The Path of Life: “Near”

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Worship: Presence


When we know the Lord, it is natural for us to want to be near to Him. We have confidence in His amazing grace.

This confidence is faith not presumption. We trust that when we repented of our sins and confessed that Jesus is Lord, that the sin barrier between Him and us was removed. We believe His New Covenant promise that His Holy Spirit has come to dwell in us, not for an Old Covenant-type special visitation for a special task, but as the abiding Comforter, the Helper who enables us to serve and quickens our spirit to understand the truth about things.

We dare to approach the nearness of the Almighty because there is over us the shadow of a cross. The cross stood on a hill called Calvary, a place of Atonement where our sins were nailed to the cross by Roman soldiers with Roman nails through the hands and feet of Jesus, an innocent Man.

When they took Him down, the nails were removed and thrown back into the container to be used again but our sins remained on that cross, forever removed from our record, no longer separating us from God.

So we can say with the writer to the Hebrews, “Let us draw near!”

We can come boldly to the Throne of Grace because our sins are gone! They were cast into a sea never to remembered against us again. We stand before God more innocent than newborn babies; we stand before as if we had never sinned.

How do we draw near?—In faith to be sure, but in a faith expressed. The expressions that bring us near to Him and Him near to us are these:

    • Thanksgiving
    • Praise
    • Adoration
    • Confessions of Faith

These are all forms of prayer.

These are all forms of prayer.

There is a New Covenant promise we can count on. If we draw near to God, God will draw near to us. When two objects are converging, the distance between is covered at twice the speed of each. In other words, it doesn’t take long for our thanksgiving and praise to become His dwelling place. Our submission to His Lordship brings us speedily to His Throne Room.

Each day at our private altar and each Lord’s Day in public worship drawing near to God should be the first order of business. We need not linger at a distance. The power of His blood calls us close, as the angel says to John in the Book of Revelation, to “come up higher.” We can lift our hearts with songs of praise and lift our hearts with songs of heaven’ hosts. The Spirit will bear us up higher so that we, like Isaiah, we can see the Lord “high and lifted up.”

To contemplate His nearness is to be changed from glory to glory. What joy! What a privilege?

When we know the Lord, it is natural for us to want to be near to Him.

Psalm 148
Hallelujah! Praise the Lord from the heavens; praise him in the heights. Praise him, all you angels of his; praise him, all his host. Praise him, sun and moon; praise him, all you shining stars. Praise him, heaven of heavens, and you waters above the heavens. Let them praise the Name of the Lord; for he commanded, and they were created. He made them stand fast for ever and ever; he gave them a law which shall not pass away. Praise the Lord from the earth, you sea-monsters and all deeps; Fire and hail, snow and fog, tempestuous wind, doing his will; Mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars; Wild beasts and all cattle, creeping things and winged birds; Kings of the earth and all peoples, princes and all rulers of the world; Young men and maidens, old and young together. Let them praise the Name of the Lord, for his Name only is exalted, his splendor is over earth and heaven. He has raised up strength for his people and praise for all his loyal servants, the children of Israel, a people who are near him. Hallelujah!

Hebrews 10:19-20 NIV
Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith…

Psalm 73: 28; 145:17-18
The Lord is righteous in all his ways and loving toward all he has made. The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.
But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds.

James 4:6-10 NIV
That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

Songs of Nearness
Near to the Heart of God
Composer: Cleland B. McAfee

1. There is a place of quiet rest,  near to the heart of God;
a place where sin cannot molest,  near to the heart of God.

O Jesus, blest Redeemer, sent from the heart of God,
hold us who wait before thee near to the heart of God.

2. There is a place of comfort sweet, near to the heart of God;
a place where we our Savior meet, near to the heart of God.


3. There is place a place of full release, near to the heart of God;
a place where all is joy and peace, near to the heart of God.


I Am Thine, O Lord
Composer: Fanny Crosby

1. I am Thine, O Lord, I have heard Thy voice,
And it told Thy love to me;
But I long to rise in the arms of faith
And be closer drawn to Thee.

Draw me nearer, nearer blessed Lord,
To the cross where Thou hast died;
Draw me nearer, nearer, nearer blessed Lord,
To Thy precious, bleeding side.

2. Consecrate me now to Thy service, Lord,
By the pow’r of grace divine;
Let my soul look up with a steadfast hope,
And my will be lost in Thine.


3. Oh, the pure delight of a single hour
That before Thy throne I spend,
When I kneel in prayer, and with Thee, my God
I commune as friend with friend!


4. There are depths of love that I cannot know
Till I cross the narrow sea;
There are heights of joy that I may not reach
Till I rest in peace with Thee.


Semper Reformanda!
Stephen Phifer

© 2016 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved

The Path of Life: "Near"

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