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ILLUSTRATION: Growing up, I had an immense fear of the dark.
So to help me sleep, my mom would turn on a lamp, and she would put a cassette tape in for me to listen to.
It had a bunch of Christian kids songs and a few skits.
But I remember one of the things it played was a verse… James 4:7
EXPLANATION: Last week, James introduced us to where the conflicts of life come from .
We saw that when we want what we want, and we fight for what we want, and then we ask God for what we want because we want it, God said, “It’s all about you. You are acting like the world when you’re supposed to be the bride of Christ.
As we reached the end of the message, we saw that God tells us in v.5 that our natural human response is to respond in our flesh.
James 4:5 KJV 1900
5 Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?
But we have the wonderful promise in v.6, that God’s gives more grace!
While you and I are unable to win the battle against our flesh on our own, the grace of God is greater and more powerful than our flesh will ever be!
And James gives the answer to how we can access that grace at the end of v.6…
James 4:6 KJV 1900
6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
APPLICATION: I don’t know about you but I want more grace!
I want the power of God’s grace to overflow my flesh each and every day of my life.
ILLUSTRATION: This past week I ran into a difficult situation, and I was ready to respond the way I wanted to.
But God gave me an amazing wife, whose voice often sounds like the Holy Spirit.
And she said you don’t want to respond that way.
But I did!
You know what I needed??? MORE GRACE!
APPLICATION: Every day of our life we need the grace of God just to make it through without making a complete mess of things!
But to access that grace, we have to have humility.
EXPLANATION: Humility is a word that has been tossed around to the point, we don’t understand what it is.
We may say that someone came from “humble beginnings.”
We mean they came from nothing.
So from our minds when we see the Bible say that we are supposed to be humble, we think that means we should think we are nothing.
But as we are going to see, it doesn’t mean we should act and think we are nothing
No, it means that we should stop thinking so much about ourselves.
And James gives us the answer to what we should be focusing on instead of ourselves.


James 4:7 KJV 1900
7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
ILLUSTRATION: I’ve seen guys that do Jujitsu
Jayce is getting ready to start wrestling and I think he should learn it
I know absolutely nothing about it, but I know that there are various hold you can do.
The goal of a match is to get your opponent to submit.
You are constantly trying to find leverage to get your opponent into a position will they will tap out and submit to you.
EXPLANATION: I think sometimes that is the mindset we have about God.
He is forcing us into places and situation until finally we can’t help it and we submit to Him.
But that isn’t what James say here.
He says, “Submit yourselves”
So then our mind goes to us twisting our own arm up behind our back trying to get ourselves to say “uncle”
But that isn’t what James is saying here when he says we must “submit ourselves.”
No this “submit” carries with it the idea of a soldier enlisting.
Willingly putting himself under his superior.
Not a forced submission… a willful enlisting.
James is saying, Humility begins not when we cower in a corner and pretend we are worthless.
Humility begins when we understand our place in God’s army and submit to His will and His leadership in our lives.
ILLUSTRATION: When we were kids we would sing that song, “I’m in the Lord’s army… Yes sir”
I may never march in the infantry
Ride in the calvary
Shoot the artillery
I may never fly over the enemy
But I’m in the Lord’s army
APPLICATION: You didn’t know it when you were little, but that’s exactly what you joined when you got saved.
You joined the Lord’s army!
2 Timothy 2:3 KJV 1900
3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 6:10–11 KJV 1900
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
When you put on Christ’s righteousness in place of your filthy rags, you surrendered yourself to be a soldier for the Lord.
And as a soldier, you must choose to submit yourself to the One Who is your Superior!
ILLUSTRATION: Jesus demonstrated this after His trip to Jerusalem with His parents.
After they had traveled about a day out of the city and realized Jesus wasn’t with them, they returned back
And after three days of searching they found Him in the temple.
When they got back on the road to Nazareth them Bible tells us in Luke 2:51
Luke 2:51 KJV 1900
51 And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.
The words “subject unto them” has the idea of being submissive to them.
Here Jesus, the God amongst men
Who always had been and always would be, submitted himself to his earthly parents.
He put Himself under their will for Him.
APPLICATION: Jesus knew what it meant to humble Himself to the will of others.
When He was in the garden on that night before He would give His life on the cross for your sins and mine, three times He prayed, “Father, not my will but thine be done.”
Philippians 2:5–8 KJV 1900
5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Friend, To enjoy the grace of God that is so much greater than the power of your flesh, you must humble yourself, and willingly submit to God!
To place yourself under His authority for your life.
While that is so easy to say, it is often so hard to do.
To lay aside your plans and your will for the father.
When was the last time you just stopped and said, “God am I following your will for my life?”
Am I following your will raising my kids
Am I following your will in my marriage
Am I following your will with my job
Of have I started saying without realizing it, “Father not your will, but mine be done.”
To experience that sweet grace of God that is greater than your flesh, you must choose to humbly submit yourself to the Lord
But that’s just the first part… because Submission is where humility begins


James 4:7 KJV 1900
7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
EXPLANATION: James goes on to say:
James 4:7 KJV 1900
7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
We are commanded to resist the devil.
The word resist literally means to “take your stand against.”
I heard it said by one preacher, “It is to step out of bed in the morning and seek to spend the day going the opposite direction of the devil!”
James knew that Satan is a real enemy who is out seeking to destroy.
Peter said it this way in 1 Peter 5:8
1 Peter 5:8 KJV 1900
8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
Because of that reality Paul warned the believers in Ephesus
Ephesians 4:27 KJV 1900
27 Neither give place to the devil.
Paul knew, Peter knew, James knew if you give the devil and inch he will take a mile.
The devil works in “small sins” because he knows the small sin’s potential!
So James warned, Resist (take your stand against) the devil.
ILLUSTRATION: According to the Bible, Samson was the strongest man who had ever lived.
He was unmatched and unstoppable.
God had given him strength to defeat the enemies of Isreal.
But in all the strength Samson had, he didn’t know how to resist.
At the very beginning of his story Judges 14:1-3
Judges 14:1–3 KJV 1900
1 And Samson went down to Timnath, and saw a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines. 2 And he came up, and told his father and his mother, and said, I have seen a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines: now therefore get her for me to wife. 3 Then his father and his mother said unto him, Is there never a woman among the daughters of thy brethren, or among all my people, that thou goest to take a wife of the uncircumcised Philistines? And Samson said unto his father, Get her for me; for she pleaseth me well.
He just couldn’t help himself… it was what he wanted… and it was just a little look.
When Delilah begged Samson to tell her the secret of his strength, he didn’t tell her… at least not initially.
But with time he got a little closer and a little closer, until one day, it just slipped.
When Samson awoke without any hair one of the saddest verses in the Bible says Judges 16:20
Judges 16:20 KJV 1900
20 And she said, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself. And he wist not that the Lord was departed from him.
Samson had spent so much of his life not resisting…
He’d spent so much of his life not submitting...
That Samson didn’t even realize when he didn’t have the power of God in his life.
Remember where his little sin began… Just a look.
It’s interesting that after he was captured by the Philistines Judges 16:21
Judges 16:21 KJV 1900
21 But the Philistines took him, and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza, and bound him with fetters of brass; and he did grind in the prison house.
Samson didn’t know how to resist the devil… and it cost him everything.
APPLICATION: Are you resisting the devil in your life?
One of the realities of resistance is that it causes heat and friction.
Friend if there is never any heat or friction in your life… it could just be that you are going the wrong way.
And if you aren’t careful, you’ll wake up one day blinded because of your sin, and broken by where you are.


APPLICATION: But here is the key of this verse… If you do submit yourself to God and resist the devil… he will flee from you!
ILLUSTRATION: My pastor growing up shared about his favorite person to go door knocking with.
Every week they would go invite people to church, and he loved to go with one man in particular.
You see my pastor was a man about 5’ 8” tall and probably 165 lbs.
He was fierce in the pulpit, but his stature didn’t do anything for intimidating out in life.
No one was quaking when he walked on the basketball court or the football field.
But he loved to go door knocking with Tim Vest.
Tim was about 6’ 7” and quite a few pounds
He had a handle bar mustache and occasionally you would catch him out riding his custom build chopper motorcycle.
My pastor said that when he went door knocking with Tim… people were always so nice.
No one ever slammed the door in his face when Tim was there.
It made all the difference who was with him.
APPLICATION: Friend, if you decide you are going to resist the devil today, you will fail!
If you miss the first half of that verse.
You see, it’s not anything about you that makes the devil flee from you...
It’s all about who you are with!
No God isn’t looking for us to cower in a corner somewhere and tell everyone about how humble we are!
Romans 8:37 KJV 1900
37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
No we should be pressing on for Christ!
Realizing that it isn’t about getting what I want like we talked about last week.
It’s all about submitting to to Who He is… and He should be the God of your life!
And you are a soldier in His army!
2 Timothy 2:4 KJV 1900
4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.
Friend, are you a humble soldier in His army?
It starts with submission… it’s demonstrated in your resistance…
Is the devil fleeing from you? Not because of who you are, but because of Who you are with?
If I could, I’d turn the lamp on for you, find that cassette tape and fast forward to that verse for you to listen to… Because it’s so important for you to know today, James 4:7
James 4:7 KJV 1900
7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
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