Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
James 4:8

I have found myself meditating on this verse for over a year now, and I’m still not done with it. There is so much to think and pray about concerning the first half, “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” I haven’t focused as much on the second half though, other than recognizing part of drawing near to God is cleaning up life and living under His standards. This past week though, the word double-minded has been turning over and over in my head.

Double-minded is a harder concept for me to think about because others can’t see it necessarily. Our minds are ridiculously complex, and the amount of thoughts that we think about in one day is impossible to count. I am currently taking a class for a job preparation right now, and I started monitoring my brain during the very long lectures. It is amazing how many things come to mind while I’m listening! I would like to say that all my thoughts match up with the direction I want to go in life, my relationship with the Lord, and holy living, but in reality, I feel like my mind tends to go wherever I know I won’t go.

Peter talks about the way we need to be living holier lives in I Peter 1, and he says in verse 13, “Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

How does one prepare your mind for action? Or how do we train our thoughts to think FULLY on the grace of God? A long-lasting relationship with God can’t usually start with only our actions simply because actions without love is worthless (I Cor. 13:1-3). Yes, our actions need to change (seen in the purifying our hands part of the verse), but there is also the deeper struggle of purifying the things others don’t see, otherwise we are living double-minded lives, or saying one thing with our actions but letting our mind be somewhere else.

Changing one’s actions seems relatively easy compared to controlling our mind and thoughts! Like I said, the mind is beyond complex, and the number of thoughts that run through it every moment seem impossible to control. It goes back to the heart of a relationship with the Lord. Doing this on our own is so impossible. But, when we draw near to God, and we want a relationship, and we openly talk to Him about our thoughts and how difficult it is, He will help.

When I am in class, and my brain is active and running loops around me, the only way I’ve been able to capture them and relax them a little is to talk to God during class about the word double-minded and how I desperately don’t want to live that way. Basically, it is as simple as the verse puts it. “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” Ask God to save you, and He will save you. Talk to God about the struggle and how you need strength, and He will protect you and give you strength.

On a side note, I feel for my teacher. Teaching kids and holding their attention is hard, but having a group of adults and holding their attention and brains seems even harder to me!


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