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Devotional Bible Study: Draw Closer To God | James 4:8.

Updated: Jun 10

Welcome to Day 4. for one of our short powerful devotions from the 31 Bible Verses About Practicing The Presence Of God. This short devotional is based on James 4:8.


Read James 4:8.

"Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded."


This verse is written by James (the brother of Jesus) to the Christians in Jerusalem. James was writing to the Christians there to encourage them to behave better and to draw closer to God. In the previous chapter, James 3, it describes how living according to the world's wisdom has led to great conflict among James's Christian readers. They were fighting with each other because they couldn't get what they wanted. James says that living that way is adultery. It's ''cheating'' on God. He calls them to quit their friendship with the world, humble themselves, repent from their sin, and receive God's grace.


Join me below for our short devotional on James 4:8. We will discuss:

  1. What does it mean to draw near to God?

  2. How do you draw near to God?

  3. What are the benefits of drawing near to God?

Make sure you join me in prayer at the bottom of the post.


Short Devotional: Drawing Closer To God.


What does it mean to draw near to God?

In order to know God, you have to actively seek Him. James encourages us to draw near to God, to get closer to Him. Then James promises that as we are getting closer to God, He will respond by moving closer to us.


We are so incredibly blessed that God desires to come close to us!


Drawing near to God means that we have a desire for holiness. It means we have a desire to submit to God and to follow where He leads. It also means we have a desire to know His word and apply it to our lives.


How do you draw near to God?

In order to draw near to God, we have to actively come close to Him. We need to present ourselves intentionally to Him.


Can you start your day earlier than usual so that you can steal away in solitude and practice His presence?

You could also seek God during your lunch break if you work outside of the home. I know a few people that go to their car to have a time of quiet, eat their lunch and read their Bible, and pray. Actually, that is why I provide our devotionals in pdf form so that you can download them to your phone and read them any time and anywhere!

And if you are a momma, or carer ask God to give you those stolen moments with Him, so that as you draw close to God, He will draw close to you and you will be strengthened and refreshed.


James gives us a formula for drawing close to God in James 4:8.


  1. First, we need to confess our sin and recognize that Jesus has already paid the price for our sin. So that means we can receive God's forgiveness and remember the sin no more. Then we can get on with the business of enjoying being in the presence of God.

  2. Now ask God to examine your heart, your motives, and the things that you do. He will bring to your mind things that need to change. Submit to Him, follow His direction and your heart will be purified. You will know what needs to be changed because with a pure heart, and intentionally seeking God, you will be uncomfortable doing anything that is not according to God's will for your life. Also the more you read scripture the more you will be convicted when you sin. Don't worry, you do not need to be perfect to come into God's presence. You just need to seek Him with a repentant heart.

  3. What does James mean by "double-minded"? A person who is double-minded is drawn in two completely different directions. Thus, he will get nowhere fast because his loyalty is divided and he vacillates between faith and unbelief. So basically this means that you cannot serve two masters. Choose to follow God and to leave anything that leads you away from Him.

Now let's look at the awesome benefits of drawing near to God.

  1. You will be refreshed from being in God's presence. You will have your eyes on Jesus and not on your problems. This will remind you that God is in control and that He has a good plan for your life.

  2. We are invited to come close to God and to approach His throne of grace to find mercy and grace in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16.

  3. In His presence is fullness of joy, Psalm 16:11. We discussed this verse recently HERE. You can experience God's pure joy regardless of your circumstances because He will fill you with His peace and you know that He is right there with you. I guess you could call it a supernatural joy!

  4. Another massive benefit of drawing close to God is that you are protected when you are hidden in Him, Psalm 91. You might enjoy reading Scripture Plan To Battle Fear This post is all about Psalm 91.

  5. You will find rest in the presence of the Lord. Matthew 11:28. Come toMe, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

So are you intentionally getting closer to God?

To help you apply this verse to your life and to listen for what God is saying to you I have created a free printable with 31 scriptures on Practicing The Presence Of God, a guided prayer journal to help you go deeper with each verse and to help you unpack what God is saying to you through each verse.


Today's devotional is based on James 4:8 which is from our Practicing The Presence Of God: 31 Presence Of God Scriptures Plan. You will find a free printable PDF of 31 scriptures about God's presence in the Resource Library. It has a bible reading plan, guided prayer, and gratitude journal. Download this free printable or grab a notebook.


What is God saying to you through this verse?


What burdens do you need to surrender to God and trust Him with?


Write out your prayer request.


What are you grateful for today? Count your blessings!


Write out the scripture verse, it helps you to memorize the scripture and store up God's truth in your heart. Then in the last section of the prayer journal, there is space to record what God is speaking to you through our bible verse for today, James 4:8.


Scripture Prayer

We are called to pray without ceasing. That means we can talk with God at any time and in any place. This is a great way to practice the presence of God. Praying scripture is a powerful way to pray so join me in praying James 4:8.


Father, it is so wonderful to be encouraged to draw near to You. I can't comprehend how much you love me. I am so grateful that You have a good plan for my life and that You desire for me to come into Your presence. Forgive me for my sins. Show me anything that I need to repent of. Purify my heart and give me Your wisdom and strength not to be double-minded but to choose Your way and to live a godly, spirt-filled life, hidden in You. Amen.


Related Resources:

You will find Practicing The Presence Of God: 31 Presence Of God Scriptures HERE. It will have the list of 31 Bible verses that we are using for 31 days that our short powerful daily devotionals are based on.


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xx Karen.

















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