In this time and season I have been reflecting on the importance of drawing near to the Lord. Our lives are often filled with many things that can take up our focus. For myself I find that when this occurs I develop a sense of longing inside myself, like I am missing something. This yearning I feel in my soul is strong but struggles to overcome against the daily tasks and distractions of life.
We all struggle against the sinful nature of our flesh, and for me lately this struggle has been with spending too much time and attention away from the Lord. A focus on finances, projects and work can be important, but when this takes away from my focus on the Lord our Saviour, I can’t help but feel my priorities are not in the right order.
The Lord’s call
Jesus calls us in Matthew chapter 11 verses 28 to 30 “come to Me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” When we draw near to the Lord we find rest for our souls even if we labour and are heavy laden. Jesus is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah chapter 9 verse 6) and when we abide in Him and His Word, not only will we abide in His peace but also we will bear much fruit (John chapter 15 verse 8). I have felt the truth of these words, and felt the peace of the Lord that surpasses all understanding (Philippians chapter 4 verse 7).
When the concerns and worries of the world draw me away from the Lord and I do not spend as much time seeking Him, reading the Word, praying and worshiping, I get that feeling of yearning. This is the yearning of wanting to draw nearer to God but finding difficulty in myself in actually making it happen. This can sometimes lead to further disappointment if I do not take the time to seek Him as I feel I should.
The Lord our strength
I had a dream recently where the Lord Jesus delivered me and a village from a powerful enemy, and our singing of praise to the Lord was the turning point and victory over the enemy who was sealed away. Our joy in the Lord was our strength, and the Lord Jesus Christ was our deliverance and victory.
Our Lord died for us and atoned for our sins and the sins of the world when He gave up His flesh and blood upon the cross. In His act of love for us and in following the will of His Father, He overcame the world and all principalities and powers of evil (Colossians chapter 2 verse 15), saving the world through Him (John chapter 3 verse 17).
When I feel the weight of life, the disappointments, the worries and anxieties I remind myself of this dream and who my Lord Jesus Christ is, that He is my Almighty Lord and God, that He is one with His Father and the Holy Spirit, and that He is with me and will never leave me nor forsake me (Hebrews chapter 13 verse 5). I am encouraged by knowing the truth of God and His mighty salvation and will remember, “Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah chapter 8 verse 10).
A new year
As we enter a new year I am resolving myself to do all I can to draw near to the Lord. I know that He is my strength and that He is the vine, and without Him I can do nothing (John chapter 15 verse 5). In this way I am not looking at my own strength to overcome the difficulties before me, but God’s, for I know “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians chapter 4 verse 13).
I encourage us all to answer the call of the Lord in our lives and to do all we can to draw near to Him in sincerity and repentance, for we are told “draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded” (James chapter 4 verses 8 to 9).
I know putting worldly things and many distractions before God can never satisfy me. I know that sin cannot satisfy me. The longing within my soul calls out to God alone, and I know that only the Lord’s peace and love can satisfy me. I know by myself I will continue to fail. So instead I seek the Lord and His strength to overcome in my life, so that by His grace I may abide in His Spirit, His commandments, His Word and His will.
We are cautioned to be “redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians chapter 5 verse 16). I feel the world is drawing closer to more chaotic and difficult days ahead. This year I am resolving to redeem the time, to seek the Lord more than ever before and to always remind myself, the joy of the Lord is our strength!
Christopher Harris is a 27 year old from Victoria. He confessed his faith in Jesus Christ in 2016 and has sought to set his focus on the Lord. He makes videos on his youtube channel https://www.youtube.com/JESUSisLORD and believes the world is living in those times prophesied by the Holy Bible as the last days.
Christopher Harris is 29 years old and confessed his faith in Jesus Christ in 2016 and has sought to set his focus on the Lord. He makes videos on his youtube channel https://www.youtube.com/JESUSisLORD and believes the world is living in those times prophesied by the Holy Bible as the last days.
A link to Christopher’s other articles: https://www.pressserviceinternational.org/christopher-harris.html