James 4:7 So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
James is thought to be the half-brother of Jesus (Mary was mother to both). He was skeptical about his older brother during Jesus’ life as the God-man but quickly changed his thinking after the resurrection. Resurrections have a way of changing people minds…at least some minds. James went on to be a great deliverer of the Good News and was known as a tough preacher, telling his audience like it is. James didn’t sugar coat anything. I love that about James.
“So humble yourselves before God”
The definition of “humble” is that one is “lower (someone) in dignity or importance”. Who plays this role in your life? Do you take direction from others? Boss at work? Parents? Police officer? Teacher? Sponsor? Mentor? Do we regularly lower ourselves before others? This is not to say that we are less than the other person, but we do certainly defer to others that have authority over us. When we don’t, we get in trouble. Think about where not deferring to your boss, parents or a police officer gets you.
What is in common between Cain, Herod and Pharaoh as well as between David, Moses and Paul? Answer…they were all murders. Difference? The first three lacked humility and didn’t own their mistake. The second three (also murders) confessed their sin and repented – meaning they changed direction in their lives.
Repentance = Humility
Maybe we haven’t committed murder, but . . . listen to what Jesus says.
Matthew 5:21-22 “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment.
Yikes. So, I have done something against God by harboring a resentment or leaving my unreconciled anger against another person in place. I am a murderer after all.
We all screw up. The difference maker is in my acknowledging it to God and the person(s) I may have affected in the process, then commit to doing things differently in the future…I mean really meaning and committing to it.
“Resist the devil, and he will flee from you”
Resist means to “succeed in ignoring the attraction of”
Satan will attempt to attract, trick, disguise, woo, convince, sugar-coat and justify his agenda. He knows our hot buttons and weaknesses and will go to nothing to exploit and destroy us.
1 Peter 5:6-8 “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
There are six parts to the whole armor of God (Eph 6:10-17) and only ONE is an offensive weapon (Sword of the Spirit or God’s word). I wonder if the number of weapons as compared to defense devices corresponds to God’s priority for us to defend ourselves against Satan’s attacks?
Here’s the promise in the verse = “he (the devil) will flee from you”
My job? It’s to resist. Stay out of “slippery” places that might trip me up – on the internet late at night, hanging around at a bar often, casinos, fast food restaurants – whatever seems to trip you up in an area of you weakness. And when I hear that temptation start whispering in my head, I say out loud, “Satan, flee from me!” OK, I might not say it so loud others hear me…but I do like to say it so I hear it.
Be humble. Admit your mistakes and work to make things right. Commit to not repeating the same mistakes. And avoid places and people that take you further from God. Stick with those who lift you up and bring you closer to Him.