James 4:7-10, “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.  Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands,you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.  Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.  Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.”

Submit to God.  Submit, give in fully, let go.  When you submit to God, you are not holding back.  You give all to God and don’t try to control what happens.  God deserves everything that we can give Him.  He deserves all of our mind, body and soul.  He did, after all, create us in His image and for His purpose.

Resist the devil.  Satan, or Lucifer as he was known by, was once an angel of God.  He thought he was better than God and was cast our of Heaven into a created place called Hell.  Created for him by God.  We are to resist the devil because all those who follow Satan follow him to Hell.  So turn away from evil (Satan) and turn to good (God).

Drawing near to God will bring God closer to us.  If God is closer to us, Satan cannot be near us.  It is when we stray from God that Satan comes around and begins to pick us apart.  He begins to lie and deceive us into thinking that what we are doing is okay and that God won’t mind.  Anything contrary to God is sin and God does mind sin.  Don’t let the devil convince you to go contrary to God.

Cleanse and purify.  Two words that talk about what Jesus can do for us.  With Jesus’s death on the cross, we are clean and purified.  Clean and purified from sin and evil.  Our hands work sin and need to be cleaned by Jesus so that our works are righteous and our hands can work for the good of God.  Our hearts need to be purified by Jesus.  Heart in this case is not necessarily the organ but the very being of a man.  Our beings need to be pure from sin so that we can face God and be with Him in Heaven.

Humble.  That is what we need to be when we approach God.  Since our works are garbage in God’s eyes, we ought to be humble to the One that gives us everything, including salvation from sin and death and Hell itself.  We cannot say or do anything to earn this salvation.  We do not deserve it.  We do not win it based on “good behavior.”  It is a gift, wrapped in grace and given at a cost.  The cost was the death of Jesus.  The price is priceless.  Priceless to the one who accepts this gift.  It also means that no amount of money in the world can buy it.  This is why we are to be humble in the presence of God.

Will you submit to God today?  Will you resist the devil today?  Submit and resist.  The two commands that we need to learn and do daily.  This is not a “one and done” deal.  Go to God.  Go to God daily and see where life takes you.  God will be near when you allow Him to be near.

Heavenly Father,

Thank You for being near to us.  We don’t deserve You and all that You do.  Yet, You are there for us time and time again.  Let us daily be cleansed and purified that we may be right in Your eyes.  Let us resist evil in all that we do.  If we face evil, give the strength to defend against it.  You are our strength and can easily defeat the evil one.  We pray that You stand near and guard us.  I pray that all of Your creation will link together with You to shut out the devil and make him stay where he belongs: out of our lives forever.  You are our God and we will serve You in all that we do.

In Your name we pray,

Amen

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