"Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched, mourn, and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord [Jesus], and he will exalt you." - James 4:8-10
The condition for God to draw near to us is that we draw near to him. To do so, we must have clean hands and a pure heart. If our hands are dirty because of sins and our heart is impure because of double-mindedness, we must confess those sins and that double-mindedness to God, who will forgive.
"If we confess our sins, [God] is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." - 1 John 1:9
As we confess, we must have a penitent attitude. This is what it means to be wretched, mourn, and weep. Our sins are not something to be proud of or to celebrate. Sins and double-mindedness are not laughing matters. Through confession and repentence, we are to humble ourselves before the Lord Jesus, who died and rose again for us. Then, and only then, will we be exalted by God.
Father, our culture today is not one of penitence and humility. Few want to draw near to you. Sin has has become a laughing matter. May we who believe go a different way. May we long for clean hands, a pure heart, and the exaltation of Jesus. We want you to draw near to us because your nearness is our greatest good. Teach us to be humble and quiet before you. In Jesus' name, amen.
- Jeff Coleman