I’m going to start something new that I didn’t think about until this morning (hence why I am starting on James 4). I want to start keeping a daily journal of sorts where I talk about a specific scripture/scriptures that the Lord highlights to me during my study time each day, and share it with those who choose to read it.
Today is James 4:8 (NLT)
“Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.”
This passage brings to mind Psalm 24:3-6, which says, “Who may climb the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in His holy place? Only those whose hands and hearts are pure, who do not worship idols and never tell lies. They will receive the Lord’s blessing and have a right relationship with God their Savior. Such people may seek You and worship in Your presence, O God of Jacob.”
I believe James is directly referencing this passage of Scripture. The importance of purity in God. He highlights this because, contrary to opinion that has been circulating in Western Christian circles, purity and holiness are absolutely still required by God. That standard did not go away with Jesus. His death on the cross simply provided a more perfect, and simplistic, way for us to access this holiness and purity. And this comes by the Holy Spirit guiding our lives.
To seek guidance, to be in right standing with Him, we must have purity of heart. We must have clean hands (meaning spiritually clean). We must separate ourselves from the things of this world, anything that makes us look exactly the same. We are called higher. Our purpose is beyond the things of this temporal world.
In a prior verse, James also says this: “You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself and enemy of God.” – James 4:4 (NLT)
God wants your wholehearted devotion to Him.
So, what things in your life do you need to let go of because they block you from God, and make you a friend to the world?