“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” James 4:8
Many people feel that it is God’s job to “Come and Get Us” and free us from whatever binds us. God is a perfect Father and His caring for each of us is incomprehensible, but He has His ways to order everything in the universe, and we need to search out and learn to understand His ways.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways
And My thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9
Do you get a sense that God is waiting for us to make the first move? I talked to someone the other day who used to serve the Lord fervently and has been a “Treading-Water” type of Christian for the last couple of years. He expressed to me that God knew where he was and he could come and pull him out of “his mess” whenever He wanted to. God cannot violate His own Word, or the universe may start to spin out of control. God is totally fair, totally just, and he does not change! So if we are operating by a false assumption, we are in for a very hard fall! Just as God is waiting for us to come to know His Word and then operate within the parameters that He has set, we may be sitting on the sidelines waiting for Him to do it all for us. It is similar to the one who stays at home and waits for someone to come and offer him or her a job. It will not happen! Another example: We are waiting for a bus but, we have not taken the time to become aware of the bus routes or schedules! We are at the wrong bus stop and that bus is not coming! We need to get a copy of the bus schedule and make sure we are at the right bus stop, at the right time, and getting onto the right bus. Then with this in hand, we can be fairly sure that we will end up where we want to go. Getting mad and throwing things and pouting is not going to make the bus appear out of nowhere. Similarly, ranting and raving at God will not get Him to adjust the whole plan of the universe just for us! We need to come into line with His awesome design plan revealed through His Word.
Why do we sometimes deal more diligently with the things of the world than we do with God? We are not usually late for work, we pay our bills on time, pay our taxes, make sure we have money in our account in order to cover cheques that we have written, etc, but we often expect God to pick up the slack in our spiritual lives without us lifting a finger to help? Where did this doctrine come from? (The pit of hell for sure!) We need to “Grow Up” in the things of God, instead of lingering in infancy, and then complaining that we are stagnating! Often we blame God for leaving us behind and envy others because they are moving powerfully in the things of God. Mmmmm?
“And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to infants in Christ. I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able, for you are still fleshly.” 1 Cor. 3:1-3
So here is a key…Paul says the reason that they were not ready for solid food was because they were still fleshly. What does this mean? Read this comment from “Doctrinal Works in the Reformed Tradition”
Question: Can those who profess Christ with their mouths, but continue to walk in sin and live being ruled by fleshly desire be saved?
Answer: Certainly not! Scripture says, Surely you know that the unjust will never come into possession of the kingdom of God. Make no mistake; no fornicator, or idolator, none who are guilty of either adultery or of homosexual perversion, no thieves or greedy or drunkards or slanderers or swindlers, will possess the kingdom of God (1 Cor. 6:9, 10; Eph. 5:5, 6; 1 Jn. 3:14); and, without sanctification (holiness) no one shall see the Lord (Heb. 12:14).
Here is another excerp from “The Necessity of Prayer” by Edward M Bounds :
“How glibly we talk of praying without ceasing! Yet we are quite apt to quit, if our prayer remained unanswered but one week or month! We assume that by a stroke of His arm or an action of His will, God will give us what we ask. It never seems to dawn on us, that He is the Master of nature, as of grace, and that, sometimes He chooses one way, and sometimes another in which to do His work.” Chapter 6.
One more quote:
If a man’s will is really set on doing God’s will, that is, if his heart is given up to do, and he as a consequence does it as far as he knows it, he shall know what God has further to teach him.
It is simply what is true of every scholar with the art he studies, of every apprentice with his trade, of every man in business doing is the one condition of truly knowing. And so obedience, the doing of God’s will as far as we know, and the will and the vow to do it all as He reveals it, is the spiritual organ, the capacity for receiving the true knowledge of what is God’s will for each of us.
“School of Obedience by Andrew Murray”
I think that we can see that there are requirements in order to enter Christ’s school. We must be willing to be obedient to His will, above our will. We must draw near to Him foremost. “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth” 2 Tim. 2:15 We must grow out of the baby stage and start to study out His word diligently in the best way we know how. We must be willing to invest some of our time for His purposes. When we take these first steps, he will come along side of us, and as we give Him more and more to work with, His miracle working hand will start to manifest those things that we have been dreaming about and have seen in our hearts. He has been waiting for us to start the ball rolling, so that He is able to be the “Parachlete” (The Holy Spirit) which means “Helper”.
It is time to do some ground work so that God can get a hold of it and bring His blessing upon that which is lined up with His ways and His word. When we come to know the Scriptures, we are coming to know God. He has chosen to reveal Himself through the Bible. We need the Holy Spirit to unveil the mysteries set forth in the Bible. The Bible is not a novel to be read at our leisure, but a divinely-inspired-breathing testimony of Him. The words then move from mere words, to life-giving manna that sustains, corrects, encourages, aligns, continually adjusts our focus, and keeps us on course, to run the race of all races. We are running into His heart and His arms, to the greatest victories and rewards, beyond anything we can imagine or conceive of. Give Him something to work with today. Don’t look to your pastor or some “internet inspiration”; God is waiting to download precious revelation to you personally in order to prepare you, and bring you into the fullness of His purpose for giving you life. This is the place of perfect satisfaction and perfect peace.
“THINGS WHICH EYE HAS NOT SEEN AND EAR HAS NOT HEARD,
AND WHICH HAVE NOT ENTERED THE HEART OF MAN,
ALL THAT GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM.” 1 COR. 2:9
“You will keep in perfect peace, all who trust in you, who’s thoughts are fixed on you” Isaiah 26:3
THERE IS A GREAT REWARD AWAITING YOU AS YOU HOTLY PURSUE HIM FAITHFULLY, WITH DILIGENCE. TODAY IS A GOOD DAY TO START! TRY GETTING UP EARLY TO MEET WITH YOUR GOD! HE IS WAITING FOR YOU! TAKE THE FIRST STEP AND YOU WILL BE AMAZED AT HOW QUICKLY YOUR LIFE STARTS TO COME INTO LINE WITH THE FULFILMENT OF HIS PURPOSES AND PROMISES FOR YOU!