He who would come to God…

Posted: July 18, 2013 in Shared Thoughts, Study!
Tags: , , ,

But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

When a person experiences their initial awakening that God exists, it is often accompanied with the realization His presence is indiscernible to them. Therefore, if a person is to truly “come to God,” it would require not only the belief that God “is,” but also a realization that He is somewhere they are not. A true awareness of “God is” comes with mindfulness that there are two distinctly different settings, where they are and that obvious elsewhere wherever God might be, seemingly afar off. The now awakened consciousness recognizes that if any genuine connection is to be established so that a relationship with God might be formed and nurtured, then somehow the expanse between them both must be closed. But not knowing where God is also leaves one with not knowing how to come to God, even if somehow alone he could close the expanse.

And so the author of Hebrews makes it irrefutable through the whole of the verse; without faith one cannot please God, nor can they come to God. The way to God can only be traveled by faith and the purpose of faith is to come, but who will come if they don’t at least believe He is? Therefore the verse clarifies that any progress one experiences in “coming to God” is only the reward for their hearing the Gospel and seeking Him diligently. Just because His presence may not be discernible, God is not lost. However the Gospel must be preached if men are to be made aware of the absence of His presence in order to compel them to seek after Him, if haply they should find Him.

Contrary to the absurdity of God being lost, when one truly begins to awaken spiritually, it is because they’ve realized without God’s presence they are alone and the ones who are lost. It is like the confident child who while playing wandered off from the security and comfort of their parent’s company. When suddenly they notice they’re all alone with no idea where their parents are. Suddenly they recognize they are lost and their parents will not be pleased; because the child knows they’re supposed to be next to their parents.

Accordingly the journey by faith of coming to God must begin with this basic understanding; I am lost and not where I am supposed to be. The creature having wandered off from his Creator can no longer discern where God is or even which direction to run to find their way back to Him. Sadly, there are many who have wandered so far off pursuing their own thing or have been preoccupied with trying to stay up with others, going blindly through life, that now they agonize or are filled with doubt if there even is a Creator. This is a dreadful state to be in, to be dispirited by the knowledge you’re lost, or worse to not even know it. Can you imagine a child looking up and not seeing their parent and begin to rationalize that since they cannot see them that their parent therefore was never real?

Only a person fully absorbed within themselves and having their appetites filled would be content with such a condition, just like a well fed beast lying in the grass with no concerns except for fleeting impulses for comfort or indulgence of pleasure. There is hardly any hope for such a person unless his condition worsens such that his needs begin to outweigh his ability to satisfy them.

Lost men may fare well for a season when only their pleasures and comforts are disturbed, but get them to a state of desperation and they’ll soon begin to examine their condition seeking a remedy for their plight. Sadly many will turn to destructive methods, such as lying, stealing and some even to murder, only to find that while those methods might momentarily calm the belly, they soon return to their discontentment. Some turn to drugs and alcohol to numb them in order to get them through the day only to seek escape again down the same destructive route day after day, year after year.

Unless a person will be honest with themselves, they can never be fully honest with God or men. Rather, they will endeavor their best to protect the illusion they so desire others to believe, living always behind a facade of lies running from the honesty that would allow them the freedom of transparency. Such men might even have their bellies full and possess fat bank accounts adding to the appearance of their having it all and wanting of nothing, nothing except peace and joy.

This condition is not rare, for all have either been such or still are, but only few will acknowledge it or openly admit it. But those who will be honest have recognized their ailment to be greater than the mere need to fill the belly or to numb the senses of their mind. Their misery, they must concede, is produced by an absence of something much more significant resulting in an agonizing deficiency so apparent that it leaves their lives totally displaced and themselves feeling desperately lost.

Such a realization can break the toughest of men and must be confronted head on if they are to have any hope of success in seeking for an enduring remedy outside their usual futile consolations. But sadly even in this state of awareness, that the reason for their misery is because they are lost and without God, many will remain imprisoned through their own pride. They stubbornly exist in a heighten misery by knowing the truth, yet consumed by a pride that chokes out the needed meekness which would allow them rivers of divine grace if they’d only confess that without God they are hopelessly poor and bankrupt in spirit.

Hosea 7:10 The pride of Israel witnesses against him; yet they do not return to the LORD their God, nor seek Him, for all this.

The only way to come to God is to humbly acknowledge the truth that no matter how rich they are or how strong the illusion might be to others, at best we are naked, destitute and in great poverty of spirit. Where there was intended by the Creator to be light in the spirit of man there is darkness and therefore their “life” is but a mere existence and animated death declining towards inevitable decay wherein the grave will have its ultimate victory.

Should not such truth cause men to cry out? Cry out they should! Is this not the first thing the starving infant does when hunger lays hold on it, or the child that has suddenly realized it is lost, do they not begin to cry out that they might be found? How can such men find their way anywhere when such darkness fills their souls? And does not the scripture proclaim that the spirit of man is the candle of the Lord; that it was created to have the Light of God adjoined to it? Is Jesus not the Light of the world that lights every man that comes into the world?

John 1:4, 9 – In Him was life; and the life was the light of men  . . . the true Light, which lights every man that comes into the world.

Listen to what Paul testified of his own life –

Romans 7:7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, “You shall not covet.” 8 But sin, taking opportunity by the commandment, produced in me all manner of evil desire. For apart from the law sin was dead. 9 I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died.  10 And the commandment, which was to bring life, I found to bring death.  11 For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me.  12 Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good.  13 Has then what is good become death to me? Certainly not! But sin, that it might appear sin, was producing death in me through what is good, so that sin through the commandment might become exceedingly sinful.  14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin.

There came a point in Paul’s life where he should have cried out, “I’ve died!” It was there at that point when his understanding of right and wrong became more than just an subjected acknowledgement of his parent’s wishes, but rather a personal persuasion of right and wrong. Yet, even though he being fully persuaded and in agreement with the authority of the commandment which was ordained for life, Paul nonetheless chose to let sin win out through his selfish desires. Lust had conceived, sin laid hold of the commandment’s authority and the result was Paul died. The sin which was powerless before now took captive even his own conscience as a condemning witness against him and used the holy commandment to kill him. That which was “holy and just and good” proved his sin to be exceedingly sinful and resulted in his death as that holy “life [which] was the light of men” was obligated to leave him.

Proverbs 13:9 The light of the righteous rejoices: but the lamp of the wicked shall be put out.

Job 21:17 How often is the candle of the wicked put out! and how often comes their destruction upon them! God distributes sorrows in His anger.

 Proverbs 24:20 For there shall be no reward to the evil man; the candle of the wicked shall be put out.

This is why some men awaken one day to discover they are walking in darkness, because their candle was put out when they ignored the moral compass which God had given them by writing His laws upon their hearts. Even the darkness may not seem so dark at first and their life did not immediately seem changed, yet that light left them nonetheless. It is as the Lord said to Amos, “Can two walk together except they be agreed?” No, God will no longer walk with those who have come to an age of conviction and understanding yet chose to disagree with His righteousness and go their own way. Once we’ve forfeited the light and fall into in darkness we perpetually waxed worse and worse in our deception and immediately began the habit of deceiving ourselves and others by pretending to still be something we were not.  Only through openly acknowledging that we are the ones who sold ourselves into the bondage of sin and therefore we bear our guilt alone, otherwise there can be no hope for a remedy. We must not continue to blame others for yielding to what we knew was wrong simply because we wanted to.

This is why Jesus said “Blessed are they that mourn, they shall be comforted.” Not until we awaken to our poverty of spirit can we mourn for our transgressions against our Creator so that He hears our cries. Nothing less than a godly sorrow can lead to a repentance that needs not to be followed up with another. For godly sorrow moves the heart of God so that He, as did the prodigal son’s father, runs to us to pour out freely the abundance of His mercies and grace upon us, because He loves us.

Was not the prodigal son poor, and mourning, and meek when he decided he would return to his father’s house with a broken heart content to just be his father’s servant? Did not he say, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight and am no more worthy to be called your son” and did not he again inherit His father’s house? Is this not what Jesus said, “Blessed are the meek, they shall inherit the earth?” Was not the father pleased that the wayward son had the faith to return believing that he was a just and merciful man? Give ear dear sinner, give ear and listen to the Lord’s own proclamation about Himself.

Exodus 34:5 And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD.  6 And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, 7 Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.

How can God have mercy on some and yet “by no means clear the guilty?” It is because some had ceased to hide their sins and cried out to Him before frustrating His longsuffering and grace. Having become so vexed by their own sins and evil tendencies they desperately cried out for mercy from hearts anguished by guilt and a hunger and thirst for righteousness. Would a just and merciful God deny such a cry and earnest desire of heart? No, for with faith it is possible to please God by so coming to Him. The ones who remained guilty are those who chose to hide their sins in their pride and so doing resisted the grace of God to their decisive destruction.

But for those who have opened their hearts to God, calling on Him to search and purge out every evil tendency, these are washed in the blood of the Lamb and thoroughly cleansed from sins that are past in the overwhelming flood of God’s mercies. Once having been truly set free by the truth and power of the Gospel, the captives will then pour out like mercies to their enemies, for God has created a new heart in them and put into remission those old sinful tendencies by renewing a right spirit within, a lit candle now adjoined to the light by the indwelling of God’s own Holy Spirit. Now daily they must put on the nature of Christ as it were a garment by renewing their minds by embracing the will and calling of God for their lives through the word and by the cross. Contrary to legalism which demands “Do this and live,” true Christians in yielded obedience to the Gospel are afforded by the death of Jesus Christ in their stead to be quicken by the mercies of God to “Live! and do these things!” Once dead, but now alive and empowered by the inward working of grace via Jesus’ resurrected Spirit.

Romans 3:24 Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 26 To declare, I say, at this time His righteousness: that He might be just, and the Justifier of him which believes in Jesus.

Galatians 2:20 I am crucified together with Christ. Nevertheless, I live; yet not longer I, but Christ lives in me: for the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith which is of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.

God can, and will, relight the candle of the wicked if they will but believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and repent. All men, any man, though walking in darkness and animated death can through the power of the cross be born again. What greater witness can there be than the cloven tongues of fire which God manifested upon the disciples on the day of Pentecost when He poured out His Holy Spirit upon them? Having now that divine life/light by the Spirit of the resurrected Christ within, repentant sinners now possess the earnest of the Spirit of God as a witness t they shall one day see the Father face to face.  Those having this desire purify themselves by walking in the light of His word acknowledging He is the author of the light and therefore the blood of his Savior continues to cleanse him of all sins.

But dear reader you may be protesting in your hearts to the conviction you may be feeling, saying justifyingly “I have faith, I have turned to the Lord and acknowledged my sins.” It is not enough to merely turn to the Lord and acknowledge we did wrong, we must acknowledge the wrong was going our own way and by so doing we left Him. Be not deceived, the holiness of God does not allow Him to walk in the way of sinners, but the mercies and grace afforded through Jesus Christ can enable sinners to return, fully return from whence they have fallen.

Ezekiel 18:23 “Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?” says the Lord GOD, “And not that he should return from his ways, and live?”

Men must repent to be saved for God has commanded all men everywhere to repent. Do not waste a moment of self-consolation thinking you have repented if your relationship with Christ has no more foundation than once or twice turning to God in polite acknowledgement of these things by saying “I’ve sinned, forgive me.” No, do not let such an empty and vain religion numb your conscience like drugs and alcohol, the repentant sinner must diligently seek by faith to come fully to Him, believing He alone is able and ready to save them to the uttermost.

Dear reader, the faith that pleases God is the kind that does not merely turns a sinner around and leaves him in his place, oh no! It propels them in earnest desire and hope to return to from whence they had fallen and to firmly lay hold of Him who bought them with His blood. This kind of faith is true faith and is liberating, for by God’s grace it puts to flight those whose hearts have now been given wings enabling them to return fully unto Him and not just part way. Faith that we might come to know Him who paid so great a price to buy back the sinner who was always meant to be His glory.

Friend, the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ crucified for your sins is meant to show you the extreme and desperate state of your soul without Him and the relentless jeopardy in which it remains of slipping even further into darkness if you will not humble yourself and receive a love for His truth. The death of the Son of God was to assure you of the greatness of God’s love for you, that He will withhold nothing you need to complete the race as you run to Him.  It is to persuade you that God is all in all able to meet every need if you will only come to Him.

The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” He who hears, let him say, “Come!” He who is thirsty, let him come. He who desires, let him take the water of life freely. Revelation 22:17

Comments
  1. William E. Males says:

    Thanks Bryan for your kind words.

  2. Anonymous says:

    This is to let you know I do read your articles sometime. This one is very good. It seems like this message is perfect for the hour we are living in. Now is the time.

    • William E. Males says:

      Thank you for your reply. It’s nice to get a positive comment for a change from an “Anonymous” – lol

      Stay bless-able

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s