Purify Your Hearts

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

James 4:7‭-‬8 ESV

The Lord wants us to purify our hearts. What does that mean? It means He wants us to be single-minded.

Double-mindedness means you hold two competing interests in your mind at the same time. Scripture tells us that a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.

There is an audience of One that we should seek to please with our thoughts, words and actions. God is the only qualified judge of the human heart. Let us seek to please Him with the intentions of our hearts.

If we seek to please people, we are aiming at a moving target. Human hearts are fickle and deceitfully wicked. Everyone has an opinion, and they’re all wrong. There is only One that is good and that is God. Leave people pleasing behind. If you seek to please God, even your enemies will be at peace with you.

Being singleminded means that you have one driving purpose or resolve. It means you are determined and dedicated to one thing to the exclusion of all other distractions. It’s the way to peace of mind if your one thing is God.

Our values determine our actions and activities. What is your highest value? Having a clear conscience? Or something else? If you value something more than having a clear conscience, you know that you have given yourself over to the worship of false gods.

There’s one sure way to maintain a clear conscience, abide in God’s love. If you let the love of God motivate everything that you do, you can rest assured that you’re living life correctly.

This doesn’t mean you’ll be living a life of sinless perfection. Only Jesus did that. It does mean that when you do sin, you’ll be convicted by the Holy Spirit of your wrongdoing and you’ll confess your sin, receive forgiveness and continue on the path of righteousness.

Pride is probably the root of all wickedness. Pride exalts self over others. Humility esteems others as greater than self. We’re here to serve and not be served. We’re here to lay down our lives for our friends.

So many things are competing for our attention. We live in an attention economy. Companies make money by keeping your attention. Products are designed to be addictive so you keep coming back for more. Where has your attention been? Who’s making money off you being distracted from your mission?

Supposedly, I have attention deficit disorder. That’s really a misnomer. I have attention regulation disorder. There’s no deficit in my ability to pay attention. I just can’t readily choose what grabs my attention. Boring stuff is painful. Interesting stuff is irresistible. Thanks be to God that He has turned my heart from being fascinated with worldly things to being enraptured with God.

All of our missteps God can redeem. As long as you’re learning from your mistakes, you’re making progress. If we refuse to see the error of our ways and double-down on foolishness, we will reap destruction.

The fundamental question of life is who are you living for? If you’re living for self, you are useless to the greater good. If you’re living for someone else, you’re their slave. If you’re living for the devil, you’re bound for hell. If you’re living for God, you have entered into eternal life.

Who are you living for? Who do you seek to please with your life? If it’s not God, it’s time to repent. Turn from your wicked ways and turn to the Savior of your soul. Only God can save you. Only God can bring you satisfaction in this life and the next. Only God is worth your highest allegiance. Anything else will corrupt your heart.

Return to Me, My children, and I will give you rest for your weary souls.

Lord, forgive us for where our hearts have gone astray. We cast down our idols and pick up our crosses. Restore us to right standing with You. Remove the temptation to live a life of distraction and replace it with a singleminded focus on walking with You, O Lord. In Jesus’ Name we pray. Amen.

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