How do we come near to God?
Well, it certainly isn't by our attempts to force God to accept us for who we are. People are always trying that. We rationalize our sins, claim we are "born that way", and try to redefine what God's clear standards are for life. But this verse tells us that we are to "wash our hands" and "purify our hearts". This means that we must come clean about the sin that exists in each one of us and turn to worship the true God of the Bible. We are filled with all kinds of wicked sin, and it must be done away with.
Our hands must be washed of all the lying, stealing, sexual perversion and filth that is on our hearts. When we confess our sins, we find that God draws near to us. 1 John 1:9 explains this very clearly, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness". Would you like to be drawn closer to God? Would you desire a relationship with him? God draws near to us, when we draw near to him.
Rev. Nathan Dick is pastor of Panton Community Baptist Church. He lives in Addison County with his wife Stephanie and three children. He is a graduate of Calvary Bible College in Kansas City, Mo., where he majored in pastoral studies and advanced biblical studies. He and Stephanie serve with Village Missions, a Christian ministry that places full-time pastors in rural churches.