Summary: Submission to God brings him closer to you as does resisting the influence of evil drives the Devil away. The result of learning these two disciplines is a closer relationship with God almighty and the enemy driven farther away.
Submit and Resist
Thesis: Submission to God brings him closer to you as does resisting the influence of evil drives the Devil away. The result of learning these two disciplines is a closer relationship with God Almighty and the enemy driven farther away.
1What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? 2You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. 3When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.
4You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. 5Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely? 6But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:
“God opposes the proud
but gives grace to the humble.”
7Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
11Brothers, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. 12There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor?
13Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” 16As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. 17Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.
Our text today talks about the two disciplines of submission and resistance. These two points of action are to be actively directing the Christian in his life. James tells us that within our hearts there is a battle going on for our destiny in life. In essence it’s the battle over who will control our decisions in this life. It’s really the battle of authority and submission. The question’s we must answer as they relate to this topic are:
“Will I submit to the Lord’s will for my life?”
“Will I listen to his direction for my life?”
“Will I die to myself to do what he wants me to do?”
“Will I choose to lose to God?”
“Will I rightfully yield to His authority over my life?”
“Will I live my life in a way that shows I have submitted my life to God?”
“Will I choose to battle against the forces of the enemy?”