Vance Pitman

Draw Near to God

The Book of James
Apr 25, 2021
James 4:8-10

In this message, Pastor Vance continues our journey through the New Testament book of James and teaches us what it means to draw near to God. When you and I draw near to God there is an awareness of God and a brokenness before God.

Sermon Notes

THE BOOK OF JAMES


Draw Near to God


James 4:8-10


“For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin. There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” – Romans 7:15-8:1


 



“More can happen in five minutes of God’s manifest presence than in fifty years of our best human efforts.” – Bill Elliff



“But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’ Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.” – James 4:6-10


Victory: God’s gracious provision to experience victory in the war with my flesh


Deliverance: God’s gracious provision to remove my flesh


I. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO DRAW NEAR TO GOD?


Spiritual Reality: Drawing near to God means time spent alone daily enjoying the presence of God


“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” – Hebrews 4:16


 



“For centuries, those who have truly sought to know God intimately have found it imperative to set aside some time in each day to focus their attention and affection on Him…as we spend devotional time in the Word and in prayer, God is pleased to commune with us and to reveal more of who He is, little by little” – Clyde Cranford (Because We Love Him, p.109)



 



“Nothing should so occupy the mind of the Christian than discovering God each day…the man who would truly know God must give time to Him.” – A.W. Tozer



 



“When what grieves God no longer grieves you, your heart is hard. When what bothers God doesn’t bother you anymore, your heart is hard.” – Andy Stanley (Louder Than Words)



“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” – Psalm 139:23-24 NLT


1. Confess


“Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.” – Proverbs 28:13


2. Renounce


“Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions.” – Romans 6:12


3. Embrace…God’s forgiveness


“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” – 1 John 1:9


II. WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I DRAW NEAR TO GOD?


“Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you…” (v.8a)


 



“Every morning, when God wakes you, you need to put your heart, your life, your house, and your business into the hands of Jesus. Wait on Him if need be, in silence or in prayer, until He gives you the assurance, ‘My child, for today all is safe. I take charge.’ And morning by morning, He will renew the blessing. Morning by morning, you will go out from your quiet time in the consciousness that, ’Today I have had fellowship with my King, and it is all right. Jesus has taken charge.’ And so, day by day, you can have grace to leave all in the hands of Jesus.” – Andrew Murray (The Master’s Indwelling, pp.133-134)


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