Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be miserable and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you. (James 4:8-10)
Pastor John’s Notes:
One of the first works we must do is within ourselves. Before we accepted Christ as Savior and Lord, our mind was filled with worldly inclinations. Our actions were contrary to God’s will. But now, through Christ, God has given us a new heart and old habits must go. The squatting tenants that have occupied our minds are no longer welcome to stay. God has new purposes for us. There can be no double-mindedness.
But often, we have a hard time saying goodbye to the patterns of thinking and habits of living we are accustomed to. We have not yet come to know what holy living feels like, and so we hedge our bets. We live one way when we are around other believers and a different way when we are not. What we do in secret does not match what we profess to believe. In such duplicity, we only harm ourselves and inhibit our spiritual progress toward a better life.
James is giving us a simple command that will lead us to true spiritual progress. Change the way that you live! Get rid of the evil within. Wash your hands and purify your minds. This is a work we all must do!
Lord Jesus Christ, I no longer wish to live in duplicity. I want to be a true citizen of your kingdom. But I confess my hesitancy to let go of the things of earth. Show me the changes you want me to make that I might be free to grow and progress in your kingdom.