This week we will be walking through James 4. We will look at the causes for strife in the Christian community, Biblical solutions, and why we need a humble dependence on God. Our key verse is James 4:7-8.
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. (James 4:7-8)
The solution for strife: in humility, get right with God. v 6-10
“But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.”
- But God gives more grace v 6
- God resists the proud v 6
- God gives grace to the humble v 6
- Therefore submit unto God v 7
- Resist the devil and he will flee from you v 7
- Draw near to God v 8
- Cleanse your hands v 8
- Purify your hearts v 8
- Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord v10
The same Holy Spirit convicting us of our compromise will also grant us the grace to serve God as we should. But this grace only comes to the humble. In the light of the grace offered to the humble, there is only one thing to do: submit to God. This means to order yourself under God, to surrender to Him as a conquering King, and start receiving the benefits of His reign.
To solve the problems of carnality and the strife it causes, we must also resist the devil. This means to stand against the devil’s deceptions and his efforts to intimidate. As we resist the devil, we are promised that he will flee from you.
The call to draw near to God is both an invitation and a promise. It is no good to submit to God’s authority and to resist the devil’s attack and then fail to draw near to God. We have it as a promise: God will draw near to us as we draw near to Him.
As we draw near to God, we will be convicted of our sin. We are compelled to find cleansing at the cross.
As we come as sinners before God, we appropriately humble ourselves before God, then He will lift us up. Because God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble, and grace-the unmerited favor of God-always lifts us up.
Here James gives us practical things we can do deal the problem of strife. Apply these Biblical principles to grow in your relationship with God.
Tom Stearns, WASI Chaplain, 907 715-4001