This summer I’m trying to notice answers to prayer.
My prayer: Father, bring to maturity seeds that You’ve planted in my life. So this morning I was excited when the Lord put some fertilizer on a promise I’m believing Him for this summer.
The promise: “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8).
The fertilizer: Insights from Luke 24:13-36. As I read this passage the Lord drew near to me as I read about Him drawing near to others.
After the resurrection two disciples walked the seven miles from Jerusalem to Emmaus. They were deep in troubled and confused conversation—“When Jesus Himself drew near and went with them.” He drew near, but they were kept from recognizing Him. As they walked together, Jesus asked about the content of their intense conversation. And out it tumbled. They had hoped that Jesus was the Messiah. But He was crucified. Women and angels declared He was alive. Risen from the dead. The tomb was empty. They’d seen it themselves.
Jesus drew near and walked with them.
Jesus drew near and asked questions.
Jesus drew near and listened.
Jesus drew near and lovingly rebuked their lack of faith (verses 25,26).
Jesus drew near “And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself” (verse 27). Imagine Jesus so close explaining Old Testament passages about Himself.
As they approached Emmaus, Jesus acted as if He were going farther. They strongly urged Him to stay with them. It wasn’t until Jesus prayed before their meal that they recognized Him. He vanished. And they believed. They got up and marched right back to Jerusalem to tell Jesus’ eleven disciples that Jesus was alive—and that He drew near. Even so, the eleven doubted until Jesus drew near to them.
Mark’s gospel gives a great condensed version:
“After these things He appeared in another form to two of them, as they were walking into the country. And they went back and told the rest, but they did not believe them.
Afterward He appeared to the eleven themselves as they were reclining at table, and He rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who saw Him after He had risen” (Mark 16:12-14).
This morning I saw that Jesus is always drawing near to grow the seeds He’s planted in us. He draws near to reveal Himself. I realized, too, that God answered my prayer that I would notice answers to prayer. He draws near to connect my prayer and His answer. I pray: “Lord Jesus, draw near and mature seeds You’ve planted in me.”
Lord God, i want draw near to You confident that You draw near to me. Lord Jesus, i believe that You draw near when i engage in conversation with others about You. Please draw near to lovingly rebuke me when I need to be stirred to faith. Draw near and explain the Scriptures to me. Draw near and help me recognize You, more and more. Help me to love the fellowship of believers because You are near. Please draw near and fill me with Yourself. Amen.