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. James 4:8
Most, if not all, know what it is like to have friends who do not truly make an effort in the friendship. These are friends who seem only to be there to benefit from the friendship but do not contribute. It is hurtful, right? But, unfortunately, without even realizing it, you and I can find ourselves doing the same thing in our relationship with God. We pray when we need help and talk to Him when it is convenient, but we do not regularly make time consistently for Him. The truth is, there is no way you and I can give God 100% when we are not making time and space for Him and investing 100% in our relationship.
James, the half-brother of Jesus, wrote in the book of James the importance of making time for God in James 4. “Come close to God, and God will come close to you,” he wrote (verse 8). According to this verse, Christ-followers are called to live in a close relationship with God. This only makes sense, right? If we want to grow and live with excellence, we have to walk through life with God.
There is a promise that comes from this command from James. He writes, “Come close to God, and God will come close to you.” Therefore, if we want to live with excellence and give our best to God, we must draw close to God in prayer, Bible study, and worship. When this happens, God changes us from the inside out. After all, you know from experience that we become like the people we surround ourselves with, so who better to surround ourselves with than Him, the One who loves us perfectly and created us?
As we consider these verses, we must take time to evaluate our lives. Are we daily walking with God and spending time with Him? Is there anything keeping us from Him? After evaluating, it’s time to confess if we have not been faithfully living with Him. There is no better time than today to begin living life alongside Jesus each and every day.
How can you make time in your daily rhythm to spend time with Jesus? Maybe you can wake up 30 minutes to spend time with Jesus each morning. Perhaps every night before you go to sleep, you can set time to pray to God and journal. Maybe you can go for a walk on your lunch break. Whatever the case, commit to making time for Jesus every day.
James 4:1-10 (NLT)
What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you? You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.
You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God. Do you think the Scriptures have no meaning? They say that God is passionate that the spirit he has placed within us should be faithful to him. And he gives grace generously. As the Scriptures say,
“God opposes the proud
but gives grace to the humble.”
So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 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. Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.
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