James 4:8a AMP
What does it mean to come close to God?
The second part of this scripture gives us some keys ...
[Recognise that you are] sinners, get your soiled hands clean; [realize that you have been disloyal] wavering individuals with divided interests, and purify your hearts [of your spiritual adultery]. James 4:8b AMP
and some more in verse 9 ....
[As you draw near to God] be deeply penitent and grieve, even weep [over your disloyalty]. Let your laughter be turned to grief and your mirth to dejection and heartfelt shame [for your sins]. James 4:9 AMP
The scriptures are reminding us to come close to God with the reverence that He is worthy of. They are reminding us that while God has always been there for us, we have not always been loyal to Him. We have, either intentionally or unintentionally, replaced His role in our lives with other Gods (eg people or things).
The New Living Translation puts it this way ..
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. Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter and gloom instead of joy. James 4:8-9 NLT
In a world today where boundaries are blurred and seem to be getting less and less distinct, I believe it is important to take time to do what the scripture says and meditate on our relationship with God, thinking about Who He is, what we have done and what He has done for us. I don't mean that we should be feel condemnation about our sins, but rather have a healthy awareness that we are sinners, and it is only by God's grace that we are able to come close to Him today.
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. Romans 8:1-2 NLT
And in that process of humbling ourselves and coming close to Him, look at what He promises to do ...
Humble yourselves [feeling very insignificant] in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you [He will lift you up and make your lives significant]. James 4:10 AMP
Questions for today, What does coming to closer to God mean to you? What will you do today to humble yourself before the Lord?
He leads the humble in what is right, and the humble He teaches His way. ..... The secret [of the sweet, satisfying companionship] of the Lord have they who fear (revere and worship) Him, and He will show them His covenant and reveal to them its [deep, inner] meaning. Psalm 25:9,14 AMP