“Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you”, Jam 4:8
"So says Jehovah of Hosts: Turn to Me, says Jehovah of Hosts, and I will turn to you, says Jehovah of Hosts", Zec.1:3

Whatever hinders man to reach unto God, will surely be able to hinder God to reach unto man.

It is grace that saves, it is grace that warns, it is grace that empowers after the first believing step is fully and unconditionally taken. It is grace that still calls and works on man to get them saved and says, “And he will say, Cast ye up, cast ye up, prepare the way, take up the stumbling-block out of the way of my people”, Is.57:14. Man has to still draw himself to God when he is drawn unto Him. Man’s heart is a sure fountain of resistance to his own salvation and to hinder that he chooses to believe something else so he can rather live as he best wishes to. The reason why the devil more easily reads the mind of people, is that they are given to vices in their minds and become stubborn concerning them all, once settled concerning them. Once God is revealed unto man, he is instantly shown the difference between him and God, and God and him. This brings a huge awareness both of real things, as well as all its counterpart illusions within, into open light. This is mainly what one calls conviction, the best one being wordless and most of the time tearless, for people cry today just as easily as Jews would tear their clothes and not their hearts, Joel 2:13. Many people cry today so God may accept them with their sin, He having the power of deliverance fully given to Him.

Enemies are opposed because they differ inwardly. One is an enemy because one is at difference from within. Love and selfishness are opposed, differ as white from black (hatred is not the opposite of love, selfishness is and hatred is but one of selfishness' many stings). If one puts white in front of black, the contrast will be great. Black might not realize what or how it is unless white appears to his eyes. An enemy appearing before his foe might just turn evident what is concealed deep in the heart. A sinner may realize to be a sinner and remain thinking and expecting and believing inwardly high things of himself until he sees Jesus with his own eyes. A sinner is an enemy of God in real nature – however hidden that enmity is against him - but it won't be that manifest until God comes near the reach of his sight.

It is only normal that love gets along and fully understands love and sin feels well among such as are like him. The state of heart of any sinner is enmity against God as He is – it is opposed, it resents Him and fears to look at him because it creates a certain kind of awareness both of sin and self-condemnation on appearing, something which any sinner resents to experience. Besides, sin hardens any man or woman and that in such a degree that they think highly of themselves, breeding thoughts of softness concerning themselves and their ways still. A sinner needs to feel safe and sound – even if he is not – and to have God in his mind achieves that, even falsely, like when people get into the sheepfold but not through the narrow door. As long as his mind and feelings tell such he is alright, all is well with him. But, until God appears to him, no sinner is ever able to measure his own darkness at all. He is dormant and most Christians and preachers are like that as well since one may breed an illusion from God about God because of existing sin.

Let’s take it in now: the reality of God is not even close to the best explanation there is about Him. Preachers take things from the book and not from God Himself (most of them from books. Who cares if I am born a sinner or not if it is God who is to change me however I have been born?) God still remains an enemy to them and they know not about it since they are found discussing trivial matters and beating one another with it because their Lord is tarrying to come. This helps to breed an illusion about God in accordance to many a truth, since He may not be able to appear as He is to solve their questions and trials for them. Most theologians are theologically correct about some aspects of God. Nevertheless, what they believe and teach matters little, since God is after what they are from within to change it and whatever He sows, is sowed alone to bring something back unto Him – whatever they believe; and they should know God is after the fruit of their heart and they should therefore be after God as He is, to be in them that way alone. Any teacher who does not teach how to come to be taught by God, is not worthy of his title nor of his reward!

Therefore, selfishness may talk about love as much as it wishes (and learn from its ways to apply among its own), but it still links what it comes to know and even acknowledge to such people as feel like it, "For if ye love them that love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans do the same?" Mat 5:46. And Scripture says “Can two walk together, except they are in agreement?” Amos 3:3. Until God appears, man does never fully know how his own heart looks like in its roots, for God will not please such when He manages to appear. The fact is that the world or even worldliness may turn one into a sure enemy of God inwardly, step by step, since man, by loving and flirting at the world will only walk with it or have it as a temptation as far as his own heart is in agreement with any of it in some way or at least wishes to be so. “Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever desires to be a friend of the world is the enemy of God”, Jam 4:4. Man’s heart will always change to turn against God and holy people if his hand or eyes are given to the world, somehow.

This, of course, opens the door to the rejection of God. And, unfortunately, most people who preach about grace do not prepare people to meet God – they prepare them not to meet God since the means of graceful dealings are thought of and understood as being a relative stagnancy which does not take hold of the whole of man for them. Man does not find God pleasant by viewing Him as He really is. Unless men are converted and fully changed, God will become a curse unto such by coming then. Grace is there to have man change himself and become fully fit to return to God and commune with Him as He is even – hence the commandment to return, to repent and to cry over the reality sin brought about into any man separated from God. Jeremiah said, “Surely after I turned, I repented…” Jer.31:19. Man must be fully able to return to God by God. We may never disregard that any and all fruit of the Spirit within man, pertains and belongs to man being made able to do it and to will as God works it within as well. If we regard “self-control” (something man does and we can take from the word “self” there) as something the Spirit works out to become fruit from Him and from within us as we grow into the person and the characteristics of Christ Himself, we may also regard all other fruits of the Spirit as having man’s own heart and effort totally put into breeding them from within, having graceful means within full reach now to enable them fully (which is more than attempting to do them). One has to gather with Christ in this also, and to know how to do it the right way. The commandment is to teach people how to be made able to observe naturally and have even God approve it from them in it all. “Therefore go and teach all nations…teaching them to observe all things, whatever I commanded you. And, behold, I am with you …” (Mat.28:19-20).

So many people get involved with commandments which do not change the heart and it is the heart God is after, for, from there one will reject (or accept) God and His ways as they are, once being genuine and far above explanation and mere theory. Yet, I found most people get so involved with commandments only so they may blur their own minds to keep some pet sin or even sins which they state God will free them from in due time. It is much easier to keep a Sabbath than to quit smoking and drinking. I live in a country now, where people easily walk hundreds of miles to a Mary shrine, finding it easier to do that than to go to a store and restore some stolen money to find their lost peace back or even apologize to a wife or husband. They try hard to keep certain commandments by themselves, but do not find strength to lay sin side at all – something much easier for man to do before (with) a Living God. Their yoke is never light for they always err in spirit, mistaking heaviness for a salvation of some kind.

For every change made within man (and not without) and for any right and proper heart change wrought within man, man will move closer to be fully able to love and accept God as He is. The right kind of steps and changes, Godly changes and not only Godly but also wrought and brought about with Christ in Christ by His means within us, will make man acceptable unto God and God acceptable unto man. God will never change – man has to change, therefore. Accepting Jesus is not praying “Jesus I accept you”. To become fully able to accept Him as He is, one has to be changed and be born and made of another way. But, we have a generation which believes to have been born again just as much as the Jews believed they were something. Christians just changed the views and the theology about themselves and the heart remained the same with different and more accurate views on saving issues studied and brought about into their beliefs that way.

This way we easily grasp that every sin man is bound to, hinders God to deal with man and to manifest Himself to him since it turned such into a deeper and more hiding enemy; it may hinder man as well to near God (even with it to be cleansed). God cannot bring about in man whatever is unacceptable to man either, even if man is able to believe he will easily be fully able to accept God, somehow. God cannot breed within man what is unlike Him, nor to make Himself acceptable unto man according to what man best wishes. If unbelief believes in the existing God, it will only believe as far as his own mind thinks and accepts about himself, breeding vain ideals and ideas about a God who has never appeared unto it for real.

The ones who need exercising themselves are such people who have real Love fully installed in them, for sure; and such who do not have it as it really is yet, need to learn the basics of changes wrought in man and mainly how to bring those about into real motion and creating Life. It is like a computer program: you hear about it, you download it, you install it, yet this all put together is far from using it for the purpose that same program was installed for. To install it is never the main reason it has been created for. After all that is fully done and correctly installed, soon the ways to instalment will be forgotten about, and one experiences how to work with it, use it and create patterns and a life style which makes one to move a certain way and become able to forget about the basics of Christianity without feeling guilty about any of it because the cup overflows with a glamour which is of the genuine kind, Heb 6:1-3.

Sin is able to hinder man to think about God as he should – it may also hinder God to reveal Himself to man as He is, should and would in order for man to deal with a Living God the right way. The Lord said to Moses: "And he said, Thou canst not see My face; for man shall not see Me and live", Ex.33:20. Yet, it is with this God one has to come to commune ETERNALLY. Unless man gets hold of all grace he can set his heart and hand on to, he will not change – but it is he who needs and has to change himself through God, mainly, (even though there are certain aspects of man’s inner life God does in secret within him, being “silent in His love” as well, Zep.3:17). But man has to take care of other things and not such as God brings about in secret so as to make man fit for all others. If man does not change from within, God cannot get acquainted with him either nor man with a real God, to commune in and with such in a real manner as He is alone. This is mainly why “The Redeemer shall come to those who turn from transgression”, Is.59:20.

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José Mateus