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May the Lord fill your life with the fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).

If God is not first in your life, then something else is (Deut 6:4-5, Matt 6:24, 33; 10:32-38, Mark 8:34, Luke 11:23, 1 John 5:21).

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So humble yourselves before God. Resist the Devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you... .” (James 4:7-8)
 
James always has such a direct way with words which makes it one of my favorite Books. I read this over and over. It is clear, concise and direct! It's as simple as “1-2-3.”
 

1. Humble yourself. The scripture repeats itself on many themes and humility is by far one of the most repeated themes. Why do you think He wants us to be humble, or meek? Well, clearly this is the first step because if we cannot remove our pride and humble ourselves we will never be able to admit our powerlessness and fully submit to Him. We will never admit that we know less, understand less, and control less than God. Without humility, we will never be patient, gentle and yielding. Without it, we will never reach step number two!

 

2. Resist the Devil. The Devil wants us to feel pride, power, knowledge, control and strength. These are lies because we are “LESS” than our almighty Creator. We are to be selfless, not selfish - thoughtful, not thoughtless! Jesus reminded us the importance of sacrifice in order to resist sin (Mark 9:42-50), and this was probably one of the reasons God asked Abraham to 'sacrifice' his son, Isaac. How far are we willing to go to sacrifice the flesh in order to resist the enemy? When we have truly understood humility, and we truly understand how to resist the ways of the Devil, we can then move to the next step.

 

3. Come close to God. Here we totally surrender and submit to His greatness... His knowledge, His understanding, His powers, His strength, His control. When we do, we experience a unity in Christ that God desires us to have. It is here that we become one with Christ!

 

In recovery from alcohol and drugs, there is a “12-Step” program that is followed. Truthfully, all you need is ONE STEP. The step to accept the invitation of God's gift of salvation through the blood of His Son, Jesus. Here James reminds us that this one step is difficult so we must first remove our pride. Then we can be ready to resist the enemy, then come close to God. (see also 1 Peter 5:6-9).

 

Are you ready to be stripped of your pride, resist the temptations of the enemy and come close to God? A proud, enemy of the Jews striken with leprosy finally had to humble himself and obey the Word of God to became healed and converted, and then offered to pay for the free gift of God's grace! (2 Kings 5, Luke 4:24-27). Take a moment and read James 3:13-4:17, then read Mark 8:34-35! Do those three things sound familiar?

 

 

 

Created Monday, June 16, 2008