Friday, February 3, 2012

Digging Deeper (James 4:6-8)

Digging Deeper 19 James 4:6-8
 How should we approach God’s Word? Maybe it is as simple as, with reverence. A true reverence for God’s Word seems to be something that is getting lost in today’s church culture. Somehow for many the Bible has become simply a guideline for living a productive life, for some it is history that if studied and not neglected it will help prevent us from the same mistakes as those in the past. Even many churches today only see it as a side note to justify an inspirational thought. But it is not a history book although it is historically correct, it is not a self help book but it will certainly help you, it is not a book of guidelines yet it will direct your life. God’s Word is the breath of God and is everything we need to see the character of God. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness that a man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. That is the purpose of “Digging Deeper” that we would reverence God’s Word as the ultimate authority on all things. Let’s dig a little deeper in God’s Word.
James 4:6 But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”  It is only by the grace of God that the whole world and everything in it even exist. There is no debate here; there are degrees of grace that we experience. To experience a greater degree of grace requires humility. The more that we surrender to the power of God the greater grace is experienced. The more we surrender our spiritual “can do attitude” in favor of an “I can do nothing without God” attitude the greater the grace experience. Nothing we can do or not do can or will change the power of God’s grace but when we give up our pride we are free to experience greater grace.
James 4:7 Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. In this short verse we have two commands or instructions and one result. First let me say that there is a reason for the order of instruction, to resist the devil we must first submit to God. How often do we complain “I just wish the devil would leave me alone” it is not a wrong desire but too often we ignore the instructions to make that happen. First, submit to God! The word submit mean to be placed under. This is a problem for us. We are quick to proclaim God as above all things and we really believe that problem is we struggled to submit to that. Mankind has a problem with submission; we struggle with the mindset that someone can be in a position over us. But listen again to verse 6 But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Submission is the action of recognizing who God is and our position before Him. The second command is resist the devil. I know it is way over used, but really, “just say no!” It seems simple until we are required to put it into practice. But a heart that is totally submitted to God will have no problem resisting the devil. An illustration is marriage. There are far too many marriages ending because “the devil couldn’t be resisted” it is impossible to cheat on your spouse if you are totally “submitted” to one another. The strength to resist the devil comes with a total commitment to love God!  
James 4:8 Draw near to God and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double minded. Let’s go back to our illustration, if we are working really hard to get as close as we can to our spouse it result in a closeness, of course the illustration has problems because we are dealing with flesh, but the point is that a marriage is strong and pure when you are close. James says draw near to God, talk to Him, and get to know Him, cherish Him, love Him, and walk with Him. Be diligent in your quest to be close to Him. Results, He will draw near to you. The more we seek God the closer we will see Him in our lives.
Submission can only come with humility, we cannot draw near to God with a “my way” attitude. To walk closely with God, to resist the devil we must realize that God is God and we are not. James in the last phrases of verse 8 says that are hands should be clean, this speaks of our actions, in context, our actions should be done in submission to the character of God and not for self gratification. James says that our hearts should be pure; a pure heart is a heart absent of selfishness and personal agendas. He mentions that before these changes take place it is double mindedness, too much believing and professing one thing and living out another. “I just wish the devil would leave me alone” Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. James 4:7
Now that we have dug a little deeper what do we believe?

What do we believe about God? 
1.   Grace belongs to God.
2.   Grace is given by God at His discretion.
3.   God desires that we are close to Him.

What do we believe about ourselves? 

1.   We can experience greater grace
2.   Greater grace comes when we are humble before God.
3.   The devil will flee from us when say no to him and submit ourselves to God.

1 comment:

  1. Those 5 words- James 4:6 are life to us,'He gives greater grace", The crown of earthly thorns pierced the tender face of grace and by His wounds we are healed.My hope for us, that we today through the power of Christ and His Word that there is nothing on this earth we'd really rather do. James 4:7-10, "Submit to God".
    JAMES- Mercy Triumphs; Beth Moore