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.
The Bible makes it clear that the desire of God’s heart is to have a relationship with us. Dear child of God, it’s His will that all people would come to faith in Jesus and spend eternity with Him. God want’s relationship over works, and obedience over appearance, and faith over religious acts. Moreover, James here in these passages makes it clear that God desires our brokenness over sin, which is the true sign of repentance. Having a heart broken over sin is the true sign of repentance and that a person’s heart has truly accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior. It shows God and the world around us that we are heartbroken over the damage sin has caused in our lives, the lives of others and more importantly to our relationship with God. Brokenness over sin is recognition of the effect sin has on damaging our relationship with God. True repentance in turn brings true humility, because it helps us to understand had it not been for the sacrifice Jesus made for us we would be lost forever. Without Jesus there would be no hope of restoring our relationship with God.
And that’s truly the heart of what James is teaching us, humility and repentance before the Lord. When the fall of humanity occurred, it ushered disharmony, chaos and death into our world. The fall brought with it disharmony with God, disharmony with ourselves as well as with others, disharmony with nature as well as a misuse of creation. Moreover, as disharmony entered into our world, it brought with it disobedience, sin and the resulting estrangement from God. And that is why our salvation is all about relationship! Our salvation gives back to us a relationship with God, which was lost because of the fall and the disharmony it ushered into the world. Through Jesus, we now have a restored relationship with God the Father. This happened because we accepted God’s grace by placing our faith in Christ Jesus our Lord. And because of Jesus, we are no longer at enmity with God. Instead, we can draw close to God, because we are now children of God, adopted into the family of God by faith. And as such we can now come before God with all of our fears, hopes and dreams as we seek His guidance and direction for our lives.