"If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink." (John 7:37b)
Feeling a bit parched? Searching to quench that thirst with an iced tea or Diet Coke? Dive into the Word for real refreshment!
I try to be diligent in my Bible reading and am often rewarded by God's speaking to my heart through particular scriptures. I pause and sometimes even write them down. The reflection usually ends there, however. This year, I would like to pursue the verses that God lays on my heart by pondering how He wants me to apply these verses in my life.
Here is what spoke to me this week:
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. (James 4:7-10)
One of my all-time favorite verses is verse 8 of this passage: Draw near to God, and He will draw near to You. Most of the time, though, I read this verse in isolation. All of the strong verbs in this passage caught my attention this week.
- Submit to God. Yielding my own desires and agenda is such a hard thing, and it has taken me years to understand that this submission is not a one-time thing, but something that must be done daily. What a difference it makes when I do submit my day to God!
- Resist temptation. Temptation will happen. Sometimes it's hard for me to remember that stumbling across temptation isn't a sin. It's the entertaining the temptation that it is the sin. To help me resist the enemy and his snares, I try to remember I Corinthians 10:13.
- Come near to God. When I take the time to read His Word, communicate with Him through prayer, and seek Him, I feel His presence. God is always waiting for me, but I have to demonstrate that I accept His invitation.
- Wash my hands and purify my heart. When I have this relationship with God, it should remind me of His holiness and my sin. It is so easy for me to fall into worldiness, but I must constantly strive to become more Christ-like by becoming aware of my sin (which happens as I develop a relationship with Him) and repenting of (turning away from) it.
- Grieve for my sin. God doesn't want me constantly to be moping about. However, He doesn't want me caught up in worldly frivolity, either. Sin grieves God. If it saddens Him, I should also mourn the hurt that I cause him by sinning. I should consider Jesus's crucifixion and His taking the weight of my sins on Him so that I would not be eternally separated from the Father. Then I should rejoice that I am forgiven and that God is merciful!
- Humble myself. The world tells me that I should be striving to be the best and have the most. However, God's Word tells me the exact opposite. If I am supposed to humble myself before men, how much more should I humble myself before God? When I humble myself, I can be assured that God will lift me up!
So, what verses have spoken to you this week? Post those verses on your own blog, along with how you see that God wants you to apply them in your life. Then, provide your link below so that we can drink from one another's wells of scripture.