Running From God’s Presence

“Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” – James 4:8 

 As a believer, God wants you to grow. His goal is to mold you into the image of Jesus Christ. To do this, He will often push you outside of your comfort zone. This is what He did to Jonah in the famous story in which Jonah ends up in the mouth of the whale.  

 The reason Jonah ended up here is because he ran from God. God told him to go to the city of Nineveh (east) and he ran to Tarshish (west). Jonah ran in the complete opposite direction from where God was leading him. Many of us can remember a time when we were guilty of the same thing, running from God. 

 But when you choose to run from God, there are consequences to pay. One of those consequences is that you miss out on the presence of God. See, as long as you remain obedient to Him, God will be present with you. This does not mean that everything will go perfectly. But it does mean in sunshine or storm, God is with you, and He will not abandon you. 

 It is comforting to know that when Christ is with us, nothing will overcome us. Romans 8:37 says, “In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” But in order to know that we will not be overcome, we must have His presence within us. 

 James 4:8 warns us, Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” God promises to be near to those who are near to Him. But He does not promise to be near to those who run away from Him. 

 If you want to receive all of the blessings and rewards that come with God’s presence, then as James says, you must remain close to Him. To run from God is to run from the power of His presence. This is just one of the many downsides to running from God! 

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bible verse

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)

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