(“The Kimberly Joy Show: Drawing Nigh to God is Not Always Easy”)

It’s not always easy to draw nigh to God, but it’s necessary. God loves you so much! He has numerous blessings in store for you. He has blessings for you that you probably can’t even fathom, that you may think you don’t deserve. God wants to use you in ways you can’t imagine. Jeremiah 29:11 says:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

However, in order to receive everything God has for you, and to fulfill the purpose for which you were born, you must draw nigh to God.

As I discussed in my previous blog post “I Choose to Draw Closer to God,” drawing nigh to God is a CHOICE. James 4:8a says:

“Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you…..”

In other words, you and I have to make the first move. God may use His servants to minister to you. God may use people to preach to you, teach you, pray for you, and encourage you. He may even speak to you one-on-one like He did the apostle Paul while he was traveling to the city of Damascus (Acts 9). However, He won’t force you to serve Him. God will extend the invitation, but you must have a WILLING heart to submit.

Once you WILLINGLY submit to God, He then takes you in His hands like a potter. A potter is an individual who creates various objects from clay, like bowls, pots and vases. Jeremiah 18:1-4 say:

“This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 2 “Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you My message.” 3 So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. 4 But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.”

Just like a potter, when you WHOLEHEARTEDLY draw close to God, He can then shape you into the person HE desires you to be.

Considering the work that goes into making pottery, it’s not always a smooth transition. I’ve never taken a pottery class, but I’ve seen it done. During the process, the clay experiences pressure. Since clay is an inanimate object, it feels no pain while it’s on the potter’s wheel.

However, we as human beings are NOT inanimate objects. So, while God is shaping you on His potter’s wheel, you will experience pain from time to time. When I speak of pain, I’m not necessarily talking about physical pain (although that can happen too), but emotional, mental, and financial pain.

Why does such a loving God allow us to go through pain? Well, think about it! What if your life were perfect? What if you had everything you want? What if everything were to always go your way? Would you pray like you should or even pray at all? Would you crack open your Bible and study the scriptures? Would you give God the praise He deserves? Personally speaking, I hope I would. Although I can’t truly say what I would do in such a scenario, GOD knows! Even if I am committed to praying, worshipping, and studying the scriptures, God knows if I need to go deeper. He knows if I need to give Him more of myself.

I have found that, as believers, we can become stagnant. For instance, you may be at a place in your life where you just follow a routine. You read your daily devotional every morning. You say your prayers afterwards. You make sure you attend church faithfully every Sunday. You do the same thing day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year.

Although your routine seems “good”, God is nowhere in it because you’re not allowing His Spirit to guide you. For instance, God may want you to pray throughout the day, instead of just in the morning. God may want you to study beyond the daily devotionals, and go deeper in His Word. There may be more He wants to show you. There may be more He wants to tell you. And even though He has spoken to you about this, you choose to stick with YOUR routine because it’s easy, and you figure that it’s better than not praying or reading at all. So, now God has to shake things up in your life to get your attention. God has to allow you to experience some sort of pain in order to get you to draw nigh to Him.

God knows me better than I know myself. God knows you better than you know yourself. Isaiah 55:8-9 say:

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. 9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

God knows His purpose for your life. He created you with purpose. Moreover, He knows what it will take to get His purpose fulfilled. I share my personal motto, “Know Yourself…Be Yourself…Love Yourself,” as often as possible. In order to live out your God-given purpose, I believe you have to know whom you are, which can only be discovered through the eyes of The Creator. You have to then embrace and love your unique self. It’s sad when an individual spends more time trying to be someone else, instead of appreciating his or her distinctive qualities. I understand how miserable that can be! Once upon a time, I didn’t truly love myself. I thought I was ugly, and in many instances, I didn’t think I was good enough. I was very insecure, and, therefore, constantly compared myself to others.

Fortunately, I learned how to overcome my insecurities by drawing nigh to God. I realized that just being saved wasn’t enough. I had to get closer to God. So, I started pursuing God through my praise and worship. In fact, I would praise God like a crazy woman. Many didn’t understand my praise. However, the Holy Spirit was guiding me. I was praising my way through. I was, in a sense, fighting for my life. Through my praise I was fighting the fears and insecurities that were plaguing my mind. In addition, I drew closer to God by searching for scriptures that dealt with my particular issues, and I latched onto those scriptures. I memorized and recited them. I even taped them to my wall so I could see them every day. Those scriptures became the medicine I needed!

As I look back, I realize that if I hadn’t endured such pain, I wouldn’t have seen the need to draw nigh to God. If I hadn’t drawn closer to God, I wouldn’t be the woman of God I am now. I wouldn’t know how to encourage and pray for those who are going through what I went through.

I want to encourage you to draw nigh to God like never before. What is God telling you to do that you haven’t done yet? Is he telling you to let go of certain habits? Is He telling you to walk away from some people? What is God telling you to do that is causing you pain? Whatever it is, I encourage you to trust God and just do it. Ask Him to give you the strength you need, and He will! What you THINK you’re losing now, is worth what you’re about to gain. As Paul says in Philippians 3:8:

“Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ.”

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