Draw Near to God

James 4:8-12 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speak evil of his brother, and judge his brother, speak evil of the law, and judge the law: but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law, but a judge. There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who are you that judge another? 

Cleansing the hands was a symbol of innocence and purity (Mat. 27:24), but here it means to separate yourself from the world and consecrate your life to God, renouncing all sin.

For those who do not dwell in the secret place of the most High, that does not abide under the shadow of the Almighty (Psa. 91:1), in reconciling with Him, you have to draw near to God again so that He can come near to you. But certain conditions are commanded to restore to your previous state. You must have no double-mindedness which refers to doubting God (Jas. 1:6-8) and you must be afflicted – mourn and weep – which shows of a true repentance that will always bring the mercy of God if done in time–that is now (1Jn. 1:7; Heb. 9:27).

Ten types of sin and pleasure are mentioned in James 4:1-9: Wars and fighting; lusts of sin (Eph. 2:1-3); murders and killings; desires – covetousness; adulteries and other sexual sins; friendships with worldly men; envies and jealousies; pride and haughtiness; laughter prompted by sin; joy founded on sin. True followers of Christ would not be guilty of those as stated repeatedly in 1 John 3.

To speak against; backbite; rail at; slander (1Pet. 2:12; 3:16)refers to slandering among the different factions of Jews and the Jews against their brethren who had accepted Christ and God is the one lawgiver and judge who is able to save or destroy. Man has no right to usurp this authority when we judge those who choose to stay in sin.

Ask in Faith

James 1:5-8  If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that give to all men liberally, and upbraid not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that waver is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord. A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways. 

If you need answers, advice or wisdom in any situation: ask God! Don’t be as quick to turn to others for council (Ps. 1:1) or to operate from your own understanding (Pro. 3:7; 26:12). Pray to the Father who gives to all men liberally (Mat. 7:7-11) without finding fault, in the name of Jesus by the Holy Spirit, having a full understanding of your rights and privileges (Jam. 4:3-4) in harmony with the Word (John 14:13), ask in faith, nothing doubting (Heb. 11:6), with praise for the answer (Php. 4:6).

He who doubts is like a wave that is rising one moment, sinking the next. One minute he believes; another he does not. He says yes and then no to what God has promised, never making up his mind which way he believes. He staggers like a drunken man, helpless in prayer. It is as certain that a doubtful man will not get an answer as it is that the man of faith will get an answer. The term ‘double-minded’ was used by the Jews of a man who attempted to worship God and still loved the creature; who wished to secure both worlds. He would not give up the world here and yet was loathe to give up heaven: one torn between carnal and spiritual things.