Thursday, July 11, 2013

Cure for Worldliness and Pride (James 4:7-10)

- Want a cure for worldliness and pride? Let's pay attention to the following 8 imperatives.
- 1. "Submit yourselves, then, to God." We must give ourselves completely to God, surrendering our desires, our will, and all to Him. Submission involves humility and obedience.
- 2. "Resist the devil." Satan loves pride and hates humility (he's the opposite of God). He'll do all he can to inflame our pride (arrogance & selfish ambition), spark envy/covetousness in our hearts, and/or lure us to fall in love with worldly things. How do we resist the devil? Follow Jesus' example by answering Satan's temptations and accusations with the Scriptures. That means we have to know what the Bible says. We need to read it, study it, memorize it, and apply/live it. "Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." Satan will flee from us because he cannot compete with or defeat the power of God's Word.
- 3. "Come near to God." Close communion with God assures His presence and intimacy ("And He will come near to you") and turns us away from loving the world. The more we know God and the longer we taste His goodness, the less worldly things can entice us. We must spend plenty of time with God in prayer and in His Word.
- 4. "Wash your hands, you sinners." We must clean up our conduct/our lives ("go and sin no more").
- 5. "And purify your hearts, you double-minded." You double-minded (you who are trying to follow God and the world at the same time), make sure your inner motives are pure. We must choose one or the other. God demands our undivided allegiance.
- 6. "Grieve, mourn and wail." This is a call to repentance! We should have Paul's attitude, "What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?" (Romans 7:24) We should grieve, mourn and wail because we've sinned against God.
- 7. "Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom." James wants us to express true remorse for our sin, recognize its destruction, and realize how offensive sin is to God. We must take it seriously. May we never forget the ugliness of our sin and the beauty of God's grace!
- 8. "Humble yourselves before the Lord." Remember that humility is the key! Don't be prideful and think, "I'm not that bad or I'm not as bad as so and so...". God hates pride! When we humbly acknowledge that we desperately need God's help, He lifts us up. To be lifted up by God is to be rescued, comforted, strengthened, refreshed, empowered, and embraced by our Heavenly Father Who cares deeply for us and gives us eternal worth and glorious riches in Christ. "He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand." Psalm 40:2

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