The Approach

Peyton Johnston

September 2nd, 2018

John 11:17-33

It’s funny how the difference in tone of voice and body language accompanying a statement can totally change the kind of response you receive. You can say something kind, but if you present it with a negative or apathetic attitude, it will be perceived as a false compliment. Or you may be trying to communicate a serious message to someone, but if you portray it in an informal manner, the weight of your words would be lost. Your intentions are revealed through your approach, and the answer you get back is dependant upon how the recipient perceives your message.

In Mary’s case, she presented the same statement that her sister, Martha, had just given moments before her. “Lord, if you would have been here, my brother would not have died.” So why, then, was the reaction Jesus had toward each woman so contrasting? To Martha, He reassured her and gently reminded her of his supernatural power. But with Mary, he barely acknowledged her because he become so angered by her response to the situation.

The difference was that Martha came to him with reverence and hope, while Mary showed a faithless attitude. Martha sought Jesus out, while Mary stayed home. Martha was calm because she trusted the Lord, while Mary was hysterical and bound by grief. They may have said the same thing, but they had a different approach. Martha followed her statement with a proclamation of trust in the the wisdom Jesus held. She said, “But I know even now, God will give you whatever you ask.” She understood that all Jesus had to do was speak the word, and her brother would live again.

How are you approaching the Lord when you pray to Him? Do you come to Him humbly with faith? With an angry and entitled tone? Or do you neglect to seek Him out altogether because you let your troubles overshadow your confidence in God’s ability? The determining factor of whether you are welcomed by Jesus or turned away is simply your approach to him. Your miracle cannot come by a half-hearted prayer. Your mountain will not move if you have no faith. You won’t be able to fully enter into His presence if you try to walk in casually or arrogantly.

It’s not a matter of His willingness. It’s a matter of our attitude. We have to check ourselves to make sure we always have clean hands and pure hearts before we can expect to draw close to Him (Psalm 24:3-4). If we come to Him in faith, God will do the miraculous – He will take what once was dead and bring it back to life. All we have to do is have the right approach – remembering that He is our loving Savior and almighty Creator who takes great pleasure in blessing our lives and lifting our burdens.

Pray: ​“Jesus, I always want to come to You with respect, reverence, humility, and faith in all things, at all times. Whether I’m praising You for the victory, or asking for help in the midst of the battle, let my attitude be right when approach You.”