In recent years God has been revealing himself to me as Immanuel. Immanuel is a Hebrew word that means “God with us”. This simple phrase carries so much truth. When we begin to allow God to reveal himself to us as Immanuel, everything changes. The promise is that he will always be with us, but the big question is will you choose to be with him? In my opinion our job in life is not to be like Christ. Our job is to be near Christ. It’s his job to reveal to us who we already are and what he already did. Our job is to be near him.

“Draw near to God and he will draw near to you.”

James 4:8

We must draw near! So often in life we get hung up on trying to do what is right and running away from what is wrong. We make poor decisions based off of our misguided perspective. We waste our lives drawing near to so many different idols. We draw near to comfortability, to a powerful sermon, to an emotional worship experience. We draw near to a stable job and a steady income. We draw near to results and reasoning. We draw near to our make believe Jesus that we created in our heads.

We are pulled in every direction, slowly drifting away from the one who is Immanuel. Our job is to draw near. This must be our one and only focus. If Jesus is truly “number one” in our life, then there cannot be a number two or a number three. James 4:8 is the simple rulebook to the highest level of intimacy. So how do we draw near?

Repentance! The Hebrew word for repentance means “to return”. If we seriously want to draw near, then we must turn away from every distraction and return to our first love. When we repent, we leave the outer courts and enter the holy of holies. Let us be a people like Joseph who decide to stay and “not depart from the tent”. (Exodus 33:11)

“Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

Psalm 73: 23-26

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