Read: James 4:7-10 Memorize: James 4:7 Pastor Josh January 7-13, 2016
As we continue our study in James, we find a continuation of the previous thought. We learned that God gives grace to the humble but not to the proud. Verse 7 says, "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." What does it mean to submit? Websters says "to yield to goverance or authority; to stop trying to fight or resist something; to agree to do or accept something that you have been resisting or opposing." A truly humble person will put themselves under God's authority, obey His commandments, and follow His leadership. Now in the last half of the verse He says to resist the devil. Resist means to take your stand against. We have just two choices, are we going to submit to God or submit to the devil? Many times we see Christians who want to be saved and to love the Lord but when it comes right down to it, they don't want to submit to God's authority. That's not you or me, is it?
Verse 8 says, "Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded." This is one of the greatest promises that God has given us. Did you know you can be as close to God as you want to be? The closer you get to God the closer He gets to you. Theres two things he mentions in the latter part of the verse, cleanse your hands and purify your hearts. How do we purify our hearts? I John 1:9 "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." How do we cleanse our hands? Read Ephesians 4:22-32.
The next verse sounds kind of negative. "Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to heaviness." What he is saying here is we must be broken about or sin. Does it bother you when you sin? As a Christian , it should! Psalms 51:17 "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise." God wants us to be broken over our sin.
Again, James brings out humility. "Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up." Humilty is the key to a closer walk with God. Are you going to submit to God and resist the devil or give in to your selfish desires?