DRAW NEAR TO GOD
Tuesday, 17 July 2018
James 4 : 1-17
“Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. …….” -James 4:8
In the epistle of James, many vital subjects are dealt with by the Spirit of God through the servant of God- Christian living, temptations and tests, human/divine wisdom, the tongue, dealings with the poor/rich, Prayer, Faith walk, etc. Even today, the addressed issues are clearly visible in the life of the so-called children of God and hence quite relevant.
In today’s reading, we can see exhortations—both rebuking and encouraging—ways which the Lord has placed before us to overcome and be victorious! Our key verse is a real KEY to living a holy life in a corrupted world. A wilful approach toward God and the response of God towards our submission is drawn here.
A few short falls of Christians are mentioned at the start- quarrels amongst themselves, evil desires that wage war within them, jealousy and wrong motives in prayer. James points out what is wrong with them- friendship with the world which is enmity with God! The remedy is given then- DRAW NEAR TO GOD! Let’s see understand the blessing which we receive in doing so:
Draw near to God: After the fall of man, from the Garden of Eden onwards, mankind is trying to get back to God in their own ways- it’s the same today. At that time itself, God gave the promise of Jesus Christ (Genesis 3:15)— through which the plan of redemption to put man right with God was given to mankind. In the Old Testament times there were many pointers to Jesus Christ including the sacrifices, prophecies and even the Tabernacle until God sent forth His Son in the fullness of time (Galatians 4:4). The Tabernacle which was used in the Israelites’ wilderness journey for worship was restrictive in permitting all to approach God in the holy of holies- only the High Priest, that also once in a year with the blood of animals, could approach God (Heb.9:1-10). At that time, drawing near to God was a far-fetched idea for them (Lev.16:2). But today through Jesus Christ who became the Ultimate sacrifice for sin, we can approach the throne of grace boldly at any time to receive His grace and mercy (Heb.4:14-16). Let us understand the same and come near to Him!
He will draw near to you: The first man and woman enjoyed the presence of God dwelling with them and they were having a great relationship. But SIN separated man from God. Yet by HIS Eternal love with which He loved His creation, made the way through Christ Jesus to redeem us. When there is sin in one’s life, left unconfessed it brings a broken relationship with God. Isaiah 55:6&7 says, “Turn to the LORD and pray to him, now that he is near. Let the wicked leave their way of life and change their way of thinking. Let them turn to the LORD, our God; he is merciful and quick to forgive.” If one truly decides to walk in His way, God says: “I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” (2Cor.6:16).
Can we understand the great privilege we have received through HIS Kindness? The Creator GOD is ready to dwell with us and is patiently waiting for each of us. Jesus said: “Those who love me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and my Father and I will come to them and live with them.” (John 14:23). Can we humbly submit and come near to Him?
To Act on- “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” (James 4:10)
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