Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Come Near To God

"Come near to God and He will
come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you
double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your
joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up."
(James 4:8-10)

We are told to come near to God and He will
come near to us. But how can we, as sinners, come near to Him? We seek Him
through prayer, call out to Him and repent of any unconfessed sins we have
committed. Sin is what separates us from God. Confess all sin, repent
and seek His forgiveness and restoration. Once our sins are forgiven, our path
becomes clear so that we may draw near to Him, and in turn He to
us.

We are
told that we are to have clean hands and a pure heart. The symbolism of sinners
washing their hands (according to the Zondervan NIV Study Bible) stems from the
Old Testament priests. "Before the priests could approach God at the
tabernacle they had to wash their hands and feet at the bronze basin as a symbol
of spiritual cleansing." The 'Believer's Bible Commentary' by William
MacDonald (pg. 2237) says: "Hands speak of actions and hearts represent our
motives and desires. We cleanse our hands and purify our hearts through
confession and forsaking sins, both outward and inward. As sinners we need to
confess evil acts; as double-minded people we need to confess our mixed
motives." Psalm 24:4 also mentions clean hands and pure
hearts. In Matthew 5:8 Jesus says, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see
God."

Verse 9
is telling us (according to the 'Believer's Bible Commentary', pg. 2237) "Confession should be accompanied by deep sorrow for sin...[we should] mourn
over our sinfullness, powerlessness, coldness, and barrenness. We should humble
ourselves and weep over our materialism, secularism, and formalism. Both
inwardly and outwardly, we should manifest the fruit of godly
repentence."

Verse 10
is meaning that we need to be humble before the Lord. Matthew Henry's online
commentary says: "Humility of spirit is here required, as in the sight of
him who looks principally at the spirits of men. Those that draw nigh to God in
a way of duty shall find God drawing night to them in a way of mercy. Draw nigh
to Him in faith, and trust, and obedience, and he will draw nigh to you for your
deliverance." In being humble before God, He will lift us up. Jesus gives
us this promise as well in Matthew 23:12 "whoever humbles himself will be exalted."

I encourage each and every person reading this to seek the Lord
always. Let us humble ourselves before Him, let us make sure that our hands are
clean and our hearts are pure. Come near to God and He will come near to
you.

God bless you all and have a Christ
filled day!

3 comments:

What's my Mission said...

You are very right Shelley. We do need to humble ourselves before the Lord. But so much easier to say then to do when we live in a society that respects pride and humility is taken as a sign of weakness. But thankfully the reality is that when we humble ourselves before God we are empowered by His strength and no greater strength has ever been known.

Shelley said...

Amen mission girl, amen!

Suzii said...

I believe that God is calling everyone to be pure and clean... even those who are already born again. It has been something that I have had on my heart for quite some time now. It is hard to look inside oneself... and find the unclean things... kind of like cleaning out dust bunnies from under your bed... some might have fangs! But seriously... cleansing ourselves daily with God's word... is a very humbling thing to do. Good post.