Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. James 4:8
The subject of this verse is fellowship with God. This is one of man’s most important needs. This verse includes a precept for fellowship, a promise for fellowship, and preparation for fellowship.
Precept for fellowship. “Draw nigh to God.” Most men do not seem interested in being near to God, even our nation does not seem to want God around at all. But our verse gives a command for men to draw near to God. We are to live close to God. This means we are to regularly study the scriptures and be fervent in prayer. We must adjust our lives so we can have fellowship with God.
Promise for fellowship. “And he will draw nigh to you.” This promise is conditioned on us obeying the command to draw nigh to God. If God seems far from us, it is not God’s fault. God has not failed in His promise, for the promise is conditioned on our desire to be near to God. If you do not want His company, He will not bust the door down in order to be with you. You must indicate your desire to have God’s company if you want God’s presence in your life. God does not fellowship with those who do not want His fellowship.
Preparation for fellowship. “Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.” Here are two areas of preparation for us if we are to draw nigh to God and have good fellowship with Him. Failure to properly prepare for fellowship with God will greatly hinder our fellowship. We are to prepare both our hands and our hearts. Hands speak of actions, hearts attitudes. Hands speak of conducts, hearts of contemplations. Hands speak of manners, hearts of meditations. Holiness in both thought and deed are necessary for good fellowship with God. If we do not clean the sin out of our lives, we will not have good fellowship with God; for sin drives us from God.