James 4:8,10 – Come near to God and He will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. (NIV)
The recent strike of garbage collectors in the city of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, resulted in mounds of trash piling up in areas where it should not be found. Trash disposed of on a regular basis makes life bearable. There is a spiritual parallel for us to contemplate. The thought occurred to me that our spiritual lives are very much like the situation in Ontario's largest city. There is rubbish that accumulates in our hearts and souls, and it needs to be cleared away, in order to have a proper relationship with God.
We often let our lives become filled with all kinds of baggage brought about by sin. Our lifestyles are filled, on a daily basis, with activity that contradicts what Jesus talked about in the Sermon on the Mount. The apostle James reminds us that there is a way of getting rid of the mounds of trash that stand between God and us. We have to clean up. "Wash your hands, you sinners." Confessing our sins and humbly asking for forgiveness and a pure heart will enable us to see and experience God in our lives. "Come near to God and He will come near to you." Confession combined with humility before the Lord will result in our being lifted up by the grace of God.
Prayer: O heavenly Father, we pray that you will not cast us away from your presence. We pray that we may sense your presence in our daily lives. Create within us a clean heart, and renew a right spirit within us. We pray in the name of Jesus and through your Holy Spirit. Amen.