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James 4:7-8

October 2, 2009

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.

I have had a really hard time of late with sin. My decision to draw close to God has involved quite a time of personal examination. I am discovering things that I had no idea were problems, areas of my life that need sorting out. It is a hard process, but one I am certain I need to travel through. God desires my focus and my heart to be completely on Him, so through reading His Word I am shining His light into the darkest recesses of my life.

This amazing James reading speaks of the need for me to first act and then God reacts. So I submit myself and God will strengthen me to resist the devil. So I come near God and then He will come near me. But first I must act before God reacts. I need to make that choice, take that decision to seek after Him before He will respond.

And when it says, ‘Wash your hands’, the greek behind this is ‘katharidzo’ which is to be free from sin and guilt. So washing your hands is an action I take, and in taking that action, in seeking after Jesus, He will respond by purifying my heart.

I yearn for a pure heart focused completely on God, and it is my responsibility to take that first step.

God bless,

Rev Mark Brown

Note: I am typing this while sitting on what might be the world’s hardest chair at Auckland airport, New Zealand. In an hour or so I am boarding a flight for Singapore where I will be for a couple of nights, then on to Malaysia, where I am speaking at a conference. Not sure of my internet access while I am away, so if I go a little quiet you know why!

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22 Comments
  1. Sam Assefa permalink

    Hey there, well have a nice trip and I am sure you are going to find your way. Thanks for reminding me to look at my self closer than I have ever had. Thanks and God bless!

  2. The scripture James 4:7-8 has really touch me . I once had a dream of someone to whom I believe was my daughters grandmother . I have been in sin and I have asked God to help provide me to overcome temptation and he has led me away from it . But as far as the dream I had it was very frightening to me from when I had awake from it . I was laying in the bed in my dream and my daughter was in bed with me laying beside me ( now everynight I have a routine that I follow before I go to bed I make sure that my patio door is locked and my front is locked , once I go to my room I close my bedroom door and lock it and I have a closet door that has another door that leds to the bathroom so I close and lock both doors including my closet door) so in my dream like I said my daughter is laying beside me but my back is turn towards her so once I turned to face her I noticed in my dream that my closet door was slightly cracked , and there was a woman , but a dead corspe reaching out to grab me , but I got out of the bed in time and my bedroom door was open and my front door was open so it was easy for me to escape from the woman who was trying to get to me . After I woke up from my dream I couldnt go to sleep I woke up in a swaet and I also felt a presence with me . Till this day I dunno rather it was my daughters grandmother or someone else . Could it be that God was telling me that me sinning will lead me to an early grave or what does this symbolizes?

    • dparker permalink

      Dear Michelle, I don’t know about the symbolism of the dream, but I do know that satan will always try to confuse you and put you in bondage. The guilt over sin that you feel is not from God. The thing about sin is that WE all do it. But God’s Grace, his love is so great that he doesn’t care how bad we are and has provided a way to draw near to him through Jesus. I recommend that you hold fast to Jesus, think about Him day and night, read the word and pray without ceasing. In time God will provide the path you are to take, then…take it! I will pray for you. ~Dawne

  3. Rachel Jumpp permalink

    I just wanted to say that I enjoy reading your post. They are very inspirational. I hope you have a safe trip.

  4. victoria permalink

    Thank you for reminding me that the Lord isn’t finished with me yet!

  5. Laura permalink

    Hey Pastor Mark! Praise God that you see and hear the Holy Spirit as He reveals the hidden sin in you! The closer you draw to God, the more garbage He will reveal – both large and small – so that you may draw EVEN CLOSER. When we seek Him, He will reveal Himself to us and take us deeper through purification. Isn’t it precious and wonderful?

    On the other side of that, do not let Satan draw you into condemnation. The accuser of the brethren, indeed.

  6. Bridgette Goudy permalink

    I will keep you in my prayers Mark & have a great flight!!!

  7. I pray you have a safe successful trip! Your wisdom will be missed!

  8. Wow, thank you so much. I, too, have been really convicted of my sinful ways. I think my worst is not reflecting His love as I should. And it so grieves the Spirit…in the worst way…As I pray for you, please pray for me.

    In Him.

  9. Sue permalink

    God’s work in us is like peeling away the layers of an onion. It is a process. As we journey closer, the finer details of our life are shown to us. The outer layers of an onion are usually the “hottest”, just as the outer layers of our sin are the easiest to see. It’s when we get past those that they are harder for us to realize, and many times, harder to rid ourselves of.

    Blessings and prayers.

  10. karen permalink

    by reading what u had 2 say regarding ur relationship made me think of ps. 37:4…”delight yourself n the Lord and He will give u the desires of ur heart” needless 2 say my desire is 2 draw near 2 God and live a life pleasing 2 Him which i cannot do without His guidance….
    boy do we stumble a lot. i praise God 4 showing me what makes me stumble and telling when i do stumble.
    thanx so much 4 ur insight n2 His Word.

    • yes we stumble a lot and I am glad to hear another one confess to it. I think that if people would humble themselves a little more in the churches and admit that they are sinners everyday, we could do better with helping each other with our struggles. Nobody wants to admit they are sinners. Everyone wants to come in all polished and clean and really inside they are just as dirty as anyone else inside.

  11. eunice permalink

    God bless your trip!!!! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. Reading your message brightens my day and keep me reminded to be always thankful to God. =)

  12. Mona permalink

    This is true for every believer, at least every one I know, including myself. I will be keeping you in prayer, Mark. Safe trip and God speed.

  13. Laura permalink

    Remember that Moses too had to go through a time of personal examination after he received and acted on the call of God. All in all, Moses is a fairly great example of going on a journey with God. May God continue to bless you, Mark, in all that you do.

  14. simona blatman permalink

    Mona, you rock ME.

  15. I’ve been looking at James recently too. It’s a great reminder that we need to ACT. Thank you Mark.

  16. Baron Smith permalink

    I am presently writing a book titled THE BIBLE SECRETS REVEALED……This has been over seventeen years in the works.
    This fantastic book will help you understand the many, many secrets of the Bible that has been hidden in plain view for thousands of years. It is a fact that the Bible was written in parables, well they will be revealed in this new book.
    It will help you answer the many questions that has baffled thousands from generation to generatio.
    This book is like no other, Priests , Pastors and all others that preaches the gospel will learn a great deal from this amazing book

    • Baron Smith permalink

      THE BIBLE SECRETS REVEALED (contd)
      This book will inspire the world’s population.
      This book will illustrate the facts of how Oblation has changed my life and will change others in a very profound way, by just following a few simple steps.
      It will illustrate how the Old Testiments and the New Testiments are the same stories but written with different set of characters.
      The negative and the positive spirits are within all of us they are the powerful forces that has to be nuturalized, they controll the mind set.
      How do you do that? you ask, simply by six days of Oblation and one day without…..Lots and lots more facts to come that will make you wonder….

  17. Andrew permalink

    When I hear Christians sharing, it’s common to think not only of the message, but the messenger. Mr. Brown proves the most useful. He not only expounds awesome insite to scripture, but shares his challenges facing himself and many many Christians around the world. Christ moves many ministers who choose not to do so. Mr. Brown insodoing brings his life with Christ to others’ levels as we trudge the happy road together in Christ, our Savior…Thanks Mr. Brown and God Be with you Always…..Andrew

  18. Della permalink

    The pure heart topic keeps popping up this week. I think the Lord wants me to realize something more about it. I’m going to pray about it and study more on it.

  19. mila permalink

    I remember this verse James 4:7 favorite of my three children. my son is just 7yrs old ,second 5,my youngest 3, every morning i always play the music of maranatha submit to god the devil will flee from you every time the music play they keep asking mom how can the devil flee from us .everyday they play this music they have this joy ,i always remember now I’m 50 my three kids are professional, i m deeply touch of this verse .what if i stand to my sin and pride continue working and work hard for the money,never give up my career since my job before you can never flee from sinning because of temptation in the world.I always work as field representative require a lot of travel and time i enjoy my job .one time i was assign in hospital one of the hardest place to reach ,but the doctor require to visit the place he want me to witness the situation of the hospital.i have no other choices but to follow my client while on the way i struggle a lot i have this bible with me the same verse keep striking me that time we experiences how god reminding me my flight was delayed because of the typhoon ,because i m still young i don’t care even there is typhoon also why should i be afraid my lord is with me to my surprise the place i went after we landed at the airport. i never thought we need still travel by boat to cross the place where hospital is in my desperation that time i don’t know the place is just my assistant with me “julie” i still never give up its already 7pm we keep having argument many why’s i really believe that time the lord is with me the service of the hospital was there.I thought after we cross by the boat the hospital is there , we need to travel still in zigzag road julie and i try hard to smile to the driver we have long way to travel by land in short we reach the place by 9:30 i think the storm very depressing i m really crying inside i can’t show to my office mate, after we ate our dinner i pray hard meditate the word why i m here lord ,because of the thought i can earn large amount of money,second reason because of the desire that i can install all the instrument in the hospital again a lot of money out of my will out my intellectual ability not by the will of god never come to my mind that the lord provide it not because i m hard working mother it’s because he is the one who give us everything he is the author of my life. right after my demonstration i went home immediately after 2days of travel i embraced my three angels bow down to god cry hard and pray i will give up my career i will always trust lord with all my heart never lean to my own understanding from that the day i ,up to now my children finish college god’s provide everything they need. My husband was so blessed the lord provide good job for us we had great experiences and the blessing, my son also teach also bible study, my daughter work also use by the lord in the music team when she lead i really cry hard the holy spirit talking to me always, what if i follow my desire not the lord ways ,what if i never submitted to god’s direction, where am i today god’s provision are always open to us to choose submit to god resist the devil he will flee from you because my heart own by god you know what my children inspire me a lot ,my youngest daughter she approach me one day after she finish college she told me ma, do you still have money i said i can’t answer her back just ask why ma, i want to continue study , i want to be doctor i cry hard again to god lord how can we do this we are getting old and the lord rebuke me..now one night she approach again i want to be missionary doctor my husband again our faith is tested never get weary he give me strength all they long now she is in third year god’s is my source of my will and strenght.

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