"Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." James 4:7 (NRSV)
The writer James wastes no words; he's concise to the point of bluntness. But his message is unambiguous, "Submit to God, and resist the devil." Simple right?
Well, no, it's not, because our human response is just the opposite. Our sinful nature desires to submit to evil and resist salvation; this is so easy for us we virtually need to do nothing. There is no effort to live in sin; we merely need to exist. Thank you, Adam and Eve; you just couldn’t resist that tree, could you?
However, we have a choice. God, in His grace, always gives us an alternative. Just because we come from the womb wired for sin does not mean we need to remain in that state. Instead, we can choose to relinquish ourselves to God. In this act of humbling ourselves, something radical happens; we become transformed into new beings. Through the infilling of the Holy Spirit, we have the power to send the devil packing.
God, we thank you for the salvation found through your Son and the ability to resist evil given us by the Holy Spirit. Please help us as we strive to submit to your will. Amen.