Come close to God, and He will come close to you. What a promise. Today, as we begin this time seeking Him, we can be assured, He is near.
Maybe we’ve read that scripture before, but as we pray today we can read it with new eyes, and an open heart:
“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 NLT
Or, another version puts it this way: “
So let God work His will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper. Say a quiet yes to God and He’ll be there in no time. Quit dabbling in sin. Purify your inner life. Quit playing the field. Hit bottom, and cry your eyes out. The fun and games are over. Get serious, really serious. Get down on your knees before the Master; it’s the only way you’ll get on your feet.” James 4:8-10 MSG
There is no better way to start a time of fasting than with this one thing— repentance.
The foundation of Christianity is repentance…but how easy it is to move past the remembrance of our sin, and the reason we received this “YES” promise in Christ— because of His sacrifice on our behalf. Today, may we remember.
Another “YES” promise is this: “But if we freely admit our sins when His light uncovers them, He will be faithful to forgive us every time. God is just to forgive us our sins because of Christ, and He will continue to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 TPT
When we come to God with clean hands, and a pure heart, it doesn’t change His nearness. It changes ours. Let there be nothing—absolutely nothing—standing in between your loving Father and you. There may be something you need to say to Him today, something you haven’t said yet, or even thought of until right now, that needs to be covered by His blood, and asked forgiveness for. Speak it, don’t hold back— so you can lean all the way in to His presence. Make this moment matter and humble yourself before Him. Sin and shame are just destiny blockers. They tie us up and lock us down and keep us at arm’s length from Jesus, who is ready and willing to take ALL of our mess, our pride and our fears and redeem them for His glory.
Let’s pray this simple prayer today and unlock this week in freedom and a fresh start:
God, I’m sorry. For the things I have done, or said, or even thought that have not been pure— I am so sorry. I don’t want anything to stand in the way of Your promises for my life. I want to be free, whole and healed. I am coming near to You today and I know that You are right here, ready to forgive me. Thank you for sending your Son to the cross on my behalf. I leave my sin and shame there. I am coming to life in freedom and restoration, and I believe you’re going to give me new revelation of who You are. I love You, with every part of who I am and I am seeking You, and nothing else.
In this story in the Bible, Jesus was challenging us that there are times when we will need to do things differently in order to hold the new ways He wants to move.
Listen to this today as we come to the altar with a desire for just Him, Nothing Else.
We love you and are standing with you for new revelation. Let’s begin this week as we should— with clean hands and pure hearts.
Pastors Josh & Tori