Why is it we forget this concept of drawing close to God? Why is it, especially in the good times, we wander away from God like a toddler on an exploration? Then, once we face trouble, we throw our shoulders back, stand up tall, and take it on – on our own.
Believer, we were never meant to handle crises on our own, no matter their size. Why would we have the most powerful, most compassionate God available on our side and decide to handle it ourselves? Foolishness!
And we are a stubborn lot, us humans. We keep on making this less-than-stellar choice. Over and over and over again.
What if we were to stop taking on the battles raging around us? What if we saw the fight brewing and instead of readying our fists we dropped to our knees and prayed? What if we got into our Strong Fortress and remained safe as He took on the enemy for us?
Oh, sure, we might feel stress, mainly because we wouldn’t be in control and we don’t like that. But when we choose this path time and again, it gets easier and we come to rely on the One who made us. Far too often, we miss the greatest blessings because we stray away from His presence.
The second part of the verse is something we all need to hear. We can’t continue to say “I trust You, Lord.” then disprove it by going to friends for comfort and wisdom instead of the Source of both. We can’t tell God we’ve given Him the problem then take over control. We can’t say we’re Christ-followers, then live so much like the world that no one can tell the difference.
Well, actually we can, but not without consequence. James reminds us here that the only way to be able to come into God’s presence is with a clean, purified heart.
We don’t get to wallow in the world’s ways then step into the presence of the Most High with the mud still stinking on us.
The good new is, the greatest cleaning and purification for all believers is found in 1 John 1:9. Confess our sins. Pretty simple, huh? Except we have to get down off our high horse or step out of denial that those choices are against God. Then we have to admit to God that He’s right about those choices. UGH! Yet, on the other side of that confession is cleansing from all unrighteousness so we can enter His presence without reservation, without faltering.
Let’s do whatever clean up we need to today, confess, repent, make better choices. Let’s draw near to God and do what it takes to stay close without wandering even a step away from Him.
Coffee, Bible, Journal.