James 4:8 ‘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.’
It’s easy to get this verse mixed up in our struggle to bring our flesh to submission with our Lord. Often times it is our natural draw to selfishness and reservation of doubt which leads us to believe that God should come close to us first by doing something, showing himself a certain way, speaking a specific word – then we’ll step closer to Him. That inclination however is misaligned with what His word declares here – as well as when we are instructed that we must decrease, and He will increase. Our stepping close to God is a move toward our, ‘shrinking,’ making room for Him to step in. This can be a difficult step to take, one that today, we ask God’s help with when it comes to our students as they face different temptations, struggles, thoughts, experiences that challenge their faith this school year. It takes strength to step closer to God and step away from the things of this world, one that requires transparency and understanding that God sees every secret place within us and desires to help us in overcoming the divided loyalty we are commanded to purify ourselves from in these words. God is omniscient He already sees it, He already knows it, but for Him to help us with it – we must acknowledge it.
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