What does it mean to “draw near” to Yah/God? I am reminded of the priests and Levites in the time of the tabernacle. They were set apart by Yah/God but they could not just hap-hazardly approach Him. There were certain requirements for them, not only in how they lived out their lives, but what they were to do when they went before Yah in the tabernacle. They put on set apart garments, they washed their hands and feet (Ex 30:19). Similarly, when Yah/God came down from the mountain to meet with the Children of Israel after crossing the Red Sea, He told Moses to “set the people apart” and for them to wash their garments (Ex 19:14).

There seems to be a thread here … that of washing and being set apart. The latter is something that Yah/God works within us. However, the first – that of washing – is our responsibility. 

So, back to my question of how do we “draw near” to Yah/God? I believe this is revealed as we wash ourselves. Not only physically, but internally (our heart, our minds, our thoughts, our intentions). When we approach Yah/God our hearts’ cry should be like David’s, “create in me a clean heart and renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Ps 51:10). 

For me, that “drawing near” means approaching Yah/God, asking Him to reveal hidden things within my heart that would displease Him, that would not honor Him; and once they are revealed, I ask for His forgiveness and make a conscious choice to not repeat them. He is my lover, my King. I don’t want to do, say, or think anything that would bring dishonor to Him because of my love for Him.

Furthermore, “drawing near” is not a “one and done” thing. It is a 60/24/7 thing. Minute by minute I am drawing near because I long, I desire to be in His presence every minute. It is a constant “drawing near.”

Julia Johnson

Executive Secretary BYNA 

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