Come close to God, and God will come close to you. James 4:8a
There is nothing sweeter to me than to see a group of children cuddled with their parents in the middle of a storm. It is such a reminder to me that I am not alone in the storms of life. Not only that, but it reminds me that I am held and protected through any storm I face. There is something I realized that happens before a child is cuddled and protected by their parents in a storm, however. They run to their parents. In the same way, my friend, when we are facing the storms in our life, we have to run to God for safety and protection. He is there waiting for us with His arms spread out wide.
We have been talking this week about promises to claim during our storms, and today we are looking at another promise Scripture teaches us to hold on to at all times, especially when storms arise. "Come close to God, and God will come close to you" (James 4:8). This verse is not complicated or complex. When we take a step towards God, He takes a step towards us.
We realized in the weekend service that perhaps the biggest miracle God does in our storms is the work He does in us. When we experience peace when we should be panicking, God has done a miracle. My friend, maybe the biggest miracle throughout our storms is the palpable presence of God when all hope seems lost.
Make no mistake, my friend. God is with us in our storms. The question is, will you turn to Him? Will you run to him like a child runs to their parents for peace and protection during a storm? If you run to Him, I assure you, He will run towards you. May you find peace and comfort in the arms of your loving Father today, regardless of the storm you may be facing.
My friend, your call today is to draw near to God. Take a step towards Him in your storm, even if you have a hard time sensing His presence. Listen to your favorite worship song. Carve out extra time to read your Bible today. Pray. Whatever it looks like to you, draw near to God. I assure you that He will draw near to you.
Read James 4:1-17 (NLT)
What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you? You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.
You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God. Do you think the Scriptures have no meaning? They say that God is passionate that the spirit he has placed within us should be faithful to him. And he gives grace generously. As the Scriptures say,
“God opposes the proud
but gives grace to the humble.”
So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.
Don’t speak evil against each other, dear brothers and sisters. If you criticize and judge each other, then you are criticizing and judging God’s law. But your job is to obey the law, not to judge whether it applies to you. God alone, who gave the law, is the Judge. He alone has the power to save or to destroy. So what right do you have to judge your neighbor?
Look here, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.” How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.” Otherwise you are boasting about your own pretentious plans, and all such boasting is evil.
Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.