Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
I have had a really hard time of late with sin. My decision to draw close to God has involved quite a time of personal examination. I am discovering things that I had no idea were problems, areas of my life that need sorting out. It is a hard process, but one I am certain I need to travel through. God desires my focus and my heart to be completely on Him, so through reading His Word I am shining His light into the darkest recesses of my life.
This amazing James reading speaks of the need for me to first act and then God reacts. So I submit myself and God will strengthen me to resist the devil. So I come near God and then He will come near me. But first I must act before God reacts. I need to make that choice, take that decision to seek after Him before He will respond.
And when it says, ‘Wash your hands’, the greek behind this is ‘katharidzo’ which is to be free from sin and guilt. So washing your hands is an action I take, and in taking that action, in seeking after Jesus, He will respond by purifying my heart.
I yearn for a pure heart focused completely on God, and it is my responsibility to take that first step.
Rev Mark Brown
Note: I am typing this while sitting on what might be the world’s hardest chair at Auckland airport, New Zealand. In an hour or so I am boarding a flight for Singapore where I will be for a couple of nights, then on to Malaysia, where I am speaking at a conference. Not sure of my internet access while I am away, so if I go a little quiet you know why!
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