We have been talking about the evil desires that are inside us. Even after salvation we still have to fight against thinking and doing the wrong thing. In this post James gives us a how-to list to help us fight the “War Between the Ears”.
Battle Lines Drawn
The first four verses of chapter 4 state what we are up against. In verse five we are told this is not a new issue. The Old Testament warns us about the old man’s desires to lust and envy. It’s interesting how it reads… Today we might say “Do you think the scriptures were joking when it warned about our evil desires.” Just as we start sinking down in our seats verse 6 starts with… “But he giveth more grace”.
Rules of Engagement
The bible often takes us down a dark path to show us the evil not to shame us but to wake us up. There is evil inside us and we have to be careful. Now, in the next few verses, God’s word shows us how to avoid such evil. That is what we see here starting in v.6; James is going to give us the way to escape the evil desires inside each of us.
Verse 6a: Conditional promise of grace: (The ability to say no to Satan’s temptations.)
Verse 6b: God reacts negatively to pride and turns towards the humble. With a humble spirit God will come to us and provide us everything we need to resist Satan. Pride, on the other hand, will fuel the evil passion.
Verse 7: When we are humble and submitted to God we can turn away from Satan’s advances requiring him to leave us. Resist is an action!
Verse 8a: Here we have the key to a close relationship with God; draw nigh to Him.
Verse 8b & 9: Here is how we draw nigh: repent of your sin and stop giving in to evil desires: have one main goal, to honor God. Verse 9 tells us the attitude we are to have when repenting; we are to be truly sorry. (Not sorry we got caught; we are truly sorry we did it.)
Verse 10: Finally a promise from God that if we will do these things God will lift us up. (We will have a close relationship, our heart will be focused on God and we will have the ability to say no to the evil desires inside us. Then and only then will we win the war between the ears.)