As we come boldly to the throne of Grace, there is something we must understand. We must humble ourselves and we must turn away from the world and its attractions. This is not easy. The spirit of the world is very infectious and the carnal man craves the world and its pleasures, treasures, comfort, and worse still, it’s honor and pride.
A good place to start with humility is here:
“You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us? But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” 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.”
James 4:4-10 NIV
God longs jealously for the undivided devotion of His people, and He gives us more grace for it’s achievement. Listen to what James says in Chp 1:
“Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.”
James 1:16-18 NIV
He gave you the good and perfect new birth and He jealously claims your life and it’s fruitfulness all for Himself. With no exceptions.
“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.”
James 4:7-10 NIV
Here’s what James says about the double-minded. Those that vacillate between love for God and love for the world:
“That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.”
James 1:7-8 NIV
“When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.”
James 4:3 NIV
Paul says “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”
2 Corinthians 4:4 NIV
And if you follow the ways of the world, he will blind your mind too, fellow believer.
“I will not say much more to you, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold over me,”
John 14:30 NIV
You must pray for the strength and power to be free of this prince of the world, that he might not have any hold on you.
“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.”
1 John 2:15-17 NIV
Ask the Father who gives more grace to shed His love abroad in your heart and renew you inwardly day by day and all day. Ask Him that He would change your values and desires and tastes and purge the the pride of life and everything that is of the world from within you.
Resist the devil…the world, the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. Turn off the TV, be selective in what you read and about leisure and entertainment. Away with jealousy and envy when others are honored and recognized. Be thoughtful and discreet with your finances. Glorify God even with your eating and drinking! Get focused on Him…and the devil will flee from you!
Here is a precious promise from our gracious Father:
“May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.”
1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 NIV
To be continued…