“Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinner(s), and purify your heart(s), you double-minded.” (parentheses added)
This verse starts out nice and sweet, reflecting the yearning of God to be near to you. But then, “Bam!” some not so nice stuff—accusations and a not-so-flattering assessment of your character.
This chapter in James is dealing with strife among the believers of Jesus. It was caused by fights and quarrels motivated by coveting what others have. All of this, James said, created, within the community of believers, enemies of God! James was painting a harsh picture. And then comes the verse above.
As a believer, you have to face the reality that you are, in your nature, a double-minded sinner. If it were not so, Jesus would not have had to come to earth and die on the cross for you. Now, Satan would have you believe that your sinful state is an irrevocable, hopeless situation. He loves to accuse and condemn (even though God has given Him no authority to do so). Flee from Satan’s message! Instead hear the loving message from God in this verse.
God wants you near. He longs to be in close fellowship with you all day, every day. The harsh stuff is in no way to intended to condemn or depress you. It is intended to provide His directions for drawing up close to Him. And as a bonus, He has given you the power to do the necessary work in His Holy Spirit. Think about this: do you think that His Spirit, which had the power to lift Jesus out of the grave alive, can wash your hands and purify your heart of those things that keep you distant from Him? I do!
So, do some prayerful self-reflection today. Ask the Holy Spirit for His hand-washing, heart-purifying help, and look forward to a wonderful day drawn near to God. (And repeat this often!)