Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.– James 4:8-10
Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. When? When you’re serious about seeking Him. The idea is to be serious about it, to turn off the TV, to take some time and make an effort. Why? Not because God is saying, ‘Only when you mourn and weep will I speak to you.’ That’s not it at all. The purpose of mourning and cleansing is not so that God will speak—but to get me tuned into the right frequency so I can hear Him already speaking. Think of it this way…Right now, Channel 10 is broadcasting all sorts of words and images. But we aren’t tuned into the frequency. To get the picture, we’d have to take some time, bring in a TV, and put up the antenna. Would we do that to impress Channel 10 to send pictures our way? No. They’re already doing that constantly. We’d have to bring in a TV and put up an antenna simply to get us in the position to receive what’s already being broadcast from Channel 10 continually.
If people don’t read this passage right, they begin to say, ‘If we afflict ourselves like the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel, if we slash our bodies and dance in a frenzy, God will speak’ (I Kings 18). That’s not the heart of the Father. That’s the heart of a false god.
The purpose of washing your hands and humbling your heart implies quitting your normal activities and taking some time to get tuned into the proper frequency. Go to the park. Get away. Do whatever it takes to change your setting and say, ‘Lord, I’ve been tuned into work. I’ve been dialed into parenting. I’ve been positioned to pursue my hobbies. But now I’m taking time to hear from You because I know You’re broadcasting 24 hours a day, and I want to hear what You say.’
Courson, J. (2003). A Day’s Journey: 365 Daily Meditations from the Word. Santa Ana, CA: Calvary Chapel Publishing.