He always and forever pursues us, longing for our fellowship. He stands at the door of our hearts and knocks with all politeness and patience waiting and desiring to converse. We determine the depth of the relationship and to what degree His presence touches our lives.
Let me encourage you not to stand at a distance praying and asking God to do what He has already done. The campfire and its ability, if you will, was set ablaze 2000 years ago on the cross of Calvary and its effects offered to all who would respond and approach the free warmth that it provides. If you find yourself in a time of frustration, draw near to the all- consuming fire of the Holy Spirit and allow Him to manifest your breakthrough. Trade chaos for peace, heartache for the joy of the Lord, lack for abundant supply, and on and on.
Your deliverance is literally one step, one decision away from complete victory. Again, it’s already done, it’s yours NOW through the shed blood of Christ, but if you stand on the outskirts in doubt and disbelief, then your moment will always linger in the sometime distant future. This is not God’s will as He longs to warm you with His presence producing the full effects of His glory. Hebrews 10:22-23 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.” Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.”
Remember: What you draw near to will manifest in your life and produce a result. Draw near to God and His life changing and situation altering anointing will draw near to you and change everything.
We love you and pray always for you in complete confidence of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it. Thank you for sending us to minister the gospel of Jesus Christ. Hope to see you soon.
Exploits for Him,
Dustin and Mandy