James 4:8 – “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.”
What a great promise! It reminds us of the fact that our great God wants to be near us. He wants to commune with us. God made the first man, Adam, that he might have fellowship with his Creator. Even when Adam sinned, disturbing that fellowship with God, God came to the Garden of Eden seeking Adam. This is one of the most amazing thoughts our minds can ponder, that holy and perfect God would want to walk in harmony with unworthy men.
This verse is not only a promise, but it is also an invitation. We are to draw nigh to God if we want Him to draw nigh to us. That gives us both responsibility and direction. By faith, we can draw near to Him. Lest we think that God is putting all of the initiative on us, we should be reminded that the Lord has already initiated all reconciliation with us.
He has come near to us in many ways. He has come near to us in His Word that reveals His will to us. He has come near to us in His Son who walked this planet and died on the cross for our sins. There would be no possibility of approaching God, had Jesus not shed His blood that we might be forgiven and cleansed. We are “made nigh by the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2:13). He has come near to us in His Spirit that convicts us and indwells the life of every true child of God. God has provided every means that we might be drawn near to Him. We also know that He made us creatures of choice; and He wants us to take some steps in His direction.
Lastly, our Scripture reveals a condition for drawing near to God. “Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.” What is it that puts distance between our Savior and us? Is it not our sin? It was Adam’s sin that shattered the sweet fellowship that he had enjoyed with the Lord. God does not leave us nor walk away from us. It is through our sin and disobedience that we drift away from His fellowship. That is why we are responsible to draw nigh to Him, because we are the ones that have hindered that closeness. As we confess our sins and seek His forgiveness, we are assured that we can draw near to Him.