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.”
You will notice that before we can resist the devil…..we should “submit ourselves to God”.
There is a means James is setting forth, here, of having our prayers answered.
James 4:3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.”
Our prayers are a view into our spiritual state. If our prayers are healthy, they will bring forth fruit within ourselves and within others.
That does not mean, we always get what we ask for….but it means that our prayers will take hold on God’s Word and promises…and change circumstances….or us.
Submit here is to subordinate…to be under obedience. If we expect our prayers to be answered….we are to submit our selves to God.
It is so easy for us to lust after things we do not have (James 4:3)….and to envy others, what they do have (James 4:5)…
James 4:6 “But He giveth more grace, wherefore He saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.”
No matter the lust (I want this and I want this now)….
….or the envy which is within us…..
….God gives more grace….more of the power we need to subdue our lusts….
….and submit to God in the circumstances we are in.
(Although there are times He brings us out of them.)
James 4:7 ‘Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
When we are submitted to God….we are to resist the devil….his whisperings, his doubts, his accusations….and he will flee from us.
Resist is to stand against….not listen to….not consider the pros and cons. The devil often tells enough truth to get us to look at what he is saying…..but resist his words and stand with the Lord’s Word.
(You can not stop birds from flying over your head….but you can keep them from building nests in your hair.”)
James 1:12 “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love Him.”
Resist….stand with God against the wiles of the devil. (Ephesians 6:10-18).
James 4:8 “Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.”
It seems as though James is repeating himself….
…but if we are submitted to God….and that is in our will…
…then we can resist the devil.
Then James says….draw near to God with your hearts.
And He will draw near to you….you will know His presence in this trial.
“Draw nigh”. Or make near. If we will make a way in our hearts for God to come near….He will make a way to come near.
How many of God’s children keep the attitude of nearness to God?
Nearness brings many things. First and foremost….it increases our faith, peace, and strength.
For when we are at a distance from the Lord (some Christians like to only be within shouting distance)….we are not only in danger, but we are weak in guidance, peace, and joy.
For when we see God, we see ourselves more clearly…so James says:
Be sure you confess your sins….those done (your hands).
Then confess your attitude, your desire for something other than the Lord’s Will……your hearts running after the world. (Being double minded James 1:8)
Now that you are coming closer to God, do not let anything interfere with that….for when we seek for Christ….He will be found of us….and more….He will draw near us, where we are.
To know the everlasting Arms around, and under us….we need to be close…closer still to Christ Jesus our Lord.
Deuteronomy 33:27 “The Eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and He shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them.”
First the right relationship to God….then the battle is His….and He shall thrust them out….while we destroy all that comes between us.