Just as I am, without one plea
But that Thy blood was shed for me
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. (Jas. 4:8)
When an individual takes steps toward God, God will draw near to them. To take steps toward God is to care less and less about one’s own selfish desires; to care more and more about God’s desires. How can one know God’s desires for themself? The Word of God. When an individual takes even the tiniest baby steps in an effort to adjust their life to comply with the Scriptures, God swoops in, cheering on His child, well-pleased with their efforts. A delightful moment in heaven and on earth. . . And then it happens. . . The child of God slips. He slips into his old ways, his old habits and desires. He becomes discouraged, disheartened, downcast. He meets with disappointment. Disappointment with himself. With God. With life. His two natures collide on the battleground of the heart. The enemy of his soul, the devil, shouting the battle cry of defeat, despair, dejection. On the other side, a faith, hope, and love softly whispered by the God of peace longing to impart His grace, His mercy, His compassion.
“Cleanse your hands, purify your hearts.” God exhorts us not to mix the world and the spirit to satisfy our desires. He wants us to purify our thoughts, our feelings, our will. We cannot gratify the flesh and the Spirit. Which will we choose? Many choose the enticing way, the dazzling way, the pleasurable way—the easy way. . . And it is just that—for the moment (Prov. 23:31-33). Few there are who choose the way of the cross. Yet, when we do, we find Jesus, the One who conquered all our sins on the cross. Jesus, the One Who lives today. Jesus, the One who sent His helper to reside within our very beings.
All pleasure comes at a price. When you choose the world’s way, you enjoy first then you pay. When you choose God’s way, you pay first, and enjoy later. It takes an act of the will to choose the way of God, to choose the way of the cross. You cannot be led into sin apart from your will. Won’t you choose this day to wash your hands—to cleanse your life, to purify your heart—to choose the way of the cross? Jesus is the bridge between your Spirit and the world. Is there a battle raging within you? Stand firm on the blood-stained battleground of your heart where faith and will reside. Come to Jesus, “Just as I am, without one plea but that Thy blood was shed for me.”