Summary: what is keeping you from the best God has for you??? The Father so desires us to be close to Him.
"REMOVE YOUR HAT!!!”
- James 4:8 -
"Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded."
Yours truly was blessed to have some time off between Christmas and New Years. A well needed break…amen. So, how better a time to give myself a spiritual check up. There was a lot of successes in 2002, thanks be to God. But as always when you ask God how you are doing…He’ll tell you if…if you’re serious in your asking. In short, there’s plenty of room for improvement. So, I must get busy in seeking the face of the Father. His will, not mine. His way, not mine. Spend more time in prayer. More time in the Word. And of course, it’s not about me, it’s about HIM. And oh yes…”OTHERS”.
During my time off, by divine appointment my lovely wife just happened to set a book entitled “Rees Howells” Intercessor by my chair. In a word the book pushed my “better be about the Father’s business button”. So, guess what??? He has ask/told me to through the Holy Ghost to push yours. Let’s both say ouch together!!! Mr. Howells purpose in life was to get closer to the Lord…period. His passion was to be what God had planned for his life. To be about the Fathers business. To not be satisfied with any thing less. And Rees knew that to get closer took sacrifice. It took getting “me” out of the way. God, my friend knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows what we need more than we know what we need as well. Our heart is our message center, and God knows that best too. Sacrifice…sounds like death…yep, you got it!!! A death to self. To get closer, to draw nearer, that’s my goal, how about you??? Rees Howells sought God intensely for that closer walk. He said, God I’ll do anything to get there. He meant it, so God told him what he needed to do. Back at the turn of the century, in London, it was normal and for the fact of the matter for men to wear a hat. So much so that if you didn’t you were considered a low life (in today’s terms). Not part of the “high society”. And you guessed it, God told him to not wear his hat. Oh my, what would friends and family think??? Pleasing man or pleasing God. Isn’t that really the issue nearly all the time…I thought you’d agree??? It wasn’t easy, but Rees obeyed the Word of the Lord, and removed his hat. To be dead to the influence of man. In fact the Holy Ghost said not to preach being dead to the world if he didn’t have victory over it. And you guessed it, the scoffers came out of the woodwork, both family and friend. They just didn’t understand…they never do. Thought he went off the deep end, they always do. It just about killed him…but he realized that was the point to kill the flesh so the spirit man would be alive unto God. So, victory came for Mr. Howells. God now took him farther than ever before. Being used of God beyond his wildest dreams. And not being yet satisfied, Rees sought God harder, so God got serious with him. More sacrifices, more steps of obedience, but my, the more sweet and rewarding the victories. Rees was in the way of a closer walk. I’m in the way of a closer walk.
Let’s dig into our main verse the Lord has given us. (James 4:8) "Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded."
• “draw nigh” approach, come near, to join one thing to another. Friend, draw near to God. Approach the Father, He so desires your fellowship…after all He created you for Himself to enjoy…amen. Then He will see your intent in wanting to get closer and He as the gentleman He is will come near to you. Not barge in…only when He is desired and welcomed.
• “Cleanse” to make clean, stains and dirt, to free from defilement of sin and from faults, to purify from wickedness, to free from guilt of sin, to purify, to consecrate by cleansing or purifying, dedicate. Quite obvious. God is pure and holy. He expects us to be. Wash ourselves with the Word. With consecration and dedication. In other words…make up your mind friend to do what you know to do.
• “hand” the hand symbolizes power, control, in our hands lies power and control. Have we done most of our decision making in our own power or have we included the Lord. Cleanse that, change that. Make your hands pure and holy for His use, His control. We think we have to control our situations, our circumstances, while all the while we need to give them over to the Almighty…amen.