8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
I honestly feel like James is talking to me here. It is not coincidence that I missed writing my devotional Friday. I’m pretty sure the way I feel about this verse today would not have been the same Friday.
The past two weeks have been another example in my life of this truth: if we focus on other things in our lives, we lose focus of Christ. 2 weeks ago was a rough week for me. I’m not trying to hang around in the past, rather I’m using it as a reference point for how God has shown me things over the past 2 weeks.
I had begun to focus on the things around me. I felt as though I was being overcome by the busyness of life and it began to stress me out. Things that normally didn’t bother me began to bother me and my mentality morphed back into one that would nurture my old habits (specifically anger). It was through that experience that God revealed to me that I must take daily inventory and accountability of my anger.
The following week (last week) was better as far as anger was concerned but I still felt…out of place. I reinjured my back so I had to slow down and “take it easy,” something I’m never fond of doing, especially when I’m told that I should do it. Over the weekend I realized that I had taken a “hunker down” approach to my life in response to the previous week. What did this make me do? Focus more intently and work harder on the things in my life. Some may say this is good, and quite honestly, it can be. However, the not-so-good part was that it distracted my attention from Christ. While I was focusing harder on tasks at hand, I was not doing it with Him in mind. Yet, most of those things involved God and ministry – imagine that!
I feel James is calling us out about this very phenomenon in this verse. If we seek out God and His Will ineverything we do, He will draw nearer to us and be more involved in our daily activities. However, if we just make God a part of our day, instead of a constant influence throughout our day, that’s all we will get from Him: a moment or two of clarity and God-like presence. The rest of our day will be burdensome and busy, tiring and seemingly pointless (in the grand scheme of things).
This is what James calls us to cleanse our hands of: keeping God out of our daily lives. The double-mindedness is the same as that which he speaks of in James 1:8 “8 being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” He is calling us out for being “with God” on Sunday during church service, on Wednesday during bible study, at 8 am when doing your individual bible study. He urges us to keep God in mind throughout our entire day. Otherwise, we are just double-minded: serving two masters.
How much time do you devote to serving God throughout your day? Doesn’t He deserve more?