Spiritual Warfare? [James 4]
6But He gives a greater grace Therefore it says, "GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE."7Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8Draw near to God and He will draw near to you Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom.10Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.
Some years ago, Verna challenged me to rethink what I was teaching concerning spiritual warfare. I am grateful that she did because as I studied, Satan and the warfare issue shrank, while God finally became Sovereign God in my mind. James understood how easy I become entangled in the world and in Satan's snares, but he also understood how easy it is to avoid those snares by God's grace. The key is humility. As I humbly submit myself to God and His grace acknowledging my weaknesses, I rest in the safety of God's protection and the devil has to flee. Because I am a believer, God is always protecting me, however, there is an extra protection from the snares of the devil that God provides as I grow in humility and in intimacy with Him. God uses Satan and those snares to drive me back to Him when my pride blossoms. Therefore, Satan is simply a puppet in God's Sovereign hands to show me when I have wandered away from God's ways.
We praise You God that you are Sovereign in our lives and that we can draw near to you at any time to be filled with Your grace. Cause us to submit to you, resist the devil and to find increasing intimacy with you.