The Worst Way To Come to God

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

James 4:10

Depending on how long you’ve been a Christian, it is tempting to come before God in the way that we are used. Like going to church on Sunday’s, most of us are quite used to donning our Christian masks with a semblance of being presentable wearing our “Sunday Best”. However, that is not the way that God wants us to come to him. In fact, that is the worst way to come to God.

The most powerful posture to present oneself to God is the posture of brutal honesty. 

James writes that when we humble ourselves before God, that’s when we draw close to him. To humble ourselves is to be raw, to be unfinished, to be unclear. Contrary to a world lived through social media, to come before God is to present the worst version of ourselves. We are to come with our messy unimpressive selves with the honest thoughts of our hearts.

Hear the teaching of Jesus:

He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.  I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’  I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Luke 18

The person who came truly as he was was the person who God accepted into his courts.

But the person who has their religious masks up, with artful and long prayers, they rob themselves of having a genuine relationship with God. It is not that God has refused them, it is that their religiousness has pushed away God.

The worst way to come to God is to come presentable.

No, come as you are

Author avatar
Phil Chan
Phil has been writing for over 15 years. His passion is to help people see God and to live a life that matters.

3 comments

  1. Gen. 32:27
    27And he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.”

    There’s a whole study and teaching in there. The God of the universe just asked you what your name was, as if he didn’t know.
    I really love the story and narrative here. Jacob ran off after stealing the blessing, pretending to be someone else, wrestling through the consequences, and finally got the guts to go back home and stand before Esau preparing for the worst. And then God asks him the most basic of questions to make sure Jacob knew who he was–and then promptly renames him, because he has been remade.

    (and then Jacob asks for the person’s name, and God basically replies “you know who I am, don’t be ridiculous” and doesn’t answer)

  2. Gen. 32:27
    27And he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.”

    There’s a whole study and teaching in there. The God of the universe just asked you what your name was, as if he didn’t know.
    I really love the story and narrative here. Jacob ran off after stealing the blessing, pretending to be someone else, wrestling through the consequences, and finally got the guts to go back home and stand before Esau preparing for the worst. And then God asks him the most basic of questions to make sure Jacob knew who he was–and then promptly renames him, because he has been remade.

    (and then Jacob asks for the person’s name, and God basically replies “you know who I am, don’t be ridiculous” and doesn’t answer)

  3. Phil Chan

    Love that story. great commentary

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