How To Get Close To God
by David J. Stewart | November 2019
James 4:1-17, “From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy? But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge. There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another? Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil. Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.”
Most Bible students will take that one little phrase from James 4:8 which says: “DRAW NIGH UNTO GOD, AND HE WILL DRAW NIGH UNTO YOU,” but fail to read the rest of the passage. If you want to get close to God, you need to read the whole passage. What saith the Scripture? To me, when I closely examine James chapter 4, I see FOUR DIVISIONS:
- THE WORLD VERSES GOD (Verses 1-6)
- SUBMISSION TO GOD (Verses 7-10)
- LOVING THY NEIGHBOUR AS THYSELF (Verses 11-12)
- GLORIFYING GOD CONTINUALLY (Verses 13-17)
Thus, if you want to GET CLOSER TO GOD, you must forsake the world and cling to your precious God and Savior! The Bible tells us how in James 4:6, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” Notice that you cannot resist the Devil until you FIRST submit to God! The Devil runs away from the weakest saint who falls upon his knees! The Devil and his demons are all cowards! Matthew 8:29, “And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?” Carefully notice that the Devil wants nothing to do with the things of God, except to corrupt them so that he can blind men from THE TRUTH, “lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them” (2nd Corinthians 4:4b).
The first five verses of James chapter 4 lay the groundwork for the rest of the chapter. No believer can abide in sweet matrimony with our holy God, while committing spiritual harlotry with the world. No man can be friends with both God and the world at the same time. It is impossible! That doesn't mean if you watch a secular Tv program that God won't be your friend, it means that the world hates God and if you live for Christ, the world will hate you! ...
John 15:17-19, “These things I command you, that ye love one another. If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.”
A young man asked an elderly preacher: “Sir, how do I give up the world?” The wise preacher replied: “Son, you carry a Bible and the world will give you up!” The context of our text passage from James chapter 4 is that we cannot get close to God while hurting our neighbour (i.e., fellow humanity), to fulfill our lusts. ...
James 4:1-3, “From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.”
When you truly draw nigh unto God, everything else in this world will fade away in your soul, and walking with one's omnipotent Creator will mean more than all the fame, fortune and pleasure that this ungodly world has to offer. Although salvation is a completely free gift, there is a PRICE for walking close with God. That price is the world! A man cannot wilfully walk in the fulfillment of the lusts of the flesh, and truly have a close fellowship with his holy God. So a requirement to GET CLOSE TO GOD is to declare war on the sins in your life, because it displeases the Lord very much when we sin. I am not saying that we can achieve sinless perfection, God forbid. Although some men many live above reproach, NO ONE can live above sin!
The famous preacher Charles H. Spurgeon was saved at age 15. A blinding snowstorm had hit the town, and the preacher didn't arrive. A faithful laymen got up to preach using a text from Isaiah 45:22, “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.” The layman looked directly at Charles and bellowed out: “Look and live young man, LOOK AND LIVE!” Right there, in his pew, Charles Spurgeon got saved, receiving Jesus Christ as his personal Savior. As a bit of humor, I thought it was funny that Charles quit the Methodist church the very next week, because they were teaching the “sinless perfection of the saints” heresy! My kind of guy!!! Just like the apostle Paul, Spurgeon suffered no fools, and neither ought we as God's children.
LOVING THY NEIGHBOUR AS THYSELF
Do you want to GET CLOSE TO GOD dear reader? If so, then the bickering, gossiping, hating, grudge holding and undermining of one's brothers and sisters in the Lord must stop. Instead, we ought to fervently love one another with Christ's love...
James 4:11-12, “Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge. There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?”
Now, that doesn't mean we shouldn't contend for the faith. I am the sworn eternal enemy, unalterably opposed, to the Devil's hundreds of counterfeit modern Bible PERversions, which just keep on a-coming! Case in point: In 2017, the ungodly 'Southern Baptist Convention' published a new gender-neutral 'Christian Standard Bible'. Folks, that is as wicked as Hell!!! God's immortal words are not subject to the political agendas of our untoward generation!!! And shame on these pastors today who make excuses to defend their favorite picks among the Alexandrian Bible versions, because they're all from the same Devil's garbage pail of deceit, lies and trashing out the Savior's deity! There is a fine line between faith and foolishness!!! One thing I have learned in life is that anything can be justified, if you twist the Word of God around. Romans 1:25a, “Who changed the truth of God into a lie...” 2nd Peter 3:16-17, “As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.”
Walking with God, by meditating in the Scriptures day and night (Psalm 1:1-6), ought to cause us to hate every false way! Psalms 119:104, “Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.” Psalms 119:128, “Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way.” That is why I hate the Devil's counterfeit modern Bible versions!!!
I generally try go to bed early by 10 pm. Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) said: “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” Okay, well at least healthy...lol. Brother Lester Roloff (1914-1982) said: “One hour of sleep before midnight, is worth two hours of sleep after midnight.” So true! I sometimes go to sleep extra early on Friday nights, when my Baptist church neighbour's have parties and church get-togethers, to escape my pain of loneliness. I am a Christian, so they are my family in the Lord, like it or not. I take 10 mg of Ambien and go to sleep at 8 pm. I love my neighbours and don't feel any ill-will toward them, God knows my heart. I just feel lonely and left out. That's called “FOMO” (feelings of missing out). Of course, I wake up 4:30 in the morning, but my neighbours are all sleeping then, so I don't feel as lonely, and I work on my website ministry. I get very lonely, desiring a Christian wife, but not knowing where to find her. I would give everything I own to find a loving and loyal wife. Local churches don't get along with me, because I am a truth-teller, and they aren't telling THE TRUTH as they ought (in my humble opinion). I am a misfit...
1st Corinthians 1:27-29, “But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence.”
And so I am despised and rejected by both the world, and ecumenical Christians who don't walk closely with God. NO ONE has a heart for God who embraces the Devil's counterfeit Bible versions! NO ONE has a heart for God who sanctions John MacArthur, Paul Washer, Ray Comfort and their damnable heresy of Lordship Salvation, whose God is the Devil. Yet, my heart wants to fellowship with the local Baptist church, even though they are imperfect, feeling mixed emotions. I just need a church family to love, and hopefully be loved. Psalms 30:5, “For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” I cry often in my loneliness, feeling like I want to die and go home to be with Jesus, desiring companionship, but there is none. Loneliness is a pain worse than death to me. 2nd Corinthians 1:7, “And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.” Philippians 3:10-11, “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.” I love the following sermon by Pastor Ralph “Yankee” Arnold on suffering...
The Call To Suffer (an awesome very beautiful MP3 sermon by Pastor Ralph “Yankee” Arnold)
And Oh, NO ONE can draw nigh unto God who harbors ill-will, deceit, hatred toward their fellow mankind. Proverbs 12:22, “Lying lips are abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are his delight.” These modern Bible versions are BAD NEWS! Talk about lying lips! Friend, if you use any version other than the King James Bible, I plead with you to go look at Mark 1:15. ...
KING JAMES BIBLE (KJB) — Mark 1:15, “And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.” [emphasis added]
EASY-TO-READ VERSION (ERV) — Mark 1:15, “He said, “The right time is now here. God’s kingdom is very near. Change your hearts and lives, and believe the Good News!” [emphasis added]
Oh my! Do you really believe that God requires a person to change their heart and their life to be saved? What saith the Scripture? Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” I am so sick and tired of these half-in and half-out preachers, who say that we are saved by God's grace, but then they contradict themselves by saying that if you're life hasn't changed, then you didn't really repent and are not saved. That is works for salvation! I mean, Pastor Charles Lawson (one of America's most popular preachers) teaches this garbage! Nearly every big name national preacher teaches Lordship Salvation, or some accursed variation thereof. What saith the Scripture? Galatians 3:2, “This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?”
GLORIFYING GOD CONTINUALLY
And then, if you want to GET CLOSE TO GOD, you need to glorify Him continually. Don't ever mention future plans without preceding those statements with the words: “God willing” or “If the Lord allows it” or “By God's grace.” Don't be like Nebuchadnezzar's son, Belshazzar! Daniel 5:22-23, “And thou his son, O Belshazzar, hast not humbled thine heart, though thou knewest all this; But hast lifted up thyself against the LORD of heaven; and they have brought the vessels of his house before thee, and thou, and thy lords, thy wives, and thy concubines, have drunk wine in them; and thou hast praised the gods of silver, and gold, of brass, iron, wood, and stone, which see not, nor hear, nor know: and the God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified:” Herod was eaten alive by worms for not glorifying God! Acts 12:23, “And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost.”
I do not claim to be a good Christian. In fact, I feel like a horrible Christian all the time. I've never smoked a cigarette. I've never drank a drop of beer. Okay, I better stop, or I'll have to start confessing my sins to you. Pastor Jack Hyles always said: “Don't be reluctant to admit to others that you have feet of clay, but don't ever show them your feet!” Amen and amen! I do fear God! Proverbs 28:14, “Happy is the man that feareth alway: but he that hardeneth his heart shall fall into mischief.” I admit that am frustrated daily in my miserable life of bodily pain and loneliness, but I am happy knowing that I am close to God. I fear Him, and I live my life accordingly.
Some of the most cold-hearted, grudge-holding and hateful Christians are the highbrow religious type, who in their own minds have never done anything “real bad,” but they surely have, they just don't see it yet. That is why when the hypocrites dragged the woman caught in the act of adultery before Christ to be stoned, and Jesus wrote something on the ground, they “being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst” (John 8:9). We do not know what Jesus wrote on the ground, but I think He simply drew a symbol for a man. They didn't get it at first, but from THE ELDEST (OLDEST) they began to figure it out, and one by one dropped their stones and left in shame. They wanted to kill this guilty adulterous woman, whom they said was “taken in adultery, in the very act” (John 8:4b)! So then why didn't they bring THE MAN too? I mean, they also caught him “in the very act.” They judged her, but not him! Oh dear friend, the truth is that ALL OF US could be dragged before the Lord as guilty sinners, caught “in the very act.” As we grow older and mature, we begin to see life from a different perspective. Some of the most violent, inexplicable and heinous crimes are committed by teenagers! They haven't matured enough to have a conscience! Freemasons are the scum of the earth, who control our U.S. government and courts, and have deprived children of the Holy Bible since 1963 in all public (government) schools. That was no close vote, coincidence, or bad luck, it was THE DEVIL!!!
SUBMISSION TO GOD
I could say so much about walking with God, but I can sum it all up with just TWO COMMANDMENTS (love God and love thy neighbour as thyself). Don't miss what else we read in James 4...
James 4:8-10, “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.”
It couldn't be more clear that our great God is brokenhearted over the condition of humanity. I am absolutely shocked lately when I read or hear the news. When I was a child, and even as a young adult, you rarely heard the types and abundance of atrocious crimes we're hearing about today! I mean, a staggering number of mothers and fathers nationwide are murdering their own precious children in moments of rage and insanity! I won't belabor this point, but the reason for all this is a woeful lack of the Holy Bible in children's curriculum at school, the flood of filth upon American culture by Satanists, the flood of hundreds of English Bible versions to obscure and confuse the truth, apostate churches, dishonest government, the fraudulent money and banking system, and a court system that refuses to execute murderers! Prosperity has destroyed America!
I tell Jesus that I love Him often, and I do, which is why I try to keep His commandments (John 14:15). God doesn't expect anyone to be perfect, He just wants us to hate our sins and with His help do better each day. John 8:10-11, “When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.” Nothing will hinder a person from walking with God, more than a failure to shun the sins in one's life. The remedy is THE FEAR OF GOD! Proverbs 8:13, “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.” If we want to be close with God, then we must also adopt these attitudes, and hate evil (premeditated sin). I can tell you unequivocally, without any hesitation, that anyone (whether it be an individual or a church) that supports the LGBTQ homosexual agenda is NOT close to God, not even in the ballpark! God hates that evil stuff, and so do I, but I love people. God loves people! We must never accept the sin with the sinner, nor reject the sinner with the sin. Amen and amen!
The dearest thing to God's heart is soulwinning. 2nd Pete 3:9, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” Matthew 10:19, “For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.” Luke 19:10, “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” The great heart of our God and Savior desires for THE LOST TO BE SAVED, through faith in the 'GOOD NEWS' of the Lord Jesus Christ crucified, buried and bodily resurrected the third day (1st Corinthians 15:1-6). Sadly, you won't even find the Gospel in most so-called “churches” nowadays. Instead, you'll find “a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away” (2nd Timothy 3:5b). We need a revival in the churches of THE GOSPEL!
Many Bible students (including Ray Comfort and John MacArthur, who get an “F” on their homework), misinterpret the parable of The Sower And The Seeds (Luke 8:11-15) to apply to salvation, but it is actually all about soulwinning (bearing fruit). Luke 8:15, “But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.” You see, the ultimate goal of the mature believer is BEARING FRUIT (souls saved). The Christian who truly GETS CLOSE TO GOD will be soul-conscious for the lost. Like two oxen pulling a load together in the same yoke, we learn about our blessed Savior when we work together with Him, sharing the same yoke. Matthew 11:29, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Boy, this is good stuff! 1st Corinthians 3:9, “For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.” Well what are Ya waiting for, print some Gospel tracts and go get 'em!
Every Christian believer needs “ESP” (enough sense to pray!). Prayer! Oh, how we all need to pray, pray, pray! I pray as I'm working continually, begging God to work in people's hearts, because I'm just an idiot with a website. I cannot do anything without Jesus (and neither can you by the way)! John 15:5, “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” The average church today ain't no church! They have the wrong Bible version, wrong gospel, wrong attitude, wrong vision, wrong pastor, wrong congregation and wrong everything! Nobody ought to have to endure a church service, because it is more boring than a funeral service! I'm not kidding! If there's one place in the world that ought to be exciting, it is in a New Testament church. Churches are lifeless because pastors are lifeless! We need a bunch of Billy Sunday clones in the pulpits across America! I ain't nothing, but I have God's Holy Spirit burning in my soul, and I've got something to preach! My website is my pulpit for the Lord! Colossians 4:17, “Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfil it.”
When I visited Pensacola, Florida last year, a complete unknown stranger bought me a steak dinner at a fancy restaurant. I was so humbled. I heard people in the airport saying: “Boy, he looks familiar!” Another friendly curious stranger came up to me and said: “You're a preacher aren't you?” God has given me an international voice, because I am humble, and a nobody, and a misfit, and a lonely person with a brokenheart all the time, and I love God with all my heart, despite my many frailties, sins and faults. Since shortly after I got saved at age 13, by age 15 I had a burning desire in my heart to be used of God. That is all I have ever wanted, even though I wandered away for a time like a dumb sheep. Psalms 119:67 and 71, “Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word. ...It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.” You'll never learn the Word of God like when you SUFFER! That is why Dr. Jack Hyles' mother (Coystal Hyles, 1887-1984) was so smart, because she suffered greatly, which you can hear about in one of my favorite MP3 sermons called: “WHY MAMA WAS SO SMART?”
This old world is in a mess! God is brokenhearted over sin, and so must we be, if want to GET CLOSE TO HIM. ...
James 4:8-10, “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.”
God has passions and interests! Getting souls saved is His passion!!! God is interested in helping the needy and the poor, caring for widows and orphans in their affliction. Proverbs 19:17, “He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.” God is holy, and if we want to GET CLOSE TO HIM, then we must obey Him and walk in holiness. 1st Peter 1:16, “Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” God cannot be bought off! As Simon the former sorcerer found out the hard way, God's power is not for sale! That is how I KNOW that Charismatic faith-healers are ALL FAKES!!! You cannot buy God's favor. I love the following passage of Holy Scripture from the psalmist, which tells us how to GET CLOSE TO GOD...
Psalms 103:8-18, “The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust. As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more. But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children's children; To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them.”
If you want to GET CLOSE TO GOD dear reader, then you must OBEY HIM!!! God is looking for a few weak men! We don't grow in strength, we grow in grace. 2nd Corinthians 12:9, “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” God doesn't expect us to be perfect, or anywhere near perfect, He just wants us to be more like Jesus today than we were yesterday. We grow in grace, not in strength. God's goal is not to strengthen us, but to strengthen our union with Christ. Christ adds His strength to our weakness!
HOW TO WALK WITH GOD (an awesome MP3 sermon by Pastor Jack Hyles)
GETTING CLOSE TO GOD IS A MATTER OF FAITH
Let me say as your good friend (who cares enough to help you), that if you have never been born-again, you can NEVER get close to God! 1st Timothy 2:5-6, “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” If you want to GET CLOSE TO GOD the Father, then you must get close to the dear Savior, for He is the only begotten Son of God!!! John 14:6, “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” Oh, how precious is the Son of God!!! I love Him. Do you my friend?
When I was in Bible college, students used to go up after class and ask the teacher questions. I remember overhearing a young man say to the teacher: “I have been saved for 10 years, but I still don't feel like I know God.” That surprised me to hear that from a man preparing for full-time Christian service, and my heart went out to him. I never forgot his question and have pondered it for over 30 years now. Not surprisingly, Mother Teresa (arguably the most famous figure in Roman Catholicism) said verbatim the same thing! ...
And in fact, that appears to be the case. A new, innocuously titled book, Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light (Doubleday), consisting primarily of correspondence between Teresa and her confessors and superiors over a period of 66 years, provides the spiritual counterpoint to a life known mostly through its works. The letters, many of them preserved against her wishes (she had requested that they be destroyed but was overruled by her church), reveal that for the last nearly half-century of her life she felt no presence of God whatsoever—or, as the book's compiler and editor, the Rev. Brian Kolodiejchuk, writes, "neither in her heart or in the eucharist." [emphasis added]
SOURCE: TIME magazine; Mother Teresa's Crisis of Faith, August 2007
It doesn't surprise me one bit that Mother Teresa didn't feel God's presence in her life, because Roman Catholics don't know God! Mark 7:9 and 13, “And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition. ...Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.” No unsaved person has the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit (God in us). John 14:17, “Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.”
Now I don't know if that fellow student in Bible college was saved, and I couldn't hear well enough to know what response the teacher gave to him. However, I do know that one of two things is true—either that young man was not truly saved, or else he did not understand and heed the Holy Scriptures. I do not judge him, God forbid. Although I have always felt God's presence in my life since the day I was saved at age 13, I didn't see it profoundly until I had been saved for decades. Hindsight is always 20/20. The more that I understand and obey the Holy Scriptures, the closer to God I feel. Being close to God is a matter of FAITH!
Mark 11:22, “And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.” GETTING CLOSE TO GOD means having the FAITH that God will honor all His promises, especially the “hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;” (Titus 1:2b). Galatians 3:11, “But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.” 2nd Corinthians 5:7, “(For we walk by faith, not by sight:).” According to Ephesians 6:12-18, part of the Christian believer's SEVEN PIECES of spiritual weaponry is FAITH! Hence, I feel close to God because I have FAITH in the inspired Word of God. Faith is like film, it develops in the dark! Whatever you do, don't pray and ask God to increase your faith, unless you want all manner of havoc to erupt in your life! If you want a stronger faith dear reader, then there is a dear price to pay!!! I have known Christians to commit suicide to escape their burdens! That won't build your faith!
I promise you dear friend that the more you suffer in this life, if you sleep as I do with your King James Bible clutched against your chest, with tears running down your cheeks onto the pillow, and things just seem like they will never get better, that you will GET CLOSE TO GOD!!! Psalms 34:18, “The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.” The apostle Paul suffered greatly in Asia...
2nd Corinthians 1:8-10, “For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life: But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead: Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us;”
Notice how Paul and the other believers made it through their overwhelming crisis—“that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead” (2nd Corinthians 1:9b). I love that! In other words, keep your eyes on Jesus! When the Lord called Peter to walk upon the water, he began to do so until he took his eyes off Jesus, “But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me” (Matthew 14:30). This precious passage of Scripture teaches us to never take our eyes off the Lord!!! I challenge you dear reader to “SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES” (John 5:39a) to learn the promises of God, then claim them, and live upon them!!!!!!!
GOD SOMETIMES ANSWERS PRAYER, EVEN IF WE DON'T BELIEVE HE'LL ANSWER
Although I have done it myself, and am not against it, I have always felt that public prayer meetings are very superficial and lacking sincerity. When I hear religious people praying sanctimonious type prayers in public; such as, “We come before you great God of consolation; Thou omnipotent Creator of the universe...,” I wonder if they really know God at all. Who talks like that? I don't like public prayer, because praying is a very personal thing to me, and I like to be alone with my dear Savior! When people pray in public, they are conscious that other people are listening, and it doesn't feel right to me. In fact, it feels weird!
When I go into a nice restaurant (if Lord willing I ever find a wife), I want that cozy low-light booth in the back corner for just me and her! I want to order a bunch of food and be alone with the one I love. That is how our walk with God ought to be. I love my Savior and I want to spend time alone with Him, to express my heartfelt feelings, cry and tell Him how much I love Him, and to show Him by my words, actions and attitude. Please don't misunderstand, church praying is Biblical, but if that is all you do, you are not close to God. If you want to GET CLOSE TO GOD, you need to depend upon Him in constant prayer. 1st Thessalonians 5:17, “Pray without ceasing.” If we don't pray and abide in the inspired Word of God, we are telling God that we don't need His help, and that we can do it all by ourselves. Only a fool thinks that way! I sure need God in all that I do!!!
Please let me teach you a beautiful truth that I learned from Dr. Wendell Evans in chapel at Hyles-Anderson College decades ago. When the apostle James was beheaded, the church feared Peter was next! So they prayed in Acts 12:5 for Peter to be rescued by God. Well God did answer their prayers, and the angel of the Lord rescued Peter (Acts 12:7). After freed from prison and imminent death, Peter came to knock on the door where THEY WERE STILL PRAYING. Look what happened...
Acts 12:11-15, “And when Peter was come to himself, he said, Now I know of a surety, that the Lord hath sent his angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews. And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying. And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a damsel came to hearken, named Rhoda. And when she knew Peter's voice, she opened not the gate for gladness, but ran in, and told how Peter stood before the gate. And they said unto her, Thou art mad. But she constantly affirmed that it was even so. Then said they, It is his angel.”
God had just answered their prayers, but they told Rhoda she was CRAZY when she told them that the answer to their prayer was knocking at the door!!! Good night in the morning!!! Our great God honors all prayers. I believe that! This is a very encouraging Bible passage, because it teaches us that even when we have don't have the confidence God will answer our prayers, HE DOES ANYHOW!!! What a good God!!!!!!!
“When the last helper has fainted, the last cure has failed, faith's last leaf has withered and your last friend has faltered, there is a God in Heaven Who answers prayer Who will care for you and provide for your needs.”
SOURCE: Pastor Jack Hyles, a quote from the book, “EXPLORING PRAYER WITH JACK HYLES,” chapter 50
I love you dear web visitor with God's unconditional love, whoever you may be. Please pardon my lengthy articles. I just write from my heart, and hope my words are edifying enough that someone wants to read them. If you have read this far in my article, thank you! To God be ALL the praise, credit and glory. HEAR YE HIM!!!
Reasons To Fear The Lord | MP3 (a beautiful sermon by Pastor Steven L. Anderson)
END OF ARTICLE
“Faith is the only
righteous thing that I can do!”
—Pastor Jack Hyles, a quote from the MP3 sermon titled: “God's Reversal Of Psalms 51”
1st Corinthians 16:24, “My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.”
BELIEVE “THE GOSPEL” 2B SAVED!
Confession Is Never A Requirement For Salvation
'The Gospel' In Just One Minute(by Pastor Max D. Younce)
John 3:16, “For God
so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
“As a blind man has no idea of colors, so we have no idea of the manner
which the all-wise God perceives and understands all things.” —Isaac Newton (1642-1727)
Another Gospel Which Is Not Another (a red-hot MP3 by Dr. Curtis Hutson exposing Lordship Salvation)
“If you have to look at
your life to prove that you are saved, it proves that you're not!”
—Pastor Ralph Yankee Arnold; an excellent quote from the awesome YouTube sermon titled, “Why Lordship Salvation is WRONG! | MP3.”