Friday, February 10, 2012

Digging Deeper (James 4:9-10)

Digging Deeper 20 James 4:9-10
        Despite a great movement in church culture today to nearly eliminate the study of God’s Word as a function of the church, the Church cannot and will not be affective without it. There is swing toward a light approach to scripture, looking at it as simply a jumping off point to an inspirational, emotional satisfying feel better message. God’s Word is much deeper than that and is critical to the life of the church and to the individual believer.  Without the study of God’s Word the church is not much different than any other social institution. God’s Word is Christ revealed John 1:1-4 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the light of man. Without the study of God’s Word we miss the mark of the function and purpose of the church and we are weak as individual believers to carry out the responsibility of telling others the good news of Christ. 2 Timothy 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth. Let’s dig a little deeper in God’s Word.
        James 4:9 Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to gloom. This is a tough verse; does God really want us in a constant state of morning, and gloom? Of course not, to understand we need to see this verse in context to the proceeding thought. There is a command for clean actions, a pure heart and single focus which defines drawing near to God. Being miserable, mourning and without joy is an extension of the thought “you sinners” when we are far from God there should be and there is an attitude of doom and gloom. The believer plain and simple should be miserable not walking with God.
        James 4:10 Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord and He will exalt you. Exalt means to rise up, to elevate. There seems to be a conflict in terms here. First we are to be humble, lower. Then we will be exalted, raised up. Drawing near to God is not a heroic action on our part that we accomplish by doing great things earning God’s recognition for which we receive a trophy or special award, drawing near to God is done on our knees recognizing of the awesomeness of God and our terrific weakness, and unrighteousness. Drawing near to God is not us conquering Satan, defeating the world, doing amazing things to earn our presence with God. Drawing near to God is a realization that we have no power to resist the devil, we have no power to sustain ourselves on either a spiritual or physical level. Humbleness breeds submission and it is submission that draws us near to God resulting in God’s nearness to us. Now in the state of humbleness and submission there is a promise of exaltation. We do not earn a prize; God simply cleanses our hands, purifies our heart, clears our mind, and changes our weeping to laughter and our gloom to joy. Exaltation does not elevate us above others and certainly does not elevate us to a place to be praised it is an elevation out of our own miserable condition.
        In man’s frame work of thinking humbleness is frowned upon, it is considered an acknowledgement of weakness, it is just that, but it is not a negative. That is the problem we all struggle with our pride that screams at the thought that we are weak. But in our weakness comes humility, in our humility comes submission. And it is in this position that we draw near to God and He is near to us and the devil flees. 2 Corinthians 12:10 Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.
Now that we have dug a little deeper what do we believe?

What do we believe about God? 
1.   God desires a humbleness that recognizes His holiness.
2.   God gives promise that He will draw near to us in our submission to Him.
3.   God desires to raise us out of our doom and gloom.

What do we believe about ourselves? 

1.   We should be miserable when we are not close to God.
2.   We can only come to the presence of God in humbleness.
3.   God can and does exalt, rasie us up out of our miserable state.

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