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JFH Devotionals by J.M. Farro

Approaching God

"Because of Christ and our faith in Him, we can now come fearlessly into God's presence, assured of His glad welcome."
- Ephesians 3:12 NLT

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Part of the good news of the Gospel is that those of us who have placed our faith in Christ and His sacrifice on the Cross now have "access" to the Father "so that we are able to approach Him." (Ephesians 2:18 AMP) But HOW we approach Him will be a factor in determining our intimacy with God, and our degree of answered prayer.

First, we must approach God with a submissive spirit. This means that we must desire the Lordís will for us above our own or anyone elseís. In order to have this kind of mindset, we must truly believe that God is wiser than we are, and that He may have something better in store for us. Do you want Godís best in every matter that concerns you? Then put all of your strong desires "on the altar," and leave them there. Believe that God is a good God, and that He always has your best interests in mind. By all means, ask for the desires of your heart, but do it with an attitude that says: "If this is not Your best for me, Lord, then I donít want any part of it." Scripture says: "God opposes the proud but favors the humble. So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time He will lift you up in honor." (1 Peter 5:5-6 NLT) Position yourself to receive Godís supernatural favor and blessings by following His lead in every situation you face.

Next, we should approach God with boldness. The apostle Paul wrote: "Because of Christ and our faith in Him, we can now come boldly and confidently into Godís presence." (Ephesians 3:12 NLT) As Godís own dearly loved children, we have the privilege of approaching Him without fear. As Paul says, we shouldnít cower before Him, but we should feel free enough to call Him "Abba," which is akin to calling Him "Daddy." (Romans 8:15) We should also feel free enough to talk to God about anything. Nothing you say could ever shock Him. He wants you to be honest with Him, and to tell Him your true feelings. Pretending or holding back certain things will only create distance between you and God. But open and sincere communication will draw you close to Him, and will open the way for Him to move on your behalf. The Bible says: "Let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive His mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most." (Hebrews 4:16 NLT) The Lord wants to be the first one you come to when you have a needówhether it be material, spiritual, emotional, social, or any other kind. Heís got the perfect answers and solutions to all of your problems, and He wants you to call on Him with confidence.

Lastly, we must approach God with faith. Scripture says: "It's impossible to please God apart from faith. And why? Because anyone who wants to approach God must believe both that He exists and that He cares enough to respond to those who seek Him." (Hebrews 11:6 MSG) The Lord wants us to believe that each time we call on Him, He is listening and He cares. Doubt will always rob us of Godís best. And it will lead us to make unwise decisions and choices. When James talks about facing trouble and trials, He instructs us to call on God for wisdom for our situation. But he gives us a stern warning against unbelief: "But when you ask Him, be sure that you really expect Him to tell you, for a doubtful mind will be as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind; and every decision you then make will be uncertain, as you turn first this way, and then that. If you don't ask with faith, don't expect the Lord to give you any solid answer." (James 1:5-8 TLB) In Godís kingdom, doubt is costly, and we simply canít afford it. Itís always a good idea for us to pray for more faith, but the Lord expects us to do our part by keeping our eyes, ears, and hearts full of the Word of God. (Romans 10:17; Proverbs 4:20-22)

Donít let doubt, fear, or pride rob you of the good things that are your inheritance in Christ. Instead, approach the Lord with a right heart, and let Him pour out His blessings upon you in full measure!

Prayer: Lord, grant me a submissive spirit, and guard me from all pride. Free me from the fear that would hinder open and honest communication between us. Strengthen my faith in You and Your Word, and cleanse me of all doubt. Thank You for enabling me to seek You the way You desire and deserve!

- J. M. Farro


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