Monday, June 5, 2023

Hostility or Humility

Monday, June 5, 2023

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you. James 4:8-10

Hostility or Humility - James 4:1-10 by Kay Crumley 

The book of James was written by James the brother of Jesus who was a leader in the early church and known for his wise adviceThe book of James is a collection of instructions given to the Jewish believers who had been scattered around Palestine to escape persecution.   

Chapter 4 addresses the infighting of the congregation in those churchesThere was a power struggle among the members for which James identifies the source as “your passions that wage war within you” in verse 1The cause of the disagreements was internal as some were wanting what others had, greed, and were willing to murder, hate one another, to get what they wantedHe admonishes them that if they would only ask, in prayer, for what they wanted and with the right motives then God would answer and provide those desiresThe purpose of prayer is to align our will with the will of God, Matthew 6:10.  Without that alignment man’s covetousness or greed becomes idolatryPraying for something with wrong motives, to spend it on selfish pleasures, is the reason the request isn’t granted.  

Since the church is the bride of Christ, when we are lusting for things not of God, we are an adulterous people, vs 4If we pursue worldly desires, we make ourselves the enemy of God just as a spouse who pursues others outside of the marriage relationship becomes the enemyThe Holy Spirit who lives in the believer envies intensely, vs 5 Exodus 34:14 tells us that the Lord is a jealous GodHe wants our complete undivided devotionIf we place ourselves in opposition to God through our attachment to the world, He will resist usHe opposes the proud, those controlled by SatanThe solution is to humble ourselves to Him and the benefit is His abundant grace poured out onto us.  


Therefore, submit to GodResist the devil, and he will flee from youDraw near to God, and He will draw near to youCleanse your hands, sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.  James 4:7-8

The solution is that we first submit, be subject to, surrender to, draw near to God. That means we recognize our weakness and surrender to Him, our final authoritySecondly, we must resist the devil. There is only one way to resist him, draw near to God by knowing Him intimatelyWe resist Satan by proclaiming the truth of the Word of God to him just as Jesus did in Matthew 4:1-11Thirdly, we must repent of our sin daily as we cleanse our hands and purify our hearts in prayer and commitmentAdmit our sin to Him with broken hearts and rid ourselves of pride acknowledging Him as our source and strengthWe see the reward, in verse 10, that those who humble themselves before Him, He will exalt you.   


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