Join me as we dig into God’s Word with James 4:8,
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.
When reading scriptures, we need to read what is before and after a verse to understand the meaning better. This is definitely one of those times.
Adding James 4:7 and the rest of verse 8 we read,
Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
The Passion Translation reads,
So then, surrender to God. Stand up to the devil and resist him and he will flee in agony. – The Aramaic translation says the accuser will flee in agony because of the One who stands with you – Move your heart closer and closer to God, and he will come even closer to you. – The Aramaic can be translated as and he will be touching you.
Let me read that without my little notes:
So then, surrender to God. Stand up to the devil and resist him and he will flee in agony. Move your heart closer and closer to God, and he will come even closer to you.
The scripture goes on to say,
But make sure you cleanse your life, you sinners, and keep your heart pure and stop doubting.
Drawing near to God.
Resisting the devil.
Keeping our hearts pure and not doubting.
It starts with surrender. Submitting to God that he is Lord over your life and over my life.
How do we resist the devil? We surrender to God and live a life believing and proclaiming that He is our Lord. That means we are submitting ourselves to His Lordship. His leadership. His authority in our lives. It’s also submitting to Him in LOVE! Not out of fear, but out of love and relationship.
As we submit, we are turning away from the influence of the devil, the world, and our flesh. It’s saying yes to Jesus.
As you and I surrender to God, the One who we submit to is right with us. As we draw closer to God – spending time with him, including him in our lives – our day-to-day lives – our everyday activities that happen throughout the day – as we include God, we are drawing closer to him.
Then the beautiful thing is as we draw close, He is drawing even closer to us.
We need to grasp that. The God who created all the universe, who created you and me, as we draw close to Him, He is right there even more so.
He desires a relationship with you and me.
It’s about letting go of “I” and embracing a “we” relationship with God.
So today, let us start with surrender, with a prayer of surrender for our lives, our day, and invite God into our everyday, mundane activities. God is here to meet each of us, and as we draw close, he is drawing even closer.