It's time to change up our quiet time to include the #1 reason to draw near to God! Click to dig into James 4:8 and enjoy Scripture art.

~ Today’s Scripture Art and mini Bible study were designed to help you draw near to God and write His Word on your heart. ~

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When discussing “drawing near to God,” you will most likely hear the terms quiet time and daily devotions used interchangeably. I personally like to use the term quiet time – because that’s how I like it to be – quiet. {grin}

Psalm 62:1 (ESV): For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation.

Mark 6:31a (ESV): And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.”

So are quiet and rest the main reasons to have a quiet time that draws you near to God?

Those are wonderful – don’t get me wrong – but I think there’s a more important reason.

And it may not be what you think.

So what do we think are good reasons to have a quiet time?

1. To get closer to Jesus (James 4:8)
2. Because the Bible tells us to (John 15:4)
3. To learn from the Bible (Psalm 1:2)
4. To worship God (Psalm 46:10)

But in honest reality, maybe our answers are more like …

1. To check it off my list so I can move on with my day
2. To ask for my prayer requests
3. Because I know I’m supposed to
4. Because I need to do the workbook before my group meets

What is your main reason for having quiet time and drawing near to God?

Today, I submit to you a new reason. Well, actually it’s not new – it was written somewhere between in A.D. 48 – 62. But it may be a new thought for us – as far as quiet times go. It was for me.

Before I blurt out the new (and most important) reason, let’s make sure we are on the same page.

Do you consider quiet time with God mandatory?

Well, let’s see. What did Jesus do?

Mark 1:35 (NASB): In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there.

Luke 5:16 (Amp): But Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray [in seclusion].

If Jesus Himself needed quiet time to draw near to God, how much more do we?

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Which brings us to today’s verse.

James 4:8 (ESV): Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

And no, the new reason I’m about to reveal is not to “cleanse your sinner hands.” That’s a post for another day.

But here’s a hint: it might have a tad to do with the part that says “purify your hearts.”

Let’s add context and read the verses around verse 8. And since we’re digging, let’s read a different version this time.

James 4:6-10 (NLT): And he gives grace generously. As the Scriptures say, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.

Do you see any kind of repeated theme?

Oh good. You see it too.

It’s all about humbling ourselves before God.

Drawing near to Him in an act of humility.

Maybe we had the wrong attitude when our quiet time was all about seeing what we could get out of it.

Philippians 2:5-8 (ESV): Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

If even Jesus humbled Himself before God, how much more should we?

It's time to change up our quiet time to include the #1 reason to draw near to God! Click to dig into James 4:8 and enjoy Scripture art.

Last week we talked about what the Lord requires of us. And guess what theme was in that verse?

Micah 6:8 (ESV): He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

Walk humbly with your God.

Are you sensing a pattern?

“Drawing close to Him” and “humbly” go hand-in-hand in Scripture.

2 Chronicles 7:14 (ESV): If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

See? There it is again!

When something goes hand-in-hand that many times in the Bible, we should take notice. Yes?

So what’s the most important reason to draw close to God?

So He’ll draw close to us? Nope. Although it does say He’ll do that.

The most important reason to draw close to Him is to humble ourselves before Him.

We need to do it to purify our hearts.

To change our hearts.

And I’m pretty sure He wants it to be daily.

Or more!

So our “loyalty won’t be divided between God and the world.”

1 Peter 5:6 (CSB): Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you at the proper time,

2 Chronicles 34:27 (NASB): “Because your heart was tender and you humbled yourself before God when you heard His words against this place and against its inhabitants, and because you humbled yourself before Me, tore your clothes and wept before Me, I truly have heard you,” declares the LORD.

I’m changing up my quiet time – to include the most important thing.

Join me?

*My prayer for you is … that this blog will inspire you to open your Bible every single day to seek God’s face and write His Word on your heart – because HE’S the key to lasting heart change!

It's time to change up our quiet time to include the #1 reason to draw near to God! Click to dig into James 4:8 and enjoy Scripture art.

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