Scripture: James 4.
(What is God saying here?)
James 4:6-10 (NLT)
6 But he gives us even more grace to stand against such evil desires. As the Scriptures say, “God opposes the proud but favors the humble.”
7 So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
8 Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.
9 Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy.
10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.
(How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)
With the Holy Spirit’s power, we can resist the devil, and he will flee from us. In verse 8 we are encouraged to come close to God and He will come close to us. I’m sure that this is something that each of us would desire, so let’s look deeper into this passage and discover the ways that Brother James tells us we can do this. James gives five ways:
- Humble yourselves before God (4:7). Yield to his authority and will, commit your life to him and his control, and be willing to follow him.
- Resist the devil (4:7). Don’t allow Satan to entice and tempt you.
- Wash your hands… and purify your hearts (that is, lead a pure life) (4:8). Be cleansed from sin, replacing your desire to sin with your desire to experience God’s purity.
- Let there be sorrow and deep grief for your sins (4:9). Don’t be afraid to express deep heartfelt sorrow for what you have done.
- Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor (4:10; 1 Peter 5:6).
Bowing in humility before the Lord means recognizing that our worth comes from God alone. To be humble involves leaning on his power and his guidance, and not going our own independent way. Although we do not deserve God’s favor, he wants to lift us up and give us worth and dignity, despite our human shortcomings.
(With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)
Lord Jesus, there is no greater desire than to draw closer to You every day. Please help me to always remember that while this is characteristic of a loving God who will forgive me for my many sins, yet it involves me having a desire to draw closer to You and actually doing my part to draw close to You. In a world filled with unbelievers, it is so important that I do it right the first time. In other words, it is important that I live my life so aligned with Yours, that others will recognize God in me right from the start. So dear God, I plead with You to guide me and direct me into the path of righteousness. I pray that You might be blessed as a result of my representation of You before ‘my world’ today, that is – the friends, coworkers, family and loved ones that I will associate with today. May they be influenced for Jesus today, is my humble prayer.
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