“Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleans your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.” James 4:8
Today’s Christian daily devotional
I love my life. Really, I do. But some things just make me want to crawl back into bed before my day even begins. The ‘thing’ I am referring to is my daily trek to the gym.
Yes, I’m quite aware that it’s a privilege that I get to work from my home. And, Yes…I understand that I have the ‘luxury’ of being able to fit my workouts around my writing time. But, despite all these ‘perks’; to be really honest with you, going to the gym has got to be one of my least favorite things to do.
Of course, that’s never going stop me from actually doing it. Part of the reason for this is because I want to enjoy good health. The other part is simply because I happen to stand at a mere four feet eleven inches tall. Unfortunately, a few extra french fries can end up looking like ten pounds on my tiny frame.
So, as much as I loathe the sweating, the boredom, the inconvenience and the horrible waste of time (I can only imagine that I could be investing in so many other projects) at the end of the day, I hate those extra pounds— just enough to drag my lazy self to the gym everyday.
The only thing that pushes those two hours of pure torture into that next level of ‘why am I bothering?’ masochism is when I see: him.
Girls, you know the guy.
He’s the one who couldn’t care less whether you’ve got on a wedding band on or not. When he’s in the room, every effort is made at getting your attention.
“Grrrrrrrrunnnnnt!” Mr. Annoying slams down his weights and proceeds to high-five his workout partner, turning to see if you ‘notice’ him.
And, how could you not? With grunts like that, one could naturally assume that an albino gorilla escaped from Lincoln Park Zoo and decided to pump up.
Even if you’re prepared for him and you’ve got your ‘decoy’ headphones on, it makes no difference. Mr. Annoying won’t let that pesky reality stop him from talking to you.
“Are you using that equipment?” He motions for you to take off your headphones.
Uh, oh. Now, you’ve made eye contact. Now, there’s no escape…
Of course, who cares if you’re running at nine miles per hour on the treadmill? Who’s noticing that there’s no ‘other equipment’ you’re using other than the obvious one you’re running on? Mr. Annoying is in the room and he feels like chitchatting.
So, what does this have to do with James 4:8, you ask? After experiencing my daily dodge from this clueless gym goer, reading James 4:8 greatly comforts me.
You see, unlike that guy from the gym, God is a gentleman. He can take a hint. And, He’s not going to force His presence where He’s not welcomed or invited.
James 4:8 promises that God will draw closer to you when He gets that invitation from you. God follows YOUR lead.
So, what if you have been praying to God and seeking His presence and you still don’t feel like He’s there? Well, the second half of James 4:8 gives us an answer: The Bible instructs us to cleanse our hands and purify our hearts.
You see, just as it’s intolerable to stand next to a gym rat that has an aversion to deodorant, God also has His aversions, and that’s sin. He simply can’t stand the presence of it.
If we are aware of a sin that stands between Him and us, it’s our responsibility to be obedient in clearing that away for Him.
God is a gentleman that has done more than enough to express His mercy, grace and love. It wouldn’t be too much to show Him how grateful we are by giving Him the honor that He so richly deserves!
“Dear Heavenly Father,
I see now that I might be getting in my own way. If I can’t hear from you, there might be a sin that I have been holding close to my heart. This is what has been between you and I.
Lord, please help me. I know I love my sin. I love it so much that it feels like a part of me and that is why I have made room and excuses to have it in my life.
The problem is, I no longer feel like you are a part of me. I’m starting to realize that I have not heard from you because I have been worshiping another god. My favorite sins have been my god.
Lord, have mercy on me! Help me to hate the things that are preventing me from drawing closer to you.
I need you, Lord. Forgive me, Lord. Wash me clean from this great insult to your heart.
Help me to love you more than myself. Give me the kind of intimacy I need to have to never hurt you like this again.
In Jesus’ precious name, Amen.”
Thank you for reading today’s Christian daily devotional on verse: James 4:8
Please check back and see what we have for you tomorrow!
Author: Julia Shalom Jordan