We should draw near to God, and He will draw near to us

Published 8:46 am Friday, October 22, 2021

From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Dear Rev. Graham: My friends and I were talking about how we want desperately to be near to God and know that He is with us. We work hard at doing good to others. We try every day to be better than the day before, but it seems the harder we try, the more defeated we are. What’s the secret? — T.A.
Dear T.A.: Many Christians know they should be better people, and they struggle with all their might to change their behavior. But most of their attempts at self-improvement fail, and they end up frustrated and discouraged. They can echo the words of the Apostle Paul when he said that he desired to do good but often failed (Romans 7:18-19).
Why is this? The problem is that we rely on our own strength instead of the strength that comes from God’s power. We not only need to know how God wants us to live; we also need the power to achieve it. God gives us this power through the work of His Holy Spirit within us. He is our constant, unchanging companion; He is our Guide. This is His promise: “He will guide you into all truth” (John 16:13).
Possessing God’s Spirit within us isn’t a once-for-all event, but a continuous reality every day of our lives. But we must tap into His truth — the Word of God — asking Him to lead and guide our every step, our every thought, and our every action.
As we yield our lives to His Lordship and give each day to Him through reading and believing His Word, and through prayer, we can look back each night and thank Him for fulfilling His promises to us. The Bible says that we should draw near to God, and He will draw near to us (James 4:8). What a rich promise this is.
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(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)