This week’s Pastor to Person was written by Pastor Caleb Beller.
[James 4:6 NKJV] 6 But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”
September 2, 1945 General Douglas MacArthur accepted the Japanese surrender from General Yoshijiro Umezu abord the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay. President Truman declared September 2 as the official V-J day. In newspapers across the world that day hundreds of soldiers and civilians were rejoicing together.
The word for “resist” literally means “opposite-of”, or “against.” Many see pride as a barrier with our relationship with people, but James tells us that what it really does is put us at war with God!
There are multiple commands in this chapter, resist, draw, cleanse, purify, lament, weep, but winning the war of pride is not about trying harder or self-control. James 4:7 says, therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. The key to our victory with pride is surrender!
It is our surrender to Jesus and the work of the gospel that is the catalyst for the grace and peace that follows. It is not until we accept the defeat of our own effort, strength, and righteousness that we can resist the devil. Our pride is really a war of independence from God’s love. When we surrender to the cross all of these other things (resisting, cleansing, humbling) become possible.
James 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up. God promises that our surrender brings real victory. Do you need grace? Do you need power to resist the devil? Surrender to the truth of the gospel! Let us turn to the cross, and away from self-righteousness. Rejoice in His victory and know that you are loved, forgiven, & new!