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Communion with God

By James Smith


      The fruitful source of my misery is distance from my God; my happiness and peace spring from his presence; and yet how willing I seem to live at a sensible distance from him. Frequently Satan suggests, and my heart seems to believe, that it is vain to draw near to him, call upon him, or wait before him; but sweet experience has often proved the contrary.

      It is good to draw near to him when I feel my weakness, for he is a strength to the poor, and a strength to the needy in distress; and his strength is put forth in his people's weakness.

      It is good to draw near to him when cast down and distressed, for the light of his countenance puts joy into the heart, and rejoicing into the soul.

      It is good to draw near to him when the enemy comes in like a flood, for he has said, that his Spirit shall lift up a standard against him.

      It is good to draw near when our graces wither and comforts decline, for he will revive his work in the midst of the years, and make known both his power and his love.

      It is good to draw near when perplexed and filled with confusion; for he says, "I will instruct you, and teach you in the way which you shall go: I will counsel you, my eye shall be upon you."

      It is good to draw near in prospect of sickness, death, and the grave; for he will make all our bed, give us the victory, and make us more than conquerors through his love.

      It is indeed good to draw near to God--for I find it unburdens the mind, relieves the spirits, and comforts the heart. It exercises my graces, leads me to trust in the Lord, and weans me from the things of time. It leads me to be familiar with the Lord, increases my confidence in God, and banishes legal fears from my soul; it sweetens crosses, makes losses bearable, and emboldens me to face my foes. It prevents many evils, leads me to the word to learn God's mind, and is a channel through which I receive many blessings.

      It is good for me to draw near to God. I am such a poor, weak, dependant, miserable creature, that unless I receive comfort from another, I must be miserable; and, O blessed be God! there is comfort endless comfort stored up in Jesus, for such miserable sinners as me. To me, Jesus says, "Come, Abide, Ask, Take, Drink, I will give."

      Shall I then stay poring over self, sin, and creatures? Nay, rather let me hasten to Jesus, who waits to be gracious, who is exalted to show mercy to such as me. Shall I listen to Satan, unbelief, or the world? Nay, rather let me listen to Jesus, whose voice is sweet, his words verity, and his invitations gracious: to Jesus, who calls because he loves, gives to all whom he calls, and refuses none, however wretched, however base, however undeserving, who come pleading his mercy, merit, and word.

      It is good to draw near to God. Jehovah in Jesus is the fountain of goodness, from whom flow streams which make glad the city of God. Jehovah in Jesus is a father, who pities, cares for, and will supply his praying children with all necessary good. He has pledged himself to withhold no good thing from those who walk uprightly; and though the lions may lack and suffer hunger, those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing. There is no real, spiritual, lasting good in creatures; all is in Jesus our God; therefore, O, my soul, do you draw near to him.

      Blessed Jesus, draw me near you. Holy Spirit, lead me continually to my Father's throne, and let me have communion with the Father and the Son; O may I ever find it good to draw near to God in every trouble, difficulty, and danger; in life and death may I say it is good to draw near to God!

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