You ever stop at a crosswalk because there’s an officer directing traffic. Why do we stop? It’s abundantly clear that my vehicle is stronger than the officer and I could drive right past him; on foot he’d never catch me. I stop because of his position of authority and my willingness to submit to that authority. As I was reading today’s passage the image of the traffic officer immediately came to mind. I see him standing with the bright vest on, the whistle in his mouth and that one hand out signaling me to STOP. I began thinking about those of us in positions of authority in the body of Christ, and how we talk a good game but the reality is we’re relying more on our positions and religion instead of humility to be better Christians.
I titled this devotion Put Your Hand Down; You’re Not Stopping Any Devils because authority in the life of a believer isn’t a bright vest, a loud whistle and a hand out. It’s not your position in a local church or your observance of religious practices. If you want to wage war against your flesh and win, you must be humble. Put your hand down and let’s read:
James 4:6-12 (NKJV)
6 But He gives more grace. Therefore He says:
“God resists the proud,
But gives grace to the humble.”
Humility Cures Worldliness
7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.
Do Not Judge a Brother
11 Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. 12 There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy. Who are you to judge another?
We need the grace of God like never before! The societal norms are vastly different now than when I was my daughter’s age (16). In a ploy to make humanity tolerant, we’ve become a people of compromise. It’s not sin if everybody is doing it-that’s a lie! If it was sin in the beginning, it doesn’t evolve into righteousness over time or because we’ve become fooled into being tolerant. We need more grace and the Lord gives it to those who are humble (respectful, courteous,modest,demure, reverential, submissive, and the meanings go on…).
Over the course of your Christian walk how many times have you heard the words, “…Resist the devil and he will flee.”? A ton of times and it’s absolutely true when you couple it with all of James 4: 7. I will have a hard time resisting the devil if I never submit to God. We want power, but we don’t ever want to submit to power. This lovely generation screams they want respect, but they don’t want to give respect. To be a Christian is humbling in every sense of the word. The moment I said I surrender my life to You (God), repented of my sins and asked the Lord Jesus Christ to come into my heart was an act of submission. It was indeed the most humbling moment of my life and it didn’t stop there. Every day that I learn of Him and spend time in His presence denying myself I gain greater understanding of His plan and it is humbling. Asking the Lord for direction regarding everything in my life that matters is a willful and deliberate act of submission. God created me, no one created Him and because of that truth I’m outranked and out-powered. So when I stand in a position of authority binding devils and do so without submission to God; I’m a delusional and arrogant fraud! Girl, put your hand down and bow down to the one and true power-the Lord God Almighty. When I humble myself under the Almighty hand of God, He exalts me. That constant recognition of God’s authority over my life keeps me near to Him. I’m purposefully listening for divine direction and when I’m busy listening for the Lord I don’t give attention to the devil. Let him roar, God created him too-he submits as well, now flee!
God’s order will bless your life. James 4:6-10 instructs on how to be humble and resist the devil. Once you’ve mastered humility and it’s freely being produced in your Christian walk, no one ever has to tell you to stop speaking evil against your brother and judging one another. God’s word works if you work it into your walk. A humbled spirit prays for their brother or sister and gives wise counsel that is from above. So for all the spiritual police officers out there waving their hands, operating in arrogance, pride and religion please put your hand down and robe yourself in some humility. Love one another, encourage one another, pray for one another, be there for one another. Don’t destroy and devour one another, that’s not our way.
Thank you again James for another great day of devotion. I’m growing tremendously and I’m humbled by all I’m learning.