So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you. James 4:7-8a (NLT)
Coming “close” to God is sometimes not easy.
(I shared this little demonstration with the children in our churches last week - see video)
We all have choices. “My way” is the choice to disregard “God’s Way” in favor of doing what I want, submitting my life to impulses and personal preference. The trouble with making that choice is I become susceptible to temptation.
Which leads to a bigger problem – falling prey to temptation, which, ultimately, leaves me in the condition where I continue to affirm my choices as better than God’s ways.
Which leads to an even bigger problem – I become alienated, or separated from God.
The result of this pathway through life is that the moment I begin to choose to do my own thing, the possibility of coming close to God becomes unavailable. However I may try to “include” God in my life, I will find myself alone with my choices; Scripture calls it sin. And, no matter how badly I feel about being separated from God’s presence and care, no matter how loudly I cry out in anguish for God to come close to me, there will be silence from Heaven and emptiness in my soul.
So….what to do?
James never minces words; he speaks plainly. Humble yourself….Come close to God, he says. Biblical humility exists in resisting the devil which is another way of saying “change your ways”….begin to do things God’s way.
When you do that, God understands the intent of your heart is to be obedient, to walk with Him, and not oppose Him.
The result of this new pathway is fellowship with God.
Apostle John put it this way:
But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. 1 John 1:9 (NLT)
To be cleansed from all wickedness is the condition of being in right relationship with God. And when that is your condition you move through life with God in close fellowship. You experience God’s care and protection as closer than the breath in your chest.
For You, Today…
Repentance is the word today. In Scripture that means turn – in the mind and actions, as in flipping over a coin, facing the opposite way.
It’s not easy, but if you want God close in your life, well…it is possible.
And it is your choice – God’s ways or your ways.