Journal Entry ~ 07/24/18
Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. - James 4:8
To draw near to God requires that we draw away from the world. If you are feeling far from God, as if you are walking through the battles of life on your own, God hasn’t moved, you have. He is always there, waiting for you to return to Him.
There are so many demands of this world that draw us away from Him. Our desire for material things, our sense of accomplishment, our relationships - they are all distractions from our true purpose here in earth. James is trying to grab us by the shoulders and shake us in this passage in an attempt to break us free from all that distracts us from Him. He reminds us God is there waiting for us to draw near to Him.
I’ve counseled many over the years who claim God feels very distant from them in their trials. They get into His Word regularly, but they just don’t feel the closeness they once felt or that others feel. They go through the motions, but feel as if they are walking the path alone.
The reason for the distance can be found in the next sentence - we have unclean hands and double-minded hearts. James instructs us to wash our hands and purify our hearts. We want to feel God’s presence or know His blessings, yet we often don’t want to do the work that will get us to that place. The reality is that the distance we feel from God is always due to unconfessed sin. If you don’t feel close to God, then you need to begin searching your heart for where you have strayed. It’s never Him that moves, it’s only you.
Perhaps we are failing to forgive a hurt or perhaps we owe an apology for our own harsh words of judgment, perhaps we have sought after some worldly possession or accomplishments, or we have placed a relationship with someone before Him, perhaps we are engaging in leisurely activities that are questionable or we have taken back over our schedule, perhaps we have given into those despairing thoughts or we have let our fears take over our thinking. It’s all sin, and it all needs to be confessed. Sin is so sneaky that it can come disguised in this world as acceptable. We live our lives comparing ourselves to those around us, and we justify our actions as acceptable. There is only One we should be holding our lives up against.
If you don’t feel His closeness, you can count on the fact that there is unconfessed sin in your life. Draw near to God by confessing your sin. Receive His abundant blessings in your life by humbling yourself before Him.
Press on ~ you are loved 💗
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