Yesterday I wrote about the causes and consequences of Worldliness, and today I'll cover James 4: 7 - 10 that speaks about the cure.
"Submit yourselves then, to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up".
First things first - we are to submit ourselves to God. Until we do that, we don't have the power of his Holy Spirit to take on the second step - resisting the devil. He will knock you back down every time unless you fight him with God's power. Remember, "greater is He that is within you, than he who is in the world". Satan is NOT to be feared - he wants us all to believe that, but that's a lie, which Jesus said Satan is the father of. Once a soul is saved; bought by the blood of Jesus, the Holy Spirit comes to live in that soul, and all the power of God is available; it's up to each person to draw from that power.
The next thing we are to do is to wash our hands - in other words - repent, and turn away from the world and it's standards. Grieve and mourn for those caught up in its system and its ways.
Lastly, we are to humble ourselves before God. I have a wonderful memory involving that verse. It was made into a song in the 1980's, and here's how it played out - a memory and a lesson from God I'll never forget.
When my kids were little, we were living in a nice neighborhood, in a home we'd built just a few years prior to this one Sunday afternoon. We put them in their car seats, and decided we were going to go look at some new homes in one of the upscale neighborhoods - you know, the kind of place where everyone wants that to be their address. Well Dude was always a good sleeper, and just about as soon as we'd start off on a drive, he'd fall asleep and stay asleep until we would get back home and take him out of the car.
As we were driving through this neighborhood called "Heathrow", which is up on the north end of Orlando, we were "ooohing and aaahhing" over some really nice houses and were talking about how we could really see ourselves living there, blah blah blah..... There was no need for us to be looking at any other houses or neighborhoods; the one we were in was new, it was nice, and the kids had a lot of friends there.
As we were leaving Heathrow, Dude, who had been sound asleep, popped up, and out of that little 3 year old's mouth came the song from that last verse of today's passage. "Humble thyself in the sight of the Lord"...then he was back sound to sleep immediately! Well - we looked at each other and we knew that the Lord had just shown us how we were letting pride and the desires of the world take priority in our lives. It was an eye opening experience for sure!
We headed back home, sorrowful for letting "things" get hold of us, but also thankful that God would use our sleeping toddler to show us our sin. If it had've been someone we knew telling us that we were being prideful, we probably would've brushed them off and thought they were just jealous, but it was the innocence of a child, and that child using God's word in song, that was the tool of showing us our sin so we could repent.
Today, let us all humble ourselves before God, and to put our priorities in order. There's an acronym that shows us just how to do that - JOY - Jesus, Others, You.