Into the year
The days left behind, a curtain of blackness
The landscape before, unchartered and strange
No footsteps to follow,
But one solitary Light…..
Each year I choose a bible verse for the upcoming year that I feel is something God is wanting to do in my life or express to me. This year my verse is “Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” James 4:8 (NIV)
This verse is divided into three parts:
In the first part of the verse I am given the result of following the prescription; that as I move closer to God that He will draw near to me and help me. I like how He gives the result first; He is telling me that first I need to draw near to Him, just the way that I am.
In the second part “Wash your hands, you sinners,” I am given part of the prescription – to wash my hands – letting me know that action is required on my part and I am given my prognosis – I am a sinner.
Hands represent how we interact in the world around us, the things we do, how we deal with others – how we serve others. God is saying that I need to deal with the wrong ways that I have treated people and renew my commitment to helping others rather than taking care of my own selfish desires.
Sin represents death so to have such a prognosis is serious. I have a choice; to continue on the way that I am which leads to death in relationships and death in living a victorious life or to wash my hands. Washing takes a concerted effort. We wash our hands not once but many times a day. Throughout my day I need to examine my heart and change my ways.
The third part of the verse is an even stronger prescription along with another prognosis, “purify your hearts, you double-minded.”
Purify means to purge and is a process whereby impurities and things hindering my life are removed with God’s help. The prognosis is double-mindedness; a spiritual condition that affects the mind whereby in one moment I want to live a righteous life while in the next, I am going in the opposite direction. God is telling me that it is only by allowing Him to purify my heart that I can be free to follow Him with my whole heart, mind and soul.
This year I endeavour to draw near to God in my life, examining my heart and making changes where He asks me to. My writing is just an outward expression of what is in my heart and so I can only improve my message as I listen to God’s message to me. There really is no one else to follow on this path, no footprints to guide me, as we all have different journeys; no one else – except Jesus – who lights my path.
"I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." John 8:12 (NIV)