“Submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” (James 4:7, 8)
It isn’t unusual to hear someone complain that the devil is giving them or someone they know a hard time. There are a number of reasons for the devil doing that but sometimes it may be our own doing, or lack of doing, that gives him an “open door” to our lives. When he “knocks” on our door with a temptation we are inclined to leave the door ajar rather than slam it in his face.
Regardless of the cause, James gives us the remedy.
“Submit to God.”
Quite likely we would all say we are in submission to God. However, unless our submission is absolute and total it is not submission at all. If there is but one point of reservation we are not in submission to God and we reveal that we do not totally trust Him.
“Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”
If the devil finds no “toe hold” in the door he will move on. If he continues to trouble you it may be because you are not resisting the temptation he has placed before you. If you don’t want the devil to hound you then ensure you are in submission to God (by obedience from the heart) and reject the temptations the devil offers. He will flee but only if you resist.
“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”
Drawing near to God is a desire and attitude of the heart. Do you really want God or just the benefits He brings? Many Christians only want the benefits He brings but not Him. He is not a super medical doctor or Father Christmas and He is not a genie in a bottle. If you want Him and you want to draw near to Him He will most definitely respond just as He promises but it must be Him that you want and not just the fringe benefits.
If you feel God is not drawing near to you it may be because you have not met the conditions stated by James in this verse. You can change all that at this moment. Without God’s grace in Jesus Christ this is not possible for only He can resist the devil. “He who is in you is greater than He who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).