Drawing Near To God
Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double minded. Lament and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up. James 4:7-10
When one has fallen into sin, been offended, hurt, rejected or wounded there is a tendency to run away from our only source of true healing. Just as Adam hid from God in the garden when he and Eve sinned, so we too sometimes run and hide from the presence of our heavenly Father.
When we were children and we disobeyed our parents we often times ran and hid from our fathers when we knew that when our mother told him what we had done, we were bound to get a whipping. Not so with the Lord Jesus Christ who already has been tempted in all things and knows our weaknesses and shortcomings. God's intentions for His children is for them to learn from their mistakes, to confess them and to repent that they may be restored.
We live in a supernatural kingdom ruled by a King who not only died for our sins but lives to ever make intersession for us as we make this earthly journey back to Heaven. In the story of the prodigal son the boy left his father's house to make his own way as many of us have done. When he found himself in the pig pen of his own device he ran back to his father to cry out for mercy, but instead of an angry parent with a rod in his hand he found his father waiting to restore him back into his family and everything he squandered was given back to him.
For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again. II Corinthians 5:14,15
SUBMIT TO GOD
Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. I Peter 5:6,7
The first step in coming back to God is to surrender your will back under His control and under the watchful eye of a Father who deeply cares about whatever situation you have fallen in to. It doesn't matter what you have done, He is more than willing to forgive and restore because He loves you.
For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Hebrews 4:15
RESIST THE DEVIL
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. II Corinthians 10:3-5
To resist the devil is to take control of our thought life because the battle is in our mind. When we try to draw near to God, the devil, like a well trained lawyer begins to condemn us and accuse us trying to get us to agree with him that we are in a hopeless condition, lost forever and beyond forgiveness. Your sins are just to great to be forgiven, God doesn't love you anymore, or you have lost your salvation. All lies from the pit of Hell! When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, Satan tried to get Him to doubt that He was the Son of God, so what do you think he will tell you?
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. I Peter 5:8,9
DRAWING NEAR TO GOD
"When I shut up Heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, "if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land." II Chronicles 7:13,14
Seeking the face of God requires quality time in His word and prayer, meditating and crying out to Him for restoration. Just as you would try and repair a damaged relationship with your spouse or a friend who had been offended, so it is with God, it takes time and effort. God loves us and He knows us better than we know our own heart and as we begin to come close to Him the Holy Spirit will begin to restore us by bringing His healing power back into our life.
But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper. Psalm 1:2,3
CLEANSE YOUR HANDS AND PURIFY YOUR HEARTS
Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, nor sworn deceitfully. Psalm24:3,4
God is holy and therefore when we come into His presence we must first cleanse our hands and purify our hearts in order to stand before Him. To cleanse our hands is to repent of any wrongdoing that our hands have been involved in and to purify our hearts is to confess any and all of our trespasses and transgressions against man and God! The Holy Spirit will convict us of our sins and allow us to acknowledge them and be cleansed of all unrighteousness. Once we have confessed and repented we can proceed into the very throne room of the Most High.
Create in me a clean heart O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Psalm 51:10,11
LAMENT AND MOURN
Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led you to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing. II Corinthians 7:9
Godly sorrow comes from the Holy Spirit convicting us that what we have done has grieved Him and it leads us to repentance. Once we are convicted we become sorrowful for what we have done, not sorry we got caught, but sorrowful that we grieved the Holy Spirit. When we confess our sins before Him and turn from whatever sin we have committed we are released from guilt and condemnation and our peace returns to us.
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. I John 1:9
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a diserner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give an account. Hebrews 4:12,13
The word of the living God convicts us of wrong doing and reveals our heart and its intentions thus humbling us and bringing us to a place where we can be restored and healed. The very image of the Most High God is revealed within His word and when we look into it, as we would a mirror, it reveals our true image in His sight! God sees into our heart and mind and nothing can remain hidden that does not come to the light.
Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16