Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. (James 4:8a, NKJV)With whom is the responsibility to draw near? With us. We are to draw near to God. Then He will draw near to us. Not the other way around. It lies with us to make the first move. We have to repent and seek God. (Of course, no one can come unless the Father first draws him, but that's a lesson for another time. ref John 6:44)
The responsibility lies with us to draw near to God. And we've learned that we draw near to God by purifying ourselves from sin and by making God our Master.
Do you know that we can sabotage ourselves in our pursuit of God? Yes; we can. By downplaying the significance of self and rebellion in our lives. By denying that we have sin and by accepting the reign of the flesh instead of the reign of Christ in us.
I find that every time I say something like: What's the big deal anyway? about something the Holy Spirit is convicting me of, it is as if I am myself putting up a barrier between me and God.
There's nowhere I can go to get away from God (see Psalm 139), but there is a sense in which I can cease to draw near to God, in relationship, by refusing to acknowledge and put away sin.
By not acknowledging the gravity of sin, and by not denying self and putting it to death so that the Spirit of Christ might reign in me, I sabotage my walk with God and make it impossible to draw near to Him.
Let us this day resolve to deal seriously with sin, and not down-play it as being "not so bad". Let us remember that because of sin, the perfect Lamb of God--Jesus Christ Himself--had to die a death He did not deserve. Let us, therefore, treat sin with all of the violence and contempt that it deserves, and put it to a quick and decisive death so that we can draw near to God and experience all of the joy and beauty that is available to us in His presence.