Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. (James 4:7-8)
Read more of James 4
Let’s break down the four elements of this passage: (1) Submitting to God (2) Resisting the devil (3) Drawing near to God; and all of this is made possible through number (4) cleansing our hearts and making our way right with the Lord. It’s time to dive in deeper to all that God has for us.
“Submit yourselves, then, to God.”
Some people do not like to hear the word submit. They want control over their own lives because somehow they think they can do better than God can. I know I can’t. I see the beginning of this passage and I recognize my complete need to surrender my life before the Lord. He is the One with the answers, the One who knows the plans He has for my life, and He alone will be my strength through all things I face. It is my true delight to simply surrender to the One who gives me life.
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” (Psalm 139:14)
“Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
Do not and I repeat “DO NOT” let the devil pester you! God is the authority over your life and you don’t ever have to take what Satan tries to dish out. Do exactly what the scripture says, “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” Do not entertain thoughts that Satan may bring saying, “you’re not good enough,” “you should have done this better,” “if you were only like so and so,” “you need to be a better Christian,” etc. Don’t let Satan beat you up, instead let God build you up!
“The thief comes to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10)
“Come near to God and he will come near to you.”
This is great news! I hope you are reading this verse in sequence. You have just resisted the devil and now God is saying come near and I will come near to you. There is nothing standing in the way. You see Satan wants to be a roadblock between you and God and he will say and do whatever it takes to keep you from having a vibrant relationship with the Lord. This is why you have to resist Satan. Make him flee, so you can draw near to God. God wants to be as near to you as possible. Will you draw near to Him? It’s a direct path. You don’t have to cut any corners. It’s not a maze you have to find your way through. God wants you to just come near and He will be right there to come near to you. Yes, you can sit in this moment and enjoy it!
“Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16)
“Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”
God desires our submission, He wants us to resist the devil, so we can draw near to Him. Then comes this part of scripture that reminds us we struggle daily with sin. We can never take sin lightly. We must stay on guard and wash our hands of the sin that creeps into our lives. We must purify our hearts before the Lord daily. God doesn’t want us to say we desire to live for Him, but turn around and live for the world. He wants all or nothing! Choose to give Him your all today!
Dear Father God, I submit my life to You. I continue to resist the devil and all his schemes. May I draw near to You daily and enjoy the nearness of You in my life. Please help me to see if there is anything unclean in my heart and help me to purify myself before You.
Drawing Near to God,