The God Who Comes Near

Holtonumc   -  

Psalm 145:18 The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.

Because the Lord is loving and good, he promises to be near us and provide for us, to hear us when we call on him. Although there is also a stipulation here, to “all who call on him in truth”. What does that mean, to call on him in truth? It seems to mean that we speak the truth to God, meaning we come to him as we are, not as we’d like to be. We come without pretense. We are honest and open with God about ourselves and where we are, including our heart, which may include our emotions and feelings (anger, sadness, disappointment, frustration, joy, and gratitude). It means we own up to and confess our brokenness and sin before God, seeking his forgiveness.

I have to think it also means we understand and acknowledge the truth of who God is as our Creator and Sustainer, and that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, and that God can and does draw near to us (God is not just transcendent but also imminent). Like David states in this Psalm, we praise God for who God is, and thank him for all he does.

Question: does God promise to be near anyone who calls on him, or only those who trust in him? Why, or why not?
Consider the verse immediately following:
”He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them.“
And these words from James 4:7-10
”Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.“
While ”The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made (Ps. 145:9),” He does not promise to come near to those who do not fear him, or trust in him, or fail to come to him in truth. This passage from James also reminds us that our sin is a barrier to God drawing near to us because he is holy and just. Therefore we confess our sin and receive forgiveness through Jesus Christ so that God can come near to us. Which is again why we must come to him in truth.