Do You want more of God?

November 21, 2016

James 4:7-10

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. 

Do You want more of God?

When we work on many things it is hard to do any one thing well.  If we really want to see God showing up in our lives and circumstances, then the one thing we need to do really well is God.  God realizes that we have lives to live on this earth and responsibilities that go with that, but in all that we do He should be in the center of it.  He tells us in the scripture prior to this what is separating us from Him.  “You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. 5Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely? 6But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: 

“God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.””  How easy it is for us to get friendly with the world, because the world caters to our flesh, our want to’s and like to’s.   It is like when a good looking woman walks by as we are talking to our wife and our eyes come off of her and start following that woman.  God gets jealous over us, much like our wives do.  That other woman isn’t your business; God is your business.  So when He is exhorting us to ‘submit ourselves, then to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you.’  He is telling us to focus with a single eye upon Him.  Don’t get distracted by what your flesh wants to do.  Remember that it is dead and has been crucified with Christ, so it doesn’t get to vote any longer.  We are a new creation, like Christ in that we are focused on doing what the Father wants us to do, saying what the Father wants us to say and going where the Father wants us to go.  We are always straining our spiritual ears to hear Him and watching with our spiritual eyes to see what He sees.  We do that by coming near to Him, not out of duty, guilt or religiosity, but out of the love and desire for His presence.   He must be like the air we breathe; we will suffocate without Him.  He becomes life itself and all that we do whether in the secular world or the religious world has its anchor in Him.  All that we are in this life is for His good pleasure.  

James then talks to us about how to get down to the business of pursuing God.  First there is the full submission of your heart.  Secondly there is the resisting of the devil and his devices that distract us from Father and then there is our approach to the Father.   First we take a bath, clean up in the blood of Jesus, and throw away our garments spotted in the flesh.  We purify our thoughts.  Philippians 4:8 exhorts us, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things [are] honest, whatsoever things [are] just, whatsoever things [are] pure, whatsoever things [are] lovely, whatsoever things [are] of good report; if [there be] any virtue, and if [there be] any praise, think on these things.”  Then we have to trash all of our boxes.  

“What do you mean, trash all of our boxes?” 

We have all of these boxes in our lives.  We have a job box, our social box, our sports box, our party box, our serious business box and then our God box.  We often compartmentalize our lives where we function under a different set of rules and standards, depending upon which box we are working out of and which circle of people we are dealing with.  That is a double-minded man.  The man of God has one standard and that is God.   Every area of life for this man or woman of God issues out of God’s standard and His heart.  This is kingdom living.  It is living our life in Christ’s principles from the simplest things to the most complex, from our social relationship and work relationship to our God relationship; we only have one toolbox and it is God’s Word!  

Once we have established that we have a single mind then we deal with our attitude.  God becomes our solemn assembly.  We are down to business with God where nothing else matters but Him.  We come into that place of a repentant, broken and contrite spirit, where “God, I have to have You and Your presence or I will die.  We crawl up on His altar and we become poured out before Him.  All of our dignity and self-respect is cast aside and we are on our face crying out for Him.  Our spirit is yearning and our heart is aching as we pursue His presence.  There is no other agenda, but God Himself.  God tells us, if we draw near to Him this way, then He will look upon us with compassion and draw near to us.  He is looking for a people that really mean business with Him in this hour.  Is that our heart and our passion?  Are we that people?

For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of [them] whose heart [is] perfect toward him…” (2 Chronicles 16:9)

Blessings,

#kent

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