“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.”
The answer to our deepest problems as individuals and as a society are not about self-worth, self-confidence or self-fulfilment. The answer is found in submission to our Lord and God, through Jesus Christ our Saviour. This is not a popular concept in our foolish days and we have already rejected it, even as we read this text. We think life is all about keeping ourselves in the centre of things and keeping up in social media land, but God tells us something quite different; He ought to know because He has made us for Himself and knows what is best for us. Even that idea can make us cringe with its antiquated thought.
God tells us what to do in this passage of Scripture. We are to wash, purify, grieve, mourn and wail and then worst of all we are to humble ourselves before Him and take our place as hopeless people full of sin and iniquity.
It is appropriate that we practice these skills, for we are full of pride and our own conceits and need the forgiveness of the Lord as a matter of urgency. We cannot know Him any other way. We must climb down of our high horses and thrown ourselves at His feet for mercy and pardon.
We don’t want to do this, we want counselling and support and therapy, rather than humbling ourselves before our maker and seeking His way and His love. We would rather have all other loves than His love. How much that must hurt Him who gave up His own Son for our sake.
Try it and see.
Beloved, let us bow before Him and pray like we never prayed before and He will certainly hear us and answer our prayer. The question remains, do we really want Him?