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“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”
(James 4:8)

A Commentary by Constance Vanides

"Objects are closer than they appear", reads the print on the sideview mirror of my car. However, the words on my spiritual mirror say to me, "God is closer than He appears."! We often place the Almighty God, Creator of heaven and earth, in a sphere over, above and beyond us, unapproachable and unrecognizable. That isn't what the bible tells us!

Beginning with Adam and Eve, we read they were in the Garden with God, close enough to hear God tell them what to eat and what not to eat. (Genesis 1:16, 17) To other Old Testament men like Noah, God gave specific directions, preparing them for what was to come. (Genesis 6:13)

Women, like Hagar, lifted up voices and God spoke to them and they with Him. (Genesis 21 16-18) Abraham heard from the Angel of the LORD and Abraham's response, "Here I am" has echoed down the generations from those made willing to follow. (Genesis 22:11) We read all about them and more…We read about Jacob and his wrestling with God and demanding, "I will not let You go unless You bless me!" (Genesis 32:24-31)

And what of Moses? "God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, 'Moses, Moses!' And he said, 'Here I am.'" (Exodus 3:4) And later, the LORD said, "My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest." (Exodus 33:14) Such conversations I call, "closeness" indeed! The LORD's servants continued to respond with "Here I am!" From Samuel "…the LORD called Samuel . And he answered, 'Here I am!'" (I Samuel 3:4) to the prophet Isaiah who answered God and exclaimed, "Here am I! Send me." (Isaiah 6:8) And to our present time, God continues to call those servants who will answer, "Here I am!"

Such was the closeness men and women had with Jesus in New Testament days. John testifies to us, "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life, the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us, that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ." (1 John 1:1-3)

Peter reiterates, "We…were eyewitnesses of His majesty." (2 Peter 1:16) Jesus, Himself, in addressing Thomas says, "Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have." (Luke 24:39)

Finally, we are told to believe without seeing. "Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." (John 20:29)

What about your "spiritual mirror?" Does it show how close God is to you? Do you recognize Him in your life? Is He approachable? Can you hear Him call your name? Believe He will do just that, then respond and say, "Here I am! Send me." Allow Him to send you to do the little things that impact others. It can change your life and bring joy inexpressible!

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© Constance Vanides