James 4:7-8a Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you.
Satan is at war with God and we don’t need to guess who wins in the end. Satan is no match for God, however, Satan hates God’s people and he is at war with true followers of Christ. We have no power in ourselves to resist or overcome the devil. That’s why it is important to trust and rely upon Jesus, to resist Satan’s evil and slanderous accusations as well as temptations. When faced with following the world’s values rather than God’s we need help to remain faithful.
James tells us the devil will flee from us, and God will draw near to us. Think of the prodigal son; he left his father in pursuit of what the world promises in satisfying his selfish desires. When he ran out of money and so-called friends, he found himself alone. Upon returning to his father in remorse and repentance, what did the father do? He drew near (ran to) the repentant son.
When we come to God in true remorse God doesn’t turn His back or tell us to first clean up our lives. No doubt the prodigal came back smelling like the pigs he was feeding, in need of new clothes and a shower! Spiritually speaking that’s what we look, and smell like, but God reaches out His arms and embraces us as He welcomes us in His Kingdom. Then He is able to exchange our filthy smelly rags for a white robe of righteousness. Amazing! It begins by drawing near to God, responding to His call to come in repentance, confession, surrender and faith, all of which He provides for us when we draw near to Him.
How can we draw near to God? We will look at that next week.
Pr. Bob Snitzer
By the Way:
Today 2:30 Confirmation
Sunday 7, 9:00 Morning Lenten worship and Holy Communion. Sermon: Return from False Witness
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