Earlier we examined the benefits of drawing near to God. We now want to discuss the effects of drawing near to God.
One ultimately draws near to God because they feel a need. I would imagine that most people are like me and feel that their greatest need is forgiveness. Paul wrote, “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death” (2 Corinthians 7:10). That “godly sorrow” will make one turn toward God.
Because one wants to be near God, they will have the desire to repent. James 4:9-10 says, “Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” Peter adds that if you will humble yourself, God will “exalt you in due time” (1 Peter 5:5-6).
When we draw near to God, we purify our souls. Two places in the New Testament connect drawing near to God with obedience. Peter says, “Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit …” (1 Peter 1:22). James 1:25 adds, “But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.” Sin deserves serious, solemn repentance, not lightheartedness. In the next post, we are going to see how one draws near to God.