How do we approach God? What is the proper procedure, and is there a proper way?
I was reading in Hosea today from my Grandfather's old bible and asked God to show me something that would meet my spiritual need. I love reading from this old Bible because so many of the verses are underlined with small notes; verses that got Grandpap through his life, giving strength, promise and faith for the long journey he successfully completed quite a while ago.
I was led to the small book of Hosea, chapter 14. A small book when compared to Jeremiah and Isaiah, but one could think on the concepts of this Prophet for a lifetime. His writings are just as relevant, probably even more so today than when he prophesied.
Hosea in Chapter 14 said to take words when approaching God. What is spoken first in our inner being must be dictated from our heart to our tongue. When we go to petition God we must take good words with us; He is a great King.
Ezra 9:10 also speaks along this line when he says, " And now, O our God, what shall we say..." Psalm 69:30 says to praise His the name of God with song and magnify Him with thanksgiving."
This is not always easy to do. Especially when we have fallen short in some way. The enemy of our soul uses every weapon at his disposal to keep us from entering God's presence. We must gird up our loins, gather ourselves together both physically and spiritually and go outside the camp, from our camp to Him. We can bare His reproach for He took our sins upon Himself. We have to learn how to offer up the sacrifice of praise to God continually, in good times and bad. The fruit of our lips bring Him honor and praise.
Do not let the enemy lie; Hosea 14 says God is ready to pardon. If we fall into iniquity and turn to Him we will be received graciously and be forgiven. We must ask Him to remove our iniquity; then we will be received as righteous in God's sight because of what Christ did for us on the cross of Calvary. If iniquity is not removed we should not expect anything from God.
God's gracious acceptance and the blessed fruits of our repentance and His forgiveness are to be earnestly desired and asked for. He makes Himself and His blessings readily acceptable and available to us. We must not rely upon our own understanding on this issue; and surely do not believe the lies and condemnation that comes from the evil one.
We never, never seek God's grace in vain. Hosea 14:4 promises that He will heal our backsliding and love us freely; He will turn His anger away. The rest of this promise from God brings tears to my eyes and blesses my soul ~
" I will heal their backsliding,
I will love them freely;
for My anger is turned away from them."
" I will be as the dew unto Israel:
he shall grow as the lily,
and cast forth his roots as Lebanon."
" His branches shall spread and his beauty shall be as the olive tree,
and his smell as Lebanon.
They that dwell under his shadow shall return;
they shall revive as the corn,
and grow as the vine:
the scent there of shall be as the wine of Lebanon."
Stay in His presence; when we fall short and when we are full of praise and thanksgiving, whether we are downcast or exuberant. Go to Him with words!
Enter in freely and become saturated with Him. His fragrance will go through our spirits and likewise minister to others.
Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. (Hebrews 13: 20,21)
It is of Him, and through Him, and for Him that we have our being.