7 Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
This next section is labeled in my study bible as “Its Cure,” meaning the cure of worldliness. I wanted to post the whole passage, it’s only 4 verses, but I feel that each individual verse is so powerful we should look at them line by line.
Previously, James was explaining the difference between Godliness and worldliness. We saw that if we live “of the world,” we are turning our backs on God and therefore put ourselves in a place of cursing instead of blessing. So then, what shall we do? James tells us in verse 7.
In the world view, submission is a sign of weakness. In “surrender” the world sees a coward, one who is giving up. However, the type of submission here is not a surrender of giving up a fight, losing hope and conceding, or even deciding you don’t want to fight anymore. The Kingdom view on this submission is actually a fight in itself!
In submitting to God, we are claiming that we want to follow His will instead of our own. We desire to worship and serve Him the way He created us and calls us to. In doing so we resist the devil. Our submission is not one of fear (as some church doctrines would have us believe), but rather one of humility and faith. THIS is true strength, true leadership, and a warfare unlike any other.
Many people I know will confess that following a sinful life is easy, it comes naturally. But it takes a realman or woman to bow in humility, to be selfless in service, and resist the desire for instant gratification. If anyone has ever tried resisting a temptation, you will admit that it is never easy. If it was, it wouldn’t be called a temptation, would it? Luckily, our God is bigger than our temptations and if we desire to please Him, He will give us the strength and weapons to combat them.
The world will tell you that following Christ is “weak.” The world wants you to believe that living a Godly life is one full of restriction, yet they are restricted by the choices they make and the ramifications of them. It is for freedom that Christ died for us and it is that freedom He calls us to live with Him. Freedom from the consequences of sin, freedom from this world, and freedom from ourselves.
In fact, our act of submission to God is so powerful that the devil flees from us. How can this be an act of weakness if such a powerful being flees? Because in doing so we harness God’s power and strength. He protects us from the evils of the universe and we become strong with Him living in us.
Are you weak or strong? What battle are you choosing to fight today?