“Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.” James 4:8
The words “draw nigh” are from the Greek word:
g1448. ἐγγίζω eggizō; from 1451; to make near, i.e. (reflexively) approach: — approach, be at hand, come (draw) near, be (come, draw) nigh.
So alternatively you could say the verse like this:
- Make yourself near to God, and he will make Himself near to you.
- Approach God, and he will approach you.
- Be at hand to God, and he will be at hand to you.
- Come near to God, and he will come near to you.
- Be near to God, and he will be near to you.
Notice it does not say “Wait for God to draw near to you and then you can draw near to Him.” That’s backwards. And yet many Christians believe that they must wait on God to draw near to them first. They expect God to move upon them first and stir them up and make Himself known to them.
If you are born again then He has already done that and now it is your move. That was the OT. We are now under a New Covenant where He has torn the veil and we can boldly enter the holy of holies at any time.
The tables have turned and now God, after having made Himself fully known to us by His Son, is waiting on us.
He is now waiting on us to boldly enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus through this new and living way which He has prepared for us to go through the veil which is through the flesh of His Son Jesus who was sacrificed for us.
Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; And having an high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) Hebrews 10:19-23
Notice that the first verse is immediately preceded by this verse:
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7
and immediately followed by this verse; “
Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. James 4:8b
Entering into the holiest by the blood of Jesus is submitting to God. Then why are we waiting as if God is to submit to us first? He has already told us what to do and expects us to do it.
So why would James pair this with resisting the devil right in the midst of these two commands? And then tell us sinners to cleanse our hands, and us double minded (doubting) to purify our hearts?
To answer a question with a question, just like Jesus often did, who is keeping you from submitting to God and from drawing near to Him? Why, the devil of course.
So, how does he keep you from this? Two ways primarily. By distracting you and by causing you to fear and doubt (double minded).
And how does he distract you? To find the answer to this question, just look at how you spend your day. What time do you devote to Him and what time do you devote to worldly thoughts. pleasures and activities? Sure you have to work and do things that are not necessarily spiritual activities but you can always pray in tongues as you do them.
“It became easy for me to detach myself from the course of life, so that while my hands and mind were engaged in the common affairs of every day, my spirit maintained its attitude of communion with God.” – John G Lake
How many hours in the day do you devote to TV, movies, internet, social media, texting, email, etc. People today want to be entertained rather than to entertain God. They believe they deserve it after a long day of work to relax, kickback and enjoy themselves.
Sure there is time for that. Even Jesus told his disciples to come away and rest. But we live in a society where “binge watching” is the norm rather than the exception. And what we are watching is usually not godly, or glorifying God, but quite the opposite.
It is not called programming for nothing. By design it is meant to program your very thoughts that feed into your soul. The patent for the first television system was filed as “Nervous system manipulation by electromagnetic fields from monitors” under patent No.US6506148B2. See for yourself here.
Watching endless hours of television is not just simply relaxing your mind but manipulating it with programming, especially when you are watching it, or just having it on in the background, mindlessly.
Television signals are broadcast through the air even though most receive them by cable today, you can still hook up an antenna and get broadband high definition quality TV in many areas. And who is the prince of the power of the air? His spirit now works in the children of disobedience fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind and television is the perfect way to accomplish this very thing.
Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. Ephesians 2:2-3
For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 1 John 2:16
If we cannot fulfil these desires in the flesh, because we know that they are wrong and we could never get away with it, then will we please ourselves doing so in our mind through media where no one can see us or our thoughts or what goes on in our head, or so we think and so we justify?
Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. Romans 1:32
This is talking about those who “did not like to retain God in their knowledge” in Romans 1:28.
Do we retain God in our knowledge at all times or do we turn away and try to forget Him when it is not convenient? Or when we want to do our own thing? And yet we expect God to draw near to us? What’s wrong with this picture?
Other distractions could be daily interactions with non-believers or even a non-believing spouse. As social beings, It is only natural to want to participate, to fit on and be accepted.
And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. Ephesians 5:11
Living with a non-believing spouse is not easy but they are sanctified by the believing spouse. As long as they are willing to live with you, God gives grace for this. But daily interaction and fellowship with non-believers often becomes a situation of being unequally yoked.
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 2 Corinthians 6:14
It takes a strong believer to not be pulled down by them or dragged into their lusts and desires.
Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you: 1 Peter 4:4
But these circumstances can be changed. You can change jobs, especially if the daily grinding down of your soul is at stake. You can change friends and should build a circle of friends that are like minded believers with whom you can share in godly fellowship for the edification of your soul.
As obvious as the above is, what is not so obvious is fear and doubt. Many believers are afraid to approach God. They are afraid that if they draw near to God that God might punish them or tell them to do something they do not want to do. They treat Him like He is still thundering from the burning mountain top as in Moses’ day when they were so afraid that God would consume them in His fiery wrath.
They also doubt that He will hear them and are often afraid that He won’t hear them because they have sinned. The child who stole a cookie out of the cookie jar will not want to go near a parent who somehow may just know what they did for fear of punishment.
The greatest sin of all is separating yourself from God only to be followed by doubting Him. Remember that the greatest punishment in all eternity will not necessarily be the darkness and pain of burning in the lake of fire, but more so the eternal separation from God for all eternity, never again having any fellowship with Him forever.
This is why you doubt and why you are fearful. You have shunned Him and have hidden your face from Him. You wallow in the mire of your own iniquities and have not sought for His instant redemption and deliverance. You have strayed and stayed away from Him and ignored His pleadings with you. He is continuously stretching out His arms to you and you have counted it as naught. You have not devoured His word as a love letter from a desperate lover who seeks to woo you and draw you into His love. You have let yourself be distracted by everything that is not of Him and ignored His siren calls.
Instead of shying away from God, run to Him. As a loving Father, He will receive you with open arms. He will gladly forgive you your sins and cleanse you from all unrighteousness if you will but confess them and seek His forgiveness.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
Ask Him to forgive you for staying away and for doubting Him. He will do it immediately and flood you with His love and compassion.
If you fear or doubt Him, you simply don’t know Him well enough yet. Read His words of compassion:
But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth. Psalms 86:15
He hath made his wonderful works to be remembered: the LORD is gracious and full of compassion. Psalms 111:4
The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy. The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works. Psalms 145:8-9
Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy. He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea. Micah 7:18-19
Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16
Draw near to Him and He will draw near to you!
Franciscus M. Dartee
Grow in Faith | Walk in Power
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