“Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.” (James 4:8)
If you’re a cop, life can be busy. There’s your job, part-time job(s), court, and family. For a Christian on the job, it can be easy to let personal devotion time—Bible reading and prayer—go by the wayside. In a way, it’s like exercise. You know you need to exercise, but you work crazy shifts and often go into overtime. You may go from your regular job to your part-time job. By the time you get home, all you want to do is peel off the 15-20 pounds of gear you’ve been wearing for hours, shower, and crash. It’s easy to get out of the habit of working out and into the habit of eating the wrong stuff and too much of it. So you have to make a conscious effort at regular exercise, but it’s worth the effort.
So it is with personal devotion time. You can find time to do it because there’s always time for what is important. However, you will probably need to re-order your priorities a bit. You have to decide on purpose to spend time with God in His Word and prayer. Our Scripture says, “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.” So as believers, we can chose to draw near to God and enjoy a close fellowship with Him or chose not to. God wants us to enjoy fellowship with Him, and He with us. That’s why the verse is there.
You draw near to God by reading His Word. But don’t just flip open your Bible and glaze over some verses carelessly. Read it expecting the Lord to speak to your heart. Pray like the psalmist said in Psalm 119:18: “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.” Here’s an illustration: if you’re a parent, you want your kids to obey you, but you should also want the affection of their hearts. Don’t just give orders and criticize all the time: “Clean your room, ” “Get off the phone,” “Don’t give me an attitude.” You need to correct them at times, but you also need to encourage them with words of care, guidance, and love. Isn’t it awful, by the way, to be at a call and hear parents yell and swear at their young kids? That’s a good way to lose a kid’s heart. Colossians 3:21 is in the Bible for a reason: “Fathers [and by logical implication, mothers], provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.”
God also wants to have the hearts of His children: “My son, give me thine heart,” (Proverbs 23:26). So His Word isn’t just a set of “Thou shalts” and “Thou shalt nots.” Yes, the Bible has commands, but it also has words of hope, wisdom, instruction, and encouragement. Psalm 19:7-8 says, “The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.” When you have down time at work, which does happen, open your Bible. You make better use of time, and if another cop sees you reading the Bible, God can use it as an opening to talk with him about Jesus.
Prayer is also an important part of “drawing nigh to God.” 1 Peter 5:6-7 says, “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” Do you have cares as a cop? Things that bother you about the job, or about the department where you work? How about your family? All of us have cares. If you know Jesus as Saviour, don’t just fret about your cares. Cast them on God in prayer, “…for he careth for you.”
Do you have a relationship with God to begin with? Have you received Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour? If you’re not sure, please click “Helpful Links” on the main menu and then “How Do I Go to Heaven?” on the dropdown.
Brian Miller 10/24/2017
Cleveland Baptist Church | 4431 Tiedeman Road, Brooklyn, Ohio 44144 | 216.671.2822