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Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Drawing Near

Dear Precious Ladies

How have you been? We have completed almost half of the month of July and let's thank God for His hand that has kept us and is keeping us every day.

We have just returned from an awesome retreat. We were honoured by having the Lord visit us tangibly by His Spirit. Each woman who went had a specific encounter with God and our lives will never ever be the same again. As I was preparing for this retreat I was intrigued by some of the definitions of the word retreat: withdraw, pull back, to get away from it all, treat again, a place of refuge, withdrawal for prayer, study and meditation, and take time out from the ordinary.

In this busy world we live in, we can be overtaken by our daily duties and by the various hats that we wear. We can easily end up cruising on empty then end up packing up like a tired engine. It is very important for us as women to take time out and pull back from all our “ordinaries” in order to go and be re-filled. We need to go to that secret quiet place and take refuge in the Lord. We took time out from our homes and work places for the purpose of seeking the Lord in prayer, meditation and study of the word. Our theme was Draw Near to God and He Will Draw Near to You’ based on James 4:8. We also read from Hebrews 10:22 where we are instructed to, “Draw near to the Lord with a sincere and true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience…”

My sisters we need to continuously draw near to God. Drawing near means following very closely and staying very close. It denotes a very close relationship that is intimate. We do not share our hearts with those far from us. Even when a person passes on the family has to inform those who are close first before the public knows. When we have great news to share we start with those very close to us. Only those closest to us have the privilege of knowing our hearts and we exchange life with them. Even in our wills the best bits are meant for those closest to us. God longs for us His daughters to be close to Him. He wants to be our next of kin. When He fashioned us in our mothers’ wombs we were so close to Him. He touched us and put us together, lovingly knitting us together. We are very precious to Him and He wants us to remain close to Him. Close enough to hear His voice and His heart. God shares His secrets with those close to Him. We must draw near to God because of our love for Him. We must not wait for pain and trials to come before we can run to Him. If these should come they must find us safely tucked under the shadow of His wings.
I am aware that there are many things that try to compete for our attention. Various challenging circumstances try to create a distance between us and Jesus, the lover of our soul, but we must press past them. 
Remember the woman with the issue of blood, she had to press past the crowds in order to get close enough to Jesus. That’s how she could touch the hem of His garment and she got her healing. We can press past our challenges in prayer, study, meditation and application of the word. Sometimes we have to retreat even if it’s for a day just to be away with our lover on a special “date”. Learn to pull back and find time alone with the Lord. He will refresh and restore you. This in turn will help you to function better. As we proceed with the month of July let us draw near to Him and He will draw near to us.

Love and blessings

Pastor Fatima Sibanda