“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 (NKJV)
Yesterday, we learned about the Jewish ceremonial cleansing rite called Mikveh, in which worshippers wash their head, hands, chest, and feet before entering the sanctuary of the Lord. While we looked extensively at the significance of purifying the head in our last devotion, today, I want to discuss the second element, which is cleansing the chest. As you might guess, spiritually speaking, the chest is equivalent to the heart, and in ancient Judaism, this vital component of a person’s being was considered their control center and the place from which all desires originated. Far from being just the seat of emotions, the heart was (and is) the will that drives decisions and the “steering wheel” that sets the course for life. When it is submitted to the work of the Holy Spirit following rebirth through Jesus Christ, it undergoes a sanctification that has the potential to bring Heaven to earth. This is why it’s so important to have a clean heart; one that isn’t controlled by fear, greed, envy, or selfish ambition but is rather submitted to the more excellent way of the Kingdom of God and His perfect law of love.
My friend, you have a clean heart! Because you surrendered your life to your Savior, His power is at work in you each and every day causing your mind, will, and emotions to reflect the values and priorities of His Kingdom. You walk in confidence because you know that the One who called you is faithful and that He is using every circumstance you face to bring glory to His Name. Even better, you are empowered to live boldly and courageously because you understand that you are upheld by His mighty strength. He has not given you a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind, and has filled you with faith, compassion, generosity, and empathy so you can bring His light to a world that desperately needs to know the source of unfailing hope and unending love.
Jesus, thank you for giving me a clean heart. I ask that you would empower me to go after the things of your Kingdom.
Are the priorities of your heart aligned with the Kingdom of God?
If you’re unable to attend your local church or need some additional weekly inspiration, be sure to tune into Hour of Power every Saturday night at 6:30 p.m. PT on TBN or watch online at hourofpower.org/episode.