Come near to God and he will come near to you. James 4:8a
Samuel Brengle who was an early Salvation Army official was once introduced as the “Great Dr. Brengle.” He later wrote in his diary, “If I appear great in their eyes, the Lord is most graciously helping me to see how absolutely nothing I am without Him and helping me to keep little in my own eyes. He does use me. But I am so concerned that He uses me and that it is not of me the work is done. The ax cannot boast of the trees it has cut down. It could do nothing but for the woodsman. He made it, he sharpened it, and he used it. The moment he throws it aside, it becomes only old iron. O, that I may never lose sight of this.”
Source: Samuel Logan Brengle, C. W. Hall
Most people live very busy lives. We seldom have enough time to do all the things we want to do in a day, a month, or a year. Our busyness comes at a great price to our mental, physical and spiritual well-being. Yet, to many people, being busy gives them a sense of meaning and purpose. They may complain about being too busy, but they seldom make the necessary adjustment to slow down the fast pace of their lives.
Many people are so busy they struggle to make room for God. They may be religious and go to church, but their intimate relationship with God is deficient. Thus, they struggle to get in tune with God’s plans for their lives and they are neglectful in their prayer life, and in the study of God’s holy word.
How do we make room for God in our lives? First, we must make prayer a priority. By prioritizing prayer, we invite God to invade our personal, emotional, spiritual and physical space so we can always remain connected with Him. The soul that prays persistently and fervently is open to divine interference as it seeks to live in a relationship of loving union with God.
In today’s text, James reminds us that if we draw near to God and he will come near to us. God wants to always remain connected with His children. He wants all His children to succeed in the work He has appointed for us to do. The Lord has gifted us with His Holy Spirit so He can dwell in us and lead us through the issues of life as we prepare for our heavenly reunion with Him. Thus, we should never be so busy that we cannot spend quality time with Him in prayer.
Second, we make room for God by making ourselves available for kingdom work. According to Ephesians 2:10, God created us for good works that He prepared for us before the creation of time. By doing His work we make room for Him to use us for His glory, and to change the world through us. When we are not doing kingdom work, we can become desensitized to the presence and the work of the Spirit of God in our lives.
Samuel Brengle is right in stating that God uses us as we make ourselves available. When we make room for God others may be impressed with our gifts and service to God’s kingdom, but we must give God all the glory. We are all servants. All we are asked to do is to make room for God to be glorified in and through us.
Questions for Personal Reflection
What are you doing to make room for God in your busy schedule?
How can you help others to be more intentional about making room for God in their lives?
Prayer- Holy God, please help me to be more available to you. I want to draw near to you so I can remain in a relationship of loving union with you. Please help me to seek first your kingdom and your righteousness over all other things. May I never become too busy to hear your voice, feel your presence and do your kingdom work!