Drawing close to the Lord should be your lifetime pursuit. Sometimes, however, that process is hindered. James writes about two stages you may have to pass through as you attempt to enter God's presence.
First, James says to "humble yourselves before God" (James 4:7). Pride, lust, and friendship with the world will block your prayer requests. Also, you may be asking with wrong motives: "You want only what will give you pleasure" (v. 3). However, if you humble yourself and submit your life to God, then your requests will be made from right motivations.
Next, James says to "resist the Devil, and he will flee from you" (v. 7). Satan may be hindering your requests from coming to pass, even though God has granted them. When Daniel prayed, his prayer was actually answered from the first day, but Satan hindered it from coming to pass for twenty-one days (Daniel 10:12-13).
After you humble yourself and resist the devil, you will be able to "draw close to God, and God will draw close to you" (James 4:8). God loves you and is waiting for you to draw near through the gate of the Lord!
28 Then he brought me into the inner court through the south gate, and he measured the south gate; it had the same measurements
32 Then he brought me to the inner court on the east side, and he measured the gateway; it had the same measurements
35 Then he brought me to the north gate
38 A room with a doorway was by the portico in each of the inner gateways, where the burnt offerings
44 Outside the inner gate, within the inner court, were two rooms, one
47 Then he measured the court: It was square—a hundred cubits long and a hundred cubits wide. And the altar was in front of the temple.
48 He brought me to the portico of the temple
41 Then the man brought me to the main hall
3 Then he went into the inner sanctuary and measured the jambs of the entrance; each was two cubits
5 Then he measured the wall of the temple; it was six cubits thick, and each side room around the temple was four cubits
8 I saw that the temple had a raised base all around it, forming the foundation of the side rooms. It was the length of the rod, six long cubits.9 The outer wall of the side rooms was five cubits thick. The open area between the side rooms of the temple10 and the priests’ rooms was twenty cubits wide all around the temple.11 There were entrances to the side rooms from the open area, one on the north and another on the south; and the base adjoining the open area was five cubits wide all around.
12 The building facing the temple courtyard on the west side was seventy cubits
13 Then he measured the temple; it was a hundred cubits
15 Then he measured the length of the building facing the courtyard at the rear of the temple, including its galleries
The main hall, the inner sanctuary and the portico facing the court,16 as well as the thresholds and the narrow windows
21 The main hall
28 Then the man took me to the south gateway leading into the inner courtyard. He measured it, and it had the same measurements as the other gateways.29 Its guard alcoves, dividing walls, and entry room were the same size as those in the others. It also had windows along its walls and in the entry room. And like the others, the gateway passage was 87 1⁄2 feet long and 43 3⁄4 feet wide.30 (The entry rooms of the gateways leading into the inner courtyard were 14 feet
32 Then he took me to the east gateway leading to the inner courtyard. He measured it, and it had the same measurements as the other gateways.33 Its guard alcoves, dividing walls, and entry room were the same size as those of the others, and there were windows along the walls and in the entry room. The gateway passage measured 87 1⁄2 feet long and 43 3⁄4 feet wide.34 Its entry room faced into the outer courtyard. It had palm tree decorations on its columns, and there were eight steps leading to its entrance.
35 Then he took me around to the north gateway leading to the inner courtyard. He measured it, and it had the same measurements as the other gateways.36 The guard alcoves, dividing walls, and entry room of this gateway had the same measurements as in the others and the same window arrangements. The gateway passage measured 87 1⁄2 feet long and 43 3⁄4 feet wide.37 Its entry room
38 A door led from the entry room of one of the inner gateways into a side room, where the meat for sacrifices was washed.39 On each side of this entry room were two tables, where the sacrificial animals were slaughtered for the burnt offerings, sin offerings, and guilt offerings.40 Outside the entry room, on each side of the stairs going up to the north entrance, were two more tables.41 So there were eight tables in all—four inside and four outside—where the sacrifices were cut up and prepared.42 There were also four tables of finished stone for preparation of the burnt offerings, each 31 1⁄2 inches square and 21 inches high.
44 Inside the inner courtyard were two rooms,
47 Then the man measured the inner courtyard, and it was a square, 175 feet wide and 175 feet across. The altar stood in the courtyard in front of the Temple.48 Then he brought me to the entry room of the Temple. He measured the walls on either side of the opening to the entry room, and they were 8 3⁄4 feet thick. The entrance itself was 24 1⁄2 feet wide, and the walls on each side of the entrance were an additional 5 1⁄4 feet long.
41 After that, the man brought me into the sanctuary of the Temple. He measured the walls on either side of its doorway,
3 Then he went beyond the sanctuary into the inner room. He measured the walls on either side of its entrance, and they were 3 1⁄2 feet
5 Then he measured the wall of the Temple, and it was 10 1⁄2 feet thick. There was a row of rooms along the outside wall; each room was 7 feet
8 I saw that the Temple was built on a terrace, which provided a foundation for the side rooms. This terrace was 10 1⁄2 feet
12 A large building stood on the west, facing the Temple courtyard. It was 122 1⁄2 feet wide and 157 1⁄2 feet long, and its walls were 8 3⁄4 feet
The sanctuary, the inner room, and the entry room of the Temple16 were all paneled with wood, as were the frames of the recessed windows. The inner walls of the Temple were paneled with wood above and below the windows.17 The space above the door leading into the inner room, and its walls inside and out, were also paneled.18 All the walls were decorated with carvings of cherubim, each with two faces, and there was a carving of a palm tree between each of the cherubim.19 One face—that of a man—looked toward the palm tree on one side. The other face—that of a young lion—looked toward the palm tree on the other side. The figures were carved all along the inside of the Temple,20 from the floor to the top of the walls, including the outer wall of the sanctuary.
21 There were square columns at the entrance to the sanctuary, and the ones at the entrance of the Most Holy Place were similar.22 There was an altar made of wood, 5 1⁄4 feet high and 3 1⁄2 feet across.
23 Both the sanctuary and the Most Holy Place had double doorways,24 each with two swinging doors.25 The doors leading into the sanctuary were decorated with carved cherubim and palm trees, just as on the walls. And there was a wooden roof at the front of the entry room to the Temple.26 On both sides of the entry room were recessed windows decorated with carved palm trees. The side rooms along the outside wall also had roofs.
28 And he brought me to the inner court by the south gate: and he measured the south gate according to these measures;
29 And the little chambers thereof, and the posts thereof, and the arches thereof, according to these measures: and there were windows in it and in the arches thereof round about: it was fifty cubits long, and five and twenty cubits broad.
30 And the arches round about were five and twenty cubits long, and five cubits broad.
31 And the arches thereof were toward the utter court; and palm trees were upon the posts thereof: and the going up to it had eight steps.
32 And he brought me into the inner court toward the east: and he measured the gate according to these measures.
33 And the little chambers thereof, and the posts thereof, and the arches thereof, were according to these measures: and there were windows therein and in the arches thereof round about: it was fifty cubits long, and five and twenty cubits broad.
34 And the arches thereof were toward the outward court; and palm trees were upon the posts thereof, on this side, and on that side: and the going up to it had eight steps.
35 And he brought me to the north gate, and measured it according to these measures;
36 The little chambers thereof, the posts thereof, and the arches thereof, and the windows to it round about: the length was fifty cubits, and the breadth five and twenty cubits.
37 And the posts thereof were toward the utter court; and palm trees were upon the posts thereof, on this side, and on that side: and the going up to it had eight steps.
38 And the chambers and the entries thereof were by the posts of the gates, where they washed the burnt offering.
39 And in the porch of the gate were two tables on this side, and two tables on that side, to slay thereon the burnt offering and the sin offering and the trespass offering.
40 And at the side without, as one goeth up to the entry of the north gate, were two tables; and on the other side, which was at the porch of the gate, were two tables.
41 Four tables were on this side, and four tables on that side, by the side of the gate; eight tables, whereupon they slew their sacrifices.
42 And the four tables were of hewn stone for the burnt offering, of a cubit and an half long, and a cubit and an half broad, and one cubit high: whereupon also they laid the instruments wherewith they slew the burnt offering and the sacrifice.
43 And within were hooks, an hand broad, fastened round about: and upon the tables was the flesh of the offering.
44 And without the inner gate were the chambers of the singers in the inner court, which was at the side of the north gate; and their prospect was toward the south: one at the side of the east gate having the prospect toward the north.
45 And he said unto me, This chamber, whose prospect is toward the south, is for the priests, the keepers of the charge of the house.
46 And the chamber whose prospect is toward the north is for the priests, the keepers of the charge of the altar: these are the sons of Zadok among the sons of Levi, which come near to the Lord to minister unto him.
47 So he measured the court, an hundred cubits long, and an hundred cubits broad, foursquare; and the altar that was before the house.
48 And he brought me to the porch of the house, and measured each post of the porch, five cubits on this side, and five cubits on that side: and the breadth of the gate was three cubits on this side, and three cubits on that side.
49 The length of the porch was twenty cubits, and the breadth eleven cubits, and he brought me by the steps whereby they went up to it: and there were pillars by the posts, one on this side, and another on that side.
41 Afterward he brought me to the temple, and measured the posts, six cubits broad on the one side, and six cubits broad on the other side, which was the breadth of the tabernacle.
2 And the breadth of the door was ten cubits; and the sides of the door were five cubits on the one side, and five cubits on the other side: and he measured the length thereof, forty cubits: and the breadth, twenty cubits.
3 Then went he inward, and measured the post of the door, two cubits; and the door, six cubits; and the breadth of the door, seven cubits.
4 So he measured the length thereof, twenty cubits; and the breadth, twenty cubits, before the temple: and he said unto me, This is the most holy place.
5 After he measured the wall of the house, six cubits; and the breadth of every side chamber, four cubits, round about the house on every side.
6 And the side chambers were three, one over another, and thirty in order; and they entered into the wall which was of the house for the side chambers round about, that they might have hold, but they had not hold in the wall of the house.
7 And there was an enlarging, and a winding about still upward to the side chambers: for the winding about of the house went still upward round about the house: therefore the breadth of the house was still upward, and so increased from the lowest chamber to the highest by the midst.
8 I saw also the height of the house round about: the foundations of the side chambers were a full reed of six great cubits.
9 The thickness of the wall, which was for the side chamber without, was five cubits: and that which was left was the place of the side chambers that were within.
10 And between the chambers was the wideness of twenty cubits round about the house on every side.
11 And the doors of the side chambers were toward the place that was left, one door toward the north, and another door toward the south: and the breadth of the place that was left was five cubits round about.
12 Now the building that was before the separate place at the end toward the west was seventy cubits broad; and the wall of the building was five cubits thick round about, and the length thereof ninety cubits.
13 So he measured the house, an hundred cubits long; and the separate place, and the building, with the walls thereof, an hundred cubits long;
14 Also the breadth of the face of the house, and of the separate place toward the east, an hundred cubits.
15 And he measured the length of the building over against the separate place which was behind it, and the galleries thereof on the one side and on the other side, an hundred cubits, with the inner temple, and the porches of the court;
16 The door posts, and the narrow windows, and the galleries round about on their three stories, over against the door, cieled with wood round about, and from the ground up to the windows, and the windows were covered;
17 To that above the door, even unto the inner house, and without, and by all the wall round about within and without, by measure.
18 And it was made with cherubims and palm trees, so that a palm tree was between a cherub and a cherub; and every cherub had two faces;
19 So that the face of a man was toward the palm tree on the one side, and the face of a young lion toward the palm tree on the other side: it was made through all the house round about.
20 From the ground unto above the door were cherubims and palm trees made, and on the wall of the temple.
21 The posts of the temple were squared, and the face of the sanctuary; the appearance of the one as the appearance of the other.
22 The altar of wood was three cubits high, and the length thereof two cubits; and the corners thereof, and the length thereof, and the walls thereof, were of wood: and he said unto me, This is the table that is before the Lord.
23 And the temple and the sanctuary had two doors.
24 And the doors had two leaves apiece, two turning leaves; two leaves for the one door, and two leaves for the other door.
25 And there were made on them, on the doors of the temple, cherubims and palm trees, like as were made upon the walls; and there were thick planks upon the face of the porch without.
26 And there were narrow windows and palm trees on the one side and on the other side, on the sides of the porch, and upon the side chambers of the house, and thick planks.
4 What causes fights and quarrels
4 You adulterous
7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil,
11 Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another.
13 Now listen,
4 What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you?2 You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it.3 And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.
4 You adulterers!
“God opposes the proud
but gives grace to the humble.”
7 So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.8 Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.9 Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy.10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.
11 Don’t speak evil against each other, dear brothers and sisters.
13 Look here, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.”14 How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.15 What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.”16 Otherwise you are boasting about your own pretentious plans, and all such boasting is evil.
17 Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.
4 From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?
2 Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.
3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
5 Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?
6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.
10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
11 Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.
12 There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?
13 Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:
14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.
15 For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.
16 But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.
17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
19 Open for me the gates
I will enter
20 This is the gate of the Lord
21 I will give you thanks, for you answered me;
you have become my salvation.
22 The stone
23 the Lord has done this,
24 The Lord has done it this very day;
let us rejoice today and be glad.
From the house of the Lord we bless you.
27 The Lord is God,
With boughs in hand,
28 You are my God, and I will praise you;
29 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his love endures forever.
19 Open for me the gates where the righteous enter,
and I will go in and thank the Lord.
20 These gates lead to the presence of the Lord,
and the godly enter there.
21 I thank you for answering my prayer
and giving me victory!
22 The stone that the builders rejected
has now become the cornerstone.
23 This is the Lord’s doing,
and it is wonderful to see.
24 This is the day the Lord has made.
We will rejoice and be glad in it.
25 Please, Lord, please save us.
Please, Lord, please give us success.
26 Bless the one who comes in the name of the Lord.
We bless you from the house of the Lord.
27 The Lord is God, shining upon us.
Take the sacrifice and bind it with cords on the altar.
28 You are my God, and I will praise you!
You are my God, and I will exalt you!
29 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!
His faithful love endures forever.
19 Open to me the gates of righteousness: I will go into them, and I will praise the Lord:
20 This gate of the Lord, into which the righteous shall enter.
21 I will praise thee: for thou hast heard me, and art become my salvation.
22 The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.
23 This is the Lord's doing; it is marvellous in our eyes.
24 This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.
25 Save now, I beseech thee, O Lord: O Lord, I beseech thee, send now prosperity.
26 Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the Lord: we have blessed you out of the house of the Lord.
27 God is the Lord, which hath shewed us light: bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar.
28 Thou art my God, and I will praise thee: thou art my God, I will exalt thee.
29 O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.
3 A ruler
is like a driving rain that leaves no crops.
4 Those who forsake instruction praise the wicked,
but those who heed it resist them.
5 Evildoers do not understand what is right,
but those who seek the Lord understand it fully.
3 A poor person who oppresses the poor
is like a pounding rain that destroys the crops.
4 To reject the law is to praise the wicked;
to obey the law is to fight them.
5 Evil people don’t understand justice,
but those who follow the Lord understand completely.
3 A poor man that oppresseth the poor is like a sweeping rain which leaveth no food.
4 They that forsake the law praise the wicked: but such as keep the law contend with them.
5 Evil men understand not judgment: but they that seek the Lord understand all things.